Saturday, July 01, 2006 

Sen. Day's Office in Hot Water

Sen. Dick Day's office has been bad. Very bad. I just got tipped off to this.

Steve Drazkowski is a GOP candidate for Senate in SD28 (Red Wing and surrounding areas). Earlier in the cycle, he was charged with fifth-degree domestic assault for hitting his teenage daughter, but he was aquitted. Turns out that Daniel Nelson, a staffer for Sen. Day, sent out slanderous mailings about the charges in order to weaken Drazkowski's bid for the GOP endorsement (he lost, though he'll be in the primary against GOP endorsed Steve Wilson). Unfortunately for Sen. Day and Mr. Nelson, this is apparently a violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

Oops.

A reader sent me the story, but you can't access the article as it's behind a paywall. I'll post a link as soon as there's a free article available, and I'll work on getting more details as well.

UPDATE/NOTE: A reader prompts me to point out that I'm not suggesting that Mr. Drazkowski actually did hit his daughter - only that he was charged with doing so. I have no information on his politics or his strength as a candidate aside from this incident.

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Friday, June 30, 2006 

Scandal

And the pertinent question, can the Bush Administration stay away from it for five minutes? This guy would have been the highest ranking security official in the country.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006 

Failures

From today's "GOP Newsline" e-mail, bolded emphasis mine:

Despite Budget Surplus, Liberals Propose $2 Billion Tax Increase

Last week, 203 wealthy Minnesotans signed a full-page ad in the Star Tribune calling for a $2 billion tax increase asking the "state to raise $2 billion for various initiatives by increasing the state's tax burden for high-salary earners." (Myron Metcalf, "Some Rich Minnesotans Want To Pay More Taxes," Star Tribune, June 21, 2006)

Further, under their plan, "(s)tate taxes for anyone making less than $45,000 would not increase and the rates would vary for everyone in between [$45,000 and $250,0000]. " (Myron Metcalf, "Some Rich Minnesotans Want To Pay More Taxes," Star Tribune, June 21, 2006)

The signers of the ad include such liberal luminaries as Joel Kramer, Mike Ciresi, Mark Andrew, Ted Mondale, Teresa Daly, David Lillehaug, and Rebecca Yanish, all failed DFL candidates for office.

Governor Pawlenty responded to the ad, reminding the signers that Minnesota has a budget surplus, double-digit revenue growth, and that Minnesota has recently moved out of the top ten in the nation in taxes.

He also encouraged them to put their money where their mouthes are and challenged the ad signers to "....send checks to the state's Finance Department. In return, Pawlenty said in a news release, he would pose with each for a commemorative photo and issue them certificates of appreciation." (Mark Brunswick, "Pawlenty Encourages Ad Signers: Send A Check," Star Tribune, June 23, 2006)

Former VPOTUSes and U.S. Attorneys really suck. Losing an election once in your life* makes you a real joke, doesn't it? This isn't a big deal at all, but it just annoys me that the GOP will say anything for a little attention, no matter how ad hominem, misleading, or hypocritical.

*Does not apply to any Republican, especially Norm Coleman or John Kline.

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Thank God

Because the Supreme Court has "voided Bush's 'blank check'". To read a little more about what this means for the entire Bush agenda, check out SCOTUSblog.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

Toss-Up

I don't really understand why a lot of rankings call Minnesota the best Republican pick-up opportunity, a "toss-up" (such as here today, though I don't know if this was an upgrade or a downgrade) and so on. Doesn't an 8 point lead in polls, along with the fact that Mark Kennedy has been playing defense for the entire cycle so far, buy the Klobuchar campaign some love? This seat should be a solid "lean Democrat", upgraded to "strong Democrat" once the race solidifies in September or so.

Oh, speaking of analysis, David Kirchner, also known as "The Analyst", is leaving blogging, perhaps permanently. Good luck to David in his new job, and I hope that he'll return to blogging soon.

