Friday, September 30, 2005

 

Randy says he's still a Democrat

But really. Seriously. Come on.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/5642774.html

With all due respect to Mayor Kelly's claim of DFL-hood regardless of his 2004 endorsement of Bush, the reason political parties exist is because we share certain beliefs and values about the way government should interact with society. If your beliefs deviate with those of your party and its presidential candidate so much that you go out of your way to endorse his opponent, perhaps it's time to part ways with your party.

As a point of comparison, Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island did not publicly endorse GW Bush in 2004. However, he did not go so far as to endorse John Kerry. If you don't agree with your party's choice, fine. Randy Kelly, on the other hand, may have gone too far for St. Paul voters to stomach.

But wouldn't it have been funny if he had chosen to get into the governor's race......Mike Hatch would really be left out in the cold...might even need to change his middle name to something beginning with a K.

Just sayin'.

In other news, Patty Wetterling has put out a push to raise just a bit of money before the 3rd quarter reporting deadline tonight. Ideologically, I think she and Amy Klobuchar are both strong candidates, and frankly I think either one would beat Mark Kennedy in 11/06, but the contrast in their fundraising strategies could not be more clear - Amy has the support of big dollar donors in the DFL's core, and Patty has focused heavily on the grassroots, both in organizing and fundraising. The DFL primary for US Senate will be an interesting animal, for sure.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

 

MDE gives a Dem props?

It sounds like MDE is about to rip Scotty Mortensen, but then gives him props after posting the text of Mr. Mortensen's message. Comparisons to Paul Wellstone are duly noted.

I can't say I agree with the entirety of Mortensen's message, but it now appears that he's ready to fight a long battle against political forces on both sides that he sees as negative to Minnesota's future. Little to no past political experience, in my opinion, enables Mr. Mortensen to say what he really wants to say, repercussions be damned. If he can get that message to resonate with folks up in the sixth, he could make it a very interesting race.

At any rate, it is refreshing to see a Democrat upping the ante on everyone in his way. Being scared of failure is no way to win a campaign, and it sounds like Scotty has no fear. Meanwhile, I haven't heard much of anything from El Tinklenberg's campaign....Any updates?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

 

Strib Editorial

Excellent editorial by Paul Scott in yesterday's Strib. Right on the money, too. It is amazing to me that Middle America has been duped into believing that "Conservative" means "Hates anyone who's not like me." I had more comments to give, but they all came out a little too divisive and wonkish, so I'll hold off. For now.

Monday, September 26, 2005

 

Late Entries

With all the recent (and, ostensibly, upcoming) entries and switches into statewide races, I find myself asking a somewhat academic research question - what effect do late entries into federal or constitutional office races have? Positive or negative for the entrant? What about the endorsement/primary opponent?

Any research anyone knows of into this issue is greatly appreciated. If I don't hear any comments, I plan to go ahead and do a little research myself, and I'll present the results at some point soon.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

 

Where is the national coverage?

This is the first post I've seen on a lefty national political blog regarding Minnesota in quite a while. Granted, I don't spend all day frequenting the major blogs, usually just DailyKos, MyDD, Atrios, and Swing State Project. However, the lack of coverage is appalling. Minnesota currently has:

an incumbent GOP governor
An open Democratic Senate seat and campaign
An upcoming campaign against an incumbent Republican Senator
An evenly-split congressional delegation with increasing national profile (Scotty Mortensen's quest for a DFA endorsement) in the campaign
An extremely close split in the state house

I can understand not getting into the nitty gritty of state-level races, but with the federal and constitutional office races coming, it's frustrating to see the focus going to Ohio and California. It shouldn't be too hard--Google "Minnesota Political Blog" and a few hundred hits should come back. I'd be interested to see if this goes for the rightie blogosphere as well, but what do we have to do to get some links thrown our way sometimes?

Perhaps this invites snarkiness. We shall see.

 

MN-03: I'm psychic

I promise I didn't start this thread at DU asking about DFL congressional candidates in the 3rd CD, but there it is. Interesting information however - apparently Jim Ramstad is having trouble with his constituents. Accusing an audience of being sent by Moveon.org must be a page out of the "old-school" book of politickin'.

