Monday, July 31, 2006

MinnPolitics On Amy

Why I support Amy Klobuchar
Okay, here's why I support her: she's a strong Democrat. She generally has the right positions on the issues I care about. She has been very involved in building up the Democratic party, and every time I have seen her she has been extremely enthusiastic. She is engaging and a tough speaker. I feel that she connects with people. I think she will be a perfectly fine debater against Kennedy.
There is more. Read it all.


It's Your Last Day

Tomorrow is August 1st, and is the traditional day when New legislative laws and mandates take effect. The PiPress points out some of the transitions we'll need to make starting tomorrow:
-- State fruit: Honeycrisp apple, thanks to efforts of students in Laurel Avery's class at Andersen Elementary School in Bayport.

-- Beware of tiger: Owners of certain exotic animals must post signs saying what danger lurks inside. A new law also makes it a crime if the animal hurts someone.

-- Cleaner sky and water: Largest coal-fired power plants must cut mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2015.

-- ID theft: Consumers can now block access to their credit reports.

-- Video games: Titles like "Grand Theft Auto," which are rated either "Adults Only" or "Mature," could cost consumers younger than 17 a $25 fine if they rent or purchase them, but the video game industry is asking a federal judge to overturn the new law.
I don't think many of us will even notice the changes.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bye Bye Sheraton Midway

Over a year ago I mentioned the probable construction of a Super Target in the Midway of St. Paul.
About a month later, it was all but confirmed when Target Corp won the bid for the Sheraton property right behind it's current Midway location. There were a few bumps on the way, but there is no turning back now. The demolition of the old Sheraton is underway, and in a matter of days, there won't be anything left. Enjoy the photos.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Puppy Blogging - Almanac Edition

I watched Almanac with my 'Dad'. I thought the blogger guys (RealPlayer) did pretty well. Dad took a picture of me since no one would believe I was actually watching it.

I'm very hot today, but am spending quality time in the pool.


Friday, July 28, 2006

I want to be on Almanac, Again!

Will I ever be on Almanac again. Last time was in 1999 and I was playing bugle. Here is a clip (RealPlayer). There is a mini interview with the Drum Major and Myself (I was Business Manager) and then we play a bit of Earth Wind and Fire. My hair was a little longer, and I looked a little younger, but we all had a blast!

Tonight MDE and Chuck Olson talk about blogging. Seems like they're missing a man from the middle *waving*


Who Crossed the Line?

When I do a post on a campaign ad, I prefer to do them from first impression. Most ads are designed to impact that way, and us wonks will have plenty of opportunity to dissect the ads later, but the average Joe will not.

I stand behind my impression of the 2nd ad's effectiveness and sincerity. Kennedy does not do a run and hide/duck and cover, but he did play a little loose with the facts.

MINvolved points out the key one:
Kennedy did not “cross party lines” on HR2380, the pension bill he cites in his commercial. The vote for this piece of legislation featured a large majority of Democrats voting against the proposal, which also contained very Republican tax cuts and extensions for the super wealthy…which makes so much sense in a bill that proposes to address a $400+ billion pension deficit.
So really, most people would count this vote as another vote with the President and the Party, here was the tally from the link above.

AYES -- 224 GOP, 70 DEM - 294 Total
NOES -- 1 GOP 30 DEM 1 IND - 132 TOTAL

So it looks to me like it was the 70 Democrats that crossed Party Lines, including Minnesota Democrats Peterson and Oberstar, (and ONE GOPer which generally is a procedural thing), not the 224 GOPers.

Y - Gutknecht (R)
Y - Kline (R)
N - Sabo (D)
N - McCollum (D)
Y - Ramstad (R)
Y - Kennedy (R)
Y - Peterson (D)
Y - Oberstar (D)

If this is the best Kennedy can do to show he is reaching across the great divide created by the current Administration, he's in worse shape then I thought.

But I still think it was a good ad!


(I know he used the Roll call vote 22 which was a procedural motion to appoint conferees following Senate approval. This bill had already passed the House in December and that is the number used above. Kennedy is being pretty disingenuous since that is NOT what he is saying in the ad. If that is where he wants to set the bar for cherry picking votes, Amy will have a free for all with his record)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kudos to Kennedy Kampaign

Kennedy's first ad, although cute and quirky, rubbed me the wrong way for its blatant deception of his record. I have heard of another ad regarding Medicare Part D, from the Chamber, but I haven't seen it yet. However, I did see an ad this morning on Good Morning America from the campaign that was very well done.

"Crossing Party Lines" totally diffuses my frustration with the first ad. It begins with Kennedy on the right in Khakis, light blue shirt, and to the left text that says Mark Kennedy; US Senate. He states:
"I'm a Republican . . . On issues like taxes and spending, I vote like one, but on other issues I cross party lines"
He then points out some of those examples "Protect Pensions", "Opposed No Child Left Behind" (we always knew that one was coming), and Preserving Wetlands

He states he's not afraid to work with the other side and mentions that over half the democrats in congress have sponsored one of his bills.

