Saturday, March 04, 2006 

We Got Burned

Ouch, bloggers and readers; Jerome Armstrong of MyDD didn't see fit to list any Minnesota blogs in his blogroll. That hurts, Jerome.

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I felt ill after I read this, and I'm neither kidding nor exaggerating.

I strongly disagree with those who believe they have the right to control womens' uteri, but at least I intellectually understand the argument for banning choice. Trying to probihit abortion even in the cases where it is needed to protect a woman's health or it is needed after rape or incest rapidly approaches the level of criminal.

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Friday, March 03, 2006 

Walz Gets the Big Mo'

Tim Walz, congressional candidate in the 1st, continues to garner a disproportionate amount of attention, both statewide and, more importantly, nationally. He's mentioned by an e-mail from John Kerry today; I was going to write this up but Backbone Minnesota beat me to it.

I think a lot of people have been noticing all the attention and coming to some mistaken conclusions. Walz is going to have to fight all across southern MN for name recognition against Rep. Gutknecht, and he's not yet very well known. We cheerlead for him here in the blogosphere, but it bears repeating: Tim Walz's name is not yet well known in the 1st. One might think that with all the national attention he gets, he's gotta be getting even more in his district, but he's not. The attention outside the 1st means absolutely nothing to his campaign, except insofar as it brings in the big dollars. This race, even more than most, is going to be won and lost in the dollar race, and I will say that Walz does look very good in this area, especially now that the Kerry e-mail has gone out. Even so, and despite the news that he's brought in a big gun, Tim Walz, great candidate and great guy that he is, faces an uphill battle in a slight-lean-red district against a veteran incumbent with a lot of money who hasn't seen a truly serious challenge in a very long time.

If Democrats are seriously going to take back the House this year (which I have my doubts about), I think they'll win this seat. This is the kind of seat that they'll need to win to do it, because there simply aren't enough really swing seats around anymore to do it otherwise. Tim Walz will either have to run an absolutely spectacular campaign or get some serious help in a 1994-style tidal wave. Either is possible, and the combination of both is possible, too.

Don't get it wrong; this blogger wants Walz to win and thinks he has a legitimate shot. We just shouldn't be overly optimistic, because it's going to be a very tough battle. Don't overestimate the value of the out-of-district media, however, because while we may love it, it by itself means nothing; its only real value is to help fund Tim's campaign.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006 

MDE Gets National Attention

Oh look, MDE got noticed! But it's okay, because so did we.

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GOP Going After MPR

Well, it looks like my prediction about Republicans going after MPR was pretty much correct on a personal/journalistic level if not at a policy level. Just look at any recent post from this Republican-affiliated blogger.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

Blogger Dishonesty

You know, sometimes the little things are the biggest indicators of dishonesty. I've admitted in the past that Michael Brodkorb at Minnesota Democrats Exposed has done some decent work, revealing some misbehaving DFLers. And that's good; in a democratic society, there need to be some citizen watchdogs. On the other hand, however, in his quest to get multiple posts up a day, he's crossed the line. Repeatedly. He's gone after candidates' children, after personal issues with absoutely no relevance to politics, all kinds of things that ought not be brought up, and that are below him and even (dare I say it) the Republican Party, which there is little question he represents.

I've been a frequent critic of MDE, as any regular reader of this blog will know, and I'm going to criticize him today. Why, in a post about joke DFL candidate Russ Koch (who I put at the same level as, say, Ole Savior), would MDE list for his tags all the other DFL gubernatorial candidates but not Russ Koch? His tagging indicates pure dishonesty, and he needs to stop it. MDE has said he has added Koch to his tag list. Still, the fact that he is using all the gubernatorial candidates' names as tags on posts that don't refer to them all is highly questionable.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006 

And So It Begins

As many of you know, the 2006 Minnesota legislative session starts today. It promises to be contentious, yet I'd expect that legislators, all 201 of whose seats are up for election in November, will try long and hard to put a cooperative, bipartisan sheen on all the work they do in order to replace memories of the 2005 shutdown (and isn't it funny how long ago that seems?).


Gay marriage: not going anywhere. Democrats are adopting the right strategy, which is that gay marriage is, agree with it or not, illegal in this state and that making it a constitutional amendment is stupid. There are far more important issues this year, and the only reason Republicans are going after this issue is to fire up the base.

Eminent domain: obviously something will be done, and the only question is exactly what. I'd predict something more along the lines of the DFL's plan will end up becoming law.

Bonding: a bill will be passed, unlike in 2003, and I think that, with all their touting of the surplus, Republicans will have a hard time saying we can't afford the DFL's plan. Gov. Pawlenty's bonding proposals seem to have their focus in some of the wrong areas, too.

Stadiums: This is a toughie, as it's still very up in the air as to which stadiums, if any, the Legislature will approve. I find it likely that the Gopher stadium will happen sooner or later, as many of the questions and problems with the other stadiums aren't true of the Gopher stadium. A Twins stadium is more likely than a Vikings stadium, but there are still a lot of issues with both and neither will be anywhere near a slam dunk. I'd say 75% likely for the Gophers, 66% for the Twins, and 25% for the Vikes. As a side note, if the Twins get a stadium deal approved, I think it will come with a referendum.

Significant reorganization of the Legislature: Not a chance. Some small reforms might take place, but I don't believe the need nor the will for any huge changes exists.

