Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Friday, March 31, 2006

George Bush requests meeting with Robert Fitzgerald

President Bush today personally called Independence Party US Senate candidate Robert Fitzgerald inviting him to Washington to advise him on major policy decisions Bush will be tackling his final two and a half years in office. Fitzgerald not wanting to miss out on his first of many chances to help craft legislation in Washington accepted his offer on short notice and will leave for Washington at 5 AM tommorow morning.

Fitzgerald is very excited about the oppurtunity to meet and advice the president, noting he hears the White House chefs are among the best in the world, and he will not only have lunch with the president, but if all goes well dinner as well. Of course he is also excited about the oppurtunity to craft national and global policy. No doubt April 1st, 2006 will go down as one of the greatest days in Robert Fitzgeralds life.

Who will vote Hutchinson?

There is this myth we keep hearing that Peter Hutchinson is a Democrat, or that his votes will only come from would be DFL voters. I believe the myth comes out of the failure by the DFL to defeat the Republican governor candidate since the Independence Party has been on the scene. The DFL is simply looking to blame anyone but themselves for there failures, we all do when our side loses elections.

Let me start with this I have voted for Jesse Ventura, Tim Penny, and intend to vote for Peter Hutchinson, even if there was not an IP candidate in the race I would never vote DFL. They just don't come close to representing me. I look at the fight that the DFL puts up against silly things like adults rights to shoot off a few fireworks at the lake on the forth of July, I look at the ease they cave to fund education further yet never seem to solve any education problems. I look at there inability to allow the free market to work. I look at the fact that even Paul Wellstone voted to ban gay marriage. No the only time I agree with the Democrats is when the Republicans get so far out of line that the Democrats can reach away from the extremes towards common sense.

People will vote Hutchinson not because they are confused Democrats to stupid to know what’s good for them, but because they can think for themselves. Peter Hutchinson represents a vision that most Minnesotans share. Third parties don't emerge because someone says hey lets see if I can mess this system up, they emerge because of a failure within the established parties. It has now been 8 years since Jesse Ventura's victory, the only adjustment the Democrats have made has been farther to the extremes. It's time to tell the truth the DFL will fail to win this fall because the DFL is unwilling to do what they need to succeed, not because of Peter Hutchinson.

Who will vote Peter Hutchinson? Minnesotans who still value the power of their vote.

Early poll numbers

A March Zogby poll indicates Independence party candidate Hutchinson is polling anywhere from 6-8% depending on the DFL opponent. Of course they continue to report that it's Tim Hutchinson not Peter so it's hard to say how reliable we can consider them. Meanwhile Mike Hatch is the only DFL candidate that gives Pawlenty a run for his money.

Remember it's still March and Hutchinson's #'s really only represent the IP hardcore base at this point. Jesse Ventura's poll #'s didn't pick up beyond this level until after the State Fair, and Tim Penny wasn't in the race until the end of May. Expect the Hutchinson campaign to take off out of the June 24th Independence Party convention at Midway Stadium, as he has no endorsement competition and is focused on November. Overall nothing to worry about, nothing to get excited about.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

March Governors race prediction

A lot has changed with this race since I last posted my thoughts last month. Kelly Doran is out, there is little to no reason to talk about Vampires any further, the DFL race is playing out with no reason to believe Mike Hatch should be worried, and Sue Jeffers is not getting her campaign off the ground (St Paul smoking ban goes into effect this weekend and Sue Jeffers is making no attempt to make noise).

It now seems pretty clear that Mike Hatch will be endorsed. That leaves only the question does it go to a primary. Given the other two candidates I'm guessing it will not.

That leaves us with the race we've all expected for well over a year, Mike Hatch Tim Pawlenty and Peter Hutchinson with Sue Jeffers and probably a Green also on the ballot. My prediction won't be much different then it was a month ago.

Tim Pawlenty (R) 44%
Mike Hatch (DFL) 35%
Peter Hutchinson (IP) 20%
Sue Jeffers (Lib) + Green Party candidate 1%

Kermit the frog leads IP delegate race

I'm waiting for a press release from the Ole Savior campaign that says he is leading the delegate race for the DFL. If you don't get this reference, I strongly suggest you don't click here, or here, or here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Sue Jeffers campaign

Sue Jeffers announced she was running for governor about a week prior to Peter Hutchinson's big kickoff event at the Minneapolis Hilton in January. At the time not knowing how successful Hutchinson's event would be I felt a hint of fear that Peter and the Independence Party might not finish in the top three.

