Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Monday, February 27, 2006

Just heared an interview of Steve Kelley on KTLK with Pat Kessler apperently this guy is ready to pass a Twins and Gophers stadium, so if you want your taxes raised for these sorts of projects I highly encourage you to donate to Steve Kelley for governor.

Oh he also suggested we need to invest an addtional $1,000 a year on every K-12 student in the state.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Independence party meetups

Tuesday night the 28th is the next Independence party meetup, here are the details on the event

Eminent Domain or shall we fear for our property?!
Anoka Mayor Bjorn Skogquist will host a discussion of the issue that has inflamed, frightened, and concerned both the general public and public officials. Is it out of control now that the Supreme Court has ruled? What fix is needed in MN if any? What are the unintended consequences of the proposed fixes?
Anyway, let's explore downtown Anoka and Meet Up for a good discussion at the place with both food & beverages. Maybe we can even have a discussion about smoking bans or the lack thereoff???

Dan Justesen, Minneapolis

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 7:00 PM
Billy's214 Jackson St Anoka , MN 55303763-421-3570

Many leaders in the Independence Party are hopeful the 28 year old 3rd term mayor Skogquist will be announcing his intention to run for either State House or State Senate Tuesday night.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another Independence Party movie star

You won't know it by looking at the credits as he was just an extra but 2004 Independence Party State House candidate Bill Hamm is right up front on the cover of the newly released North Country.

NorthCountry seen here in the front row to the right

Breaking down the Governors race.

Tim Pawlenty Republican Incumbent

A popular governor who goes into the race as a solid favorite to win re-election. He has some major weaknesses that his opponents will be able to hit hard, but still as long as he makes no more mistakes his prospects for re-election are very good.

Jonathan Sharkey vampire

A gimmick candidate who needs to read the constitution if he wants to be granted any more interviews from real political observers.

Sue Jeffers Libertarian

First Libertarian to run for governor in a few cycles she has a good nitch crowd that could allow her to hover close to the 5% major party threshold however since there already is a 3rd option she will probably fair somewhere around where Ken Pental finished in 2002

Mike Hatch Democrat

The early favorite to win the DFL nomination, has been looking to get into this race for about 3 years now. Has some high negatives, but would be no worse then any other Democrat in November.

Kelly Doran Democrat

A lot of money some billboards, but nobody seems to care yet

Steve Kelley Democrat

For now he's at the back of the DFL pack but if Democrats aren't ready to give Hatch the endorsement he is the best bet to make a late charge

Becky Lourey Democrat

The candidate for liberal Democrats, should finish 2nd for the nomination but I don't see much hope for her getting it

Peter Hutchinson Independence party

Starting out relatively unknown but with a fair amount of money already for any candidate let alone a 3rd party candidate. He has a solid base to work with, but must build the kind of momentum Ventura did in 98

My early prediction is Hatch will be the DFL candidate, Sharkey won't get on the ballot and we will see Pawlenty win 43% over Hatch 35% Hutchinson 19% and Jeffers 3%

Caucus turn out will tell a little bit more about where Hutchinson currently stands. If over 1,000 turn out it will demonstrate there is already a huge base ready to help him win

John Uldrich

Father of former independence Party vice chair and potential US Senate Candidate Jack Ulrich has decided to challange Mark Kennedy for the GOP nomination.

Based on my limited encounters I have no reason to believe he is all that different from his son Jack, he is simply going the old school route to become a change agent. If there is any potential to displace Mark Kennedy with John Uldrich rest assure I will do everything I can to drive people towards the GOP primary, but I have long ago relized the best route for real change agents is to avoid the big money parties as they will only hold you back.

I continue to endorse Robert Fitzgerald as the next US Senator from Minnesota.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It appears Jesse Ventura's example is being ignored.

Independence Party candidates appear to be flip flopping on the facial hair issue as Robert Fitzgerald re-launched web site photo indicates. This of course follows Peter Hutchinson losing the beard late last year.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's official

Robert Fitzgerald will be seeking the endorsement of the Independence Party of Minnesota to fill Mark Daytons Senate seat. I assume this is the rumor http://www.dflsenate.com/?p=258 is suggesting, although you can never be to sure.

Taxes versus spending

A lot is made of a no new taxes pledge, and I would agree that not raising taxes is usually a good thing, but many of those that make such a pledge don't follow through by cutting spending.

I would rather you raise my taxes $15 then realize the next time I make an honest mistake and get a parking violation I have to pay $35. There are places for fees such as the state parks or a municipal pool, but in general if there’s a reasonable expectation that I will have to pay it without an ability to avoid it then you might as well put it in my taxes.

I'm not going to call governor Pawlenty out for breaking his pledge, even if David Strom and the tax payer’s league have made it clear that’s there view. I will say this unless he's ready to end the talks on stadiums, and actively look to cut waste as has successfully been done in other states such as Washington and Iowa I also will not give him credit for protecting our dollars.

I believe Peter Hutchinson has a proven track record of an ability to save tax payer dollars, I sure hope those that are most concerned about our tax dollars don't confuse cutting taxes with cutting wasteful spending.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Spring is here.