He ends with "When good ideas cross party lines, we should too"

These are the kind of ads I'd like to see all year long, where candidates stand behind their record. And for the record, the word 'independent' isn't mentioned at all.

Don't get used to it Congressman, but in this case, Nice job.


UPDATE: Who Crossed the Line?

Get Well Soon

Amy Klobuchar had some hip surgery Tuesday, but all appears well.

Even KvM can show a soft spot on a story like this. (Thanks Guys!)

My hopes for a speedy recovery are sent her way!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wege Returns!

Norwegianity is back online. WaHoooo!


Andrea Yates - NOT GUILTY by reason of insanity

Andrea Yates was just found NOT GUILTY by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her children. This was a retrial when her prior conviction was thrown out because of faulty testimony by a prosecution expert.

Instead of prison, she will now be committed to a psychiatric hospital until such time it is determined when (or if) she should be released.


Define independent

OK, I don't get too ticked very often. I may have gone a bit overboard in my last post. Not really my style. But when a candidate presents a blatant misrepresentation of themselves with the sole mission of deceiving the electorate, it can not go unnoticed.

So I challenge you defenders of the Right. How would you define independent? At what point does a candidate go from being independent to being a RINO (or DINO)? And finally, if a Democratic candidate claimed independence from their party, while sporting a voting record that was over 90% in line with party leadership and/or platform, would that be acceptable and tolerated?

I look forward to your responses.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Kennedy Lies in First Ad

I know it won't come as a big shock to those that know where Mark Kennedy really stands (right next to the President and Tom Delay's GOP Congress), but I thought he would be a little more stealth about trying to mislead Minnesotans. His first ad buy has his own daughter lying for him:
Just not much of a party guy, I meant, he doesn't do whatever the party says to.
That facts are, he is one of the biggest partiers there is, towing that line pretty tight. Over and over again. As recently as just the other day.

If the Congressman is truly principled, why doesn't he stand by his records and defend it . . . instead of running away from it. Example:
Throughout his career, he rarely diverges from DeLay's path. Prior to the ROMP event, Kennedy never voted against DeLay on a piece of legislation. A common occurrence in Kennedy's voting behavior blossomed in his first year on Capitol Hill. The two congressmen do, on rare occasions, vote against each other. But Kennedy saves most of these votes for times that can be categorized as politically safe. For instance, Kennedy voted against DeLay on a number of amendments to bills in 2001. Before passing a large piece of legislation, No Child Left Behind, for example, Congress usually votes beforehand on whether or not specific amendments will be included in the final legislation. No Child Left Behind was certain to pass in the House. It had bi-partisan support. If Kennedy voted against DeLay on a couple amendments to the act, he didn't face political repercussions. No Child Left Behind was going to pass no matter what. These are times that Kennedy disagrees with DeLay. Otherwise, he votes the party line. Except on one occasion.
So for those keeping score:

Principled: NO, because he won't stand by his record
Independent: NO, because he votes virtually lock step with the GOP.
Character: NO, because he has his daughter lying for him. Doesn't even have the guts to do it himself.

Maybe that's why he says at the end "I don't know why, but I approved this message"

Finally, something I can agree with him on, cause I don't know why he would approve that message either.


Luther Attended National Down Syndrome Congress

Bill Luther missed the Almanac debate on Friday, and all they stated was that he declined the invitation. Johnson v TBA has the reason:
A commenter reported that Bill Luther was attending the National Down Syndrome Congress in Atlanta over the weekend, which was why he wasn't on Almanac with Steve Kelley and Lori Swanson last Friday. It's public knowledge that Bill Luther has an adult Down Syndrome son. He is also a widower. But the people at Almanac just said "Bill Luther turned down our invitation to appear." I think it shows a lot of class for Luther to not make a big deal about this part of his life.
Bill Luther, Family first. That is the Bill Luther I know!

(Cross posted on Luther v Johnson)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Don da da Don Don Vogel

Mitch is on Part XXXIII of his 'Twenty years ago today' series. He is on his days with the Don Vogel show. A period of time when talk radio was at it's best, and I was listening. This particular post peaked my interest because Mitch shares the birth of what is the most memorable of all Don Vogel theme songs. It goes something like this:
And then - on the second-to-last day of the contest - we cued up a cassette. Over the home-cassette hiss, we heard a needle cueing up on a turntable - the guy was obviously sitting in front of a record player with a cassette deck...

...and the opening strains of the Bonanza theme, swelled up to the familiar tune...

...over which a schlemiely-sounding guy began singing with comic gusto

"Don da da Don da da Don da da Don Don Vogel, it's the Don da da Don da da Don da da Don da da Don Don Vogel Show!

(then up a fourth)

"Don da da Don da da Don da da Don Don Vogel, it's the Don da da Don da da Don da da Don da da Don Don Vogel Show!

(then into the bridge)

Oh ah uh, oh ah uh, the Round Mound of Sound,
Oh ah uh, oh ah uh, the Round Mound of Sound!

(then back to the tune)

"Don da da Don da da Don da da Don Don Vogel, it's the Don da da Don da da Don da da Don da da Don Don Vogel Show!