I share a lot of the values of Sue and the libertarian party, and felt her place in the smoking ban debate would give her a strong base of support that she could build off of. She does maintain a small base of support from fellow bar ownerson that issue and passionate people in the know, however she has done nothing to build this base of smoking related support, and in fact doesn't mention the issue on her web site at all other then an explanation of why she is n ot focusing on the issue.

While she would probably have to turn her focus to other issues if she became competitive, she has no hope of even rising to the level of a Ken Pental (2002 Grean Party candidate) if she does not promote the one thing that makes her different. If she ever was able to build that base of support to 3-5% she would start to get the media exposure to promote the rest of her platform

Looking around I see some of her supporters complain that she is not getting press coverage, but unfortanatly she is not doing anything to warrent much media attention. Worse yet it seems she is satisfied with even the most insignificant media exposure. In fact on her web site she links to a glowing review of the Hutchinson kickoff event simply because it contains one line that mentions the existence of her campaign.

As an Independence Party and Peter Hutchinson supporter I am grateful that it appears there will be no debate of who the "third" option will be, but it is kind of sad to see that Jeffers and her supporters are having such a difficult time playing to there strength and riding it for all that it's worth. Good candidates who run good campaigns are hard to find for parties with alternative points of view, Sue Jeffers is proving that point. Maybe someone should challenge her for the support of the passionate Libertarian Party supporters.

Did Dean Johnson tell the truth

The Star Tribune is reporting that it is likely that Dean Johnson did indeed speak with judges about the marriage amendment. This comes as no shocker to me as one would expect Johnson would try to protect judges once he got tangled in this mess.

It will be interesting to see if this story fades away, or this becomes a new beginning of an even bigger story. I doubt the Republican party wants to send out any more press releases, so if this story does heat up again it will be the media's own doing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Let the stadium games begin

Today the new Gopher stadium proposal is in committee, some of the highlights of the discussion so far:

A student in justifying this much of an investment on a stadium that would be used maybe six times a year for it's intended purpose thinks it would be pretty cool to play intramural soccer in the facility.

A bunch of 50 year olds remember how great it was going to the games back in the day. I got news for you when the current crop of students turn 50 they will remember there trips to the metrodome in the same way

Some folks had a good time on a road trip to Madison to see the Gophers play.

And the best part about it the state will get some useless land from a state funded entity.

I'm sorry but if your college experience depends on the football facility I don't really think you understand what the college experience actually is. Beyond that students had the option to go somewhere with a nicer football stadium. The governments role in helping fund college should end once the students have a bed to sleep in a place to eat and a place to learn.

Why vote DFL?

According to this piece at Backbone Minnesota you must always vote DFL if you find an alternitive candidates to be similar.

Forget the fact that a DFL candidate has not won the office of governor in the last 20 years. Forget the fact that Peter Hutchinson is on pace to raise an amount of money similar to Becky Lourey and Steve Kelley at least prior to either of them winning the DFL endorsement. Forget the fact that Peter Hutchinson has a track record of getting done what he says he intends to do. Forget that the DFL is made less then pure by special interest money. Forget the fact that candidates like Steve Kelley are ready to spend a billion dollars on sports stadiums. No just stick your head in the sand and vote DFL because there is no difference between Peter Hutchinson and whatever candidate the DFL comes up with.

If Peter Hutchinson is truly representing what the DFL has been preaching these last 20 years then the combined effort of the DFL and Hutchinson will not exceed that of Tim Pawlenty. Peter Hutchinson gives us hope of defeating Pawlenty only because he brings forward something different. In fact if the DFL happens to win it will only be because of Peter Hutchinson and Sue Jeffers drawing the fiscal conservatives votes away from Tim Pawlenty as they bring a true vision of protecting tax payer dollars by either reducing spending or increasing the outcome resulted from what we currently spend.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Who will the IP CD 5 candidate be?

While clearly whoever wins the DFL primary has to be considered a strong favorite there is an alternative route to try to replace Martin Sabo. Actually there are three if you include the Green Party and Republican party, but only one alternative route to run with a major party and have a chance to defeat the Democrat. That route is to run with the Independence Party.

Since the Independence Party like all political parties plays to the district, there is little doubt the IP candidate will be liberal at least on the war and social issues. If we can find someone who is right of a Keith Ellison or Mike Erlandson on fiscal matters we may just have what we need in congress to lead us the next several years.

There is a great oppurtunity if several front running Democrats take the race to the primary. The IP candidate can run for November while they all battle for September in the DFL. This will allow for a potential early edge in fundraising, a focus on all voters in the district, and a real shot to defeat the DFL on Election day. One more highly respected competitive IP candidate this November is going to go a long ways toward supporting the entire IP ticket and convincing observers that we're here to stay.