Whoever the DFL candidate is, whether it's Ms. Watts again or someone else, they're going to have to raise quite a bit of money to really challenge Mr Ramstad. From what I understand, Ms. Watts ran a pretty good campaign last time around, but simply got crushed in fundraising (briefly checked at opensecrets.org). Money is a necessary evil in this game; if you want to go to Washington, you need to raise some.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

MN-GOV: Kelley Doran switching in

It now appears that Kelley Doran will abandon his campaign for US Senate and try instead for the Governor's race. This is certainly one of the more interesting moves we've seen so far in the 2006 cycle.

I will be watching Mr. Doran's press conference with great interest, as should you. Specifically, watch for his reasoning about two things: why he got out of the Senate race, and why he's getting into the gubernatorial. These two questions, should he choose to answer them, should weigh heavily on public opinion in the coming months. Any way you cut the pie, Mr. Doran will still have to spend quite a bit of money replacing all those billboards with DORAN FOR US SENATE around the state.

Don't get me wrong, I've met Mr. Doran, and he seems like a nice enough and intelligent enough man. But right now, having not seen the press conference yet, I fail to see what he hopes to gain here. There is already one major DFL candidate in the race, another heavyweight about to enter (we think), and both of them have more political experience and clout within the DFL than Mr. Doran. It will be a long road for him to march for sure.

[disclaimer: I'm working for Steve Kelley's gubernatorial campaign.]
[I feel like I've had to say that a lot lately.]
[Oh well. Politics is politics.]

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

 

Strib article on the St. Paul Mayor race

Here

It will indeed be interesting to see just who comes out to vote in November in St. Paul. If this article is correct, however, I think Coleman's comfort level with the business community will be a big card to play.

 

SD 43 Special

I was going to post about the candidates as soon as I found out who was running, but Lloyd Letta beat me to it. Should be a good race between at least two well-known women.

Monday, September 19, 2005

 

MDE losing the fight

But apparently MDE is scared of Senator Steve Kelley. This is disgusting. I don't know what started this all-points blitz on Steve's hard-earned reputation as a bi-partisan problem-solver in the legislature [disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer], but it's really revolting. Not only is MDE's reporting, while admittedly unbound by rules of journalistic ethics, dangerously close to libel, but there is absolutely no logic linking Senator Kelley's comments with MDE's claim.

Note: I'm still waiting for any non-GOP-leadership lawmaker to deny that Steve Kelley is a great bi-partisan leader. Just sayin'.

It has been said in recent days that the party who attacks the other side for politicizing the issue is losing the fight. This is either an example of exactly this situation or yet another case of MDE misrepresenting (or not doing) his/her research. Very sad.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

 

MDE is way off base with this one

There are two possibilities here.
1: MDE did the research necessary to make this claim about Steve Kelley and ignored it.
2: MDE is simply lashing out at a Democrat on whom he/she can't get traction any other way.

The 2004 education bill was one of the few things that got done during the session, and it was because of Steve Kelley and his counterpart in the House, Ms. Seagren, whom I believe is now the Commissioner of Education. Look at telecom issues over the last decade, and there is Steve, almost always with a Republican co-author or co-sponsor. You can say that anyone can co-sponsor a bill, but let's look at the way the government is currently constituted: A Republican governor, and a GOP-controlled house. As a committee chair, working with Republicans in the house was absolutely, positively, one hundred percent necessary to get things done in the Capitol. Gaither, Ourada, Ken Wolf, Torrey Westrom, Linda Boudreau, all are Republicans with whom Steve has collaborated to get things done for Minnesota.

This is to say nothing of Kelley's role in ending the special session. The simple fact is, and Sen. Kelley has said this on numerous occasions, is that he's a progressive and believes strongly in progressive values and goals, but has always gone about achieving those goals moderately.

This isn't about talking points, and it's not about the fact that I personally work for Senator Kelley. This is about reality and common sense. The onus is on MDE here to do the research and realize that his/her claim about Senator Kelley is absolutely false.

Friday, September 16, 2005

 

Calling DFLers in the 3rd CD....

Any candidates out there? We already have candidates in the 1st, 2nd, and 6th, but I have been unable to dredge up any information about possible candidates in the 3rd. Does anyone want to or know of anyone who wants to take on Jim Ramstad?

 

Another fund-raising letter?

[Insert sound of semi-partisan grumbling here][Read down a few posts for the partisan part :)]

DFL Governor and Republican Minnesota have reports of Mike Hatch's new fundraising letter, this time referring directly to the gubernatorial race. This, in combination with his comments at a DFL event last night, add to the confusion around his role in this race.

