Monday, March 31, 2008


Republicans for Obama. Many of whom struggle with the current status of the war in Iraq:
The Obamacans include a former senator of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee; a former senior Justice Department official under President Reagan and senior legal adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Douglas Kmiec, and a granddaughter of President Eisenhower, Susan Eisenhower.

The group one day may include Senator Hagel, a Republican of Nebraska, who has co-sponsored Iraq withdrawal legislation with leading Democrats. Asked yesterday on CNN whether he would endorse his party’s presumptive nominee, Mr. Hagel said he would base his support on the candidates’ positions on withdrawing from Iraq.
There is enough basis, without the war, to support an Obama presidency. The irony is, I am not on board with his Iraq policy, yet, but know he is right on every other issue.

Happy Birthday!

NO, not to Al Gore, potential presidential candidate, to my son Nick, who is 16 today.

Happy birthday, son!


Disclosing or Scrubbing

I appreciate Mike working feverishly to update his disclosure page. Unfortunately, he still isn't caught up to where he was as recently as last August. I am begining to wonder if he is sincerely follwing through on his claims of ethical obligation, or scrubbing his former involvement. Here is the baseline I am using, his page from August of last year.

Based on his current disclosure, he has been unemployed since November of 2006. I mean, since he readily admits "I have spent most of my entire professional career working in Minnesota politics and public relations." either he has made a full 180 career change, or is simply out of work.

See, the pathetic attempts by Mitch and other members of ScaifeNet to slime sites like the Minnesota Monitor, because a few pennies trickled through a couple different organization makes them sock puppets, means I get to use the same standard. THEY have decided what is acceptable and what should be disclosed. THEY have gone out of there way to negatively attack honorable people. I just ask that they expect the same from both sides.

Mike Brodkorb's 10s of thousands of dollars received directly from campaigns or via consulting firms over the years is far more egregious then a few pennies second, third, even forth hand. If the Main Stream press would simply call him out for who he is, a paid Republican Operative, it wouldn't bother me so much. But they don't they allow him to wear his mask.

So thanks, Mike, for taking some time over the weekend to edit your old disclosure page, but we are looking for current information, because as you say:
my ethics are not governed by legal interpretations. As I am a Republican operative who exposes Minnesota Democrats, I am continually aware of my responsibility to disclose any conflict that could tarnish the effectiveness of my blog. If I am hired by a campaign or political party, I will disclose it
So since you say ANY conflicts, does that also include if you are hired by a consulting firm contracted by a campaign or political party you would disclose that as well, or is that more of your word mincing. Just asking.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

St. Peter, 10 Years Later

I spent a nice chunk of my youth in St. Peter. Weekend visits to both my grandparents' houses, one living on the South end on Jackson Street, the other in a farmhouse on the North end of town. I mentioned my Southern Minnesota connection in my St. Patrick's day post the other day.

On March 17, 1998 the lovely Mrs. Flash and I traveled to St. Peter, MN for the St. Patrick's Day festivities at, where-else, Patrick's on Third. That would be the last time I saw St. Peter whole. Less than two weeks later, the terrain would be changed forever.

The town has recovered amazingly well over the last 10 years, but when I read 'the scares are gone', that is simply not the case. Buildings are gone forever, and rebuilt in different locations, specifically, the Catholic church. I was baptized in this church, along with my sister. My parents were married there almost 50 years ago as was my Grandmother's funeral, less than 4 years earlier.

The German Lutheran Church, where the Schiebel side of the family worshiped, met a similar fate. Roof torn apart beyond repair. The church was completely rebuilt on the same location, while sharing worship times with the neighboring Trinity Lutheran. Minnesota Square Park is still without all the luxurious old growth trees, and the Catholic Cemetery, with only one tree remaining, hovering over the resting place of Patrick and Margaret Mayer, the very Patrick who is the namesake of the aforementioned bar. My Grandparents are also in that cemetery, as is Dustin.

Dustin Schneider was the lone fatality in the St. Peter storm. He was sucked out of the families van as it searched for cover. I visit Dustin every time I am 'up on the hill' paying my respects to Grandma and Grandpa. My boys are about his age, with Nick turning 16 on Monday. Dustin's headstone is adorned with a small color picture of this bright young boy. Matchbox cars and other youthful trinkets scattered about. My boys, years ago, left some things for Justin. I will visit again when I make my annual Memorial Day trip.

