Thursday, June 30, 2005

Lights on at the Parks

The most noticeable shutdown of this entire fiasco has been avoided. The Legislature has approved Lights On funding for the State Parks system.
The House voted 93-41 for the bill, which had passed the Senate 57-6 hours earlier. Gov. Tim Pawlenty was expected to sign it, possibly using the line-item veto to strip out some spending provisions.

Lawmakers sought to avoid the most visible fallout from a shutdown — closing the popular state park system on the cusp of its biggest weekend of the year. Park officials said they expect more than 300,000 visitors to the state's 72 parks and recreation areas over the weekend.

"A whole lot of people who made their vacation plans this weekend are watching,'' said Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, the bill's Senate sponsor. "They've got the car loaded and they're wondering if they should leave the driveway.''
This only masks the real dilemma facing the legislature, and a partial government shutdown is inevitable if the two sides refuse to be reasonable with the revenue needed to fund their budgets.

The Racino is back off the table. Both sides agree on a cigarette tax increase, but the Dems we pushing for an additional upper income tax bracket, while the Governor wanted to obtain the funds through gambling. With neither side willing to agree on how to create this additional 300 million in revenues, it means cuts would take place, most noticeably in Health Care benefits for the low income and disadvantaged.
The latest offer would cut eligibility to 100 percent of federal poverty guidelines for childless adults and 200 percent of poverty for adults with children. That's less than the current 175 percent and 225 percent, respectively, but still more generous than Pawlenty's original proposal, which would have barred childless adults from the program altogether and limited adults with children to 190 percent of poverty.

McClung said administration officials were attempting to determine how many people would lose insurance at the newly proposed levels. Estimates for Pawlenty's original budget ranged from 22,000 to 40,000.
Minnesota Nice?!?


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Big Brother Watch

Eyes on the road:
Nearly 2,000 drivers have been caught running red lights since cameras were mounted at some Minneapolis intersections.
If the constitution gives us the right to confront our accusers, how do you cross examine a video camera!


ZWI-Zamboning While Impaired

He had a few too many:
A New Jersey man's Zamboni driving has been put on ice.

Authorities said John Peragallo was drunk when he drove the four-ton ice cleaning machine at a sports arena in Morristown on Sunday.

Police said an employee reported that the machine was speeding and nearly crashing into boards.

Police say Peragallo had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent. People are legally drunk in New Jersey at 0.08 percent.

The 63-year-old could lose his driver's license for motor vehicles and Zambonis if he's convicted.
There is only two places in the state of Minnesota where you can legally operate a vehicle under the influence, and they are both MNDOT test centers, like the one near St. Cloud. Anywhere else, including farm fields, private properties, and even ice rinks, will subject you to the full wrath of the DWI/DUI laws.

In most places, it doesn't matter what you are controlling, be it a car, a Zamboni, or even a horse.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Harvey Quits

St. Paul School's chief administrator, Patricia Harvey, has resigned her position effective December 31 of this year. This after Denver announced their choice for the appointment Harvey was pursuing. That appointment went to another candidate.
St. Paul schools Superintendent Patricia Harvey did not win the job to head the Denver schools.

On Monday, she also decided she will no longer lead the St. Paul Public Schools.

Harvey will resign her job, effective Dec. 31, she announced to board members, administrators and other staff members Monday.

It was a decision she said she made last week when considering her future if she did not get the Denver job. That became reality Monday morning, when the Denver School Board named Michael Bennet, chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, as its next superintendent. Harvey had been one of three finalists for the post and was considered to be in a neck-and-neck competition with Bennet, according to multiple sources in Denver.

Harvey said the whole process of pursuing the Denver job convinced her that, "although I love St. Paul greatly," she wants greater challenges in her career.