At a DFL fundraiser Thursday night, Mr. Hatch made it quite clear he intended to get into the race, but that he would make an announcement "in a month or two." The fundraising letter mentioned by DFLG and RM makes it sound like he's asking for a certain level of support before he makes a decision...This doesn't make sense.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for the things Mike Hatch has done, and he has very good people working for him, both in the AG's office and on his political committee. But why is an announcement of what most DFLers expect so much to ask? The goal is to unseat Pawlenty. That is, by far, the most important thing to us as politically engaged individuals and as a party. Not giving DFLers a fair choice just delays their being able to make an educated decision on the best candidate to face Pawlenty next year.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

 

Gains to be had in the State Senate

Press Release from Tim Pawlenty's office

In a nutshell: David Gaither is resigning from the State Senate to become Tim Pawlenty's Chief of Staff. In a district and geographic area that is becoming more blue as it grows (Minnetonka, in the west suburbs), this is an opportunity for strong local DFLers to reinforce the current majority in the Senate, and branch out even further from the Metro area.

While you're on TPaw's website, check out that release about Northwest. Big oily crocodile tears! When in doubt, don't bother using one's office and considerable political clout to protect Minnesotans and their jobs, just blame the system! Considering how many Minnesota jobs are at stake, one would think Mr. Pawlenty could spare a few drops of sweat to actually DO something about the strike and subsequent Chapter 11 filing, rather than sitting on his hands and leaving it to his bosses in Washington to handle what really is a big problem for Minnesota.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

 

Almost forgot...

And in case you missed the news this morning, the mayoral primaries in the Twin Cities were last night:

Minneapolis
RT Rybak: 45%
Peter McLoughlin: 35%

St. Paul
Chris Coleman: 52%
Randy Kelly: 27% (!)

As I mentioned in a thread over at MDE, it would be difficult for even seasoned GOP operatives to call Kelly's defeat anything but resounding. For an incumbent to be outperformed in his party's primary better than 2:1 means there's a message being sent--a city that voted somewhere around 70% for John Kerry last year does not appreciate a mayor that calls himself a DFLer, yet endorsed George W. Bush. Naturally Randy could pick up support from the city's republican electorate, but enough to get past Coleman?

The Green Party candidate also got nearly 19%, a majority of whom, if they vote in November, can be expected not to vote for Randy Kelly.

The Minneapolis results are also of interest. McLoughlin was the DFL-endorsed candidate, but incumbent Rybak still beat him in the primary. The much-publicized debates in which the two men duked it out over small policy differences were highlighted by Green candidate Farheen Hakeem lecturing them on their antics. While she didn't get enough votes to make it to the general election this November, it was nevertheless good to see a woman AND a minority candidate get face time in the political game.

 

I would love to think I had an influence

But come on, seriously--who actually reads this blog?

In my dream world, Scotty Mortensen's new campaign website was published in response to my recent critique. In reality, it looks like his staff have been putting quite a bit of time and effort into the site, and it's a dramatic improvement. In addition, it appears that Scotty's running for Democracy For America's endorsement right now. National profile is a very, very good thing. He has a long road ahead of him in the 6th, and every little bit of support helps.

Friday, September 09, 2005

 

MNLeftyLiberal is back

Sort of. Trillin is gone, but DFL Governor has taken the reins of MNLL. Good luck, DFLG....links will remain :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

 

4th post of the day: Wow x2

Two wows to speak of:

1: Trinhmaster over at MinnesotaBlue has an excellent post regarding President Bush's War on Terror by the numbers. Perhaps it's preaching to the choir, but it's excellent information for us all to remember about the post-9/11 world and how it fits into history. I have to say I've been very impressed with the work done by young people at that blog, and I hope they keep it up. I also hope they're old enough to vote in 2006.

2: As you might notice on the counter in the left sidebar thingie here, MNCR recently passed 1,000 hits. I've had the blog going for just about a month, maybe a bit more, so I am very happy with this threshold. Granted, some of the hits are me just checking out the comments, but I'm still happy to see that someone's interested in what I have to say. Even if it is MDE sometimes.

In all seriousness, I look at it as a net positive that Dems watch what MDE and his/her ilk are saying and vice versa. My only wish is that we can actually find a way to foster useful discussion and not the trap of sniping that we bloggers tend to fall into. Whatever happened to MNLeftAndRight? Perhaps it could get restarted.....

 

Where has Trillin Gone?

Wow, busy day, huh?