Life is fragile, and the Comfrey/St. Peter tornadoes of 10 years ago are a testament to that. It is also a testament to the determination and vitality of community. I miss the old buildings, the trees, and the loved ones lost, but an enhanced respect for my old home town shines through. They made it through the tumult just fine and I look forward to my next visit.

Below are more picture links and I will be cobbling together other media acknowledgments of the anniversary.

Have a great weekend . . . and hug your kids!


Pictures above, are used with permission of Eric Foss, former St. Peter Herald photographer and proprietor of Wedding Maps. More pictures here, many are before and five years after.


Other pics including this one of the Catholic Church from a different angle
Day after/cleanup pics

Other 10 years later links:

Post Bulletin
Mankato Free Press-Paid Sub required
Gustavus Adolphus College

I'll add more as I find them, if you know of others, comment section is below!
STRIB Nick Coleman

Friday, March 28, 2008

BREAKING: Centrisity Forces MDE to Update Disclosure Page

Well, its a start. Mike Brodkorb of MDE has begun to finally make adjustments to his disclosure page. Since there is a vast amount of public information NOT disclosed I assume this is still a work in progress.

In fact, Mike thinks he shouldn't have to tell us where his bread is buttered:
I am under no legal obligation to disclose a professional relationship with a business, campaign or political party on my personal blog. But my ethics are not governed by legal interpretations. As I am a Republican operative who exposes Minnesota Democrats, I am continually aware of my responsibility to disclose any conflict that could tarnish the effectiveness of my blog. If I am hired by a campaign or political party, I will disclose it on Minnesota Democrats Exposed.
Yet there is no mention of his relationships with the Bachmann campaign, or the Kennedy Campaign. No mention of his time spent on the payroll of the MNGOP as an opposition researcher. Is there some type of statute of limitation here where he doesn't feel it necessary to disclose these past relationships. I challenge him to share with all of us what his day job is. Everyone else in blog land is pretty transparent, yet Mike continues to be evasive, why is that.

I've got Spring break next week. I may just have to do some digging. We'll be watching. And the counter, until Mike fully discloses and completes the update of his disclosure page, we'll have to leave it up there for awhile.

My Lunch is over, I don't have the luxury of putting up multiple posts throughout my work day. Maybe Mike can help me find a gig like his.



I have been struggling with getting decent TV reception in my garage. I was looking forward to the DirecTV HD upgrade so I could move my old dish to the Garage roof. The big tree in my front year has prohibited that, so I was still stuck with funky rabit ears and a battle between the Snow storm and the Ghost storm on the TV. That has all changed.

In February 2009, the 2 - 13 range of your TV dial will go away in favor of a much higher quality digital signals spread across the UHF band. This frees up a boat load of frequencies that were recently auctioned off to private enterprise. That auction netted 19.6 billion dollars, a portion of which is funding the TV Converter Box Coupon Program.

I applied from my coupons a while ago at Each residence is entitled to two $40.00 coupons to be used on FEC approved Digital TV boxes. Boxes average about $60.00, so it is a significant savings. I picked mine up a couple weeks ago, and oh what a difference. Crystal clear reception, no ghosts or snow storms. I do get some intermittent pixelization that those with satellite TV experience from time to time, but that is very rare.

So no more standing in the garage looking funny as I hold the tip of my antenna. The Pictures are as good as anything you get via Cable or satellite, and I get all those extra channels you here about. There are 5 Channel 17s, Channel 5 has a second channel for all news and weather, and all in crystal clear quality. The added bonus is there is even a built in TV guide to the box.

There is a set limit of Coupons available, so apply now. And the beauty of it is, no tax dollars are being used. This is all funded from a small portion of the auction receipts. Now that is efficient government, no matter what Norquist says.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

RIP, Paul

That awful feeling turned into reality today:
A Minnesota family's agonizing wait for the return of a loved one kidnapped in Iraq 16 months ago ended in grief and tears today when U.S. authorities confirmed they have recovered the remains of Paul Johnson-Reuben, of Buffalo, Minn.
All my hopes to all the grieving families of contractors who have been identified over the last several days.

Day 100

Do you know where your disclosure page is?!?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bees' Wax

A Right Wing plant (OK, I don't know that for sure) tried to stump the former first daughter by playing the Monica Lewinsky card:
Campaigning at Butler College in Indianapolis, an audience member asked the 28 year-old whether the Monica Lewinsky scandal had damaged her mother's reputation.

"Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe, 70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of your business," Clinton responded, appearing a bit surprised by the question. The crowd immediately cheered loudly at the response.
I'm really curious who asked that question. If I find out I'll update this post. If you find out, that's what the comments are for.,


UPDATE: Foot proclaims Evan Strange is a Hillary fan!

Drawn Out Good News

The longer the Democratic primary battle is drawn out, the less time the Smear boaters have to figure out the presumptive, and the more time the party has to engage new voters:
Figures released by Pennsylvania's Department of State on Monday night showed that Democrats have topped 4 million registered voters, the first time either party in the state has crossed that threshold. Democrats have added 161,000 to their rolls, a gain of about 4 percent; Republican registration has dipped about 1 percent, to 3.2 million.

That is consistent with the pattern since the beginning of the year: Democratic turnout in primaries and caucuses has topped Republican turnout, often by huge differences.

In Ohio, 2.2 million voters participated in the Democratic primary, compared with 1.1 million in the Republican primary. In Texas, 2.9 million voters turned out for the Democratic primary and 1.4 million for the GOP primary. Even in Florida, where the Republican primary was one of the most hotly contested of the year and the Democratic primary featured no active campaigning by the candidates, GOP turnout was only marginally higher: 1.9 million vs. 1.7 million.

These turnout figures match what pollsters have found as they have surveyed the electorate throughout the year: The gap between Democratic and Republican identification has grown dramatically.
Listen, people aren't happy, and this comes at no shock to those of use who actually care about the future. There are those on the Right who are greasing the wheels on the goal posts to re-write expectations. The electorate won't fall for that.

Both the Democratic candidates are light years better than the presumptive ideological dancer the Republicans will put up. If he picks a right wing purist as his running mate, the base may be able to rally behind him, if he chooses another plum, it will be all but over.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary Screwed Up

Hillary screwed up, somethin' awful. And unlike the local GOP snark Blogs like Shot In The Onion, it isn't too hard to admit when those candidates on your side screw up. But she did provide us the best quote we will probably have in this campaign.
"I did make a mistake in talking about it the last time and recently.”

“That happens, it proves I’m human,” she said. “Which, you know, for some people is a revelation.”

Monday, March 24, 2008


Ok, so a local 70's radical and admitted murderer was released on Monday after serving her time. We can all argue all day long whether or not it was just, but based on the system, and the computations, agreements made regarding her plea, and the evolution of the laws over time, she walked away from prison on Monday.

Sunday, she was on her way back to St. Paul prison. Whaaaat!, back to prison.
Sara Jane Olson and her husband, Dr. Gerald Peterson, were celebrating her release from prison over a plate of chicken wings Friday night at the Los Angeles International Airport when some state employees abruptly interrupted.

"They approached her and said, 'You need to come with us. This is not an arrest,'" Peterson said. "Sara very calmly understood that she needed to go with them."

Despite those assurances, Peterson said it was clear that Olson was being arrested. He decided to return to St. Paul while his wife's attorneys contest the issue.

"Our kids are mystified by this process of formal release and then rearrest," Peterson said.
Yeap, see, there was just enough of the right people who decided to take a fine tooth comb to her file and the myriad of gonkulations to discover that, some one forgot to carry a one or something. So they claim she has to do another year.

SJO plead guilty and needs to serve her time. If, through some miscalculation, they let her out a year early, then maybe she needs to go back.

My beef . . . I hope they are scouring every record ever touched by the person who miscalculated SJO's time served because if they made one mistake they probably made others. That means there may be people walking around out there who have not served their time yet, and maybe others who already have, still sitting in cells. But to pick on one single person because of some media hype isn't justice for all, it is justice not at all.

But that's just me!



Godspeed to our brave men and women in the armed forces. All my hope to them as they fight to preserve the freedoms we so richly enjoy!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

BasketBlogging v.2008

Not a great start for me, but I suspect most people were taken a bit off guard by the upset fest yesterday. I went way off the board for my Final Four so that will make me look like a fool, or Nostradamus.

Tennessee Beats Wisconsin
Texas over UCLA

Texas claims the title after edging the Vols

Here is the rest of my bracket, click to enlarge:


Friday, March 21, 2008

Pool Drain Victim Dies

A tragic end to a simply awful progression of events.
According to a family attorney, Abigail Taylor passed away Thursday night at a hospital Omaha.

Robert Bennett, the attorney for the Taylor family confirmed Abigail's death to KARE 11.

