Saturday, November 29, 2008


I'm on my annual holiday respite. But if you can squeeze it into your holiday plans, think of throwing some coin the way of the U S O.

You can share HERE!

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend is going well


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being Thankful!

I was sauteing vegetables at about 6:30 this morning. The bird went in the oven right on schedule at 8 bells. I try to shoot for halftime of the first game, so everything is on track. Now I have a little break before I begin to prepare my special White Cheddar Mashed potatoes. MMmmmmm! Yes, my wife gets the day off. She deserves it!

Kurly loves Thanksgiving. He stares at the floor, right at my feet, waiting for something to nibble on to drop to the floor. Sometimes I do it on purpose, other times it is just a crouton, or piece of mushroom that gets away.

We are now kicking back to watch the parade. As a long time marching aficionado, I always love a good parade. I was fortunate enough, back in 1991, to have been selected to represent our corps in the Drum Corps Midwest All Stars that attended Macy's that year. Here is our performance on the first half or so of this YouTube

The only major parade I have yet to be in is the Rose Bowl. Someday.

So sit back, prepare for the feast, enjoy the parades, and be thankful for all the lord has provided for us!


Oh, and don't forget, I am a pilgrim, which brings an extra special meanign to this day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Do the Math

A letter to the editor from a colleague at my school:
Graduation math
Let's see if lawmakers can pass the test

A driver's test does not include questions about pop music or nutrition; it determines if the test taker has the knowledge necessary to be a competent driver. A graduation test should determine if students have the skills necessary to be successful adults.

If we deny students a diploma because they can't find the center point of a line segment connecting (7,-2) and (-3,6) in a Cartesian coordinate plane, what are we saying? That they can't be successful adults?

Sure, we need more engineers, but we don't need everyone to be an engineer. We need chefs, too, but we don't need everyone to be a chef.

A coworker suggested an elegant solution. Require all legislators to take any graduation test and publish the results.
No, I wasn't the co worker that made the suggestion, but I am going to find out.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Franken Fading?

After the first few days of counting, my assumptions were playing out. Candidate Franken was picking up votes in redder districts, with the bluer ones to come. This could only bode well from Team Franken, right? Not so fast:
Are the piles of recounted ballots from red counties, where Republican Sen. Norm Colman might be expected to pick up a few stray votes? Or blue counties, where DFL challenger Al Franken might have the advantage?

But Minneapolis — the biggest, bluest pile of all — is turning that logic on its head. With nearly half of its ballots recounted, the city Franken calls home isn't doing the candidate any favors. And that could be dimming Franken's hopes of catching Coleman before the state canvassing board meets Dec. 16.

"Things are clearly moving in the wrong direction for Franken," said Larry Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.

With fewer than half of the ballots counted in Minneapolis, Franken has lost 86 votes, while Coleman has lost just 37. In other words, the city could be blunting any recount advantage Franken might have in the rest of the state as the recount rolls toward its Dec. 5 deadline.
My theory was that for Team Franken to have any real chance, they needed to have gains in higher density precincts, and that trend isn't playing out.

That is the bad news.

The good news is, based on a recount reports I received last night, was that Franken observers where challenging ballots based on the rule of law, regardless of who the ballot was cast for, whereas Coleman challengers first rule of challenge was it had to be a vote for Franken before they would even consider a challenge. And then they would analyze the ballot, both front and back, for even the slightest smudge to claim 'distinguishable mark' and have it placed in the challenge pile. So where virtually all Coleman Ballot challenges will go for Team Franken, a significantly lower percentage of Team Franken challenges will go to Coleman.

The other point made in the conversation, was that there was a clear attitude difference between the two camps. The Franken Folks were upbeat, yet professional, while the Coleman Camp was distressed and moody. Part of that was attributed to the significantly lower number of volunteers and more specifically legal guidance for the Coleman volunteers. Where there were several volunteer attorney's to ease the load from Franken concerns, there was only one for Colman, and this individual was constantly bouncing from table to table, in some cases holding up the count while Coleman representatives waited for guidance. I can clearly see how this would create a level of stress and frustration. It is also why my correspondent felt that Coleman's challenges were erring on the side of caution, creating a pile that will go for Franken at a much higher percent then Franken's for Coleman.

Still, bottom line, I am not as optimistic as I once was for Franken's chances. But maybe that is part of Coleman's plan all along, to drive challenges as high as possible, regardless of how frivolous, to create an aurora of momentum for his candidate and keep him in the lead before the canvassing board meets. That way they can claim victory once again, and blame the canvassing board for overturning the election, rather than acknowledging it is simply the way the people voted.

Only time will tell.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Richardson to Commerce

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will be named Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration:
Two Democrats close to the transition tell CNN that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is now expected to be nominated as Secretary of Commerce by President-elect Barack Obama, pending the final vetting process.

Richardson, one of the leading Hispanics in the Democratic Party, had been seeking the Secretary of State post but lost out to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Obama aides have told CNN that Obama is “on track” to nominate Clinton as his secretary of state after Thanksgiving.
In this global economy, Gov. Bill's broad international resume, including UN Ambassador, will be key as we dig out of this economic mess.

You can read my interview with Gov Richardson, here.


Friday, November 21, 2008


via Mike Keefe of the Denver Post:I'm still pulling for Governor Richardson for SoS, but he looks in line for Interior Secretary instead

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tapping the Tripel

Bryon Tonnis is tapping one of his finest tonight at the Rock:
Bryon will unleash his Belgian Tripel. This Strong Golden Belgian Style Ale is the perfect warming addition to the coming of winter…it is full flavored and spicy with a rounding fruitiness from the Belgian yeast strain used to create this Belgian classic.
This is the yummiest of beers. Strong, yet smooth, with a subtle banana-esque fruity finish. MMmmmmmmm!

Tapping is at 6:00, Rock is on 9th and Hennepin. The Doctor and I will be there. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop in for one.

For Becky Young

Eva Young's mother passed, and we know where Eva gets her political spunk:
She won election to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1984 representing the 76th District, serving seven terms and retiring in 1999. Among her major awards were NOW Feminist of the Year (1996); Eunice Zoghlin Edgar Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Civil Liberties Union (1997); Outstanding Legislator Award from the Wisconsin Counties Association (1998); Vote for Choice Award from Planned Parenthood (1998); Luan Gilbert Award for Outstanding Activities in Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention, from Domestic Violence Intervention Services (1998); Eleanor Roosevelt Award, from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (2005); Extraordinary Commitment to Justice Award, from the Benedict Center (2008); Inspiring Leadership to Countless Women, from Wisconsin Assembly Democrats (2008); Lifetime Advocacy Award from Disability Rights Wisconsin (2008), and the Marlys Matuszak Statewide Impact Award for positive and lasting impact on the Democratic Party and State of Wisconsin (2008).
All my hopes to the Young family during this difficult time.

via Spot

UPDATE: MNO points us to this article in the Wisconsin State Journal:
"She was just so respected. There was nothing slick about Becky Young, she was so smart it was almost intimidating," said Terese Berceau, who succeeded Young in the Assembly.