Indications are such a candidate may very well be ready to step forward.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Wheres the media?

The Senate just passed a billion dollar bonding bill and yet from my casual scan of the newspapers and the TV news this past week I have very little idea of what is in it. I know all about Dean Johnson, I have seen the names and faces of all 12 DFL CD 5 candidates (funny how suddenly the media pays attention to lower profile candidates), I know the labels the Pawlenty campaign have thrown out about the fiscal habits of there opponents, but I have yet to hear one word about the details of the bonding bill.

When I get more time I'll look into the details, but it strikes me as odd that the media doesn't even begin to care when and how are tax payer dollars are spent. We want our legislators to focus on what matters most, but our media won't even consider it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The youth factor

The Independence Party now has two candidates running for federal office who have never been eligible to vote at times when the IP/Reform party was a non factor. These 8 years have gone by very quickly for us first time Jesse Ventura voters who are now in the prime of our lives and are ready to take what we know is ours for good.

More important then that though is these younger voters who may be voting in state races for the first time. These 18 to 21 year olds were anywhere from 10 to 13 years old when Ventura was elected. All they know is a strong three party system in state politics. These young voters are not going to let some tired old myths get in there way of letting there voice be heard. With young candidates like Robert Fitzgerald and John Binkowski encouraging them along I believe the under 30 voter is going to be a big help to all Independence Party candidates in November.

I don't have any wild ideas that young voters will turnout in large #'s but those that do will send a loud clear message that politics in Minnesota has changed for good. In another 8 years when we are in our in our 30's and represent a good chunk of the voting public we will continue to support the Independence Party. People underestimate what Ventura's victory amounted to simply because the party did not make any major strides immediately following his victory, but as is often overlooked by Democrats and Republicans the Ventura victory not only had a short term effect it also is having a long term effect.

CD 6 endorsed candidate

The Independence Parties 6th congressional district became the first endorsing body in the Independence Party to put the seal of approval on a candidate for this fall's elections.

John Binkowski who will use this endorsement as a launching pad for an official campaign announcment was endorsed for Mark Kennedy's seat in Congress by all attending delegates. I don't have an age on John but I think it's safe to say if he looks up to his elders he will be looking up to IP US Senate Candidate Robert Fitzgerald.

In 2002 IP candidate Dan Becker recived 7.48% of the vote in the 6th CD.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Kelly Doran, what we've learned

Kelly Doran was willing to invest millions of dollars to become Minnesota's next US Senator, and then Governor. Doran choose to go the route of seeking support from the DFL and their primary voters. His campaign was lead by John Woodle the spokesman for Independence party governor Jesse Ventura. His runningmate was a sitting state Senator who won as a member of the Independence Party. Somehow he was convinced the only way to win was to join one of the two big money parties even though he himself invested the money to make the lack of money in the Independence Party or the difficult prospects of raising money as an independent irrelevant.

The result nobody cared. Given his initial intention to run for US Senate it would seem he would have been a perfect fit to join the Independence Party and make the run as he would have been a strong favorite to win the parties nomination. He was by no means the perfect candidate, but given the stage he would have been given with the combination of his money and the status that the Independence Party has built over the years he could have had something he never had with the DFL, hope. If nothing else he would have been given a loud voice in the debates to focus on the issues that matter most to Minnesotans. In the process he took Shelia Kiscaden to the DFL party with him, and while she is still a good Senator a little more of her freedom to make the best decisions for her district and Minnesota is gone.

In the end because Kelly Doran decided the only way to move Minnesota forward was from one of the polarizing parties the chances of Minnesota actually moving forward slightly decreased. Peter Hutchinson and Robert Fitzgerald are continuing the fight Mr. Doran failed to win because they choose to fight with their allies in the Independence party. Lets hope that as the supporters of Doran and Kiscaden look for a new candidate they look to the spot where Kelly Doran began his fight, as a concerned Minnesotan ready to take this state forward, not where he ended the fight as a member of a polarizing political party.

Governor poll

I have stolen Backbone Minnesota's idea and created an IRV poll for Governor should be interesting to see what happens. Check out FairVote for more information on Instant Run Off elections.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A great demonstration of IRV

Check out Backbone Minnesota's straw poll for CD 5 using Instant run off voting. Unfortantly I only want to support other at this point, but thats OK anything to promote IRV is probably more important then what happens with that seat anyways given the Democrats firm grip.

