Tag Archives: Tom Emmer

Annette Meeks partying like it’s 1799 – Her absurd logic on keeping the electoral college.

Do you remember in 2010, when Republicans like Annette Meeks, Tom Emmer and Dave Thompson kept using the phrase, “it’s just common sense” when referring to changing the constitution to restrict a person’s ability to vote? Today, Annette Meeks, proves it is not at all about common sense. It is really an “it’s all about me” attitude and about protecting her own interests.

In an opinion piece in the StarTribune today titled “Lobbyists target Electoral College,” Ms. Meeks argues that the antiquated Electoral College should stay in place to elect presidents, rather than a majority of voters who vote in the election like we determine every other election. She states: “The current system works very well and ensures that states like Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin matter.” Here is where I am going with the selfish “it’s all about me” argument too many Republicans get caught up in. Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin matter in this scenario, but what about Kansas, Wyoming, California, Hawaii, or Nebraska? Are their votes less important Ms. Meeks? Because if the reason we matter is that our states are in play, and we live here, do the California voters who voted for Mitt Romney (5 million plus voters), or John McCain, George W. Bush, or Bob Dole, not matter? Because their votes have not counted in over 20 years. This system is an absurd out-of-date system that was established in the first place to keep the average person from choosing the president.

It is time for the Electoral College to go, and it is time for the President to be elected by Popular Vote. Just like every other election in America is decided.

It’s funny because when the fight was on to give women the right to vote, the system “worked very well” then too. Does that mean we shouldn’t have changed? The real reason Ms. Meeks and so many other Republicans don’t want this change is that the trends are showing more and more Democratic voters are voting. They are afraid that their extremist views and agenda driven gerrymandering will become a thing of the past, as more centrist candidates will be needed to win an election. Ms. Meeks is scared of losing her place in politics.

One thing I have learned about living in a very conservative district is that constant losing breeds voter apathy. When the main voting draw is the election of a president, how many more Republicans in California, or Democrats in Mississippi might go out to vote if they knew their vote actually meant something? Ms. Meeks is dead-wrong. This system doesn’t work. This system was designed to make voters irrelevant. The Electoral College is an archaic remnant of a time when white men owned slaves, women couldn’t vote, and cocaine was used to treat a child with a tooth ache.

Ms. Meeks, I won’t bother to say step into the 21st century. It is apparent you need to first try stepping into the 19th century.

Republicans are huge government spending hypocrites! We need to vote with compassion.

Did you read this story in the StarTribune about Chip Cravaack’s massive pay raises to his staff after he lost the election?

StarTribune 3/31/13: Lame-duck Cravaack handed out large raises to his staff

This is exactly why I vote for people who demonstrate love and compassion for people first. You cannot trust politicians when they say they will cut taxes or spending, or eliminate waste. But when a politician has demonstrated sincere concern for other humans, and cares how people and families live and survive, you know they will vote to make their lives better, even if they eventually fail on spending promises.

Chip Cravaack was a huge government spending hypocrite! He talked continuously about “what’s best for all Americans.” He attacked Oberstar and Nolan on trust, spending, and government waste. He was a TEA Partier, which should mean he is concerned about how our taxes are spent. And he voted to cut aid and college grants for many people who needed it. I think it is safe to say, he didn’t like “welfare.” But apparently that only applied to people he didn’t know personally. People who pledged an allegiance to him were fine getting welfare. When he lost the 2012 election, he gave his full-time staff and friends a 93% government pay raise for the final two months of their government employment. And worse yet, this government spending hawk, and welfare hater, admits he gave them government welfare. Cravaack said “at the end of the year, I maxed out everybody because I had no idea how long these guys would be out of work.” He gave them extra unemployment. If any of them claimed unemployment Americans paid them twice!

It wasn’t his money to dole out to his lackeys. This is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t trust politicians who care more about taxes than people. This is why I don’t trust politicians like Chip Cravaack, John Kline, Michelle Bachman, Tom Emmer, or Dave Thompson, whose solution to everything seems to be lower taxes and less government. I want politicians whose solution is to improve lives for the next several generations, not to give me an extra $50 at the end of the year. I believe these are self-righteous politicians who want control and prestige more than they really care about their ideals. If these politicians were Doctors rather than lawyers, they would have a God Complex, and a few that I’ve met might have that anyway. In the end, I think they will do what benefits themselves and their friends not what benefits the rest of us, despite what they say.

That’s why it is so unimaginable for me to vote for Republicans these days. I think at one time, there were Republicans who cared about the future and families, and still had plans for less spending. Now it seems caring about people is a bad thing in the Republican Party, and the world and those less fortunate are jokes to them. I can’t see myself voting for anybody other than a liberal in the near future. It is about compassion first, even if fiscal responsibility is second. That’s not happening on the right side of the aisle.

Should it really be a hard choice for Republicans to play nice?

I have some real problems with the political leadership in my area.  It isn’t specifically that they are Republicans.  If that were the reason I wouldn’t like most of my family or many of our friends.  It is the political demeanor so many of the political leaders seem to possess.

The overriding character to be politically successful in the area seems to include a bit of disdain for opposition or at least disrespect for opposition, a little snobbishness, a touch of nastiness, smart alecky, globally uncaring and maybe even a bit hypocritical.  In my opinion, at least some of those traits fit each of our legislative representatives in Senate District 36. 

What got me thinking about this was a recent Bible study discussion about the end of Matthew 5.  At the forefront of my thought has been the idea that I am to live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward me.  Do any politicians do that?  I read an article in Politics in Minnesota about Rep. Mary Liz Holberg.  In the article Briana Bierschbach quotes former Republican State Representative Neil Peterson describing Mary Liz Holberg as:

“She can really be nasty. I know we didn’t agree on some things, but she dealt with things in her own, specific way.”