Hers was a tall figure in Madison politics, taking progressive but seldom exclusive stands on issues — education, welfare, transportation — that would dominate the social agenda for the decades beginning in 1970. That was the year her youngest daughter began kindergarten and she became a county supervisor. Instantly recognizable with curly hair, wide-rimmed spectacles and a ready grin, within a year, in 1971, she got the county's conservative administrator George Reinke to declare an "Un-Car" day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Backfiring Tactics

Seem Coleman's attorney is a bit worried:
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s attorney, Fritz Knaak, said he foresees the U.S. Senate making the ultimate decision on the winner in the race between Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken. Citing actions and potential actions by the Franken campaign, Knaak said, “We’re being set up for a Senate decision in the U.S. Senate. That’s my perception.”
Now, his partisan finger pointing is noted, but independent observers, and those without blinders, know it has been MikeDEceit and the Coleman Camp that has been casting aspersion on the election and recount before it even began.
For Coleman, the narrative is that his campaign won fair and square on election day but has now watched in horror (mock or real is anybody's guess) as a re-canvassing of the vote has narrowed his lead over Franken to just 206 votes. Coleman and his team have repeatedly sought to raise questions about the impartiality of Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie -- one of the five members of the canvassing board and a Democrat -- as well as Franken's tactics in the aftermath of Nov. 4.
They have brought doubt into the process by ignoring the rule of law and repeated claims of victory, where, in fact, no winner has yet to be declared.

Their complaints of Franken's 'tactics' of course, is their refusal to allow all legal ballots to be counted.
From the Franken perspective, the candidate and the campaign are simply seeking to ensure that everyone who cast a ballot -- for either candidate -- has his/her vote counted.

"It is clear that the Coleman campaign's strategy, executed with the help of its surrogates and allies, is to undermine the process and disenfranchise just enough voters that they can win," Franken deputy campaign manager Eric Schultz wrote in a memo sent to reporters late last week. "Minnesota law, unfortunately, doesn't allow them to do that. And, for our part, we're going to see to it that those laws are applied to protect Minnesotans' right to choose their Senator."
See, their disregard for the rule of law rivals their disrespect for democracy. Sad, really, for a sitting US Senator. Our independent observer echoes my frustration, albeit a bit more gently than I.
What does all of this sturm und drang add up to? That depends.

On the one hand, the rules governing a manual statewide recount are very clear. The five person board is set to meet tomorrow to certify the vote and, if expected, the Coleman margin is under .5 percent of all the votes cast, a recount will begin on Wednesday. (For more on the who, what, when, where and why on the recount, make sure to check out the Strib's handy-dandy recount guide.)

On the other, veterans of the 2000 Florida recount between George W. Bush and Al Gore know that the law can -- and will be -- interpreted in a flood of legal maneuvers that are already underway in Minnesota.
But, again, this is no Florida. The repeated attempts to undermine the process by the Coleman camp is what is creating doubt. And if there is enough doubt, regardless of who comes out on top, this could very possibly be thrown into the Senate. The Coleman Campaign seems to have ignored that detail, for if they knew that, they would be promoting this process as the most airtight and rock solid process possible to not in anyway cast doubt on their candidates potential victory. But they jumped the gun, and have turned their back on the very process they need to claim re-election. Kind of like cutting off your nose, to spite your face.


AK-Senate; 58 down, Two to Go

Following the completed counting of the remaining absentee and provisional ballots, Former Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich has an insurmountable lead:
With 100 percent of Alaska's precincts reporting, Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, had roughly 47.7 percent of the vote, compared with about 46.6 percent for Stevens, according to unofficial results posted on the Alaska Secretary of State's Web site.

He appears to have bested Stevens by 3,724 votes, according to the posted results.

Alaska elections Director Gail Fenumiai said 2,500 overseas ballots remain to be counted.

She said officials hope to make an official announcement during the week of December 1 -- and that Stevens would then have five days to request a recount.
Alaska has a similar .05% automatic Recount Law, but with the spread at 1.1%, that law doesn't kick in. Convicted Felon Sen. Ted Stevens can prolong the inevitable by requesting a recount, but that is unlikely.

With the olive branch offered to Lieberman, yesterday, and two senate seats still in play, the filibuster proof 60 is still within reach. Minnesota is likely to flip for #59, pointing all eyes on Georgia for the ultimate upset.

Over two weeks since election day and we are still crunching numbers. At lest us wonks are lovin' it.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Winner Certified in US Senate Race

Sen. Shameless and his mouthpiece MikeDEceit are missing that special Certificate of Election to make their lies become truths:
"The report triggers the counting by hand of the four races which will begin tomorrow morning," said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, chair of the five-member canvassing board.

In addition to the Senate race, the results in two state House races and one state Senate race also will be recounted. The board declared winners in all other state elections this month.
That's correct, no winner was declared in 4 races, including the US Senate race. By certifying the canvas report, showing Coleman with a slim and surmountable lead of 215, triggers state law. But we know that the MNGOP and their henchman have no respect for the rule of law, or democracy for that matter. Fortunately, the people of the State of Minnesota have laws that will be followed, whether the GOP likes it or not.


The Canvassing Board Meets

Today is the end of the beginning, and tomorrow is the beginning of the end.
The eleventh-hour maneuvering occurred as the five-member state Canvassing Board prepared to meet at 1 p.m. today in St. Paul to review results showing Republican Sen. Norm Coleman with a lead of 215 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast.

That margin includes the canvassed results submitted by Minnesota's 87 counties, plus an additional nine votes in Coleman's favor that emerged from a post-election audit conducted in a sampling of about 200 precincts to check the accuracy of voting machines.
WHAT!, Nine votes in favor of Coleman, Didn't they get the memo that all votes changes are suppose to go to Franken, MikDEceit says so! But I digress.

The cool part is once the canvassing board certifies the results, and MIkeDEceit put up another Coleman Victory post, state law kicks in and the recount progresses.
Ritchie released a final list of 107 sites across the state where recounts will take place and when they will begin. To help the public follow the recount's progress, his office is creating a special website that will keep an unofficial running tally of the number of votes counted for Coleman and Franken, the number of ballots challenged by each campaign and the number cast for other candidates.
At the end of the hand recount of all ballots, a winner will be declared, a certificate of election will be issues, and only then will we have a winner. That person will be my Senator, regardless of party.