Camp Ripley: Believe it or Not

When I first heard of Pawlenty's Ripley Gambit, to get the Legislative leaders and himself to Camp Ripley, I thought it was an intriguing concept. Sure he is trying to save face for his total lack of leadership throughout this process. But it is crunch time, and something has to be done to get the deal through. So what better way than to lock them all up together, without outside influence, and start hashing out the differences. So far, 3 our of 4 have agreed to the junket. From the Right:
The Republican governor said Sunday that his plane would be ready to depart this morning. He said House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, and Senate Minority Leader Dick Day, R-Owatonna, began packing their bags.
and the Left:
Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, was considering the trip, said his spokesman, John Pollard. House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, DFL-St. Paul, planned go to the talks, his spokesman said.

"Matt will travel anywhere, from Warroad to Worthington or anywhere in between to negotiate for health care and education funding," DFL House caucus spokesman Glen Fladeboe said today.
Now, here's the problem; unless EVERYTHING is on the table, it is not feasible to expect a fair and respectable outcome to these talks. The Left has given MAJOR ground throughout the entire process, while Tim and company refuse to make ANY reasonable concessions at all. The logjam that exists, and the pending shutdown that looms, is placed squarely on the Right for their refusal to negotiate freely and fairly. I just hope the Senate leaders don't wallow into obscurity and succumb to the demands of the Gov, and his henchmen in the House.


UPDATE: Sen. Mjaority Leader Johnson says NO to junket. Feels that St. Paul is the place to be and the Governor's mansion is a good spot to hash out the final details.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson on Monday morning rejected a request by Gov. Tim Pawlenty to isolate legislative leaders at Camp Ripley for budget negotiations, suggesting instead that they gather at the Governor's Residence in St. Paul.
Also, fiscal bean counters should be available to make sure they are dealing with real numbers and acurate projections.
Private meetings that shut out experienced fiscal and legal staff in the past, he said, "have resulted in mistakes. The people of Minnesota deserve better than that."

Gray Speaks

My pick for 'Deep Throat', 88 year old former acting director of the FBI, L. Patrick Gray, has broke his silence:
Gray, 88, who had not spoken publicly about Watergate in more than 30 years, told ABC that he "could not have been more shocked and more disappointed in a man whom I had trusted." Felt, he said, "had told me time and again he was not Deep Throat."

"It was like I was hit with a tremendous sledgehammer," Gray said.
And as far as Felt's motivations:
He said he believed that Felt, a career agent who had risen through the ranks, decided to assist the Post after not being promoted to the top job after the death of longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in May 1972.

Instead, a day after Hoover's death, Nixon chose Gray, a Connecticut lawyer who had served in several mid-level positions in his administration and was considered loyal to the White House.

"I think that there was a sense of revenge in his heart," said Gray,

Friday, June 24, 2005

Let's look at Reality

The Rovian trickster himself was spewing his deception the other day. Of course the White House defends the words. But those of us who understand what is really happening know who is truly on the side of honor and respect for our country:
Believe capturing the person primarily responsible for the attack should be a top priority.

It's been four years, and Osama bin Laden is still free, even though Bush's CIA chief says he knows where he is.

Investigate the intelligence failures that led to 9/11.

Do everything in their power to block the 9/11 Commission from doing its work.

Propose creating the Department of Homeland Security.

Push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Believe we should have stayed the course in Afghanistan, not allowing the Taliban to resurge, the warlords to take power, and the opium trade to skyrocket.

Ignore Afghanistan as the situation worsens.

Believe that we should be honest with our troops about the reasons we go to war, give them everything they need to be safe, and make sure we go in with an exit plan.

Manipulate intelligence to trump up reasons to go to war, don't give our troops the support they need, constantly mislead the public about the direction the war is going, and fail to make an exit plan. And turn Iraq into the ultimate terrorist training ground.
Those that blindly follow a flawed philosophy are the ones who are causing the greatest harm to our nation and the troops. There are those on he Right who are recognizing this, and individuals like Graham and Hagel are starting to see the light. In time, others will recognize the importance of doing what is right, and not necessarily what is in the best interest of their party.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Five Wonderful Years

Five years ago today, I was in the Silver Bell Chapel (Las Vegas, NV), marrying my lovely wife. I couldn't be happier to this day!

Thanks, Baby, for being my Wife!