Pitchers and Catchers are begining to report, opening day will be here before we know it, with that I give you my thoughts on the 2006 Minnesota Twins

1st base Justin Mornoue, promising young power hitter who looked solid in the field last year should emerge as a 100 RBI guy this year.

2nd base Luis Castillo the big addition should pay off simply by showing up, if he has a dissapointing season he's an upgrade over last year, if he has an above average season he will be a big help for the RBI guys'

SS Jason Bartlett nothing special here but hey maybe he'll hit .270 otherwise the job could change hands.

3rd base Tony Batista the big wild card, if he hits .270 with 30 HR's we have nothing to worry about, if not at least we're no worse then last year.

CF Torii Hunter great defensivly solid on offense

LF Shannon Stewart last year may have been the end of the line but I see a little bit of a rebound and he should hit upwards of .280 again

RF up for grabs with Jason Kubel having the most potential

Catcher Joe Mauer solid and improving could become the best offesnive catcher in the game

DH Rondell White not as big of a name as the other options but possibly the best of the free agents available should have a solid season even if he misses a handful of games here and there due to injury.


Johan Santana if not the best pitcher in the game one of the top 3

Brad Radke hopeful to finish his career with a solid year, although I see a career ending injury headed his way

Carlos Silva, possibly the most underated pitcher in baseball

Kyle Loshe typical #4 starter wins some loses some

Scott Baker/Fransisco Liriano 2 of the best pitching prospects around should combine for minumum 15 wins this year

should be better then last year, how much better who knows, but anytime you have the pitching the Twins do your a world series contender.

2006 Caucuses:

We are just 2 weeks away from the first official step of the 2006 campaign season in Minnesota, caucuses. Along with the dozens of caucus locations scattered around the state the Independence Party will be hosting an on-line virtual caucuse from their website http://www.mnip.org/. Caucuses are the place where delegates are seated for the 2006 Convention, and in many districts the party is expected to fill it's 10 delegate seats so it is an important night for anyone to either recommit or begin there involvement.

We also look forward to several local candidates emerging out of caucus night as well. Your involvement will go a long ways toward making 2006 a successful year for the Independence Party and moving Minnesota forward in the years to come.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

New direction for Robert Fitzgerald campaign

Robert has made a critical decision on where he wants to take his campaign from here. An official announcement will be made in the not so distant future on those intentions. I can confirm that he will remain in the race to become the next US Senator from the state of Minnesota. I'll let Robert be the first to report anything officially, but this should be good news for his campaign, and should get him some mainstream media exposure.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Democrats response Wayne Sather of Eagan (Democrat as clearly evident by his January 26th letter to the editor Judging Aliton) responds to Hutchinson’s piece in yesterdays Star Tribune with the typical DFL whining that he must be on Pawlenty's campaign.

Peter Hutchinson has been a Delegate to the Independence Party convention for over 4 years now.

Peter Hutchinson is often heard saying he's running for Governor because he thinks we ought to have one.

Peter Hutchinson has successfully raised money from former Democrat donors former Republican Donors and long time Independence Party donors.

Peter Hutchinson is running for Governor of Minnesota, he's running against Becky Lourey, Steve Kelley, Kelly Doran, Mike Hatch, Pam Ellison, Tim Pawlenty, Sue Jeffers, and Jonathan Sharkey as they are also running for governor.

Peter Hutchinson is building a coalition to win from the perspective of the Independence Party as he is actively recruiting well respected candidates for other offices.

Peter Hutchinson's stance on instant Run off Voting (IRV) is well established. He is in favor of it. I would question the DFL stance in light of it being 6 years removed since Ralf Nader "stole" the 2000 election and 2 years since Nader made his intentions to "help Bush win again" clear. I've seen no movement on the issue nationally or locally from the DFL. Even when the abortion lobby killed the Roseville plan to use IRV in city council elections we saw no outcry from Democrats. The fact of the matter is Peter Hutchinson’s chances of winning in 2006 would be a heck of a lot better with IRV.

Peter Hutchinson absolutely has a chance to win, and letter writers like Wayne Sather will only help his campaign as Minnesotans will have a crystal clear of what the two big money parties are all about.

Hutchinson's Do's

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today’s Star Tribune has an editorial from Peter Hutchinson giving Governor Pawlenty advice for the state of the state.

It may be a little over the top but it makes the point that we should do better, we have the opportunity to do better, and we are going to do better.

You can be fiscally conservative while still adequately addressing the most important issues.

Peter Hutchinson Memo to Tim Pawlenty

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More on the stadium debate.

With a recent ruling that the Twins have a right to move after this season, something that has never mattered much when it came to this issue, the rhetoric is heating up.

Do it this session or there gone is what the Don Beaver in the Carolinas (1997) Contraction (2001) Las Vegas/Portland (today) crowd has to say. Of course we've heard it all before, and as educated people we can look at reality and ask real questions instead of sitting down listening to threats and using fears to motivate our decisions.

King Bainiain at http://www.scsuscholars.com/ says it best in his February 8th posting.