Flashback : The Recount Rules

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kiss and Make Up

The combatants meet:
"It's well-known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality," Obama transition spokesman Nick Shapiro said in a statement Sunday.

Obama and McCain will be joined in the meeting by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Obama's new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
McCain, now int he twilight of his public service career will be looking at legacy building. There is incentive for him to work with the incoming administration. I suspect strongly, however, it will be done within the confines of the Senate. I doubt there is a spot on the cabinet, or that he is even interested in one.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Obama's Bid Adieu to Senate

au revoir:
Today, I am ending one journey to begin another. After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate -- one of the highest honors and privileges of my life -- I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation's next president. But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible.

. . .

I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised, and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst.

. . .

The challenges we face as a nation are now more numerous and difficult than when I first arrived in Chicago, but I have no doubt that we can meet them. For throughout my years in Illinois, I have heard hope as often as I have heard heartache. Where I have seen struggle, I have seen great strength. And in a state as broad and diverse in background and belief as any in our nation, I have found a spirit of unity and purpose that can steer us through the most troubled waters.

. . .

With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American idea, that I offer the people of my beloved home a very affectionate thanks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Channeling Sen Coleman: Begich Wins (AK-SEN)

In the eyes of the Coleman Camp, the US Senate race in Alaska is now over:
Republican Sen. Ted Stevens has fallen 814 votes behind Democratic challenger Mark Begich as vote counting continues in Alaska.

The Anchorage mayor was trailing Stevens in the initial count, which did not include at least 90,000 absentee, early and provisional ballots.
See, Sen. Shameless has set the precedent this year. Once you are in the lead, you can declare victory and demand the votes not be counted anymore. In the real world, that isn't how it works:
. An estimated 40,000 ballots have yet to be counted – a majority of them from the area of the state that includes Anchorage, according to state elections officials.
Clearly this doesn't bode well for convicted felon Sen. Stevens. But lets disconnect from the fantasy land known as the Coleman Campaign and come back to reality.

It doesn't matter if it is a Democratic candidate, or a Republican one. All votes need to be counted. And if there is doubt and/or state law provisions, counted again. This isn't about winning at any cost, like the Republicans actions have shown, this is about getting it right. The people have spoken, both here and Alaska. It is up to us, and the systems we have put in place, to listen to them


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Veteran's Day Reply from Sgt. Tom

I sent Sgt. Tom a Veteran's day Thank you. Here are excerpts from my letter, and his response:

I just wanted to take the time to tell you how proud I am of you, and all the armed services who are, and have, defended this great nation of ours. Hardly a day goes by were I am not thinking of you and praying for your safety.

I had several people come up to me yesterday asking about how you were doing. It is nice to know they have you in their thoughts as well.
Thanks dad that means a lot.
So your last E-Mail said you reconsidered re-upping so you can go to school. Did the desert change your mind? As for a school, the U of MN has a great program *wink* Would LOVE to have you back in the state. We miss you to death!
The desert didn't really affect my state of mind, it was more looking at the way the machine affects the people who have been in for a long time. . . . On the other hand you also get stronger in other areas. I guess its a hand off. I look at it as I did my time, now its time to move on. With the new GI bill taking effect in Aug 2009, I will be properly equipped to move on to the next level. If you ever have time to kill you should Google "new GI Bill" (ed- I did). They started a site for it. Its pretty good stuff.

I would like to be a structural engineer, or do something in developing more efficient alternative energy. I'm not sure but I will figure out as I get further down the path. Right now I have 9 months left on my contract. pretty crazy to think its been near 5 years since I got out of High School.
The Boys passed all their classes first quarter, which was a relief. Things were kind of touch and go for awhile there,
Well I am glad the boys got through the first quarter, I just wish they knew what I know now. The value of an education. If I have gotten anything from the Marine Corps its an appreciation for higher learning lol.

Well I gotta run dad, It was great hearing from you.

Love your son

That's my boy, I am so proud of him!!

Proud Marine Dad!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembering PFC. Robert Dummer, KIA

I never knew my Paternal Grandmother. Not long after my father was born, she passed away, in March of 1930. My Grandfather was left with two young children, and being a single father back in the 1930s, was no simple task. Soon he met a wonderful lady, Marie Dummer, whose husband had also passed way to soon. She was also a single parent, and the two of them found comfort in each other, and the needed piece to the missing domestic puzzle.

It was agreed that although Marie would take her new husband's name, her children would retain their father's surname. This explains why my Paternal Uncles, have the last name Dummer. One of those young boys, was Robert. Since my dad was also named Robert, one was referred to as Bob, and my dad Robert. We always knew when dad got a call from someone in St. Peter, they would ask for Robert, the locals would always say Bob.

My dad wasn't even a teenager when WWII broke out, but his dad, and three of his step brothers eventually went off to war. Grampa Otto was a Sea Bee, having been an ambulance driver in WWI. Stanley, stationed in the South Pacific with the Navy and Lamoyne, a Merchant Marine, also in the South Pacific, and Robert. Youngest Brother Vane was in high school. They all came home, accept Bob. Some snippets of News article in the local St. Peter Herald
St. Peter Herald
Friday October 6, 1944

An infantryman of eight months experience in the army, Private Robert Dummer, son of Mr. and Mrs, Otto Schiebel of St. Peter, died on German soil September 16. Notification was received by his wife at Montevideo and by his mother, Mrs. Schiebel, Wednesday.

The War Department telegram simply said that he died of wounds in Germany.

The young St. Peter soldier would have been 21 years old in December. Born near Henderson, he came to St. Peter with the family when he was about 10 years old and had gone through St. Peter grade and high schools. He entered the army in December 1943 and after training at Camp Blanding, Fla. Infantry Replacement Center he was sent overseas last May. Just a week ago his mother received a letter saying he was then in Belgium.

St. Peter Herald
Friday October 13, 1944

A member of the Eighth Infantry, Robert was awarded the citation which had been given his outfit and he also wore a combat medal. He was home last April on Furlough and shortly thereafter went overseas
Pfc. Robert Dummer was buried in Europe, and at some point over the years his remains were moved to the Family Plot in Henderson MN. I visit him most every Memorial Day.


UPDATE: I have since done some digging, and found out how small of a world this is. Robert's only son Wayne, was later adopted by the man Robert's Widow would remarry. They would go on to have two daughters of their own. One of those daughters married a Stephen Hartwell, and they had two sons. One of those sons, I have discovered, marched with me in the Govenaires back in 2005. I have E-Mailed Aaron and it all checks out. Simply amazing. So, in case they start searching around, if there is a Michael Roozen, Shelbie Roozen (Dawkins ?), or Chelsea Roozen (Moffatt ?) out there that stumble upon this post, PLEASE contact me (flash -at- centrisity dot com ). Thanks

Thank You Dustin!