Bennett said Abigail's parents were with her when she died at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Abilgail was seriously injured after sitting on an uncovered drain in a wading pool last summer.
My hear goes out to the family during this difficult time.


Richardson to Endorse Obama

At a rally in Portland Oregon, today, Gov Bill Richardson will be throwing his support behind Sen Barack Obama
In a statement explaining his endorsement, which was provided by the Obama campaign early Friday morning, Mr. Richardson hailed Mr. Obama’s judgment and ability to be commander-in-chief — qualities that Mrs. Clinton has called into question in recent weeks on the campaign trail.

“I believe he is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America’s moral leadership in the world,” Mr. Richardson said in the statement. “As a presidential candidate, I know full well Sen. Obama’s unique moral ability to inspire the American people to confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad in a spirit of bipartisanship and reconciliation.”
I was really hoping Gov Bill would sit this one out until the presumptive was crowned. I still plan to wait this one out.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

See This Through

Mitch pointed to a T v P post on the anniversary. Specifically:
Will we say as a nation we still have the resolve to see this through, or we will signal retreat?
I challenged in the comments:
What exactly does “to see this through” mean and how much longer do you think it is going to take. Because, frankly, I never signed on to perpetual war, I signed on to a mission to tackle Islamic extremism and liberate a country from a vicious dictator. Not to be a Middle Eastern Baby sitter.

Honestly, don’t you think it is long overdue we begin significant redeployment, within the region, and allow the Iraqi’s to be responsible for themselves.

In all seriousness, please, not snark. I really am curious what some of you think the end game is here.
The replies, were, well, pretty snark free and one of the most engaging dialogs I have seen in awhile at SitD. Well worth a read through.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Between the Wheels

On the 5th anniversary of Iraqi Freedom, I offer you lyrics from Rush, Between the Wheels:
Wheels can take you around
Wheels can cut you down
We can go from boom to bust
From dreams to a bowl of dust
We can fall from rockets' red glare
Down to "Brother can you spare..."
Another war
Another wasteland
And another lost generation
My support is waning, the mismanagement continues. The Surge, only a moderate success, seems to have missed the mark. My son will be leaving for Al Asad this Summer, and I am concerned. I want to win, but no one can tell me what winning means. Someone, anyone . . .

The President, is staying the course:
"No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure, but those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq.
This next part must have taken a case of WD40 to wheel the goal posts around
"The surge has done more than turn the situation in Iraq around; it has opened the door to a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror,"
The Key tenant of the Surge, based on what the President said a year ago, was to turn over Iraqi Security to the Iraqi's by November, LAST November. Last time I checked, he was barely half way to that goal. Recent reports indicate it is slow going:
Separated by tribal and regional differences, and a personality clash between top officers, the two branches of the Iraqi security forces have largely refused to coordinate their activities.

For the Marines, the situation is a major stumbling block toward their goal of turning security responsibility for Anbar province over to Iraqis as quickly as possible.

"This is our way out," said Col. Patrick Malay, commander of the 5th Marine Regiment. But for now, he said, the Marines are forced to serve as a bridge between two feuding sides.

Rawah is not alone. Although there are areas in the province where the Iraqi police and army are working well together -- Fallouja, for example -- in many places they are not, U.S. officials say.
All my hopes to our brave fighting men and women as we continue the struggle against terroristic extremism. I just wish that was actually the focus of this War on Terror.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

GUILTY; 3rd Degree Murder

Some of you may recall my family tragedy last spring. The drug dealer involved was later brought up on 3rd degree murder charges. This afternoon, he was found guilty.

Sentencing is in April.

More at GreenTea and I am sure in evening news broadcasts along with morning dead trees.


UPDATE: STRIB reports.

Potentially Defining!

Sen. Obama's spiel today may be the defining moment of this campaign. Do or Die! I am sure the transcript does zero justice to this great orator's delivery, so I look forward to watching it later this evening. For now, you'll have to deal with the transcript. A snippet:
But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice.

Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country -- a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America, a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Rev. Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems -- two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Old -v- New

So the MNGOP mouthpiece thinks that comparing a 12 year old satire video, with 5 years of Senatorial failure is a safe bet. But again, they also thought Mark Kennedy was unbeatable.

Now, what really is strange, is I haven't found any criticism by Norm the Democrat when the book came out and the video was made, so can we presume it was OK then, but now that he is a Repubicon its not.