You could tell when Don liked something - he'd start laughing with this sudden, sharp cackle, and then keep guffawing uncontrollably.
Ahhhhh, the good ole days of radio. (Audio can be found here Don Vogel Show Theme - Bill Kremlinger)


(I can't find a link to the series, but a search of "It Was Twenty Years Ago Today" in his search box finds them all pretty nicely)

Spin Polling

I didn't comment on the MN Poll results. While the Left was a bit apprehensive, and the Right was rapid firing post after post about how flawed the poll was, I chose to remain silent since a poll is only a picture of a moment in time. And the only moment in time that matters is the one on election day.

Now those same spinmeisters are fawning over another poll, while the Left is pointing out you can't compare apples to oranges (or Zogbies to STRIBs). Or can you:
Well, comparing different polls with different methodologies is always dangerous, especially since one of them is the Zogby poll. But ignoring polls is no fun, so I'll take a stab at it. It seems to me that taken together, these polls suggest that Amy Klobuchar's support is rock-solid, and right around 50%. Mark Kennedy's support, meanwhile, is softer, and probably somewhere in the high thirties or low forties.
So there are two things consistent in BOTH polls. 1) Amy is kicking booty!, and 2) she is polling at close to 50% or better (MN Poll 50, Zogby 49.4). It is Kennedy's numbers that are all over the place. We can all speculate why that is the case, but fluid support at this time of year is not very healthy for a candidate hoping to win an election.


UPDATE: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has released a poll from Bennett, Petts & Blumenthal That also has Amy at 50%, with Kennedy floundering. These results are very similar to the MN Poll. From the Press Release:
A new survey of the Minnesota Senate race has Amy Klobuchar up by 16 points in her campaign against Republican Mark Kennedy, leading him 50-34. The poll corroborates the findings of a public survey from last week that had Klobuchar up 19 points.

“Getting change in Washington begins by sending Amy Klobuchar to the Senate and this poll vindicates that point,” DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said. “Mark Kennedy’s efforts to obscure his real positions in order to trick people into voting for him aren’t working.”

A note from the Iwo Jima

Tom is such a card at times *smile*:
Hey Dad Just wanted to drop a line see how things are. Let you know I am doing ok. I can't really talk about what's going on right now. All I have to say is that CNN and FOX News have pretty accurate reports. The running joke lately is that we all watch CNN for our next set of orders.

Well gotta fly. Love you. tell the boys I got them some cool souvenirs from this ship. Later
So I guess I'll just keep glued to the TV and watch how things evolve in the Med.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Front Page - Part Deux

The PiPress saved their MDE story for Sunday. A PDF of the front page can be found here. The lead is VERY interesting. I don't remember the incident, but it did remind me of a scene from West Wing:
Michael Brodkorb made his debut on the Minnesota political stage in a chicken suit.

It was 1998, and Brodkorb, now a Republican political researcher from Eagan, was working on Norm Coleman's campaign for governor. One day, the low-level staffer was assigned to put on the fowl outfit, go to a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party news conference at St. Paul's downtown airport and stand next to the party's gubernatorial candidate, Skip Humphrey, while holding a sign that read "Quit skipping debates."
Too Funny!

I thought the STRIB article was better, but front page press for the Minnesota Blogosphere is always good no matter where it appears.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rovian Roundtable

Coordination between the Rovian machine and the local Right wing attack machines has always been suspected, but now we have pictorial confirmation, courtesy of MDE himself.

This post revealed some more:
For one hour today, I had the privilege of visiting with White House Advisor Karl Rove. Along with a few other GOP bloggers, we had the chance to ask Karl Rove anything we wanted.
Hey MDE, can you send me the transcript of the meeting, I am very curious *grin*


UPDATE: via the comments, AAA shares the link of a live blog of the discussion. I found the exchange on how the President followed 2004 elections results very interesting.
G: On 04, did tech help him learn the results faster?

R: Got the results on approach to Edwards. He was getting unending results and it was all bad.

Everything was looking bad. Down everywhere. Across the demographics.

It didn’t make sense.

He had to tell the Pres once they landed and that it didn’t look good.

Bush once they got off Marine 1
“Everyone put your gameface on.”

Rove then spent all day asking the press to explain how they could be losing their bread and butter voters?

Everytime the press did call back if they did, they had some excuse.

G: On 04, did tech help him learn the results faster?

R: Got the results on approach to Edwards. He was getting unending results and it was all bad.

Everything was looking bad. Down everywhere. Across the demographics.

It didn’t make sense.

Pollsters under 35 gather trash

Over 35 they are more reliable.

How quickly did they know they were gonna win on election night?

They had a computer at the WH in the dinner room. It was set up with a program with an interactive map he could click on to see the results because they had people in each court house sending in results from pda’s.

He went through the critical districts from 00 and as he did, he saw that they were up big in them. He saw they were well ahead of where they needed to be.

Before 9:00 he knew they were gonna win

Many of the staff had told their wives not to come in, because due to the tracking polls.

They looked at him like he was insane, and it covered their coverage of the day.

He does feel bad for Kerry. for a few hours he thought he was gonna be President because of the exit polls.
Oh, and the classic of all:
MB: Can we see the “playbook”.