My Nephew, the former Infantryman. 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.:

Remembering Ansel

About 10 years ago I got knee deep in my genealogy again. I was once again scraping and scrounging to find my roots. Persistence allowed me to make several connections, one of which was the resolution to the old Eaton family story that we were descended from the Mayflower. Although not definitive, strong circumstantial evidence supports the claim.

Along that road of research, I met Ansel. Ansel is my Great Great Grand Uncle on my mother's paternal side. Ansel was born in upstate New York on Jan 6 1840. On August 15, 1862, he enlisted in the service at Fort Snelling. He was a private of Company E, 9th Regiment of the Minnesota Infantry (click to enlarge):
Ansel returned home safely, and married a fine young Southern MN lady, Sarah Oliver, of Blue Earth County [MN Marriage Records (to Sarah OLIVER, 28 Jun 1866, at Shelbyville, Blue Earth County, MN]. They had several children (9 according to my records).

Sarah passed in 1909, and Ansel was alone. He spent his final years, battling cancer, in a Soldiers' home in Cumberland Wisconsin. In late August of 1917, Ansel decided to travel to St. Paul, to visit with long lost friends from his days in the Civil war. A newspaper account at the time describe his jubilation upon meeting his friends after so long. The excitement got the best of him. He died of a heart attack that day.

Ansel was laid to rest, in an unmarked grave, at Oakland Cemetery here in St. Paul, just a few blocks from where I currently work.
In 1878, lots were set aside in the "Soldiers Rest" area for the free burial of Civil War veterans and the Army provided the headstones. Lots were also designated for free burial of Spanish-American War dead and veterans. The St. Paul Firemen's Association bought a group of lots in 1868 for burial of their members and a lifesize statue of a fireman was erected in 1890.
He's in good company.

I visited the sextant of the cemetery to find Ansel, and was able to locate his plot. After all these years, he was still unmarked. I worked with the local Civil War historian (Pat Hill) who was working to identify and gather paperwork to get as many stones as possible in place for the 150th anniversary of the Cemetery, in 2003. It was not very long before Ansel was properly marked.

I visited him this morning, and placed a small bouquet of flowers at his head. It was the least I could do, to remember one of my ancestors on this important day. In the past I have listed all my family who have served, or are serving, in the armed forces.

Take a moment to thank a vet, and just a bit longer to pray for those still in harms way, especially, my son Sgt. Tom.

More later.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Premature Electionation

Senator Shameless, Captain MikeDEceit, and the Water 'Carey'er are playing the 'ignore the man behind the curtain' game.
“I am pleased to see the canvassing results have confirmed Sen. Coleman was re-elected on November 4th. He remains the winner despite several discrepancies with the original vote tally from election night"
Requests for a copy of the 'Certificate of Election' have gone unanswered.

It reminds me of when we were kids playing Monopoly and someone got Park Place or Boardwalk and started jumping up and down in victorious excitement. Then the banker reads the rules to you. DFL Chair Brain Melendez as the banker:
“Minnesotans can wait a few more weeks to find out the definitive result of last week’s election, no matter how much Republicans want to rush us through it. The Republicans can declare Norm Coleman reelected as often as they like, but this election will be decided by the voters, and not until every vote that was properly cast has been properly counted will we know the people’s will.”
This is about the time that the brat kicks the playing board and runs home crying.


Coleman's attorney Gets It

Sen Norm Coleman's attorney on the first lawsuit of the senate election:
Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak said, based on a Saturday hearing, he was assured by the Minneapolis city attorney’s office that those ballots should be included in the count. Knaak said it is not the campaign’s intention to appeal the judge’s decision.
. . .
“We did what we had to do,” Knaak said Saturday. “There was a real concern that what was going on here was wrong and unfair.”

Knaak said he feels assured that what was going on with the 32 ballots was neither wrong nor unfair.
Nice to know at least someone in the Coleman Camp respect the process.

Today, final canvassing results are due from all counties. There WILL be changes; normal, common, adjustments. Whichever direction they go, will be just part of the process. I have full faith and canfidence in the process. Sen. Coleman, most of his staff, and his shameless operatives, only care about winning. Sad, really!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Recount 2000, NO, not FL, MN!

Sit down my readers and read a story of the MN 2000 recount in the 2nd CD. Remember, SoS Kiffmeyer was in her first statewide election. I have as much confidence in the process now, as I did then!

I am going to see what I can dig up from the evolution of that recount, compared to now. Here we also have an incumbent candidate, and opposing party as SoS, and a tight race.
Minge concedes defeat to Kennedy
This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 12/20/00.

Mark Kennedy The second closest Congressional election in Minnesota history came to a close last week when Rep. David Minge (DFL-Montevideo) conceded defeat to his Republican challenger, Mark Kennedy of Watertown.

Minge had requested a recount in the Second Congressional District, which had been done in 29 counties, including Meeker and Kandiyohi. The ballots for the city of Paynesville, Paynesville Township, the city of Eden Valley, and a precinct of Eden Lake Township were recounted.

Disputed ballots had been brought back to the Wright County District Court for ruling when Minge gave in. Around 2,000 ballots were brought back to court for rulings, and lawyers for both candidates agreed on splitting 1,600 of them, leaving some 300 ballots to wrangle with in court. One day in the courtroom, on Monday, Dec. 11, produced rulings on only a handful of ballots.

Even Minge's most favorable projections had him losing by 50 votes, so he conceded on Tuesday, Dec. 12, just hours after the Press went to press last week.

Minge's staff claimed the recount had narrowed Kennedy's lead to 148, while Kennedy's team announced last week that his lead had grown to 234.

The concession means the official tally will be the one certified after the Nov. 7 election. Kennedy officially got 138,957 to Minge's 138,802. In percentage points of the vote, the difference was less than a tenth of a point, 48.10 for Kennedy to 48.05 for Minge.

The closest Congressional election in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune, was the 1986 race between Arlan Stangeland and Collin Peterson in the Seventh District. Stangeland won by 121 votes.

In comparison to Florida, the recount process in Minnesota worked well. "Minnesotans can hold their heads up high," said Kennedy in a written statement. "The result of the hand recount of the more than 290,000 ballots in the Second District proves how accurate our elections are here in Minnesota."

No appeals here. the recount was handled in one courtroom. Three-person teams with a representative for each candidate and a neutral third party visited each county and any contested ballots were brought back to court for rulings.

When the numbers indicated Minge had lost, he admitted defeat to his challenger.

"In Minnesota, the will of the voters was the basis of victory," Kennedy said in a radio interview last week.

Minge pledged to help in transition for Kennedy, who will be sworn in on Jan. 3. Minge is serving his fourth term in the House of Representatives. He participated in the December session of Congress. He announced no definite plans for his life after Congress, other than to stay active in policy making.