By the way, Mike, how is that disclosure page coming.
Under Construction - December 19, 2007

Under Construction - December 19, 2007
Is it not important to disclose what we know already, like your work as an oppo researcher for the MNGOP, or the consulting work for Bachmann and Kennedy and who knows who else. Just interesting how stealth you are, again.

Here's my disclosure page, I haven't received anything from any one, not even ad revenue or a cup of coffee. Your turn.

MDE Disclosure Page Watch, Day 91


Monday, March 17, 2008

My Irish Surnames

My dad's side is all German. Heck, I have 4 generation all resting together at the Nicollet Lutheran Church Cemetery in Nicollet County. Talk about a genealogical gold mine.

Mom's side has the Eaton/Mayflower connection, and her mother is of the English Trowbridge family. The Trowbridge's arrived in the Mid 1600's and can be traced all the way back to King Albert the Great and Charlemagne.

Then Great Grampa John, (Grampa Turkey they called him) married a fine Irish woman of the Maher Clan. Margerette's Family Tree is littered with common Irish names like Clenane (Clenhane), Mulcahy and Hagerty's.

Margerette's Grand Mother, Catherine Hagerty came to the states from County Cork soon after the Civil War ended. Most of them ended up in Rice Coutny, Shieldslville/Erin area. Here is an 1875 Census shot of the clan:The Old Catholic Cemetery In Shieldsville is filled with Irish immigrants from the turn. Records indicate she is buried there as well, but I have yet to find her, but suspect she is near her son and daughter in law who cared for her in her last days. Their graves I did find, so think I am close.

Margerette rests in Madelia, Minnesota along with Grampa Turkey's Parent's Seth and Clarissa Trowbridge. I have a long and historic connection to Southern Minnesota.

So to the Clenanes, Clenhanes, Mulcaheys, Mahers, and Hagerty cousins I must have all over the world, Happy St. Patrick's day from a fellow Irishman, even if it is only an 1/8


Bluestem Prairie pays tribute as well. I am going to scan that pic of Grandma when I get home.Here is GrandMa Eaton. She passed in 1994 so this was some time before that. I still miss her!

Madia, Presumptive?

What a wild ride in the 3rd. Both MNPublius and MNCR had excellent coverage. What happened? Let's take a look.

With candidates needing 95 for endorsement, Madia has 82.5 pledged with 3 Supers for 84.5; Bonoff has 51, with 15 Supers for 66. Even though 60% is needed for endorsement, what we can tell by some simple math here is that Madia is well over the half way mark, and even if Bonoff grabs every remaining Uncommitted AND flips Madia 2 Supers she still doesn't make it to 50%.

So here's where we are at. Two rock solid candidates with clear moderate credibility. One with the support of the party leaders, the other with overwhelming support of caucus goers. This is decision time for Bonoff, who still has hope for a bright future in the Democratic Party. She can prolong the fight, and hope her pledged delegates are loyal through multiple ballots, which is highly unlikely; or she can bow out gracefully and allow for the general election campaign to begin. Once people find out that Paulson is more of a Right Wing Purist than a sensible moderate like Ramstad, the voters will flock to Madia. I hope she makes the right choice.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Vote Sarvi at VoteVets

Sgt. Steve Sarvi, Democratic candidate for congress in the 2nd district has received the endorsement of VoteVets. As an aside, him and the other 6 endorsees are in a runoff to see who receives the coveted $5,000 donation from the organization. Go there and VOTE for Steve TODAY. polling will run through the week, so vote tomorrow and the next day as well. Let's put some ching in the Sarvi campaign treasure chest.


Friday, March 14, 2008

I Double Dare Ya!

Mitch, proud member of ScaifeNet, rambled the other day:
When Republicans run as conservatives, we win.
Last night we got this tidbit via MNPublius:
According to a poll conducted this week of likely general election voters, Terri Bonoff is the Democrat who can defeat Republican Erik Paulsen in November. In a head-to-head matchup, Bonoff beats Paulsen by a margin on 44% to 40%. In a hypothetical contest between Paulsen and Bonoff’s primary opponent, Ashwin Madia, the results flip, with Paulsen defeating Madia 43-40%.

The poll, conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research, from March 11-12 of 401 likely voters in the 3rd District
Run to the Right, Republicans, and you'll wake up in November with Michele Bachmann as your standard bearer and sole Congressional representative from the state . . . . Please!