R: It is already in a chip in your heads, but you just don’t know it.
Let the photo shopping begin!

Seriously, a very good exchange and incredibly informative for folks on both sides of the aisle. Everyone should give it a look!

Front Page

Great article on MDE and the local blogosphere. There is even a couple mentions of yours truly. Give it a read.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Lookey Here - Luther v Johnson Launches

Things are a little dusty yet, but go take a peak.

Luther v Johnson will be where most of my posts on the Attorney General's race will appear. It will be a positive site that promotes Bill and his desire to improve the lives of all Minnesotans.

Contributers, content, anecdotes, and other information regarding Bill and his campaign are always appreciated. Contact me via E-Mail (flash - at - centrisity . com )


(Closed circuit to whomever has Johnson v Kelley and/or Kelley v Johnson blogspot accounts. Please contact me)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Keepin' an Eye on Kennedy

I posted this last month. It talked about how I figured Bush and the Rovian machine would provide opportunities for their incumbents to distance themselves from the President.

Mark Kennedy has proclaimed his independence from the President, but yesterday we find out he is still Rubber Stamping the will of his puppet master. Mark sided WITH the president in refusing to overide the veto on Stem Cell Research. (Vote here).

Mark Kennedy; I only say I am Independent of the President and hope no one pays attention and realizes I am not!


Bill Luther Simply Cares

I can't let these two comments fall off the page. It says so much about our future Attorney General:
Luther is the one man who could make this Republican vote Democrat. I have exchanged letters with Mr. Luther a couple of times when he was a congressman, and the replies were always respectful, intelligent, and actually addressed the concerns in my letter. Now I'm sure they were written by a staffer, but they were worlds better then the talking points crap that I got from the Wellstone staffers.

So why do I like Luther, just because of a staffers letter. Because as a long time retail manager I know how much of that flows from the people Luther selected to run his office and I wouldn't be surprised to learn he had a hand in hiring most of them. You select the kind of people you like to be around and respect. That he has that kind of person on staff says he is more then likely that kind of person himself.
shawn | 07.18.06 - 4:44 pm
And a surprising response from the Congressman's Former Chief of Staff:
I want to respond to Shawn's comments - they are greatly appreciated. As Bill Luther's chief of staff for his first 6 years, I can assure you that constituent mail was a huge priority for Bill and it is rewarding to hear that it was appreciated. He actually signed all letters himself (unless we had 1000 going out in response to a postcard campaign or something) and edited it as well.

This attention to detail stems from his training as an attorney. As an attorney myself, I understood that and also wanted the best product going out the door. (Believe me, it drove other staff nuts at times).

We did our best to hire well qualified people in the Congressional office and I am proud of those folks I worked with.

Finally, to explain why Bill paid close attention to the constituent mail and casework - it's simple. The one letter Bill sent to Shawn in response to Shawn's letter may well be the ONLY chance Bill will have to 'talk' with Shawn and Bill was determined to be sure we addressed the issues raised so that Shawn was left with the impression he described. The other reason, which is frankly even more important, is that the constituent deserved the respect of a solid response.

Thanks Shawn for those positive comments both about Bill and his staff - it's refreshing and I really appreciate it!
Ted Thompson | 07.19.06 - 5:44 pm
How can you NOT appreciate and support a candidate for Attorney General who already has a track record like that!


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

GREAT AG Analysis

Fecke, as usual, lays it out for you:
Here’s how I see things shaping up:

1. Steve Kelley. Kelley is in the strongest position, because he doesn’t have to build a statewide organization on the fly, he merely has to reactivate his gubernatorial organization. He will have the early support of true-blue DFLers because of the way he gracefully exited at the state convention. I think he’s probably the man to beat, though only by a whisker.
2. Bill Luther. Luther hasn’t run for anything since losing to John Kline in 2002, and it will take some time to shake the rust off. The good news for Luther is that he has an ally in Mike Hatch, and he will undoubtedly seek to tap Hatch’s organization for this run. Luther has a good reputation and was a solid congressman, and likely has greater statewide name recognition than Kelley. A solid number two with a very good shot.
Jeff also talks about the endorsement process and it's role leading into the primary. A MUST READ!


Record Day

My hit counter went through the roof yesterday with all the excitement going on. I easily doubled my previous record following my Obama Interview. For the Number crunchers out there, Sitemeter had me at over 600, Statcounter over 1100. Someday someone can explain to me the big discrepancy. (ED- I looked at the wrong number. The 1100 is page loads, the unique visits were also just over 600 lining up with Sitemeter pretty well)

With that, new readers and lurkers can hit up my sidebar for some Notable Posts and patronize the blogroll that runs the full political spectrum.

I am out the rest of the morning, work related meeting. But I'll be back after Lunch.


Dealing with Tumult

As the DFL regroups facing yesterday's whirlwind of activity, lets look back on how the MNGOP dealt with scathing charges against their own. Two high profile examples come to mind. And in both cases, the Republicans were able to succeed.