Kelly Doran out

Checks and Balances is reporting Doran will drop out.

That leaves only one choice for voters looking to move Minnesota forward. Where does Doran go from here probably nowhere, but more interesting what is Shelia Kiscadens next move. Probably a run for re-election with the DFL but who knows at this point.

Mass firings at the capital

If the Senate election committee has it's way just under two thirds of all legislators will be out of a job in 2012 as they approved a bill that would reduce us to 45 Senate Districts.

This would make each race much more important, and less voices would tend to mean a smoother process at the capital. As for the Independence Party this would probably be good as the power of a handful of representatives will be slightly higher, and it will be much easier to get candidates in most races forcing a higher portion of the state to take a look at a decent 3rd option. I'll be eager to see who kills this bill.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dean Johnson scandle? Not so much

I think this information from Minnesota Democrats Exposed tells the complete story. Dean Johnson first started telling his lies to big crowds not last week, not last month, but last year:

It's now up to five verified incidents where Senator Dean Johnson has spoken about the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Defense of Marriage Act:1. A meeting at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, November 30, 2005, in Minneapolis. 2. At the Willmar ministerial, December 1, 2005, in Willmar Minnesota...

If Johnson was out of line those that were aware of this should have brought it up sometime prior to the start of the session, not in the days leading up to the Big Bachmann Bigot (BBB) Rally that took place yesterday. No the BBB's were holding on this information for two reasons one because it's not a big enough deal for anyone to care unless you send out press releases every 5 minutes (think jaywalking), and two because they can't win on the merits of the issue they are pushing and are left trying to play games with marginally related issues.

Meanwhile Tim Pawlenty was for the third time fined by the FEC last week and the media gave it how much ink? A couple sentences on the back end of a then non story about Tim Penny's money. As governor Pawlenty suggests it's long past time to move on and concentrate on the work that actually matters to Minnesotans.

Gophers set to fire Dan Monson

While Monson had to deal with a lot early with the major NCAA violations under Clem Haskins, he has been a failure in every sense of the word when it comes to leading the Gophers basketball program back to the days when a NCAA tournament bid was the minimum expectation.

The writing was on the wall when he drove what could have been the most dominant Center in the programs history Joel Pryzbilla away in the middle of his sophomore season. What’s worse was the constant acceptance of marginal transfers who originally turned there back on the program desperate to come home to close out there disappointing college basketball careers. Add to that accepting guys like Rick Rickert and Kris Humphries who only turned to the Gophers after they realized that the programs they originally committed to don't cater to guys that only want to stick around a year or two. It is really telling that Monson got more quality play out of guys with next to no talent then he did out of these two highly ranked recruits.

He may have been a good guy to fill the gap for a few years after Haskins, but by no means did he deserve anywhere close to the 8 years they gave him. Lets hope they bring in someone who really focuses on getting players committed to the program, who will only turn pro early if there talent is so extreme it becomes the most sensible option. I can't come up with anyone with local ties that excite me, but even a Trent Tucker would lead to more hope then Monson gave us.

Update Wednsday 2:48 PM: as of right now the athletic department is denying everything, of course they have not yet said they are committed to keeping him on board so I'd still say the odds are he's gone.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Independence Party Convention Site confirmed

June 24th at the home of the Saint Paul Saints, Midway Stadium. The convention will be followed by a tailgating fundraiser, and a Saints game that evening. More details as they develop.

67,000 interesting questions

As many of you already know Tim Penny had to reopen his governor campaign because he received a $67,000 refund from an ad agency. At the time the only question I had was why it took so long for this money to surface, but I assumed Penny had control of the money and was releasing it because he wanted it to be used in an election year and saw some good oppurtunities to make the best of the money. The obvious explanation of course being that it was money that was not spent due to the period of mourning for Paul Wellstone. I have found out this is not the case. The ad agency which also represented Roger Moe simply failed to fulfill there obligation. $67,000 was a considerable portion of Penny's ad budget and he was right in the middle of the race up until the final weeks of the race so it begs the question what the motives of this ad agency were, and did Roger Moe or the Democratic party play a role in this.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sports, Sports, Sports

usually when I post about sports I look at the post a few days later think it's stupid in the context of this blog and delete it. Given that I'll try to put everything in one post so I don't have a bunch of tiny opinions every so often that end up annoying me.

Does anyone else think the NCAA tournament is to repetitive? Do we really care when a 12 seed beats a 5 seed anymore given we've seen it dozens of times and they don't ever make it past the sweet 16? I find that the tournament is only as compelling as my bracket takes me and these days I barley even care about that.