Health Impact Fee: If the state's appeal fails, there will be a lot of pressure in the Legislature to remake it as a tax. It'll put Gov. Pawlenty in a hell of a bind; look for him to refuse to sign it as per his no-new-tax pledge, then take a huge hit in his reelection campaign.

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Sen. Dayton On His Way Out

Jeebus, what is this? I wouldn't say something like that, even in jest, and I'm not even, you know, the senior United States Senator from Minnesota. This really is unbecoming of someone in Dayton's position, it makes me glad that he's not running again and won't be in office past January. It displays not even a minimal level of civility, and we don't need that anywhere, much less in the U.S. Senate.

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GOP Caught in the Act

Lets see some Republican bloggers try to defend this.

As much as we'd like to believe our Minnesota parties are so much better than the national ones, it's just not the case. It's been proven time and time again that national Republicans aren't trustworthy, and the state GOP is making its own case for the same result. It all comes down to one question: how can you trust the Republicans these days?

BONUS speculation on Republican shenanigans: how much does the GOP hate MPR right now? One of the last bastions of truly fair and balanced journalism discovering Republican misbehavior? Watch for what little governmental funding that MPR gets to evaporate. It's how the Republicans operate, after all.

UPDATE: The story has made it to Slashdot, of all places. This story has legs, folks. The story first broke this morning, and it could be a huge deal in tomorrow's papers.

UPDATE #2: It gets worse.

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SD31/HD31B Update

I've gotten some great information from a reader over the past couple of days about Rep. Greg Davids (R-31B), a notoriously ethically challenged House member from SE Minnesota.

For SD31, an open seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Bob Kierlin, the candidates will be Republican Brenda Johnson (Chatfield), DFLer Sharon Ropes (Winona), DFLer Kelly Herrold (Winona), and Independent Kevin Kelliher (Caledonia). Kelliher, a Houston County Commissioner, is apparently pretty centrist and may split the Republican base, possibly allowing Ropes or Herrold to eke out a win; Ropes ran in 2002 against Kierlin, losing 53-47, so she may be able to do better against a pair of non-incumbents, and knowing little else about this race she probably has the edge in the endorsement. Failed 2004 DFL HD31B candidate Al Hein, who lost the endorsement to Peggy Hanson, has apparently switched parties and may be considering taking on Johnson for the endorsement on the GOP side.

For HD31B, the only prospective DFL candidate is Ken Tschumper (La Crescent). He has not yet decided to run, but if he does Hanson will be supporting him. Hanson apparently has no plans to run again. Rep. Davids, ethical issues and all, is running again, and I strongly believe this represents a pickup chance for the DFL. Southeastern Minnesota is trending blue, and this seat, along with HD30BHD31B, are about the best shots the DFL will get.

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We have a President who admits to being helped by Osama bin Laden.

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Monday, February 27, 2006 

Mr. Franken

I understand what MN Politics is saying here. Having Franken as a candidate brings up a lot of issues. He's fairly rich (though he hasn't always been that way), he may not be the most qualified candidate, and worst of all he is perhaps liable to not be taken seriously.

I will absolutely not accept Franken being shoved down our throats. There will almost certainly be a number of candidates to take on the poor excuse for the (at that point) senior senator, and it will be absolutely imperative that we have our best candidate on the ticket in November. The DFL should not, must not, cannot engage in kingmaking.

I'm excited to see Franken run, but I'm keeping my eyes open for other candidates. If Franken decides to run, wins the endorsement, wins the primary, great. If not, thanks for running. We'll give him a chance, and what he does with that chance is up to him.

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Minvolved reminds me that many bloggers are missing. If you know their whereabouts, please contact me immediately.

Republican Minnesota: 9 days.
Matthew Stolle of Capitol Letters: 19 days.
Trillin of Common Sense MN: 1 month, 12 days.
DFLGovernor of DFLGovernor and MN Lefty Liberal: 2 months, 28 days and 2 months, 29 days
Fang at Minnesota Critic: 5 months, 4 days.

Republican Minnesota announced he'd be out for last week, so he'll probably be back. Nothing has been seen or heard from Trillin, DFLGovernor, or Fang, though. Stolle, who works for the Rochester Post-Bulletin and I believe is a dedicated, full-time political reporter, usually writes very little in the paper itself (though he has several articles today) and hasn't written on his blog in almost three weeks. Right before the beginning of the legislative session, that's pretty ridiculous.

Common Sense MN and Minnesota Critic are excellent blogs, DFLGovernor is very good also, and while I constantly disagree with RM, it keeps me entertained. Stolle ought to be a good resource as well. Come back, bloggers, we miss you.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006 

Illegal Abortion - D&C and Vacuum Aspiration

If this isn't scary as hell, I don't know what is.

People say that banning abortions won't really stop them, and that's true. It's not, however, a very good reason not to ban abortion. One can say the same thing about heroin, and I don't think very many seriously advocate legalizing that.

The fact that, in this day and age in this country, the necessity would exist to have to post something like this is, to me, extremely troubling and very sad. Abortion is, at the most basic level, a health care option, and forcing women to perform their own health care creates a very, very scary precedent.

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Caucuses: Post #1

I encourage everyone to attend their caucuses on the 7th. This post is the first of a couple in the next week and a half reminding everyone to go.

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