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

SuperTarget Redux

I few weeks ago I talked about the possibility of a SuperTarget in the Midway:
Target is believed to be among bidders for the ailing Sheraton hotel property at Hamline and St. Anthony avenues, possibly to demolish the building, which is behind the existing Target at 1300 W. University Ave
Well, they won the bid:
Target Corp. reached an agreement Friday with the St. Paul Port Authority to buy the hotel property for $8.6 million.

A spokeswoman for Target declined to discuss the company's plan for the site, but local developers say that by acquiring the property, the discount retailer now has enough room to build its first supercenter in St. Paul.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Flippity Flop

G. W. Bush
September 11, 2001
"The search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law-enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice," Bush said in a nationally televised address less than 12 hours after what is being called the worst act of terrorism in America's history. "We will make no distinction between those who committed these acts and those who harbor them."emphasis mine
CIA Director Porter Goss
June 19, 2005
Time Magazine
WHEN WILL WE GET OSAMA BIN LADEN? That is a question that goes far deeper than you know. In the chain that you need to successfully wrap up the war on terror, we have some weak links. And I find that until we strengthen all the links, we're probably not going to be able to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice. We are making very good progress on it. But when you go to the very difficult question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play. We have to find a way to work in a conventional world in unconventional ways that are acceptable to the international community.emphasis mine

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A PRETTY GOOD IDEA OF WHERE HE IS. WHERE? I have an excellent idea of where he is. What's the next question?
So, if we know where he is, and the President declared we would make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them, what are we waiting for. . . . . more lip service!

via Eschaton


Friendly Fire

The smackdown:
"Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality,"

"It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."
or this one:
"I got beat up pretty good by my own party and the White House that I was not a loyal Republican," he says. Today, he notes, things are changing: "More and more of my colleagues up here are concerned."
The preceding quotes brought to you by your Red state Senator Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Northern Lights

The results:

1 71.300 Madison Scouts
2 64.650 Blue Knights
3 62.200 Colts

1 58.450 Blue Stars

Senior Corps
1 64.150 Minnesota Brass, Inc
2 48.750 Govenaires
2 43.500 Chops, Inc

And some pics!


Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Season Begins

It was GREAT being back on the field again. We went on first, and were less than half the size compared to the others corps in competition. But we held our own and received boisterous crowd responses.

1 67.500 Madison Scouts
2 61.450 Blue Knights
3 60.600 Colts

1 53.950 Blue Stars

Senior Corps
1 56.800 Minnesota Brass, Sr.
2 44.900 Govenaires, Sr.

Today, I get to do it all over again!

Northern Lights
Coon Rapids, MN
Saturday June 18, 7:30 PM


Friday, June 17, 2005

Preaching to the Choir!

The president continues to live in a shell, and hide from those who could truly provide him the necessary guidance to move our country forward:
Appearance private

The president's visit, his first to Minnesota since winning a second term, is generating criticism because the appearance is not open to the public. Participants were invited to attend.

"It's a very carefully screened group of people who will say to the president what he wants to hear," said Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn.

Jim Kessler, 63, of Maple Grove, is irked. He lives a mile away from the community center and was prepared to sacrifice a fishing trip to hear the president, but he said he was told by Maple Grove officials that he wouldn't be allowed to attend.

"The issue for me is everybody in Maple Grove pays taxes. ... If I'm helping to pay for the facility and I'm a citizen, I should have an opportunity to hear what the president has to say," Kessler said.
I realize he is a lame duck, but I would hope, that he would be more open to hearing from ALL the citizens he represents, and not live in a bubble surrounded by those who will only tell him what he wants to hear. If the President was truly sincere in improving the lives of those he represents, he would embrace those who dissent to work towards common ground. His refusal to do so, speaks volumes.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sack Nails It!

The SS battle has been flying under the radar but that doesn't mean good ole Steve Sack is going to let a great opportunity slip away!

Simply beautiful! Posted by Hello

Ya gotta love it!


