Saturday, December 24, 2005 

Star Tribune Link

NSP got mentioned today on the Star Tribune's Blog Talk, written by Tim O'Brien (thanks, Tim!). It's NSP's first mention by an actual media outlet - pretty exciting!

Friday, December 23, 2005 

Second Amendments

Again with the slow day, I'm picking up what I can,with a little offbeat news here. Rep. Collin Peterson (DFL-MN07) has founded a bipartisan band that will be entertaining the troops over Congress' holiday break. They call themselves The Second Amendments.


Daily Dose

As it's another relatively slow news day, especially in Minnesota politics, NSP has a daily dose of disgustingness for your reading enjoyment.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 

"Intramural GOP dispute"

How I love the sight of GOP infighting.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

Slowing Down

After a politically intense day yesterday, things have slowed down (so far). That's in addition to finals week ending today, something always appreciated by students and instructors - especially the students. I'd expect things to stay slow as we enter the Christmas-New Year's stretch, especially in the state, if a little less so nationally.

In the aftermath of last week, the state Republican party, like the national GOP for the last few months, is looking particularly weak right now. The feetax fiasco is completely their fault, and their terrible candidates in St. Cloud are really making the entire party look bad. Tim Pawlenty's nine point bump will be erased, and the GOP will be entering 2006 (obviously an election year) on the wrong foot. It's looking good!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 

Cigarette "Fee" Illegal

So much happening so fast today. Here's the latest news: Tim Pawlenty's cigarette feetax, because it's officially a "health impact fee", has been ruled illegal. Here are the details.

The good gub'nuh's in a real bind here. On one hand, this is his baby, and the state can't afford to lose the revenue generated from the feetax. On the other hand, while the Legislature could pass a tax with the same terms as the fee, would Gov. Pawlenty sign it, with his no-new-tax pledge and all?

This is going to tear the budget apart; the feetax was supposed to generate $400 million over the course of the biennium.

So, now we have good news or bad news, depending on your point of view. The good news is that this situation is unquestionably Tim Pawlenty's fault. He insisted on calling it a "health impact fee" and not a tax, despite the fact that, by definition, it is not a fee and it shouldn't be called such. Thus, Tim Pawlenty's no-new-tax pledge has screwed the State of Minnesota. Tim's going to have to answer for this. The bad news? We have to trust Tim Pawlenty and the Republican House to fix it, and that's something that doesn't make me terribly confident.

Always keep in mind that this is the Governor's fault, and his alone. Elect a DFLer to the governor's mansion in 2006 and we won't have problems like this.

P.S.: Read about other stupid Republican shenanigans today.


Ha. Ha. Ha.

There may not be an Ek - or any other Republican - on the ballot come next week:

Early in the afternoon, the office of Attorney General Mike Hatch gave an opinion to Kiffmeyer that no replacement candidate could be put on the ballot. Kiffmeyer's office was studying the opinion but did not make an immediate comment.

UPDATE: I just heard on NPR that Kay Ek's name will not be allowed on the ballot. Welcome to the Legislature, Rep. Haws!


Hey, GOP: You Lose

Sue Ek's mother will be running against Larry Haws, if she is allowed to be on the ballot at all. If not, I presume the GOP will be organizing what they can pull together for write-ins. What a joke. At this point, nobody's going to vote for anybody whose last name is Ek.

Monday, December 19, 2005 

The N-Ek-t Step

So, Sue Ek is off the ballot and it's very, very unclear whether the GOP will be able to put another candidate on. Tomorrow marks one week from the election, so between the legal uncertainly and the time it will take to resolve it, I'll guess that Larry Haws will be unopposed on the ballot next Tuesday, and I'm nearly certain that he'll win in a landslide regardless.

The next question is whether Sue Ek will face criminal charges for her actions in this electoral fiasco. I'm no lawyer - obviously - but this blogger would be mightily surprised if Sue Ek was not in danger of being charged with - and is probably guilty of - at least one count of fraud. According to the SOS:
"An individual who intentionally violates any provision of [the electoral laws] is guilty of a felony, unless a different penalty is specifically provided by law." (Minnesota Statutes 201.27, subdivision 3).
One imagines that were Ek to be charged, the case would largely if not totally hinge on whether it could be proven that Ek intentionally committed electoral fraud. I don't have the time to do research (it's still finals week, after all), but I wouldn't be surprised if there were other laws dealing with the offense whether it was committed intentionally or unintentionally.

I don't know; like I said, I'm not a lawyer. It would be great if somebody else did some research on this. All I'm saying is that this is a BIG deal. Sue Ek ran in a district in which she was not a resident, and that's illegal. At best, it was gross negligence, and at worst it was a purposeful attempt to defraud the voters of St. Cloud. I'd ask Janelle Kendall, the Stearns county prosecutor, to investigate this situation. It's important.


Spying Shenanigans

Wow, don't even know what to say about Brian's latest post. He's got stones that I don't, that's for sure.



Good run, Sue. We'll see (from next week's election returns) if you've only 99% screwed your party's chances of taking the House seat, or if you've really done it all the way.

UPDATE: I'd be remiss if I didn't thank my friends at MN Publius and MN GOP Watch for the absolutely fantastic investigative work they've done in these St. Cloud races. They set an example for bloggers from all across the political spectrum. Great work, guys.


St. Cloud Update: Eight Days Out

This blogger only has one thing to say: score.

At this point, I'd be shocked if either Republican candidate managed to win next Tuesday. Everything's against them: national Republican woes, state Republican weakness, stupid stupid stupid mistakes by both campaigns. I actually hope that Sue Ek somehow manages to stay on the ballot - it'll be damn funny to see Haws' margin of victory.

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