College Hockey, St Cloud State came a game short of the NCAA tournament and the sad thing is it wasn't necessarily last nights game, as they were right on the edge of an at large bid. Oh well they look to be back on the rise, next year I will need to invest a few weekends driving up to St Cloud.

Wild, I hate this time of year when all I really care about is if my favorite players score, and am not so sure I even want them to pull off a victory as it will hurt there draft position.

Timberwolves, what a pathetic organization from top to bottom, someone needs to explain why Kevin Garnett is considered to be such a great player. He might not have Kobe Bryant or Dwayne Wade by his side, but a truly great player doesn't have two consecutive embarrassing seasons in the middle of his prime. Say what you will about the spending habits of Carl Pohlad with the Twins or Bob Neagle with the Wild, but if I could fire one owner it would be Glen Taylor the guy truly has no clue what he's doing.

Vikings, possibly the most average franchise in the history of sports, looks like a bunch of average moves again this past week.

Twins, tough to really get a good idea this spring with all the distractions. I don't think I'll have any better opinion on them then I did in January until at least the middle of April. Rondell White looks like he might be exactly what we need though.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Gay marriage amendment

I'm very concerned that this issue will make it's way on the November ballot, not only because I totally disagree with it, but because an issue like this will completely change the dynamic for the 200+ elections in this state that will effect each and every Minnesotan.

Clearly the Christian right will turnout in large #'s and vote Republican, while the gay activist will also turn out in large #'s voting mostly Democrat. While there’s no doubt this issue will demonstrate to moderate Minnesotans how important it is to do whatever it takes to stay away from the extremes, if poll #'s for Independence Party candidates are under 10% come October many will shy away and get sucked in supporting there side of the marriage issue.

Luckily the DFL does control the Senate so either they will block the amendment, or they will have to be held accountable by the anti amendment voters. In any event an issue like this is really damaging to the process.

I'm all for having the opportunity to vote on issues like this any other day, if that’s what our leaders determine is right but to throw a curve ball into the 2006 elections especially this late in the game is bad for all of us.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Is CD 5 a guaranteed DFL victory?

All data on prior elections suggests it's a difficult battle for any alternative to the DFL based on prior results for all offices. It's pretty clear a Republican won't win as the #'s even in the outer edges of the district are not in there favor. The question remains could a Green or Independence Party candidate give the DFL a good challenge. It still appears to be a long shot but maybe there is hope. The timing from Sabo is awful and could generate some negative coverage towards the DFL depending on what the insiders have known and what they've done with that information. In any event a hopeless district got slightly less hopeless.

Explain this one to me

Dean Johnson skrews up therefore we need a vote on gay marriage? Does that mean if Tim Pawlenty cheats on his wife we should raise taxes?

Does the actual merit of the issues matter anymore?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Martin Sabo to retire

An interesting set of races in Minnesota just got more interesting as CD 5's seat in congress has opened up. Martin Sabo served 14 terms as a DFLer. I don't expect any of the notable Independence Party members in the district such as Jack Uldrich or Jim Moore to jump in the race, but it is probably the parties strongest district so I would expect someone with some credibility to jump in for the IP, Booker Hodges isn't a bad bet.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Funeral protest bill

Sometimes a vote of 58-1 can clearly tell the story that this is a bad bill, based on nothing more then emotion and election year politics. The one no vote came from Becky Lourey who's view on this issue says a lot. Senator Lourey of course lost her son in Iraq.

The Phelps group has traveled all around the country, and while many of us who haven't been at those funerals have suggested we would do bodily harm to them not one person has as much as spit upon them. They have been given the amount of respect that they deserve at each and every funeral they have spewed their hate at.

The police departments, grievers and patriot guard have all conducted themselves honorably. No further legislation is necessary to deal with this hateful group. I have nothing against anyone that voted for this bill, but I really wish at least one or two legislators who didn't have the coverage that Lourey unfortunately has would have voted against it. It seems as if our legislators are sending a message that all problems need to swiftly be dealt with by adding more laws.

I'm not a big fan of Becky Lourey but she got this one right and for that I respect her greatly.

My NCAA Basketball Bracket

having watched a total of about 5 hours of NCAA basketball all year, I have a lot of confidence in my brackets. Gonzaga will win the national championship in my opinion based on the fact that they have a player that some TV station did a story about a few weeks ago.

I'll update you as soon as my bracket gets destroyed which should be sometime in the next 3 hours.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Update on Tim Penny news

As suspected he is not running for governor

A Penny for Governor sequel? No way, he says

Looks like the Independence Party and Peter Hutchinson will benifit from this.