Big Brother screen play

Thank God there is some sanity left in Congress:
Advocates of rewriting the USA Patriot Act are claiming momentum after the House, despite a White House veto threat, voted to restrict investigators from using the anti-terrorism law to peek at library records and bookstore sales slips.
The Patriot act has some key and valuable measures that allow for the various law enforcement agencies to work together seamlessly. But the administration went far beyond the scope of their needs by infringing on individual rights and constitutional protections. Maybe this current modification is a step towards common sense reform. Not the knee jerk type that was placed into law several years ago.

Time will tell!


Wednesday, June 15, 2005


My youngest has officially survived Elementary school. I am SO proud of him!

The journey to Junior High begins! Posted by Hello

Now I have two in Junior High and one in High School. I have a feeling it will get worse before it gets better *laughing*


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A tale of two districts

I posted the other day on St. Paul's own Dr, Harvey's pursuit, then withdrawal, of the Denver Superintendency. Well, The on again, off again, is on again:
St. Paul schools superintendent Pat Harvey was named a finalist Monday to lead the Denver public schools, a job she took herself out of the running for last week but then decided over the weekend she wanted, she said Monday night.

She is one of three finalists, and she said that if the Denver school board offers her the job she would take it.

Harvey interviewed with the Denver board the weekend of June 4, after being approached by a search firm retained by the district, and she said she decided shortly thereafter that she didn't want the job. She pulled her name from consideration Wednesday after it became clear her candidacy was going to be made public.

But over the weekend, "I had a knot in my stomach," she said.

She realized Denver was where the real professional challenge was, and her desire to stay in St. Paul had to do mostly with strong personal connections, she said.

She called the search firm Saturday and put her name back in the running.
I noted that her 6 year run in St. Paul was well outside the norm of that position within the district. I am all for career challenges, I am just skeptical that it is the primary reason for her desire to seek employment elsewhere.

But while one urban educational leader is being recruited to remain in her post, her colleague on the other side of the river is fighting to remain:
The Minneapolis school board is poised to set a six-week deadline for Superintendent Thandiwe Peebles to improve her performance.

But as the board prepared to get tough today, anger erupted among black leaders on the city's North Side over criticism of the school chief.

The board met for almost two hours Monday morning, much of it with Peebles, and will meet again today with the expectation that she will respond to board concerns. Board members said their concerns go beyond her style to her management ability.

"We want to be clear and thorough about our evaluation before we make any decisions," said board Chairman Joseph Erickson.

Board Member Colleen Moriarty confirmed the proposal to give Peebles six weeks to improve performance, and another member, who asked not to be identified, said most board members seem willing to go at least that far. At least one board member said she wants to terminate Peebles' contract.
Minneapolis can't afford another transition as they face school closings and revenue reductions. Peebles was placed into a position that was already set up for tumult. I haven't reviewed the list of supporters and dissenters, but I am wondering if the line that is drawn is similar to the factions during the Jennings controversy.

Jennings was placed into the superintendency without a full fledged search, and an outcry from local community leaders forced the school board to reconsider their appointment. In the end, they opted to follow through an a complete hiring process, one Jennings chose not to pursue.

AS we close out the school year, the cities face the possibility of having vacancies in both of the urban districts in the metro. The timing couldn't be much worse, as the legislature is still squabbling over funding, the community is still demand results, and the kids are stuck in the middle.

It could be a very long Summer for the respective administrations.


Monday, June 13, 2005


I quick rundown of my reality.

I had a fantastic Drum Corps weekend. The show is done and ready for season opener this weekend. The Govenaries will be one of two corps that will have the longest competitive season in North America. First show is this Friday in Mankato, and the final show will, God willing, be DCA World Championship Class A finals in Scranton Pennsylvania. We are poised to make history, and improve on the Govies 2nd place Class A finish last year. You know what that means, a World Title!!

Two days left in the school year, today being the last day of regular classes. Tomorrow is the 'Celebration' with various activities going on once the clean-up is done. It was an awkward year for me, following my displacement last Spring upon the closing of the Wilson Junior High program. I am hoping something else may open up, I would prefer not to return to my current assignment.