Flip Flop States

The Fix has a new line and Minnesota is #9. Cillizza ranks the top 10 flippable states in the November General:
9. Minnesota (Kerry, 51 percent): Most people think of Minnesota as a dyed-in-the-wool blue state, but Kerry carried it by only three points in 2004. Democrats blew the doors off Republicans in the Gopher State in 2006 by taking an open Senate seat and winning an upset victory in the 1st congressional district. The wildcard here, of course, is Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) who is almost certain to be in the final pool of potential vice presidential picks for McCain. If Pawlenty is picked, Minnesota is in play and could certainly move up the Line.
And #1
1. Iowa (Bush, 50 percent): The millions spent by the Democratic presidential campaigns in advance of the state's Jan. 3 caucus should give a HUGE boost to their party's chances in the general election. And never forget -- because Iowa voters won't -- that McCain skipped the state entirely during the 2000 nomination fight and campaigned only sparingly there in 2007 and 2008. Iowans take their place in picking the nominee very seriously and many aren't likely to forgive McCain for his blasphemy.
The most revealing, of course, is that 8 of these 10 states were Red on '04. Don't worry, though, the Left has a way of making things close even when they are handed elections on a silver platter.



via Mike Lester:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nicking the Bone

Due to failed levy's, the voters get what they asked for:
the Osseo school board on Tuesday night passed a controversial plan to cut $16.3 million from its budget for next year.
What made it to the chopping block:

** Close Osseo elementary school
** Close Edgewood elementary school
** Turn Weaver Lake Elementary into the new home of the science and math magnet school now housed at Edgewood
88 Combine programs from Cedar Island, Fair Oaks and Oakview elementary schools, creating two prekindergarten-through-third-grade programs and one serving fourth to sixth grades.
** layoffs of as many as 166 licensed teachers, several administrators and nonlicensed staff and specialists.
"Nothing's being left untouched," said board member John Nelson. "No cuts are good ones. It's just a matter of, you've got to make a judgment of, what do you do?"

** snip **

Rice Lake Elementary parent Rachel Laurie said the school-closure controversy has gotten more attention than the question of how many teachers the district will lose, and how those losses will affect class sizes, because it feels less immediate to many.
This is what happens in no new tax environments, especially when the state transfers the burden on to municipalities and there isn't much left for school. I am not sure how much this pinches my good friend "The Doctor's" youngest, his only remaining school aged child. He may have more to add.

This is nothing, however, compared to what Brooklyn Center School district is going through. A debt so big merging isn't an option. Yet kids to educate with no money left.
Brooklyn Center is in statutory operating debt, which is the state designation for being in the red to the tune of at least 2.5 percent of its operating budget. In real terms, Brooklyn Center, which has a budget of $19 million, is $2.1 million in the hole.

To top off the budget difficulties, the district failed in its efforts in November to get voters to approve a 10-year, $500,000-a-year funding request.
I'm all for trimming fat and stopping pork, but it is clear within some of theses districts that we are bone scraping. Not quite the Minnesota I am used to.


Guess Who Got a Makeover

REW reported on an interesting expenditure in a sitting Senator's FEC report. Tildé couldn't resist.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Resignation Imminent

The fork is coming out of the drawer:
Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson and his staff have begun laying the groundwork for him to take over as governor and are reaching out to members of the Legislature, the aides said.
UPDATE: The Governor will be making a statement at 10:30 AM Central Time, Wednesday. Hmmmm, I wonder what he'll say . . .
Gov. Eliot Spitzer will resign Wednesday, his aides said, as the New York governor faces allegations -- but no charges -- that he is tied to an international high-dollar prostitution ring ensnared in a federal probe.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer apologized for a personal indiscretion Tuesday, but did not elaborate.

Spitzer is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. ET. The news conference will be aired on CNN TV and Live.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Step Down, Governor!!

via NYTimes:
ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.

An affidavit in the federal investigation into a prostitution ring said that a wiretap recording captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

Mr. Spitzer today made a brief public appearance during which he apologized for his behavior, and described it as a “private matter.”
I agree it is a private matter, and no need to drag the great state of New York into it. Time for Spitzer to leave the state in the capable hands of Lt. Gov David Paterson.

This is not a partisan issue, this is a "right thing to do" issue!