Interesting news from Minnesota Democrats Exposed

Tim Penny has opened up a new campaign committee for Governor

He has a very good relationship with Peter Hutchinson, so I highly doubt he would challenge him for the nomination. I could see Penny either running for Secretary of State or as Peter’s Lieutenant Governor, but am not sure why he would file with the campaign board as a candidate for governor if he had other intentions.

It would be a great thing for the Independence Party to have two candidates of that high profile battle it out for the nomination, and I have heared some rumors that a highly respected candidate intended to jump into this race, but this would be a complete shocker

Results of the straw poll that never happened

100% of those that showed up at Republican caucuses in Minnesota last week want Tim Pawlenty to be their candidate for governor this year. They figured this out in a less Democratic process then the one that was used in Iraq to consistently elect Saddam Hussien. They simply stated 100% support with no questions asked by the secretary of states office. Clearly his support among hardcore Republicans is something slightly less then that given his promotion of gambling, stadiums, rail transit, minumum wage increases, and major fee increases.

State law mandates a major party conducts a straw poll at caucuses. I'm pretty sure if the Independence party decided to use the same process as the Republicans used Mary Kiffmeyer would be trying to strip the Independence Party of major party status, then again she only likes to try to do that once it's to late for candidates to gather signatures to get on the ballot. Not only did the Independence party follow the law and conduct a straw poll at caucuses they actually gave the voters options even though there is currently one candidate seeking endorsement.

Secretary of State Kiffmeyer can be reached at secretary.state@state.mn.us <secretary.state@state.mn.us> lets make sure she starts enforcing laws that exist.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Al Franken

Watching this cheap shot artist on Letterman tonight, I am very excited about the prospect of the DFL nominating him for US Senate in 2008. It will be a lot easier for the Independence Party to compete in the race if they only have to face one major party challanger.

Everything he has said in the context of Minnesota politics will be fair game in two years, and I'm pretty sure he's managed to annoy the hell out of every Minnesotan with the exception of the 28% (Skip Humphrys share of the vote in 1998) that are hardcore Democrats.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Caucus night starting to pay dividends

Often times we put to much emphasis on the number of people that show up to caucuses, but more important is the quality of these people and the commitment we get from them. I have already seen over the last week a few new faces already being plugged into the Independence party with the energy and skill we need to make things work on a daily basis.

The Peter Hutchinson campaign has continued to promote the virtual caucus on line until the end of the month to fill delegate slots. They are confident they can bring in several hundered more. Things appear to be developing toward a big endorsement convention June 24th in St. Paul, as those plans are starting to be finalized. I should be able to provide more details on that exciting event later this week.

As negative as I sometimes get about caucuses success can only truly be measured months later when we see the new faces and what they have to offer. So far so good.

Political update

It appears Peter Hutchinson's campaign has candidates lined up for Attorney General, State Auditor, Secretary of State, and Lieutenant Governor. I have no idea who these people might be, but all indications are they will be recognizable highly respected names.


Looks like a heck of a battle is brewing in the Anoka mayor's race as Thomas Peterson is ready to take over city hall. While I think this opponent is extreamly lacking in many ways, I do have to admitt he may be Bjorn Skogquist best challanger yet.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I'm not the only one

Good news, I have discovered other Independence party supporting bloggers exist. Northwest Metro Politics Blog and Great Plains View are both ran by strong supporters of the Independence Party of Minnesota. Both are fairly new blogs so hopefully as this years campaigns heat up there will be more to come.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Reason #53 why I hate the NFL

Daunte Culpepper having a horrible season suffers a major injury which will keep him out well beyond opening day of the 2006 season, yet he thinks he can call all the shots. Whats worse is he is not man enough to do it in person instead doing it over E-mail. While I probably never will jump back on the Vikings bandwagon I'm more then happy to see the end of the Culpepper era.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bjorn Skogquist interview

Bjorn Skogquist interview

Todays Star Tribune has an interview with the 27 year old mayor of Anoka. Most newsworthy is his response of his political plans this year.

Q. What about your future? Are you planning to run for higher office?

A. I've been asked to run for a lot of different offices. I was asked to run for state representative twice now, and I've declined. This last time around I was asked to run for state Senate. I've been asked to run as a Democrat and also as a member of the Independence Party. In the case of our state representative, I think Jim Abeler [a Republican] is doing a great job and don't see any reason to change. If you're doing a good job for your constituents, I don't care which party you're from. I think that the Senate timing isn't right for me. I was also asked to run for U.S. Congress and I declined that because that is not a good idea for me right now. I'll do one more term as the mayor if I'm successfully reelected, but then I will have been in office eight years.