Carey over Eibensteiner. MNGOP Watch has the details. All I can say is this seems so out of character for a party that seems so scripted and in synch. The frustration of last year's losses in the legislature was certainly the catalyst, but you would think they would have regrouped with a strong front, and common vision, going into '06. But it has become a power struggle, and when the leading party office holders, (Kennedy, Coleman, Pawlenty) see their man go down in flames, they have to be concerned about their own status.

My lovely mother-in-law will be coming into town this week, so the Honey-do list has grown. I am fortunate to NOT have a stereotypical mother-in-law. I am actually looking forward to her visit.

Have a GREAT week.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Strange Bedfellows

Phil and John, agreeing?!?
Phil Krinkie and John Marty: Give the taxpayers a fair stake in new stadiums

Despite the hype promoting the Hennepin County ballpark proposal, it is a bad deal for the public. Taxpayers would pay almost three-fourths of the stadium costs -- more than $350 million of a $478 million total -- yet all the revenue generated by the facility would go to the owner of the Minnesota Twins.

What kind of business deal is this? If you invest money in an enterprise, you deserve your share of the profits.

We do not believe that it is the proper role of government to invest in private businesses. Like most Minnesotans, we are tired of the stadium debate distracting the state from addressing more important issues. Nevertheless, we are concerned that the Legislature might pass the Hennepin County ballpark proposal during this special session.

Consequently, we offer a compromise. Our Stadium Fair Funding Act would give a green light to Hennepin County's proposal, but only if taxpayers get a fair shake. Our bill would also facilitate construction of a Vikings stadium.
I would like to see a new stadium, bit I also was frustrated with the amount of public investment involved, without a potential return.

I hope the legislature takes a hard look at this proposal, as it is a fair and reasonable way to enter into a stadium partnership.

If John and Phil agree it is a good idea, it certainly makes me take a second look.


Thursday, June 09, 2005


Was the St. Paul School district honcho looking for an out:
St. Paul schools Superintendent Pat Harvey interviewed for the top job in the Denver public school system but pulled her name from consideration Wednesday after learning her candidacy was likely to become public.

Harvey said she made up her mind Monday after interviewing with the Denver school board last weekend that she didn't want the job, but she didn't notify the board right away because she had not heard from them about whether she was a finalist.
Now, I understand how Head Hunters work, and the fact that Harvey is a very marketable candidate should not surprise anyone that she was recruited. However, if she wasn't interested, she could have said 'No'. The key here is, she didn't. I don't think it is compensation, as she has a nice deal going for her:
Her latest contract extension, approved at the end of last year, runs through 2007 and, with a 2.8 percent salary increase, brought her annual base pay to $169,638.

The contract includes deferred compensation as a longevity incentive in recognition of her lengthy tenure. The incentive was $10,000 this year and will total $15,000 next year. Harvey also continues to receive a $1,000 monthly car allowance in her new contract, as well as a monthly expense allowance of $600.
There is no way of knowing what is in store for Dr. Harvey, and the future Superintendency of St. Paul schools, but we do have a clue:
Harvey's six-year tenure in St. Paul is double the expected term of urban superintendents.
Borrowed time, perhaps?!?


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It's Almost Over

Just a week left of school. Most districts are out already, but the St. Paul schools are forced to start after Labor Day due to the logistical reality of having your main school bus hub across the street from the Fair Grounds.

After Blogger ate my post for yesterday (ta hell with the recover command, it was gone) on the Hot Spot rankings, the phone rang. My middle boy's school called, "Your son has Pink Eye, you'll need to come and pick him up" Oh joy! Now this particular child's body seems to be allergic to the end of school, as he always seems to get sick in the waning moments of the year. One year, chicken pox, the next flu, now Pink Eye. So it was a scramble to get coverage for my classes for the day, a hurried doctor appt, a trip to the pharmacy, and then finally home some time after lunch. Needless to say, it was a crazy day.


Monday, June 06, 2005

The Bench - UPDATE

I've had my 'Bench' post on the sidebar for awhile, but thought it was overdue to elevate and update the current status of many of the individuals involved in the growing field of candidates.