Stocking Up On Litmus Paper

This weekend brought forward the true reality of the dinky tent party. Our way or the high way. Common sense Republicans aren't allowed to vote their constituency or their conscience. They must tow the party line of off with their heads. This was evident in Edina times two, and Anoka. Rep Abler fared best, missing endorcement by jsut two ticks. The other two were not only snuffed, but replaced by two purists. And although 'mitch' pretends:
“Edina is purple” is a meme
He still is forced to admit:
More Edinians voted DFL in the last few elections, it’s true; in a year (’06) where Republicans were punished nationwide
And for some reason, after two more years of economic Hell and war mismanagement he thinks that will change. Hold on to that dream ole Shoot from the Hip. We saw how well it worked for y'all in Northfield, and the general will only show the trend continue.

Meanwhile, in the 1st CD, more RINO hunting as they are already waiting their own to determine who will be the sacrificial lamb to Congressman Walz's re-election landslide!
n the quest for endorsement in Minnesota's First, it looks as if some of Brian Davis's supporters have dredged up the report cards for the Legislative Evaluation Assembly as the sole measure for Representative Demmer's record in the Minnesota House.
It would be more newsworthy if they actually had a chance at unseating the stellar 1st district Congressman, but hey don't.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

SD 66 Convention

Over 490 DFL attendees at Como Senior High for the Senate District 66 Convention. I started an Uncommitted/Education sub caucus that merged a couple times. We ended up getting three state delegates of which I am not one. The Senate State Delegate breakdown based on named sub caucuses goes like this:

2 - Mike Ciresi
4 - Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer
7 - Al Franken
4 - Uncommitted

I am missing one somewhere as I know we got 18 total. I'll correct when I find out.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Override: A Teachable Moment

Busy today, so I will direct you to some sanity in the STRIB yesterday. A step by step cleansing of the MNGOP spin of the veto over ride. It can be found here. A favorite:
"Eliminated all the waste, fraud and abuse in state government."

As MnDOT commissioner, Carol Molnau consistently told lawmakers that there was no need to raise the gas tax because there would be plenty of money to spend on new roads and bridges once she rooted out all of the waste, fraud and abuse in her own agency. So far, the only thing that's been cut from the MnDOT budget is the maintenance of our roads and bridges.

Rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in state government is, in fact, the responsibility of the governing administration. We're now five years into the Pawlenty administration. If there are still billions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse waiting to be rooted out, the governor should be able to tell us where it is and what he's doing to eliminate it -- and this would be a good week for him to be forthcoming with this information.
Can I shout it --> We're now five years into the Pawlenty administration. If there are still billions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse waiting to be rooted out, the governor should be able to tell us where it is and what he's doing to eliminate it There, I feel better. One last piece:
Besides, transportation is a public utility that should be financed by its users. When I was a Republican, "user pays" was a guiding principle.
I can guess why he isn't a Republican anymore, common sense kicked in.

Read it all!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fireman Cometh!

Tonight is one of my favorite days of the year. The tapping of the Fire Chief Ale at Rock Bottom Brewery in Downtown Minneapolis
This year, our Brewmaster’s masterpiece is a handcrafted Red Ale with an assertive hops character and subtle hints of caramel and chocolate.
A pint has never tasted better.
This is THE best specialty brew they make. and another sign that Spring is not too far away. The other great thing is that a portion of the sales go to help those in need:
As always, a portion of the proceeds from each pint of Fire Chief Ale sold from March 6-30 will benefit our local community partners . . . United Minneapolis Firefighter Charities and the Hennepin County Burn Center.
So 'The Doctor' and I will be bellied up enjoying a refreshing mug of hand crafted ale, while supporting our local community Firefighters. Stop by tonight if you are in the neighborhood. Festivities begin at 6:30 with free samples. Tell 'em Flash sent ya!

UPDATE: Welcome MinnPost readers (Blog of the Day, right sidebar). A special thanks to MN Post for acknowledging this worthy cause, and their support of yummy beer!!

The BushIdas Touch

From Lane at the Sun:

Between sub 30% approval ratings and former(?) paid Republican operatives and his ScaifeNet Minions the Dems may not even have to campaign.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Beat Goes on

Sen. Hillary did what she needed to do, Sweep the big states and grab on of the small ones:
"For everyone here in Ohio and across America who's been ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up -- this one is for you," Clinton said before supporters in Columbus.

"You know what they say," she said. "As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. Well, this nation's coming back and so is this campaign."
Hillary has captured the bigs states throughout this campaign, while Sen. Obama has nickeled and dimed his way to a delegate lead. With so few contests left, including the bug prize in Pennsylvania, the math still looks challenging.
it would be enormously difficult for Clinton to overtake Obama in the pledged delegates chosen by voters in primaries and caucuses. By some calculations, Clinton would need to win more than 60 percent of the vote in the dozen contests remaining between now and June 7 to catch Obama in pledged delegates -- a steep challenge given that, so far, she has won that much in only one state, her onetime adopted home of Arkansas. Even in New York, where she is a sitting senator, she won 57 percent of the vote. She won 55 percent in Michigan, where Obama was not even on the ballot.