Would they try Charlotte again? Portland and Las Vegas are offered but the former is simply too small to support an MLB franchise and the latter is too attractive to Pete Rose, if you know what I mean. You have to wonder why the Minnesota legislature is in such a hurry to disenfranchise area voters and taxpayers. Yet there they go:

This isn't an issue of sports folks arguing with non sports folks, this is educated people arguing with the uninformed or uneducated.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Every last one of them is up for election

After two failed legislative sessions in which very little was done the Minnesota Legislative session is almost upon us this year. Of course this year is much different as it is an election year. It's a bonding year which means the focus will be to bring home the pork and go home.

I think the Minnesota voters will be smart enough to call them on that one. If the last two years were worth fighting every step of the way over, then this year should be no different.

As always the stadium issue is still here, and since this might be Governor Pawlentys last year in office we might see some meaningful action on the legislation, but I wouldn't bet on it. The Governor was always against the stadium and probably doesn't like the prospects of running for relection after making a decision on that dividing issue.

When it happens come back here for the Pork Report

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Robert Fitzgerald for US Senate Minnesota

I have had a chance to meet and talk to now 29 year old independent candidate for US Senate Robert Fitzgerald and am fairly impressed with his approach. Much like most Independence Party Candidates he sees special intrest money as a critical problem in our political system.

He also presents a unique oppurtunity for the younger generation to have a real voice on issues like social security, our dependency on forieng oil and long term enviormental issues. I encourage anyone voting in this race to look him over before casting a vote for a candidate from one of the multi million dollar campaigns, who will go to Washington owing a multi million favors.

The stadium issue.

The basic idea behind the stadium debate is that a couple hundred million dollars of tax payer money ends up in the hands of pro sports owners. Clearly given that all other arguments for giving in on ownerships demands better are pretty darn good. The best argument the pro stadium crowd has is that the presence of pro sports improves quality of life. Of course this argument implies the absence of new stadiums forces teams away, and while that is a long term possibility it absolutely is not true in the short term. The second part of this though is that all substitutions for pro sports make life worse. As if a few extra camping trips or extra time at the park will make life worse. A few extra hundred dollars to spend going to the movies will make life worse. Then you get people who site the improvements of bars and restaurants within a quarter mile radius of a stadium as an economic boom. I'm sorry but I will never care about the success of individual businesses that represent at best 1% of the downtown economy. I've been to some of these bars at 5 PM on a game night they are beyond packed, if there business does not work when half the tables are filled that’s not the tax payers problem.

Then there’s my favorite argument. Everyone else is doing it, I don't recall a new stadium in New York or Los Angeles, and I don't recall a new stadium in Topeka, Kansas or Omaha, Nebraska. Those that are doing it are the cowards who lack political convictions. I'm not part of that group and most of Minnesota isn't part of that group.

I have no problem with Carl Pohlad or any other owner asking for the handout, in fact I would question them if they didn't given the success rate, but the fact that they are asking does not mean we have any obligation to ever change are stance on the issue. There is no rule that you can only say no 72 times before you have to cave.

In an era of satellite TV and the expanding role of the internet you’re not going to miss out on pro sports, and the drive to Kansas City or Chicago is not that long for those that can't live without it. It's just not government’s job to guarantee your entertainment.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

What’s so different about Minnesota?

Clearly it is rare to elect a 3rd party candidate to state wide office, so why should anyone expect Minnesota might do it on a consistent basis? First of all there is no dominating political view in Minnesota. We elect the most liberal of the liberal in Paul Wellstone but can also go very conservative with Tim Pawlenty. Just when you think you have Minnesota politics figured out everything changes.

We have strong convictions and will not allow our politicians to push us around on those. If you make a no new taxes pledge, you better stick to it. If you’re a conservative governor you better not start banning things. If you’re a liberal stand up and be a liberal, don't vote for a way then become critical of it later. Basically we hold out politicians up to a high standard of honesty, and for the most part we have a good sense of when we're being lied to.

With that said it opens the door for anyone to win, but more importantly it means the average politician is on the verge of losing if someone steps up to the challenge.

Another key is the openness of our process. With same day voter registration people who get motivated late, for example in the debates have an opportunity to vote no matter how uninspired they may have been in the past. This is clearly an advantage for the non traditional candidate who intends to bring forth change.
And probably most importantly we've done it before and in large #'s we want to do it again. In other words we have a strong base, and clear evidence that the base can expand

It's only up from here

1000 people showing up at 7:30 in the morning? $200,000 in 2005 contributions? Immediate press releases from the Democrats and Republicans? Dozens of media interviews?

He can't win you know. Do you really think we can make it through 4 more years of Republicans? After winning in 1998 and a completive run up until the final 2 weeks in 2002 the Independence Party of Minnesota is ready to go at it again as Peter Hutchinson has emerged as the party’s candidate for governor (pending endorsement).

What comes next who knows, but for now he's the guy to watch among a field of several Democrats with no clear sign of a favorite. A sitting governor who has broken a campaign promise through a bill that was ruled unconstitutional, a vampire who has been arrested, and a bar owner that blames the government for all her problems.

He's Peter Hutchinson and he's a candidate for governor of Minnesota