"I have tried to work extremely hard every day to represent all the citizens of southwestern Minnesota," said Minge in a written statement to the media. "I have enjoyed working with the people from both parties on important matters like protecting the Minnesota River, restoring fiscal discipline to the federal budget, fighting for family farmers, and working to help rural communities. I hope these efforts will continue into the future."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Organizing Overvotes

As the canvassing process continues towards the certification date, other items of interest or coming to light. With the exception of some Spot auditing going on, NO actual votes are being recounted. During the audit, most machine counts matched hand counts. But these were in small rural precincts. The greatest discrepancies will be discovered in higher density urban areas. MSNBC has a nice graphics of where the concentration of Senate Over votes may be:
Those darker areas are where Al Franken did best. The article shares that reality:
"These numbers present a roadmap for a Franken challenge," he said. "It suggests there are about 10,000 votes in the largest Democratic counties that are potentially going to tilt in Franken's direction."

The ballots that showed a presidential vote but no Senate vote are called the "undervote." Statewide, more than 18,000 of those ballots came from counties won by Obama. About 6,100 were in counties won by Republican John McCain.
In personal conversations, I said that my guess was about 10,000 uncounted Senate votes are out there that will now be looked at and recorded. I also believed they would be in the higher density, read BLUE, precincts.

I won't claim victory, that is for the MN SoS to declare, and only someone with no respect for the process would try to disrupt it.


Canvasing Consistencies

Sen. Coleman continues his trip down shameless lane. Neither him, nor his operatives seem to understand how the canvasing process works. Numbers are verified, mistakes are discovered, and totals are adjusted.

MNPublius tells a story from 2006:
let’s rewind to 2006. When 100% of the precincts were reported the day after the election, major media outlets reported the same numbers the Secretary of State had: Mark Kennedy had 839,173 votes and Amy Klobuchar had 1,279,515 votes. By the time the voting was certified, the new totals were 835,653 and 1,278,849, a difference of 3520 votes for Kennedy and a difference of 666 votes for Klobuchar.
Folks, and that was under Kiffmeyer. And in the comments, another example is presented from November 2000, under Kiffmeyer as well:
Results of the Second District congressional election continued to fluctuate Friday, with the secretary of state’s Web site indicating Republican Mark Kennedy had unseated DFLer David Minge by 150 votes, compared with a margin of 438 on Thursday.

Bob Schroeder, deputy secretary of state, said the changes reflect adjustments based on preliminary reviews of the totals in each county.

With the new count, Kennedy’s overall total dropped by 32 votes and Minge’s rose by 256. …
This is the process working to ensure all votes are counted. That is why we trust the integrity of our elections. Those that choose to cast aspersions on the process are making it clear they don't respect it. MN SoS Ritchie pointed out what we all know, it is just a political tactic. IN this case it is one that makes Coleman's true colors shine bright!

Cigarette Free and Counting

All the bustle this week and yesterday came and went without me even realizing it.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my last cigarette. Quitting is easy, it is the restarting that was always the problems. This time I can say I have not touched a cigarette, not one. In other attempts I always thought I could have one now and then only to find myself starting to buy them again.

Now, to be honest, I do have a cigar now and then. When garage season started I found myself really missing the act of smoking. Rather than starting again, I have an occasional cigar. Beats the alternative. And yes, I did consult Il Duce' regarding best online sellers and other cigar advice.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Chief of Staff Chosen

The first piece of the puzzle is in place:
Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel has, as expected, accepted the job as chief of staff to President-elect Barack Obama, according to informed Democratic sources.

Emanuel's hiring ensures that the candidate who ran against the Beltway will have a seasoned Washington hand as his top staffer.
I made it clear to those who were reluctant to embrace Candidate Obama due to his lack of experience, that everything pointed to his ability to build a competent and qualified staff. His choice of Rep. Emanuel is proof of that.

I eagerly await his appointment of Governor Bill Richardson as Secretary of State *smile*


ES&S Model 100 Precinct Ballot Counter UPDATED

Look familiar:
Features of the Model 100 include:

* Ensuring Ballot Integrity — because the Model 100 alerts voters to over-voted races and under-voted ballots, it greatly enhances the ability to capture voter intent.
* Security and Reliability — a rugged stainless steel chassis, independent ballot containers, and other unique features make the Model 100 one of the most secure and reliable in the industry.
* State-of-the-Art Flexibility — driven by an Intel processor, the Model 100 utilizes QNX. Operating software which provides real-time resource management, true multi-tasking capabilities, and unparalleled election accuracy.
* Fast Election Reporting — immediately upon poll closing, the Model 100's internal thermal printer legibly prints out vote totals, and enables election officials to transmit results to election central.
* Tested, Certified, Proven — the Model 100 has been fully tested by an independent testing authority, certified to meet or exceed the rigorous standards of the federal government, and proven through the use in thousands of actual elections worldwide.
I am researching failure rate and other issues with this scanner. I have heard they claim a 99% accuracy rate, which could mean as much as a 30,000 votes. How those errors are distributed could determine the outcome. If you see or read anything in your travels, drop a note in the comments.


UPDATE: Interesting article here, sent to a local E-Dem group:
Electronic voting machines that a Michigan election official said last week incorrectly tabulated vote counts during pre-election tests in the state were used in Minnesota where the senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken is in dispute.

According to an Oct. 24 letter sent to the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Ruth Johnson, the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds, warned that tabulating software in Election Systems & Software M-100 optical scan voting machines recorded “conflicting” vote counts during testing in her state.

Minnesota voters uses optical scan ballots that voters mark by hand. ES&S's M-100 optical scan voting was used in Minnesota counties and in more than a dozen other states on Election Day.

Shamlessness Continues

The Automatic recount provision kicks in at approximately 15,000 votes. Oh sure, if the spread was over 10,000 I could see putting pressure on the challenger to stop aside, but 477 is all that separates the current combatants. Norm Coleman thinks that is enough.
Coleman went before relatives, friends and supporters at his campaign headquarters in St. Paul to say he was "humbled and grateful for the victory that the voters gave us last night." His campaign website flashed the word "VICTORY."

Coleman urged Franken to waive his right to a recount, saying that the prospect of changing the result was remote and that a recount would be costly to taxpayers (about $86,000).

"I just think the need for the healing process is so important. ... hopefully, you don't have TV ads during an election recount," Coleman said.
Waive his right, what about OUR rights. Listen, the current count will flip by at least 1000 votes, and that will be more than enough for Franken to win. There is no victory here, this is a tie game going into over time.

