Friday, April 07, 2006 

Desperate

Not one, not two, but at least three of MDE's posts today, in attacking Sen. Barack Obama and Rep. Keith Ellison.

Let's recap: In 2004, now-Sen. Obama's Republican opponent dropped out after the discovery of some pretty perverse stuff regarding his ex-wife, and the Illinois GOP couldn't find anyone with the stomach to take him on. Carpetbagger/full blooded hypocrite Alan Keyes was finally selected to take him on, accused him of taking the "slaveholder's position", and lost 70%-27%. Obama is now the fourth-most popular member of the Senate in the country (7 of the top 10 are Dems), a quickly-rising star in American politics, and quite likely a future President of the United States. Obama is a best-selling author, a Grammy winner, the first African-American publisher of the Harvard Law Review, and the list goes on and on.

I'm sure MDE and the Minnesota GOP are really going to knock him down a notch.

Ellison, meanwhile, got re-elected in 2004 with over 84% of the vote. Before you challenge his priorities, MDE, you might want to check on what his constituents think of them. 84%? In the reality-based community, that's what we call a mandate.

The Minnesota GOP is sinking like a stone these days. Desperately attacking two of the most respected Democrats in the country and in Minnesota, respectively, isn't going to save them.

More later.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006 

Rowley Supports Torture?

Please say no.

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Stadiums in Play

Something that I managed to miss entirely yesterday is the progress, in both the House and the Senate, that the various stadium proposals made. Moving the most quickly is the Gopher/TCF Bank Stadium proposal, which passed House Ways and Means yesterday and hits the House floor for debate in just a couple of hours (the House convenes at 3:00). Amendments will undoubtedly get thrown around, and I'd imagine the bill might change a bit from one or more of them, but unless something changes drastically, the bill will pass with a comfortable margin.

These stadium proposals are all bad news, each in its own particular way. The U should be prioritizing in other areas. This deal is bad for students, bad for Minnesota. Students will be paying more through fees even as tuition is going up. We get to name the new campus fixture "TCF Bank Stadium", and yet I still don't think the U is paying the share that it should be for a project that is not central to its mission. As for the other two stadiums, under the current proposals we're giving the Twins and the Vikings corporate welfare. The Twins I can at least sympathize with - they struggle to draw fans, and the Metrodome really is a crummy place to watch baseball. Even so, Carl Pohlad has a lot of money, Major League Baseball has a lot of money, and we should be helping to fill the gaps in the project, not subsidizing Carl Pohlad wholesale, which is what we're doing under the current proposal. The Vikings proposal is absolute highway robbery. The Vikings sell out just about every game in the Metrodome, and they make a hell of a lot of money doing it. The Metrodome is not that bad a place to watch football, though admittedly it's not the best place in the world either. Thus, with the amount of money the Vikings organization makes, Zygi Wilf has, and the NFL could afford, we shouldn't be putting this much money into the pot.

I'm not opposed to the stadiums - in fact, I'd love to see all three built. I'm not even totally opposed to seeing some state money go into them. I am, however, opposed to the state, taxpayers, students, and fans getting screwed. The way I see it, we're just not getting a good enough deal yet, and we should be holding out and putting pressure on the three organizations to make proposals that taxpayers can swallow. Carl Pohlad, Zygi Wilf, MLB, and the NFL can afford to sweeten their offers.

As a side note, other than Phil Krinkie, most Republicans haven't put up much opposition to the proposals. In fact, several are their biggest boosters. What happened to fiscal conservatism? What happened to the free market?

UPDATE: Debate is about to begin. If you're interested in watching, you can catch it here. Someone should liveblog this if they are able; it will certainly be one of the more interesting debates of this legislative session.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006 

New Blog Watch

Via Polinaut, The Analyst is a semi-new blog written by Hamline University political science professor David Kirchner which has some really great data and analysis on voting, trends, and so forth. Check it out; it has also been blogrolled.

 

Kelley Falling Behind

The delegate counts in the gubernatorial race are of some dispute, but Checks and Balances is reporting surprising new numbers.

C&B's numbers are Hatch 207.5, Lourey 203, Kelley 117.

It doesn't appear that Lourey's support runs so much more strongly than Kelley's, so either Kelley's delegate strategy is weak (C&B's position) or the numbers are bad. I'm expecting to hear someone, probably MNCR, argue the latter. Two things are clear; if accurate, this count is a disaster for the Kelley campaign, which has promised to abide by the endorsement, and a boon for the Lourey campaign, which appears to have a strong shot at beating Hatch for the endorsement.

Bumped from the comments:

MNCR:
...The reason C&B can't report Kelley's numbers is because the Kelley campaign wouldn't give them to Shawn Towle. They flat out refused. Towle wants to be a journalist, and wants C&B to be a primary source for solid information, but will not submit his work to peer review and will not admit when there are holes in his data or bias in his views.

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Gay Marriage Amendment Dies

DFLers.org has coverage.

5-4 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Never fear, though: this is an issue that's guaranteed to come up again and again.

 

60%

I think you've gotta feel bad for Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. The guy was running against Martin Sabo in a race that he can't have honestly expected to win. All of a sudden, Sabo's out and it looks like Nelson-Pallmeyer could have an actual chance to become Congressman Nelson-Pallmeyer. Then, twelve others start falling all over themselves and each other to get into the race, and Nelson-Pallmeyer's chances look like they're gone.

Or are they?

It still isn't clear who will take home the CD5 nomination. Mike Erlandson probably has the best shot, but Keith Ellison and Gail Dorfman also have reasonable chances. The other candidates (however many there still are) probably have nearly no chance of winning, though that doesn't mean they won't have any influence on who the winner is. As such, the news/rumor that Nelson-Pallmeyer has anywhere even in the neighborhood of a fifth of the CD5 delegates is more or less shocking. He's inexperienced, he has little name recognition, he hidn't have a lot of money, and he's undoubtedly to the left of most of the people in the 5th, none of which you would expect to help him get delegates.

Unfortunately for him, even if he really does have a full fifth of the delegates at the convention, Nelson-Pallmeyer will almost certainly not be the winner at the end of the day, for the reasons listed above. However, the possibilities of his being "kingmaker", as mentioned in the link, are intriguing. If Erlandson (or another candidate) has 60% of the delegates, it's over and Nelson-Pallmeyer's delegates are meaningless. If, however, there is no immediate winner, a scenario which looks very likely, he can start negotiating his delegates' votes. With that possibility, we should consider two things: what he wants and who he likes. I can't imagine what Nelson-Pallmeyer would want to trade for his delegates, so I leave that up to your imagination. Who he likes is a slightly different story; I don't have any evidence for this, but I see Nelson-Pallmeyer preferring most of the other candidates over Erlandson, if for no other reason than the fact that Erlandson worked for Sabo. Thus, if Nelson-Pallmeyer has a chance to throw his support to the top candidate whose last name isn't Erlandson, it's entirely possible that he will do so.

This is all pure speculation, of course, but it plots out what I see as a likely course of events should Nelson-Pallmeyer really have 20% of the delegates and the field doesn't change dramatically. NSP will continue to keep an eye on this race, in its own way one of the most important in Minnesota.



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Monday, April 03, 2006 

No More DeLay

Tom DeLay's political career will finally be over.

To Power Line, though, DeLay was simultaneously "too liberal" and a "victim of the Democrats' politics of personal destruction". I guess you can't please everybody...

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Back to Normal

I'm aware that there hasn't been any posting over the last week on this blog. Sorry about that, I've been quite ill and haven't been able to muster the energy to post. I'm feeling much better and normal posting should begin today.

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