The most recent entry is Twin Cities shopping center magnate, Kelly Doran:
A Twin Cities shopping center magnate and political newcomer formally announced Sunday that he will run as a DFLer in the 2006 race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Mark Dayton.

Standing in front of a big-box home store that his company is constructing in Woodbury, Kelly Doran talked of his experience building communities and community pride, and he sharply criticized career politicians.

"It's time to put more citizens back in our government," said Doran, who has previously described himself as a political centrist and has said he backed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
I have broken them down into three categories; definitely, Probably, and Probably not. If you have specific information on which column these candidates should be in, please E-Mail me with your information and source (anokaflash -AT- gmail dot com). If I missed anyone you think deserves a mention, let me know as well. I will be googling today and updating this post with any new information I may find.


County Attorney Amy Klobuchar -- Amy is one of the front runners who is a favorite amongst the party establishment. The nomination is hers to lose.

Veterinarian Ford Bell (bio) - Grandson of the General Mills founder and deep pockets will get him some interest and attention. The electorate, however, will determine if he is a player in this race.

Probably Not

Michael Ciresi -- On Wednesday, Ciresi said he will "very seriously consider" a run. He was a contender in the 2000 race. UPDATE: Ciresi Takes a Pass.

Developer Kelly Doran - His moderacy will be a detriment, but his pocketbook should keep him in the running through the primary. UPDATE: Looks like a run at Hatch for Governor.

Judi Dutcher -- another moderate choice who came over from the GOP and would have likely attracted a lot of moderate voters.

Matt Entenza -- State House Minority Leader said Wednesday that he's not interested. He has his eye Attorney General

DFL Chairman Mike Erlandson - He's been showing up on some lists. I am reluctant to put him on the Maybe list, but will give him a slot for now. UPDATE 3/8/05:DFL Chair Mike Erlandson, who had been considering a candidacy, said Monday that he would not run. He said that with two young children and his duties as party chair through the end of his term in May, this was not the year to run.MORE There is chatter that Erlandson may take a stab at Secretary of State. He has denied the speculation at this time.

Al Franken - is teasing and will be making some type of announcement today (Thursday). UPDATE: Fortunately, Al just announced he will sit this one out!

Mike Hatch -- State Attorney General. He has his sites set on Pawlenty and made it pretty clear yesterday he was going to stay out of the 06 Senate fray.

Buck Humphrey -- ``Now it's a wide-open game on our side for sure,'' said Buck Humphrey, a leading party activist who says he's not interested in running himself. Buck is now hedging in a KSTP article this AM. I still say he's on the probably not list. UPDATE: " ``I don't think it works on a political level or, most importantly, on a family level,'' he said." So he was out, the in now out . . . I wonder what will happen next week.

Skip Humphrey -- I doubt Skip would make the run. There are a lot of competent and qualified candidates out there. He had his chance.

Jerry Janezich -- The winner of the DFL endorsement in 2000 is mulling over another shot. From the Mesabi Daily News -- "I'm interested. I will be having discussions with family and friends for sure to see what they think,?"

State Sen. Dean Johnson (D-Wilmar) -- Current Senate Majority leader. A former Republican who switched parties in 2000 has stated it would be awhile before he decides, adding that competition is deep. UPDATE2/27/05: Sen Johnson stated in an interview on Wilmar's KWLM-AM that he is "99 percent sure" that he won't run in 2006 for the vacant US Senate seat.

State Senator Steve Kelley (D-Hopkins) -- A state senator from Hopkins. Played a roll in grabbing some of those GOP seats in the last election. UPDATE: Kelley has opted for a shot at the Governorship.

Dave Lillehaug -- The US Attorney who has had aspirations in the past has said he is not interested.

Bill Luther -- multi term Congressman from the 6th (purple) district. He is my dream candidate with a strong progressive background, moderate voting record, and fundraising prowess that any of these other candidates would love. I contacted Bill yesterday. Although he is just getting used to life on the outside, he is going to think about it over the next few days and see how things shake out. He's not in, but he won't rule it out either.