1990 - Grunseth goes Swimming

Jon Grunseth, the IR (Independent Republicans as they were known back then) endorsed candidate for governor faced charges of sexual impropriety just weeks before the general election. Grunseth was running against incumbent Governor Rudy Perpich at a time when Perpich was very vulnerable. On October 15, the downfall began:
Grunseth's campaign went into a tailspin Oct. 15, after allegations he had invited four teen-age girls, including his adopted daughter, to swim nude with him at a 1981 party. One of the girls said he also tried to touch her breast.

He nearly resigned last Thursday, but changed his mind after a 3 1/2-hour meeting with key campaign strategists.
Grunseth began to slip in the polls. Arne Carlson, who lost the endorsement to Grunseth, initiated a write-in campaign. Then, the other show dropped on Jon:
Then, Sunday, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune published a story in which Grunseth admitted a ''romantic'' relationship with a 32-year-old woman. The woman, Tamara Taylor of Minnetonka, said she and Grunseth had an intermittent affair from 1980 to 1989.
Grunseth withdrew. Some legal wrangling ensued and Carlson went from write-in candidate to the new IR Endorsee. Carlson went on to defeat Perpich 40 - 47. Four years later, Carlson creamed John Marty, 63 - 34.

A clear example of the electorate looking at the person, not the party, when they went to the polls.

1992 - Pawlenty's Campaign Finance violation

Less then a month before the general election, Tim Pawlenty was found to have broke the law.

October 11, 2002
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty has now accepted full responsibility for campaign practices that a state review board found illegal. The decision could represent a substantial setback for Pawlenty, who also announced he would temporarily suspend television ads while his campaign assesses its options. But Pawlenty vows he'll vigorously press the campaign until the end.
The findings were:
The board ruled that an estimated $800,000 in television ads produced by the party were incorrectly identified as the sort of soft-money independent expenditures that are subject to limited regulation. The board's order requires Pawlenty to count the ads as direct contributions, a decision that will eat deeply into the campaign's $2.2 million spending limit.
Polling in this three way race were tight, and the general consensus was that TPaw would slip opening the door for Roger Mow, or another 'shock the world' victory by Tim Penny.

Wiki finishes the story:
Dogged by ethics complaints surrounding the campaign,[1] but buoyed by President George W. Bush's post-Sept. 11th popularity and the failure of either of his challengers to gain a solid lock on the votes of Democrats, Pawlenty hurtled ahead of both challengers at the very end of the campaign. Analyses afterward indicated that his largest gains were among voters in the suburbs of Minneapolis-St.Paul.
Final results, TPaw 44%, Moe 36%, Penny 16%, Pentel 2%

In both cases the party was under fire. In 1992, the GOP was able to regroup, re-organize and defeat a vulnerable incumbent candidate. In 2002 they were successful in standing by their man, and their man took the high road and the hits which eventually became a key factor in his election, rather then his downfall.

The DFL can learn from these experiences. The electorate will be watching to see how the party moves on, because the DFL wants to lead this state, and the people of Minnesota so desperately need that to happen. Now is when the party must show they can lead their own party, as if they stumble, it will effect the results up and down the ticket.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Freeman Bows out, Luther to file

Bill Luther is on his way to the SoS Office to file for AG. Freeman has decided NOT to file.

I officially endorse Bill Luther for Attorney General.


More on Bill:

Those who have been reading over the last few days know that I have been following Congressman Luther's decision closely. I have known Bill since his first race and even worked with him during his time at the legislature. Bill is one Rock Solid individual. He can raise money better then anyone. He has integrity and character that is unmatched. Over the last few years he has been enjoying his private life. I do NOT believe he would have entered this race unless he thought it was best for the party, and the people of Minnesota.

Although there is chatter out there that Steve Kelley may file, I wonder if Kelley may be reconsidering, or if in fact Luther may have even followed up with him prior to his decision. Again, some of this is speculation, and we will find out definitively soon enough. But Centrisity is 100% behind the candidacy of William P. Luther and I look forward to him becoming Minnesota's next Attorney General!

UPDATE: Luther files, Kelley also filed. I think there may be some shuffling after today. With the last minute decison be Entenza and the innability of individuals to have ample time to discuss options, I wouldn't be surprised if things sort themselves out prior to the Central Committee endorsment process(Photo courtesy of MNPublius)

E-Mail from Melendez on AG Possibles

I asked Brain Melendez what he knew about the scrambling for AG. His response:
I'm hearing that Freeman is announcing today. . . Other names frequently mentioned: Mike Ciresi, David Lillehaug, Steve Kelley, Mark Rotenberg, Lori Swanson.
Swanson has already filed. Others will be rolling out soon I suspect.

The Chair stated earlier in a press release:
“When the filing deadline passes today, I expect that several excellent candidates will be seeking the DFL nomination, especially when the Republican Party is pushing a known corporate minion. The State Party will meet in mid-August to endorse one of these fine Minnesotans for the office of Attorney General.”
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask!