What about that Coleman press event. Look at his weariness and uneasiness. He knows he is going to lose and had to look up the Florida battle to see how to react to push the gauntlet tighter. Well, sorry Senator Coleman, in Minnesota we have the rule of law. And it has become increasingly more clear you have no respect for the rule of law. So let me show you how one should behave right now.
Sen. Coleman:

Congratulations on your victory, as I predicted. It is my hope you and your operatives will respect the rule of law and see that it is enforced. I am confident that the recount will vindicate the original vote. But if it does not, and there is a flip in the outcome, I hope you will join me in congratulating the officially declared winner.


See how that works. It is called the high road. A place Sen. Coleman stopped traveling a long time ago.

I thought after his slime ad attacking Al Franken for hiw own legal trouble was the lowest of low. To demand that the recount be waived and turn his back on the people of Minnesota, simply shameless!


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our Recount Rules

Pertinent information for MN recount procedures:

Ballots must be recounted by precinct. The recount official shall open the sealed envelope of ballots and recount them in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, section 204C.22. If a candidate or candidate's representative disagrees with the recount official's determination of whether and for whom the ballot should be counted, the ballot may be challenged. At a recount of a ballot question, the manner in which a ballot is counted may be challenged by the person who requested the recount or that person's representative. Challenges may not be automatic or frivolous and the challenger must state the basis for the challenge. The precinct name, the reason for the challenge, and the name of the person challenging the ballot must be marked on the back of each challenged ballot before it is placed in an envelope marked "Challenged Ballots." After the count of votes for the precinct has been determined, all ballots except the challenged ballots must be resealed in the ballot envelopes and returned with the other election materials to the custodian of the ballots. After the count of votes for all precincts has been determined, the challenged ballot envelope must be sealed and kept secure for presentation to the canvassing board.

In precincts in an election jurisdiction where an electronic voting system is used, the recount official shall determine if the ballots are to be recounted on the electronic voting system or manually. If the ballots are recounted on the electronic voting system, a test of the program and the voting system must be made immediately prior to the recount, and a test sample of the ballots must also be counted manually. Unless the jurisdiction has only one precinct, the test sample shall be from at least two precincts, one selected by each candidate. In each of the precincts selected, the sample shall be at least three percent of the ballots cast or 50 ballots, whichever is greater. The test sample must also be counted on the voting system. Access to the immediate area of the voting system is limited to the recount official and legal adviser, officials of the election jurisdiction, the candidates and their representatives, and the technical persons necessary to the operation of the counting equipment. An observation area must be provided for the public. Ballots must be recounted by precinct. A report of recount results must be provided for each precinct. After the count of ballots for a precinct has been determined, all ballots must be resealed in the ballot container and returned with the other materials to the custodian of the ballots.
Subdivision 1.Ballot valid if intent determinable.

A ballot shall not be rejected for a technical error that does not make it impossible to determine the voter's intent. In determining intent the principles contained in this section apply.

Subd. 2.From face of ballot only

Intent shall be ascertained only from the face of the ballot.

Subd. 3.Votes for too many candidates.

If a voter places a mark (X) beside the names of more candidates for an office than are to be elected or nominated, the ballot is defective with respect only to that office. No vote shall be counted for any candidate for that office, but the rest of the ballot shall be counted if possible. At a primary, if a voter has not indicated a party preference and places a mark (X) beside the names of candidates of more than one party on the partisan ballot, the ballot is totally defective and no votes on it shall be counted. If a voter has indicated a party preference at a primary, only votes cast for candidates of that party shall be counted.

Subd. 3a.Votes yes and no.

If a voter votes both yes and no on a question, no vote may be counted for that question, but the rest of the ballot must be counted if possible.

Subd. 4.Name written in proper place.

If a voter has written the name of an individual in the proper place on a general or special election ballot a vote shall be counted for that individual whether or not the voter makes a mark (X) in the square opposite the blank.
Subd. 4a.Write-in vote for candidate team.

A write-in vote cast for a candidate for governor without a write-in vote for a candidate for lieutenant governor must be counted as a vote for the candidate team including the lieutenant governor candidate selected by that candidate for governor.

Subd. 5.Name written on primary ballot.

If a voter has written the name of an individual on a primary or special primary ballot, a vote shall not be counted for that office.

Subd. 6.Mark out of place.

If a mark (X) is made out of its proper place, but so near a name or space as to indicate clearly the voter's intent, the vote shall be counted.

Subd. 7.All written names or marks counted up to limit.

If a number of individuals are to be elected to the same office, the election judges shall count all names written in and all printed names with (X) marks in squares opposite them, not exceeding the whole number to be elected. When fewer names than the number to be elected are marked with an (X) or written in, only the marked or written in names shall be counted. When more names than the number to be elected are marked or written in, the ballot is defective with respect to that office and no vote shall be counted for that office.

Subd. 8.Misspelling; abbreviations.

Misspelling or abbreviations of the names of write-in candidates shall be disregarded if the individual for whom the vote was intended can be clearly ascertained from the ballot.

Subd. 9.Votes for only some offices or questions determined.

If the voter's choice for only some of the offices or questions can be determined from a ballot, the ballot shall be counted for those offices or questions only.

Subd. 10.Different marks.

If a voter uniformly uses a mark other than (X) which clearly indicates an intent to mark a name or to mark yes or no on a question, and the voter does not use (X) anywhere else on the ballot, a vote shall be counted for each candidate or response to a question marked. If a voter uses two or more distinct marks, such as (X) and some other mark, a vote shall be counted for each candidate or response to a question marked, unless the ballot is marked by distinguishing characteristics that make the entire ballot defective as provided in subdivision 13.

Subd. 11.Attempted erasures.

If the names of two candidates have been marked, and an attempt has been made to erase or obliterate one of the marks, a vote shall be counted for the remaining marked candidate. If an attempt has been made to obliterate a write-in name a vote shall be counted for the remaining write-in name or marked candidate.

Subd. 12.Soil; defacement.

A ballot shall not be rejected merely because it is slightly soiled or defaced.
Subd. 13.Identifying ballot.

If a ballot is marked by distinguishing characteristics in a manner making it evident that the voter intended to identify the ballot, the entire ballot is defective.

Subd. 14.No votes for certain offices.

If the number of candidates for an office is equal to the number of individuals to be elected to that office, and the voter has not marked any name, no vote shall be counted for any candidate for that office.

Subd. 15.Blank ballot for one or more offices valid.

If no name or response to a question is marked and no name is written in, the ballot is blank with respect to that office or question. A ballot that is blank with respect to one or more offices or questions is not defective.

Senate Race Delayed

The AP has called it for Coleman, probably accurate but a bit premature. Latest numbers have the race within about 700 votes with a large portion of the remaining outstanding votes in St. Louis County, where Franken leads 55% - 33

It looks like there is over 1000 votes left to report, and at the same percentage as has been reported, that could chop 300 - 500 off Coleman's lead making it even tighter.