The article was not about Holberg’s nastiness, but that quote really struck me.  Should a person directly representing 40,000 Minnesotans, and indirectly the entire state, be nasty and vengeful?  Or should that person be generous and gracious?  I guess it is just my opinion, but I think a person we elect to represent us should be kind, circumspect, empathetic and maybe even a little chivalrous.  I know that is asking a lot and maybe the nature of politics preclude that, but am I wrong to say that should be the ideal? 

Is it kind for Dave Thompson or Pat Garofalo to lob insults at a leader elected to represent a large group of people simply because they disagree?  Is it considerate to say in “Dave’s perfect world” you don’t exist to a Labor leader?  Is it good-mannered for Pat to go on MPR and demand a personal thank you from education leaders for funding education, something I think he is elected to do and required by law to do? What does it say about Mary Liz Holberg when she got so upset that the Override 6 were not punished enough by Speaker Seifert, that she quit attending caucus meetings and joined Tom Emmer in trying to embarrass him and the rest of Republican Leadership? 

The political negativity goes on at every level in the district.  There is a popular school board member in Farmington who admits he is not nice to the administration or the rest of the board.  In Lakeville the Mayor wouldn’t accept a generous gift from a council member because of politics.  And in our district, Republican leaders worked to unseat Pat Garofalo in 2006, attempting to replace him because he wasn’t Republican enough.  Pat learned his lesson and has been loyal ever since, but what have the rest of us learned? Is that what we want?

Whether Republican or DFL, shouldn’t we hold the political leaders we nominate and elect to a higher standard?  When we consider a leader shouldn’t they be both effective and respectful?  I hope we can all agree that insults, egocentric actions and revenge are not the best ways to be respectful or to be leaders.

A current Republican legislator, who wished to remain anonymous in the Politics in Minnesota article said of Holberg’s decision to lead the Ways and Means Committee and to be effective:

“She would have to play nice a bit more, I’m sure the choice wasn’t easy, but she made it.”

Should it really be a hard choice to make to play nice?

Matthew 5: 46-48 – The Message
“If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

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.

It’s the 2010 DFL Candidate Endorsement Bracket Challenge!

Can you tell I am excited about the NCAA Basketball Tournament?  I am only part of two NCAA bracket competitions, neither of them for money thankfully because I usually lose to the person who watches no college basketball.  Anyway, in my excitement for bracket challenges, I made my own bracket challenge with the DFL candidates for governor.

(Click on it for a larger image)

This bracket is in a way how I expected the DFL Endorsement process to go, with the expectation that my own sleeper pick would win the big dance.

The DFL State Convention is only three weeks away.  In one sense, the games have already started.  The play-in game has eliminated one team, but the number one seeds are pretty safe, at least during the first round.

Over the last year, I’ve seen all the major DFL candidate for governor, and I’ve met most of them, even if a couple might have just been an introduction and handshake.  During that time, I decided to support Paul Thissen.  I feel like he is the freshest candidate.  He seems young despite his gray hair, is articulate, forward thinking and he communicates well.  He is very intelligent, but he doesn’t have the intelligence arrogance others can have.  He impresses people with his grasp of policy and his understanding of how it affects everybody.  He is dedicated and hard working.

Those who support other candidates might say that describes their candidate too.  That is the great thing about the number of decent candidates we have on the DFL side.  But I will support Paul at the convention in a few weeks.  That said, I am also pragmatic. 

I expected more delegates to feel the way I feel about Paul.  That hasn’t happened.  I recently read John Marty has passed Paul Thissen to move into fourth place in the delegate count behind R.T. Rybak, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Uncommitted.  The total delegates for candidates below Paul on the delegate count wouldn’t give Paul enough to pass Rybak or Kelliher if they all supported Paul.  Granted, Uncommitted dwarves everybody else and anything can happen, but I know there are a lot of “committed” uncommitteds.  I saw it at my Senate District Convention.

So being the pragmatic individual I think I am, I feel like I need to make a decision about who to support if Paul doesn’t make it to the later rounds of the endorsement process.

I’m not somebody who is going to support a candidate come hell or high water when I know that candidate will not win.  I’m realistic.  That bracket above is pretty indicative of my final decision.  If you notice, I stopped at the final four.  I didn’t go down to a final two.  I’m having a really hard time deciding on the next best behind Paul.

Many of the candidates are good, and I could easily support any of them.  In fact at one point, I probably had decided to support each of them before finally deciding on supporting Paul.  The main factor that I think will influence my decision is electability.

Who is the next most electable of the final four after Paul? 

R.T. Rybak is the most charismatic.  Plus, he has the next most name recognition after Mark Dayton.  In recent Rasmussen Polls he beats Emmer and is tied with Seifert.  No other DFLer does.  Even Dayton’s name recognition has him losing to Seifert.  And worse, nobody else beats Emmer.  That will obviously change if Emmer starts campaigning, but still… The problem: 30 second commercials with artistic water fountains and police cuts that can stick negatively despite truly being non-issues.  Negative buzz words/phrases: Waste, the arts over safety, tax and spend liberal. 

Margaret Anderson Kelliher has an Amy Klobuchar factor about her campaign.  There is nothing flashy about her, but she is a good candidate and good communicator who will draw women, even ones that might normally vote Republican.  She stands her ground on issues.  She grew up a farm girl, but is an urban woman.  The problem: 30 second commercials centered around the voter access file flap.  Negative buzz words/phrases: Scandal, trust issues, manipulation, typical politician.

Matt Entenza… I like his personal story, I think he would do a great job, but there are a lot of negative vibes within his own party, let alone the barrage that would come from the right.  He is definitely forth on this list.

So who do I choose?  I probably won’t know until a few ballots into the endorsement process. 

Who would you choose?