AG - Entenza OUT

News reports and a confirmation call makes it clear Matt Entenza is dropping out of the AG race.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned Representative Matt Entenza is dropping out of the race for Attorney General. Just this week, Entenza learned he would face a challenge from a fellow DFLer in a primary.
From Matt himself at the press conference:
"While I'm confident that I could win the race for attorney general, obviously in this environment staying in the race would hurt the Democratic Party," Entenza said at a news conference on the Capitol steps.
Repeated rumors of Bill Luther's pending entry are just that, rumors. Several sources have informed me that Luther has decided against the run, including this Polinaut post.

MDE reports that Mike Freeman, former Hennepin Cty Attorney and current Attorney Candidate will be entering the race with Matt's blessing. Mike Freeman is the son of former governor Orville Freeman. I give much more credibility to this information, then a Luther run. But anything can happen before the filing deadline closes.


UPDATE: MNPublius has some GREAT commentary, including:
Sources have told me with varying certainty that neither Bill Luther nor David Lillehaug are going to file today, two people on the short list. But this morning MDE dropped the bomb that Hennepin County DA candidate Mike Freeman may be jumping in the race. In my estimations (which are completely uninformed, mind you), Freeman sounds like just the thing people have been hinting at...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hammer's Time - Spillane Passes

From CNN:
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) -- Mickey Spillane, the macho mystery writer who wowed millions of readers with the shoot-'em-up sex and violence of gumshoe Mike Hammer, died Monday. He was 88.
and more:
As a stylist Spillane was no innovator; the prose was hard-boiled boilerplate. In a typical scene, from "The Big Kill," Hammer slugs out a little punk with "pig eyes."

"I snapped the side of the rod across his jaw and laid the flesh open to the bone," Spillane wrote. "I pounded his teeth back into his mouth with the end of the barrel ... and I took my own damn time about kicking him in the face. He smashed into the door and lay there bubbling. So I kicked him again and he stopped bubbling."
The guy could put words together like no other.


Luther and the 5th

Our House and MDE are pushing a "Luther in the 5th" rumor. I just don't see it happening, here's why.

I talked to Bill last year when Dayton dropped out. He was on the short list at the time of potential candidates. In our conversation he made it clear he enjoyed his private life a little too much to re-enter the fray of a state wide race. Also, regardless of where he is on Ellison, I don't think he would go up against Erlandson or even Ember.

There are 4 choices in the 5th that will thin out in September, I don't think there would be any value in Luther joining that race. I could see him running in the 8th if Oberstar retires soon, but that would be about it.

Of course, I could just ask him, so maybe I will!


Spanking Kennedy

I know, only a picture in time, but I would rather have Amy's numbers. Kennedy's unfavorables are killing him. Do you think he regrets getting into this race so early, only to be burned by Dayton's departure! Filling deadline is tomorrow, maybe he'll change his mind and go back to the 6th *laughing*

DFL Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar has opened up a strong early lead over GOP rival Mark Kennedy in a Minnesota Poll that shows Klobuchar with 50 percent of likely voters' support, compared with 31 percent for Kennedy.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The USS Iwo Jima and Lebanon

I was watching CNN this AM. They reported that with limited transportation options left, and the closing of the airport, contingencies are being built to airlift remaining Americans out of the tumult. High on the list is re-deploying the amphibious assault group currently in the Red Sea performing maneuvers with Jordan. Yeap, the USS Iwo Jima just might be 'making quick' to the Mediterranean to assist in pulling the remainder of Americans out of the area with their helicopters. You can bet my son will be a busy man!

Reminds me of what Sulu said towards the beginning of 'Wrath of Khan'
"So much for a little training cruise!"

UPDATE: CBS reports:
-- CBS News has learned that an evacuation of Americans from Lebanon will most likely begin next week. The evacuation would be led by the USS Iwo Jima, with Marine helicopters ferrying as many as 8,000 Americans to nearby Cyprus.
Cpl Peterson is an Aircraft mechanic on board the Iwo Jima. You can bet he'll have those helicopters purring like a kitten before they are needed.

Pimp my Campaign Van

MNCR has a great little photo spread on SD41's latest parade vehicle. It is quite sporty. Sneak over there for the specifics.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Even KAR thinks so:
This is ridiculous

With weekend temperatures forecast to reach 100 degrees, Governor Tim Pawlenty today announced that state agencies and the Governor’s Office are working together under "Operation Stay Cool" to help ensure that Minnesotans stay safe during the heat wave.

"People around the rest of the nation may think of Minnesota as a cool place, but we’re about to see how hot things can get up here," Governor Pawlenty said. "During this heat wave, it’s important for Minnesotans to take care of themselves and one another. State government will do our part by providing services to those in need."
Now, i think it is important for everyone to make good decisions with this pending heat. Literally, today, I put two pitchers of ice water out for the VERY appreciative road workers 'pitching' and 'repairing' Minnehaha Avenue. ( I even asked one of them "You must get a lot of 'middle fingers' in this job"! --And he replied "We sure do, but people like you make up for it!". )

I encourage EVERYONE to help out their brethren and assist anyway necessary in this heat. Just like you would shovel out your neighbor in a blizzard. But the middle of the Winter isn't election season. So don't expect ole TPaw to ask for that from the citizens.

I don't need a Governor scraping for votes to tell me what I need to do. Any attempt at such is pure pandering.