St. Louis

99% of precincts reporting
63,976 55% Al Franken (Dem)
38,115 33% Norm Coleman (Rep)*
14,234 12% Dean Barkley (Inp)

No matter who the party, elected on 42% is a travesty and we need IRV or 30 day runoff or something. 58% of the voters rejected whomever the eventual victor is. That doesn't seem like an election to me. If we are going to cloud the constitution with Tax Policy, why not amend the constitution for electoral policy.

More later.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press is uncalling the Minnesota Senate race.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman finished ahead of Democrat Al Franken early Wednesday in the final vote count, but his 571-vote margin falls within the state's mandatory recount law. That law requires a recount any time the margin between the top two candidates is less than one-half of one percent.

The AP called the race prematurely.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the recount won't begin until mid-November at the earliest and will probably stretch into December. It will involve local election officials from around the state.

President Elect Barack Obama

I just wanted to say that out loud. Sounds good.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Night Schedule

The Doctor and I will continue our streak of Election Night hobnobbing. I expect him at the garage around 4:30ish, where we will toast another election season coming to a close, before heading down to our regular Haunt, Rock Bottom Brewery in Down Town Minneapolis (9th and Hennepin). From there, we hope to:

a) Make an appearance at the Drinking Liberally event at the 331 Club some time after 6:ish
331 NE 13th Streeet

b) Stop by the Indy Part around 7:ish (last year)
Sheraton Minneapolis West Hotel
12201 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka MN

c) Crash the MNGOP around 8:30ish (last year)
Bloomington Sheraton
7800 Normandale Rd,

d) Barring an election upset of monsoon proportions, find our way the the Crown Plaza where the REAL party will be. (last year)
Crowne Plaza
Kellogg and Wabasha
Saint Paul

It will be a fun filled night no matter how it turns out!


BREAKING: Power Out at Lexington/Marshall St. Paul

My son just called from Central High School in St. Paul. A truck hit a power poll and he stated that power was out for a three block radius. This MAY include the nearby Dunning Rec Center Polling Location (W-1, P-2).

Regardless it will create traffic issues at the Lights on Lex and Marshall.

More news as I get it.


UPDATE: From a SPIF follow up:
Ramsey County election official Charlie Thompson said they know of two polling locations affected by the power outage in St. Paul: Maxfield School and Dunning Rec Center.

Thompson says voters should continue to go to those polling locations to cast their ballot, which will be placed in the machines' emergency ballot holders. If those fill up the ballots will be removed and placed will put in banker's box and sealed. Once power is restored, judges will feed ballots through the machine and the process will be monitored by a representative from each party.
Earlier this morning, two polling places in St. Paul were hit by a power outage stemming from a traffic accident.

Around 8:25 a.m., a truck hit hit a power pole near Lexington Parkway and Concordia Avenue and knocked out power to 1,644 customers, said Xcel spokeswoman Patty Nystuen. Those affected included polling places at Maxfield Magnet Elementary School and Dunning Recreation Center in St. Paul.

Power was out for about 90 minutes at Dunning Recreation Center but did not adversely affect voting, said Patrick Dempsey, head election judge for Ward 1, Precinct 2. Voters' ballots were held in a security slot on the ballot box until power was restored, Dempsey said. Once power came back, two election judges from different parties fed the ballots through.

Dempsey estimated that 350 to 400 people voted during the outage. Some natural light streamed through the windows during the outage.

"I'm sure there was some trouble seeing, but all in all, we were able to weather the storm," Dempsey said.

Power was out at Maxfield Elementary School for 10 to 15 minutes, said Shamiere Bridgeford, head election judge for Ward 1, Precinct 5.

After the outage, there was complete darkness in the gym for 30 to 45 seconds before the emergency lights kicked in, Bridgeford said. The ballot counter, which uses battery power, was charged so election workers didn't have to go to a backup plan, she said.

There were no windows in the Maxfield gym, so Bridgeford brought in an extra election judge and gave the judge a flashlight in case they needed more visibility. Had the outage lasted more than 30 minutes, Bridgeford planned to move the ballot box to an outside hallway to get natural light or put the ballots in the security slot on the ballot box.

Voting wasn't affected during the outage, Bridgeford said. Power was restored just after 9:30 a.m.

My Son's First Vote

My 19 year old son casts his first ballot:You first met him here, the pic being from August 2000.


I voted for Mitch Berg!

In House District 66B, I voted for Mitch Berg. That is MORE than enough to balance out the entire slate of DFL candidates I voted for to claim moderate cred *laughing*

Crowd at the polling place was brisk and spirited and no poll watching shenanigans going on.

More later, with a pic of my #2 son voting for the first time. Also, the bi annual election night travels of The Doctor and myself, complete with schedule.


2008 Dart Toss

MN Congressional

I don't believe there will be any party flips in this year's election, but here is my take:

Absolutely no chance these seats will budge!

4 McCollum
5 Ellison
7 Peterson
8 Oberstar

Walz will handily retain his seat, just not as powerful in this traditional red district

1 Walz

In order or tightness

2 Kline - Sgt. Sarvi has been the most formidable candidate that has faced kline since Bill Luther. But the 2nd is too Red to flip this time around

3 Paulson - I can't believe people would replace Ramstad with a far Right wing Ideologue, a male Bachmann if you will. But he has been able to flood the airwaves with lies and misdirection while avoiding the issues that are most important to the electorate. It will be close, but the Indy candidate will pull enough votes to allow Paulson to sneak through. And for the record, Bonoff wouldn;t even have been in the mix, Madia, the most moderate of the three candidates and the closest fit to Ramstad was thye DFL's best hope!

6 Bachmann - Rep. Bachmann went from the slam dunk list to the most vulnerable list in one Hardball appearance. El Tinklenberg has jumped on the fissure and has pulled even with the Congresswoman. Will it be enough, probably not. But it IS the best chance the DFL has to flip a congressional seat. Deep down I think the GOP in the 6th is embarrassed by their Representative and will give E-Tink a pass so they can find a replacement they can be more proud of.

US Senate

Coleman squeaks this one out as more deception fills the airwaves. Coleman has run the most deceptive and despicable campaign I have ever seen. His most recent attack, filled with bold faced lies accusing Franken of involvement in the filing of this Republican Lawsuit should be criminal. Why Franked didn't immediately file an unfair Campaign Practice lawsuit of his own I don't know.

In the end, the out-state Red areas, specifically the Pro Gun Arrowhead comes out in droves for the current Senator to hold off a surging Franken and a fading Barkley.