Rep. Betty McCollum -- 4th District, encompassing most of St. Paul. "I'm not in, I'm not out ... . In other words, I'm exploring every option that's out there."" UPDATE 3/8/05:"After much personal reflection I have decided to continue serving my Fourth District constituents and fighting for Minnesota families in Congress,"

Roger Moe -- Former Senate Majority Leader, lost to Pawlenty in the Governor's race. He all but retired from public office in his concession speech, and with the dearth of other candidates, I would highly doubt his emergence into this race

Ted Mondale -- Son of the former VP and Minnesota Senator. He may be a dark horse candidate, but not likely to actively pursue the endorsement.

Walter Mondale -- He took his one shot and made it clear in his concession speech, that that was it! There's a big difference between a blitzkrieg campaign, and a 2 year artillery barrage UPDATE 2/13/05Mondale flatly ruled out another race. "It's time for new faces," the 77-year-old Minnesota icon said.

Vance Opperman -- attorney and investor.

Alan Page -- Longtime Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and member of the infamous Minnesota defensive line known as the Purple People Eaters. That moniker may take on a whole new meaning if he accepts the nod. An early favorite for many considering his name recognition and strong statewide support. However, the PiPress states he is not interested

Tim Penny -- former DFL Congressman and independent 2002 gubernatorial candidate will NOT run, citing his wife's health problems

Collin Peterson -- Multi term Congressman in a Red northwestern district of the state. He would have broad statewide appeal, but would have an issue with the party faithful during the endorsement process. In an article in the Grand Forks Herald this morning, Peterson shared kind words about Dayton, but did not hint at an interest in the seat. I'd be very surprised if he gave up a very comfortable House seat for a dart toss at the Senate UPDATE:""No, unless somebody walked up to me and gave me a $15 million check, then I might think about it," he said, referring to the cost of a statewide race. "I think I'm in a position now where I can do a lot more for my district, and my state actually, than I could starting over in the Senate.""

James "Jesse Ventura" Janos -- Ventura is not running, said former spokesman John Wodele

Mark Rotenberg -- a lawyer for the University of Minnesota, a newcomer, said Wednesday he was very likely to run. Rotenberg was involved in Joe Lieberman's Minnesota effort. UPDATE 3/8/05: - "University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg announced Monday that he is forming a Senate exploratory committee to further investigate the vacant seat in the 2006 U.S. Senate." UPDATE:4/4/05""The mountain of money necessary to deliver my message is daunting, and I would rather spend my time working on the issues rather than be consumed with the full-time task of fundraising," he said in a written statement."

State Rep. Tom Rukavina (D-Virginia) -- From the Duluth News Tribune ""On Wednesday, a handful of DFL lawmakers, including those from the Iron Range, were already sporting campaign buttons reading, "Tom Rukavina U.S. Senate 2006.""" The rest of the article sure has him talking like a candidate. He does come with some baggage, a 2004 DUI conviction. UPDATE 4/1/05: Second thoughts, maybe?!?

Wellstone Brothers, Mark and David -- Until I hear otherwise, they have moved to California and are working hard for Wellstone Action. When their father died, they had expressed no interest in a run for public office. I would be surprised if they have changed their mind. (UPDATE-My source confirms that Mark is not interested, and he is 99% sure Dave feels the same way)

Patty Wetterling -- Patty's first run for political office was against Mark Kennedy last year, now she is stepping into a state wide race that will challenge her campaign skills for more then a congressional race did. I am still holding out hope that she will assist in uniting the Democrats and revert to running for Kennedy's open seat in the 6th. In that race, she would have a legitimate shot at making it to DC.UPDATE 1/20/06 Patty Out, Will Endorse Klobuchar

Rebecca Yanisch -- Another 2000 Senate candidate who, when asked, would not rule out a potential candidacy. However, her silence of late leads me to believe she may have other plans for her future

= = = =
Other sites tracking this race are:

Kennedy -v- Machine


Friday, June 03, 2005

Dam Days

The official kick-off to the 2005 Drum Corps performance season is this evening.