Heard on David Letterman:
"Any online gamblers here? Well, Congress is looking in shutting that down. There's going to be a massive congressional investigation of online gambling and they're going to shut it down. And when they get done with that, they're going to look into this North Korean thing."
Must be an election year!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

CQ Responds, Posts Revision

I heard from Bob Benenson, and CQ politics editor (posted with permission):
Dear Flash:

You can breathe again, as we will shortly be posting a revised version of the story that clarifies the strong disagreement expressed by the Klobuchar campaign and its supporters with the charge made by the National Republican Senatorial Committee about Ms. Klobuchar's record on crime. While it is true that the NRSC is making this claim, it should not have been included without discussion of the Klobuchar campaigns response (and rejection of the claim).

I also welcome you to submit your documentary evidence as a comment to the story, which we will also post.

I do wish that you had contacted us directly with your concerns about the story, as we are vigilant about any instance of perceived unfairness or imbalance and try to address quickly those concerns that we determine have merit. I would have responded as quickly to your direct inquiry as I have to learning about this concern indirectly.

Best wishes,

Bob Benenson
I did E-Mail CQ immediately, and only followed up with Bob after an hour or so. I also commented to the story with my sources and links, but the comment has yet to show up on the website.

Regardless, the story has now been revised:
Editor's note: The original version of this story has been amended in the final paragraph to clarify that Democratic candidate Amy Klobuchar and her supporters strongly dispute the National Republican Senatorial Committee's characterization of her record on crime.
and the new paragraph:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is backing Kennedy, has sought to undermine Klobuchar's credibility as a prosecutor, contending that violent crime increased 35 percent in the county during her tenure. Klobuchar and her supporters strongly contest this characterization, stating that crime has actually gone down during the period and accusing the Republicans of gaming the numbers to make a false and misleading argument.
It's better then just leaving the lie hanging out there.

Special thanks to Mr. Benenson for his diligence in correcting this oversight.


CQ pushes RNC Lies!

The Kennedy Attack Machine continues to push blatant and knowingly misleading lies being funneled out of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The latest incident involves Congressional Quarterly:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is backing Kennedy, said that violent crime increased 35 percent in the county during Klobuchar's tenure.
FACT, violent crime in the country during Amy's tenure has DECREASED
Mitch 'n Co. are being disingenuous to try to pin the increases in MPLS crime on a county attorney who, through the most recent available data, has REDUCED Hennepin County serious crime by 36% from '97 to 2004

Minneapolis Crime rates are also down 30% from 1997 to 2005
Now the NRSC may be referring to the flawed numbers later corrected by even KvM that came out recently. But those figures were only for Minneapolis and do NOT cover Amy's complete tenure.

Will we see a correction on KvM or CQ? I won't hold my breath!


UPDATE: Fresh post regarding CQ's revision.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bell Withdraws-Press Conference Report

I attended the Ford Bell announcement today. Room 125 was quite cramped with the TV cameras and press filling in the chairs scattered throughout the room. Dr. Bell's staff and supporters lined the periphery in a show of support to their former candidate. Out of respect, they all stood when he entered the room, and remained standing throughout the delivery of the statement. A complete text of Dr. Bell's remarks are available at Blog for Bell. The highlights:
I am announcing today that I am ending my campaign for the DFL nomination for U.S. Senate this year.
The driving force behind the decision, money, or lack thereof:
But it has also become clear that our campaign will not be able to raise enough money to win the September primary.
After hitting on the main issues of his candidacy, War in Iraq and Single payer Health care, he returned to campaign finance:
Since I have been in this race, I have come to believe that there is another issue we must address: the need for public financing of elections. The corrosive influence of money is strangling American democracy. That our little outsider campaign raised almost a million dollars, stood for issues that the vast majority of our party endorsed, and couldn't compete, is an indictment of the system we have. We must change it.
and finally, the all important endorsement to unify the party towards the main goal:
I will be supporting my opponent Amy Klobuchar in November, and I ask my supporters to do the same. The differences within our Party are important, but the differences between Mark Kennedy, George Bush and the needs of America are much greater.
Following his remarks, he took questions. Specifically, he was asked about a 2008 Senate run, to which he responded he hasn't ruled anything out. Of course, his lovely wife Amy, was shaking her head 'No' and remarked something to the effect of "I finally get my husband back" It is worth noting that today is also Dr. Bell and Amy's 14th wedding anniversary, and she commented that this was a very nice anniversary gift.

He ended the questioning by stating how distressed he was that the Democrats are not taking a clear stance against the war. He felt his message was beginning to resonate and with ample resources would have emerged victorious in November. But for now this phase of the election cycle is over. Dr. Bell has exited gracefully while running a positive and honorable campaign. I hope he remains engaged in the process.

Dr. Bell concluded his remarks with a quote from Muhammad Ali:
"The service you do for others is the rent you pay for the time you spend on earth."

Bell Bailing?!?

On Blog for Bell:
U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Ford Bell will be in Room 125 at the Capitol for a media advisory at 3:30 this afternoon.
Hmmmmmmm! I have no reason to believe that he is dropping out. Maybe it is just wishful thinking.