Where has Trillin gone? Blogspot error, or has MNLeftyLiberal left us?

More news as events warrant


[UPDATE]: Trillin is gone. No more MNLeftyLiberal.

 

More on the Corner Office

http://www.freecongress.org/commentaries/2003/030304PW.asp.
It's an older article, but still interesting in retrospect. Right-wing groups have been watching Pawlenty with interest for some time now.

I feel dirty for having pumped up FCF's site counter, but there it is. If we need any more proof that Tim Pawlenty needs to go, it's right there. Right-wing nutbar groups like the Free Congress Foundation (who are anti-choice, don't care much for public education, social security, or health care, and like driving on terribly-maintained roads...if I'm correctly reading their positions on tax regression) love the guy because he puts a human face on their fundamentalist agenda.

FCF is not alone. Although Grover might be annoyed with him over the Cigarette FeeTax, Pawlenty got where he is by making promises to Americans for Tax Reform and the Taxpayers' League not to raise taxes for any reason. Trying to squeeze the middle class out of existence won't do Minnesota any good in the long or short term, and DFLers up and down the ballot need to come together to get rid of Pawlenty and his cronies.

 

MN-GOV: Dean Johnson?

[Disclaimer: I'm working for an already-announced Gubernatorial candidate]

DL-online
: Dean Johnson considering a run for Governor?

This seems to be a huge risk for Mr. Johnson. Once the DFL takes back the corner office AND the house, DJ will be in a fantastic position as Senate Majority leader to really push a great Democratic agenda for the good of the state. Giving that up for a chance to face Pawlenty strikes me as overly ambitious, especially considering that there are already multiple qualified DFLers in the race.

Plus, Johnson almost definitely would be the shortest guy in the race. I'm just sayin'.

In all seriousness, comments on Johnson or the race are more than welcome from both of you readers out there.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

 

MN-All: Bush = Noose

Interesting story at WaPo, link via post at MyDD. The general media narrative is not flowing well for the Bush Administration.

I've said it before, but the increasing frequency with which the Bush Administration proves itself incapable of handling major emergencies and national policy with competency and empathy for the issues and people involved should be used in every single state-wide race in Minnesota--Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Congressional, AG, Secretary of State. Pawlenty is a Bush trooper, as is Mark Kennedy. We cannot allow these people to distance themselves from a President whose coattails they were riding, happy as pigs in mud, just a few short months ago. I'm not sure how much a State Auditor has to do with national politics...But I also don't yet know a whole lot about the candidates. Thoughts?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

 

State Fair

Just got back from the State Fair--all good stuff! A dollar for all-you-can-drink milk is a big plus, and the difference in traffic between the DFL and Republican booths. Plenty of candidates working the crowd--Steve Kelley, Amy Klobuchar, Patty Wetterling, and Scotty Mortensen, whom I had a chance to speak with for a few minutes and speaks very well for himself. Plenty of traffic to be seen on both sides of the DFL booth at the MN Farmers' Union and the AFL-CIO areas as well. A little rain never hurt anyone though :)

Pictures will be up soon.

Friday, September 02, 2005

 

MN-06: As if on cue...

El Tinklenberg has a quite good editorial in the Star-Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/5591935.html). As a former commissioner of transportation, he definitely knows what he's talking about on a critical issue, especially with the north, west, and south suburbs expanding as quickly as they are. It's disheartening to think that MNDOT has been forced to spend money before it arrives, but that's reality.

 

It's come to my attention....

It's recently come to my attention, through comments and non-electronic means, that some folks are reading in a negative tilt to my posts regarding Democratic candidates around the state. I hope you won't read too much negativity into anything I write here--I have neither voted nor worked for a Republican, and intend to keep up that trend.

Regardless of your position in the political world, whether a political professional, a delegate, or a caucus attendee, or just a casual observer, remember this: in our current state of affairs, it would take a lot for me to go negative against a fellow Dem. My critiques, especially of candidates' websites, are intended to be constructive in nature. I want every DFLer running for office to have excellent message and media management, great field operations, and a major part of introducing yourself to the grassroots supporters you'll need to fill your phone banks and walk door-to-door canvassing for you and stuff your envelopes is your website! People may not notice the things you do well when it comes to web design and content, but they will remember the things you don't do well.

However, it does make me feel good to know that people are reading my blog, even if only on an occasional basis. I promise to be more encouraging rather than critical in my future posts if you promise to keep reading :)

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