Lets hope he runs for higher office sometime in the not to distant future.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Caucus night a little disappointing

Even though most independents see the whole caucus process as pointless the attendance last night did not signal momentum. The Independence Party has never been a party that saw success in any part of the process outside of election day, but still given Peter Hutchinson’s fundraising #'s and the number of people showing up to his announcement I expected a lot better.

It's to bad we have to make sure to follow not only laws that exist but also laws that don't exist in order to make sure our candidates are on the ballot, as the caucus process is extremely costly and the most inefficient use of time and energy. Hopefully the next secretary of state will rid of this pointless ritual.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Early DFL results are proving my prediction to be pretty accurate although Steve Kelley still has a decent shot of finishing 2nd.

I don't think Kelly Doran can be to unhappy with his showing given that he is really trying to run within the DFL as an Independent.

Independence Party Caucus night

Well that was fun. Once again a caucus night has come and gone with absolutely nothing of significance happening. I guess a guy at my caucus is considering a run for office, but he didn't strike me as anything different then the typical 7% type. Likable guy, understands the issues, and can put together a sentence but nothing to offer that we haven't seen before. Oh well better to have a guy like that then a vampire.

It appears we will have good numbers coming in from the virtual caucus, and it will be intresting to hear what we have for candidates accross the state, but my caucus was pretty dull.

After my first two caucus experiences I almost think we should go exclusively with the online caucus next time, and put all the bells and whistles on it to make it as free flowing as possible.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Significance of caucus night

Outside of the voting on delegates that may effect many of us who enjoy this stuff on a personal level I don't see to much happening tomorrow night.

On the DFL side Mike Hatch will win the vote tomorrow night, Becky Lourey will come in 2nd, Steve Kelley will have a nice showing coming in third and Doran will come in a distant 4th. The only possible surprise I could see is Steve Kelley having a poor showing and maybe Kelly Doran will do a little better then expected. We will get confirmation that the race for senate is still alive, but there’s no doubt Amy Klobachar will beat Ford Bell.

On the Republican side absolutely nothing matters. Even if only 102 people showed up nobody would care all that much.

On the Independence party side people will look to the # of attendees to see if they can write the party off, but the # will be high enough that they can't. There may be some delegates that emerge that are notable names as well as candidates who emerge, but it probably won't be groundbreaking.

Nope we're all getting excited about a day that will amount to next to nothing, but that’s OK we're only about 240 days away from a day we all know will matter.

A couple things

I think we can officially say Jonathan Sharkey will not be on the ballot, I don't think you can tell the FCC your dead and then run for political office again.

My two favorite Kirby Puckett memories, the first game I remember attending Kirby hit for the cycle although this is technically not a Kirby Puckett memory as I only realized that years later when I found out that he did it in the same game in which Bert Blyleven recorded his 3000th strikeout which I remember very well, and of course the afternoon in Milwaukee when he had 6 hits 2 HR's and robbed Robin Yount of a grand slam.

And finally there are a few rumors that another candidate or two of meaningful status might still enter this Governors race to challange Peter Hutchinson for the Independence Party nomination. I can only speculate names based on limited information I have, I'll hold off until after tomorrow night to give my guesses assuming no concrete information develops between now and then.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

If you don't buy into the 3rd party movement

In Minnesota you have only one alternitive choice Tuesday to move Minnesota forward as the Republican party is unwilling to move away from their outrageous stance on the gay marriage issue. No your only choice outside of the Independence Party to move Minnesota forward is to caucus with the DFL and support Kelly Doran.

Unfortunately not only do you have to support the Doran campaign and vote for it, if and when he is elected you must stay on his case, making absolute certain he does not drift away from leadership and toward the liberal side of the DFL. For now the good news is he has taken in very little special interest money, so maybe there is hope.

The big problem with supporting someone like Kelly Doran is the majority of the DFL is going to do everything they can to make sure he doesn't make it to November, and then will drag you along for the ride by convincing you there is no other option.

Friday, March 03, 2006

DFL in favor of instant run off voting?

According to DFL Chair Brian Melendez on Almanac tonight, he is in favor of pushing for instant run off voting. Of course it was a blatant lie, but hey at least they're to the point where they know they have no credibility blaming 3rd party candidates for all there troubles if they avoid discussing a possible solution.