We'll find out in a few hours.


UPDATE: Polinaut hints that my wish just may come true:
"U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Ford Bell will make a major announcement and hold a news conference this afternoon at 3:30 in room 125 of the State Capitol.

All press are strongly urged to attend."

I'm sure the Klobuchar campaign will be watching closely to see if Ford Bell is dropping his bid to challenge her in the DFL primary...
UPDATE II: MNPublius has received reliable confirmation of Bell's pending departure from the race:
I can now confirm beyond a reasonable doubt that Dr. Ford Bell is, indeed, dropping out of the United States Senate race leaving DFL endorsed Amy Klobuchar as the sole Democratic candidate for the seat. There is still the possibility that we have been mislead about this story, but I think it is safe to say that come tomorrow Ford Bell will not be in the race.

Amy out of the Gate

Amy makes her first ad buy and Gary at KvM has an uncharacteristically objective take on it:
Taking off my partisan hat for just a minute, I find Amy Klobuchar’s first :30 spot to be well done. It serves one purpose, the effect of which will not be known for some time—to innoculate the Hennepin County attorney against a Midwest-leading jump in Minneapolis crime in 2005 and a 2006 increase more than twice that.
I saw the ad and also thought it was well done and actually over due. This is a great time to define yourself before the opposition does it for you. Most of the slime and smear has come from Internet attack site and juvenile MNGOP press releases. This add will clarify who Amy is, and what she can do to move this state forward from her seat in the US Senate!


Monday, July 10, 2006

In the Gulf

Cpl Peterson is now in the Persian Gulf. After a little R&R in Italy, where he appearently ate everything in sight, the USS Iwo Jima made a stop in Jordan. Now they are awaiting orders that will more than likely include some Iraqi support. So much for the joy cruise.

More information as I get it.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hatch-Dutcher to file Monday

From a DFL Press Release:
“The Hatch-Dutcher ticket is about promise. It’s about possibilities. And it’s about our potential as a state,” said Dutcher. “Everywhere we go, people are telling us about the negative impact that increasing property taxes, soaring tuition, and excruciating fees have had on their life. They realize what is at stake in this election. Minnesotans are looking to restore our quality of life and they know it will take new leadership to do that”.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Who Should Apologize?!?

When I look at all that is out there regarding the Humphrey Institute flap conjured up by the Kennedy Attack machine, it is clear to me that it is the Kennedy Campaign that should do the apologizing.

If these overzealous surrogates would have just followed simple rules (that is what I tell my children all the time. Life will be just fine if you follow the simple rules) there would have been no problem. But since Republicans all the way up to the President have made it obvious that the rules or even laws shouldn't apply to them, they followed that fine example.

The Kennedy Kamp is in shambles, and they are grabbing at straws. But incidents like this will only create more negativity for him and his campaign, and when you look at his unfavoravbles, I am not so sure he can continue to take that risk. Even some on the Right are questioning the tactics of negativity the attack machine is spewing.

Keep it up ole Kennedy Kamp, you are creating an environment where Amy will sail all the way to the Senate, and if you're not careful, you'll allow for significant DFL wins all the way up and down the ticket.

But that's just me!


The Money Pit!

Actually, my almost 100 year old home hasn't been too much of a drag on the finances. I have been blessed with an appreciation boom that has boosted the value of my home almost 4 times since I bought it 10 years ago. Over the years I have gone through the whole interior, patching, painting, mudding and taping. A couple years ago I did all the windows, resulting in a complete tear of my ACL while working on the 2nd to the last fenster. I still hobbled to the den to finish the last one.

With my 17 year old due to graduate next year, we are hoping to spruce up the outside for the planned open house. The lovely Mrs. Flash has done a fantastic job finding perennials and plants to find just the right balance, and I have been playing handyman again. The back pantry door was a nightmare, but now it is a fine looking steel door with a new storm. So needless to say, I have been busy the last several days.

I am not sure how far I will get this Summer, but I am motivated to get some of the hard stuff out of the way. I had the roof contracted out, but everything else is all my baby, with periodic help from the neighbors. Ideally I'd like to slap on a coat of paint by the end of the season, but I am not convinced I am THAT motivated.

With all that being said, my political panderings have taken a back seat, but expect me to re-engage very soon.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th - from Kurly

I spent a leisurely weekend lounging around the pool. This was my favorite position yesterday.Kurly

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm Going to Jail

Tomorrow's that last chance to go to Jail. I think I just may make the trip:
Law-abiding citizens who never wound up inside the old Ramsey County Jail have a first and last chance this Fourth of July.

The jail, which clings to the Mississippi River bluff in downtown St. Paul, closed in 2003. But the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office is opening it to the public for tours Tuesday. The building is slated to be demolished next year to make way for luxury condominiums.
I always wondered why the slime of St. Paul had the best view in the city.

Anywho, here's the skinny:
If you go:

What: Free tours of the old Ramsey County Jail
When: Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: 12-14 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

UPDATE:Here's a shot of my youngest incarcerated in a typical cell in the old Ramsey County ADC.