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Paying Attention Redux

I'm still working on a couple of pieces here (yeah, I know, sorry) but NSP got linked to today by both Slate and From the Roots (the DSCC's blog). After the semi-vacation from blogging, getting linked to by big names is a good incentive to stay with it.

 

Paying Attention

Attention paid to Minnesota bloggers is good, yes? Yes? Maybe. Sort of. Keep reading.

Two separate instances of this. First, MDE/Power Line.

This is the less exciting part. MDE and Power Line have been relentlessly pushing Rep. Keith Ellison's ties to less-than-upstanding groups and people, though these ties are mostly long in the past. Though the MSM has generally paid little attention, I think that Brodkorb and the Power Tools are beginning to raise some awareness. Okay. Good for them, I suppose.

The other instance is MN Publius' discovery of Rep. Mark Kennedy's scrubbing of Pres. Bush's name from his campaign website, presumably to distance himself as best he can from Bush's sinking ship. So far, Daily Kos, Hotline, and Politicalwire have picked up the story, and there is now a Star Tribune article. I love this; it has made Kennedy look desperate and dishonest all across the country, and best of all, it has put the Republican machine on defense. Unfortunately, however, I've received word from the MN Publius gentlemen that the Strib got the article significantly wrong. I have no idea, because I haven't been keeping particularly close tabs on this developing story, but they are preparing a response. I'll update this post with more information on that response later in the day.

UPDATE: MyDD, too. Okay, here we go. MN Publius has put up a ridiculously detailed and exhaustive response to the Ron Carey press release that pretty much blows his claims out of the water. Here is a little bit about the Star Tribune's misreporting of the story. The work that the MN Publius guys did to get this story is fantastic, and it deserves better than to be spun by the Star Tribune itself. Anyways, this is a perfect example of how blogs can influence the debate; with one post, MN Publius put the GOP on defense and gave the Klobuchar campaign a little more ammunition to work with. Congratulations, guys.

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Flag Burning

I'm pretty upset about the flag burning amendment vote today in the Senate. Even though it failed by one vote, the very closeness of the vote is deeply troubling. Small margins aren't unusual in the Senate, but only one vote just isn't enough for comfort. It's very disappointing that 66 United States Senators don't seem to understand exactly what the flag means, what it represents. Flag burning is a disgusting, obscene, and unpatriotic act - but in our great country, legal protection of such things is not optional. Anything else violates the spirit of the Constitution. Free speech may often seem inconvenient, because no one wants to hear, for example, Nazi lies and propaganda, but it is the bedrock of democracy and it hurts to see it so narrowly upheld today in a place that ought to know better. People often don't think much of free speech until it's they who need it.

Take a look at the roll call; some of the votes are surprising, and few pleasantly. One of the most unpleasant is retiring, nothing-left-to-lose Sen. Mark Dayton's yea vote. Even more disgusting is that Sen. Dayton is a cosponsor of the amendment, and has been for a year. I've said it before, but Dayton has lost my support. November can't come soon enough so that we can replace him with Amy Klobuchar. Also interesting are some key senators' sometimes unexpected votes: Bennett (R) nay, Biden nay, Chafee (R) nay, Dorgan nay, Feinstein yea, Lieberman nay, Menendez yea, McConnell (R) nay, Reid yea. My respect, if not my support, for some of those nay voters has increased, while both my respect and my support for all of the yea voters has decreased. Flag burning is the ultimate unimportant wedge issue - how many people are troubled by it on a daily basis? - thus many of the yea votes are pure pandering, and for the Democrats in particular, it represents both a lack of principles and bad politics. By voting yea, Dems in tough races wanted to help increase Republican turnout by putting a flag burning amendment on the ballot? What the hell is wrong with them?

As a side note, did you know that the version of the amendment that passed the House was chief sponsored by Duke Cunningham? That should say something about the whole matter.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006 

Hatch/Dutcher

It's news that's as old as the hills by now, but Judi Dutcher is going to be Mike Hatch's running mate.

To be honest, Dutcher's name means very little to me. I may simply not be old enough, but if her name doesn't mean much to me, Hatch may not have done much for the general public with this choice.

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