"Her durability is impressive if not astonishing, but she is still looking at some pretty cold, hard numbers in the race," said Jim Jordan, a Democratic strategist who initially ran the 2004 primary campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). "She's running out of time, she's running out of space." He described a Clinton nomination even with wins in Texas and Ohio as "impossible, really."
On the Right McCain wrapped it up with the Huckster finally bowing out. Now he, and the local ScaifeNet affiliates need to wait with baited breath till the Dems figure out who the next President is going to be.


UPDATE: Interesting telegraphing while watching the beginning of CBS Morning News. Both Hillary and Barack spent a few moment with Harry Smith. Hillary sneaks in (about the 2:30 mark), when asked about a dream ticket containing both candidates:
"that may be where this is headed, but we have to decide who is on the top of the ticket."

I have said a Clinton/Obama ticket is unbeatable. I struggle with Clinton accepting the under card, but would not complain. I just think Obama would be better served with a Richardson or even General Clark type to balance the ticket with strong experience and geographical balance. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Favre Waves the White Flag

Brett is hanging it up: has learned that legendary quarterback Brett Favre has decided to retire. In fact, it's believed he informed the Packers of his decision within the last few days, although it's unclear when Favre and the team will make his decision known.

So barring an unforeseen last-minute change of heart, Favre will leave the game after 17 years, during which he built himself into a household name and a figure synonymous with grit, toughness and perseverance.
and the irony of his stellar career:
If in fact, Favre does not have a change of heart, his final pass of a Hall of Fame Career was an interception by the Giants' Corey Webster, setting up New York's overtime win in the NFC title game.
Who is next:
The team will now shift to Aaron Rodgers, a former first-round pick, who has had few opportunities to play since being selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 draft. But when Favre was injured in a Thursday night game against Dallas this past season, Rodgers looked pretty good in relief. The former Cal star completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown — the first of his career — and nearly rallied the Packers to the win.
Even as a die hard thick or thin ViQueenie fan, you have to respect Brett for his solid play and consistent performance! A true First Ballot hall of famer, he will go down in the annals as the greatest Quarterback to play the game. Thankfully, our club won't have to go up against him anymore. If we can't beat the Packers on the field, we may as well do it by attrition.

Bye Brett, I wish you the best in the next phase of your life.

Problem with Appropriations

Buried in an article about old cemeteries, and as a Genealogical hobbyist I am a sucker for cemeteries, is a lesson in public funding. Case in point:
a perpetual-care fund valued at $99,000 and a set of historical records, some written in Czech, documenting some of the city's founding families.

With maintenance costs at about $5,000 a year, Johnson (director of recreation services for Minnetonka) expects the care fund to last about 20 years.
Now, it has been awhile since I received my Finance degree, but if you could find an annuity at 5% interest, and I believe you can, that $99,000 could last into perpetuity as the principle would never be touched. Isn't that how it works. The only way it lasts 20 years is if you put it in a shoe box, and I would think that isn't very good fiscal management.

Eden Prairie gets it:
perpetual care fund that allows it to operate without tax dollars,
Isn't that what 'perpetual' means.

Maybe King can confirm this for me, but I have a suspicion that ole Crump Farrell would just be shaking his head after reading this.


Monday, March 03, 2008

The Days to Come

The Talking heads were all doing the math this weekend, and it would take a blow out in the two big states for Hillary to make any real dent in the Delegate numbers. The way the polls look, that could happen in Ohio, but is a long shot in Texas. Double digit leads have faded in both states as the Obama Juggernaut of hope and a prayer politics takes over a state by storm. In virtually every state, Clinton would have an insurmountable lead, and then here comes the troops and the lead evaporates, Sen Barack wins, and we move on. That just may very well happen tomorrow, and if it does the race will finally be over. Short of a New Hampshire style come back that may be for the better. The Right will get to take their first pot shots at the young presumptive and we will get to see what he has.

I am not worried about his experience level to be commander in chief, Barack will make an excellent President. I am worried about his lack of experience in the rough and tumble world of GOP slash and burn Rovian style smear. If he can survive that, than he will be just fine in the White House.