45 Coleman
43 Franken
12 Barkley


328 Sen Barack Obama
210 Sen. John McCain

<p><strong>><a href=''>2008 Election Contest: Pick Your President</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election.</p>

Monday, November 03, 2008

First Poll has closed

Dixville Notch, NH

15 Obama
06 McCain

Dixville Notch hasn't gone Dem since Humphrey beat Nixon, 8 - 4, in 1968.

Final thoughts and prediction post in the AM.


Vote NO!

I will be voting NO on the Constitutional Amendment.

The Constitution is no place to establish tax policy, that is what the legislature is for. If they aren't doing their job, find people that will. If the Governor is the problem, I guess we have to work harder to find one that will. But it is clearly poor form to throw any form of tax increase in a constitutional amendment to back door proposals like this.

If we keep it up, we'll just turn into a California where the ballot is polluted with a bunch of propositions because our elected leaders don't have the guts to do their job.



The Ham Sandwich Endorsements

I'm a moderate! I know this because I still manage to rock the boat on both sides of the aisle.

I think the Left is dead wrong on the war. I think we do have an obligation to assure freedom throughout the world, especially if it risks our own freedoms at home should we not act.

I have acquired an ultra conservative immigration view, struggling with how we can allow those who came here illegally to have any preferential treatment over those who are waiting, legally, to experience the American Dream.

I believe we should have some form of Universal Tuition Tax Credit for private schools, allowing parents to take a portion of their Per Pupil allotment with them to assist in private school tuition.

Although the Left has made tremendous strides toward respecting the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, the Right still holds on to the better policy.

There are several others, but you get my point. I am not a blind follower of a Far Right or Left ideology. But what we do have this years is a desire by the Left to reach out to moderates and independents by endorsing truly moderate candidates. The Right has chosen ideologues without respect to the make-up of the constituency.

I am supporting a straight Democratic ticket this year, and yes, a moderate can do that and still be a moderate. How can a true Moderate support an Erik Paulson in the 3rd, when an Ashwin Madia has shown to be the true centrist. Why would anyone with moderate credibility consider John Kline, when Sgt. Steve Sarvi, who also recevied the Indy endorsment, is the true choice. How could Dr. Davis in the 1st be even remotely considered a centrist when Congressman Tim Walz has already shown he can work across party lines. And finally, who could even consider a bitter divider like Rep. Bachmann, who would rather congress spent time on a McCarthyesque witch hunt, when we have a Pro Life true moderate In El Tinklenberg.

In the 4th and 5th, we have far Left leaning ideologues who most closely resemble their constituency. Last year I endorsed Tammy Lee in the 5th, this year I will take a pass. And in the 4th, I have not voted Democratic since 1998, the last time Bruce Vento appeared on the ballot. I'll probably write myself in again.

My point is, an independent doesn't have to play hop scotch on their ballot to claim to be in the middle. When the Right continues to endorse ideologues, and the Left common sense, what choice do we have!?

The Right has run away from the electorate so far and so fast, it is very justifiable for anyone who has been paying attention to vote a straight Democratic ticket this year. Even if that Democrat is nothing more than a Ham Sandwich, with a D on it!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Being Frank On Franken v Donergate

I don't post Press releases as a rule, but this itemized debunking is worth a review:
Associated Press: Despite Requests, Coleman Campaign Has Not Produced Evidence Of Franken's Involvement. "Despite requests, Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan didn't produce hard evidence of Franken's involvement." [AP, 11/1/08]

Pioneer Press: Coleman Campaign Did Not Offer Any Evidence Franken Or Democrats Are Behind The Lawsuit. "Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan today didn't offer any new evidence that Franken or Democrats are behind the lawsuit. Sheehan said today, as Coleman said yesterday, that since the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune received the allegations before the lawsuit was filed." [Pioneer Press, Political Animal, 11/1/08]

Esme Murphy (WCCO): "There Is Absolutely No Evidence, None, That Al Franken Or Anyone Associated With His Campaign Is Behind The Two Lawsuits. "Norm Coleman is accusing Al Franken of smearing his wife. The problem is there is absolutely no evidence, none, that Al Franken or anyone associated with his campaign is behind the two lawsuits that allege that a top Coleman campaign donor funneled 75,000 dollar to the Senator's wife Laurie. If there was evidence of a direct link it would be a helluva story." [Esme Murphy, WCCO's "Esme's Blog," 11/1/08]

MinnPost: There Is Zero Proof That Franken Had Anything To Do With "Donor Gate." "There is zero proof that Franken had anything to do with DonorGate, which the Pioneer Press noted today. The Coleman campaign has provided nothing indicating otherwise." [MinnPost, 11/1/08]

Jodi Ambroz (KMSP-TV): Coleman Campaign Won't Release Any Evidence Showing A Connection Between The Franken Campaign And The Lawsuit. "Coleman's campaign continues to make these accusations against the DFL but they won't release any evidence showing a connection between the party or the Franken campaign and the lawsuit." [KMSP-TV, 6pm News, 11/1/08]
I still beg the question, why would a sitting Senator go so far as to blatantly lie about something that they claim they are totally innocent of?


From the Campaign:
From: Andy Barr, Al Franken for Senate
Date: Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 11:59 AM
Subject: Please read this email

Dear Friend,

It has been a long campaign, and a tough one. Norm Coleman has sunk to historic depths to smear Al Franken and make this election about something, anything other than his own record and the issues that affect the people of Minnesota.

But what Norm Coleman did yesterday was something else entirely, and you need to know the truth.

Here's the story: A Republican businessman in Texas by the name of Paul McKim filed a lawsuit this week against Nasser Kazeminy. Kazeminy is one of Norm Coleman's biggest donors and closest friends - he's the same man who flew Coleman on his private jet to vacations in the Bahamas and Paris.

Only a small portion of the lawsuit has anything to do with Norm Coleman - but the part that does is incredibly serious. McKim's sworn affidavit, since corroborated by a second lawsuit, describes an effort to funnel $100,000 to Senator Coleman.

So are the allegations true? We don't know. In fact, we at the campaign didn't know a thing about this lawsuit, had never heard of this company or Paul McKim, until we read about it in the newspaper.

Then came yesterday. Instead of answering these very serious allegations, Norm Coleman released the most dishonest ad of the year, blaming Al for the lawsuit.

That ad is up on TV right now. And it's a despicable lie. Al Franken had nothing to do with this lawsuit.

Norm Coleman, faced with sworn allegations of a conspiracy to funnel him improper payments, is trying to deflect blame by lying about Al Franken in a TV ad. No matter what candidate you support or what party you belong to, it is a sad day.

With just a couple of days left, the only way we can stop him is with the truth. After all, that's what Al's always been about: letting the truth carry the day.

But we need your help. Please forward this email to everyone you know. And please know that no matter what happens in this election, you can be proud that you were part of this campaign.

Thank you for all you do,

Andy Barr
Al Franken for Senate