The DFL game plan

From Minnesota Campaign Report comments:

The DFL candidate will remind people at every stop what happened the last time an Independence candidate got serious attention - we got Jesse Ventura and four years of deadlock and silly ideas at the Capitol. Next candidate, depending on how you looked at it, gave the election to Pawlenty. That's what a smart DFL candidate will do, and Hutchinson will be a non-factor...

They will simply cover therir ears deny the existance of a third choice, blaime all there past failures on anybody but themselves, and call anyone who gets elected governor incompetent. I think we can all figure out how well that game plan will work for them this fall.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Harry Browne dead at 72

Two time Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne died yesterday. He was my first political influence during the 2006 election. I was 17 at the time so could not vote but had to write a paper on who I would have voted for president and US Senate. I wrote about Browne and eventual Senator Dean Barkley.

I am a little less libertarian today then I was back in 1996 but I still am strongly behind limited government that is not meant to be all things to all people. The Democrat and Republican parties could learn a lot from the leadership Harry Browne showed.

I am very encouraged by the significant support so far for the Independence party virtual caucus. The potential delegate count is rapidly increasing even though for a few more days we have no elected officials in St Paul.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Virtual Caucus has begun For those Minnesotans who plan to caucus with the Independence party but for whatever reason can not make it to an actual caucus Tuesday night the Independence Party virtual caucus is up and running.

It is a fully functioning caucus allowing you to volunteer to become a delegate*, submit resolutions and discuss your views.

* disclaimer those attending an actual caucus will be given priority should all delegate slots in an LD fill up.

The voters have spoken they don't want a DFL governor

There is a reason the voters didn't support Skip Humphrey and Roger Moe the past two races, it was because they don't represent what Minnesotans are looking for in a governor. In 2004 the DFL line was anyone but Bush, but then they nominated the same old style of candidate. If the problem is Tim Pawlenty the DFL needs to give us an option that is better then Pawlenty.

I think the reality is the DFL doesn't care about anything other then winning elections. We didn't see a push for Instant Run off elections when the line was anyone but Bush. Minnesotans are ready to fire the governor and are just looking for a real option. The public has indicated there thoughts on Skip Huphrey and Roger Moe. For Minnesota to go back to the DFL they will need something different. Until then there only hope will be to vote Republican or hope the Independence Party finds the right place and the right time in the election cycle to pull off another upset, and all the begging from the eventual DFL candidate for Peter Hutchinson and his supporters to step aside so they can take on the governor one on one (with no regard mind you for Sue Jeffers pressence in the race as she will be expected to only hurt Pawlenty) will be met with a hell no attitude.

The DFL can push instant run off elections if they want a chance to take on the Republicans one on one. Then it's left to the voters to dictate that eventual result. They won't aggresivly push IRV because they know it won't help them win elections. No all you will ever hear from the DFL is that it just isn't fair that the Independence Party exists.

Check out my poll

It appears Steve Kelley campaign insiders think my poll might effect the race. Maybe they should waste some money reminding people that Mike Hatch is the favorite for the DFL nomination

This Independence Party officer finds the whole thing pretty comical

Edit: The comedy just keeps getting better. Apparently an E-mail has been sent out to get people to vote for Kelley on my blogs poll.

2 way Poll suggest Tim Pawlenty is beatable

A recent poll suggest that Mike Hatch is favored over Pawlenty 45-40 while Steve Kelley is in a dead heat with Pawlenty 42-42.

This is great news in that it strongly suggest Tim Pawlenty will be beatable making a challange of him from the Independence Party a worthwhile cause.

Phelps bill a joke

While we all hate what happened in Anoka last week we should be absulutly ashamed of our lawmakers for making this political outside of the basic public statements from our governor and those that witnessed the pure evil.

Let Law enforcement the patriot guard and others do what they do best without putting an extra law on the books. The events in Anoka ran very smoothly, yet now because of that we are showing the Phelps gang the great respect of creating legislation that targets his group. While I fully understand the emotional reasoning behind the legislation it shows a great disrespect to all of the 99.99999% of Americans who would never consider such a display, it shows a great deal of disrespect for the patriot guard, it shows a great deal of disrespect for the Anoka Police, it shows a great deal of disrespect for the mourners, it shows a great deal of disrespect for the fallen hero. No the only people that this legislation shows respect for is the Phelps gang no matter how indirectly that small amount of respect is.

Lets be perfectly clear if that mother had a gun and shot that evil man a jury of her peers would have let her go free.

We don't need more laws to deal with situations like this. Beyond that it would likely get overturned in the courts, we don't need to have the most talked about bill of 3 consecutive legislation sessions overturned by the courts.