Dam Days, Friday June 3rd

All three Minnesota Corps will be converging on the "Best Little Town by a Dam Site" and then perfecting their field show drills throughout the weekend.

Two weeks from today is the Season Opener of the competitive field show season. Side bar has been updated so you can get ticket information and become aware of the best kept secret in the country; Drum and Bugle Corps!

Be safe!


When Spinmeisters attack!

The Governor has sent a letter to the Attorney General, and is flooding the airwaves with rhetoric of conflict of interest. It is clear, to those of us who can look at this objectively, that all he is doing is trying to distract from his inability to lead towards common ground during the budget impasse. The Governor has all but given up, apparently, and now feels he will be further restricted by friction within the AG's office. But the reality is, that the concerns is baseless.

First, the AG represents the state, not the Governor, and to think that Mike Hatch would not ensure that the citizens are fully protected makes the Governor come across as ignorant. The PiPress lays it out nicely:
Pawlenty told reporters he raised the question because Hatch may have "divided loyalties that may put him in an awkward spot." Hatch has expressed interest in running for governor next year, but has not declared his candidacy.

The governor mentioned the issue in notifying Hatch that he plans to ask the state courts to give his administration power to keep the essential functions of government running and pay for them in the event he and the Legislature fail to finish passing a budget by June 30.

A court order would avert a complete government shutdown when state appropriations expire at the end of the month.

Hatch said he was a "little bemused" by Pawlenty's inquiry because he had told the governor's chief of staff in the last two weeks that he was preparing a petition asking the court to keep the government's "core functions" — those protecting the life, health and safety of citizens — operating in case the Legislature and governor don't pass spending bills in time. He said he asked the administration to prepare a list of those essential services.
OK, fair enough, but do we have a recent precedent to add credibility to Hatch's claim:
That's what happened in 2001, when the Legislature and Gov. Jesse Ventura were on the verge of shutting down state government in a budget dispute.

On the day before the shutdown was to occur, a judge granted Hatch's request for an order requiring state agencies to continue performing essential services until a budget was passed. Ventura and the lawmakers then quickly agreed to a budget deal and avoided a shutdown.
It looks to me like Hatch has done his job before, and is doing it now in representing the best interests of the citizens of Minnesota. My advice to the Governor is he should start doing the same!


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Kelley for Governor

Seventeen months before the citizens of Minnesota go to the ballot box, the waterfall of candidacy announcements have shifted from US Senate to the Governor's race. It is no secret Mike Hatch will throw his hat in the ring . . . again, but the first latest entry is Steve Kelley (D- Hopkins) who at one point was on the short list of US Senate candidates to replace Senator Dayton.
With a yellow school bus as a backdrop at the foot of the Capitol steps, Kelley left no doubt that his campaign will be based squarely on education issues, such as increased funding and raising performance standards for public schools and colleges. "We will begin by reinvesting in education," he said. "We must ensure that every Minnesota student graduates from high school ready for success in higher education, and we must be true to that goal by providing the resources necessary to achieve it."
As an educator, he is talking the right lingo for me. But at this point it is pure campaign rhetoric. I have no intention of lining up behind any candidates this early, in any of the heated races that are brewing. I will meticulously evaluate their respective stances, on both sides of the aisle, and make an honest and educated decision based on all available information. But the Summer is for fun and games, and I will not distract myself from that mission, by watching the gamers battle for supremacy.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005


No, I am not talking about this great tune from the now defunct, yet popular Long Beach band twelvehourmary. I am just swamped with multiple duties going on right now. So let's take a look at a blast form the past, as pointed out in today's 'Cheers and Jeers':
...Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion. with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

...A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

...Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

...the best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

...providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism. warming is junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

...being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
Now I am sure my Right Wing brethren will pick the nits of this classic, but an open and objective mind will read these snippets once again and scratch their head as they recognize the two faced nature of the rhetoric that exists in the handcuffed media of the day. For if you don't, you'll become the 'Final Idiot' another twelvehourmary song. (Here is the full tune in Real Audio):
to me it's obvious what's happening
but less and less it matters
cause I still believe there is grace in you
and I'm the final idiot