Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mitch Hedberg tribute show

I attended tonight’s Mitch Hedberg tribute show, and was once again reminded what an underrated entertainment option Stand Up comedy is. Unfortunately you have to know what your getting yourself into as some of the 12 comics tonight couldn't fill even 10 minutes without racist or sexual obnoxiaty, there’s a way to do it with humor, but most can't pull it off and thus shouldn't go in that direction at all.

I became a fan of Mitch about 5 years ago and regret passing up my one chance to see him in person a few months before he lost his battle with drugs last spring. A lot of people can say funny stuff, but few can say stuff and make it funny the way Mitch Hedberg did. He was truly one of a kind and is greatly missed.

I highly recommend anyone looking for some good relatively clean entertainment find out when Greg Behrnhardt, Mike Birbiglia, Dave Mordal, Doug Benson, or Patton Oswalt are in town next. The tax payers don't have to spend a billion dollars to keep great comedy clubs like ACME alive and well.

What we're up against

I recently came across this article over at Third Party Watch in which columnist Matthew Tulley of the Indianapolis Star reveals the behind the scenes aspects of his job when he fails to mention all candidates.

This is a constant battle here and Minnesota, and for the most part our media has with a phone call here and an E-mail there done a fair job. Still this past week with Sue Jeffers, it has once again indicated our media has a party based criteria for coverage rather then a candidate based criteria. I too fell into the trap of calling it a publicity stunt among other things, but the reality is she is a candidate for governor and that alone should be the only "stunt" necessary to get her name in the paper every once in a while. While that and the fact she's not a vampire and is doing what a candidate for governor is supposed to do.

This morning on the radio I hear about the Republican and Democrats recently endorsed candidates for congress, yet a Google search of the Independence Party endorsed candidate in CD 6 John Binkowski will not find one media report, despite the fact there have been numerous articles about the battle for that open seat and John has sent out a press release.

I am fully aware that compared to Tammy Lee or Peter Hutchinson, John has as of yet not earned full coverage. Still a brief mention of his endorsement within the articles on the race would seem justified.

It's a hell of an uphill battle, I'm just glad I'm not from Indiana or a Libertarian.

By the way I know many in the media do come across this blog occasionally, and I do want to thank you for doing a fair job balancing what your readers, listeners, or viewers want and giving us in the Independence Party as well as other 3rd party candidates a fair shake. I know that between now and November most Minnesotans will have an oppurtunity to get to know Binkowski and others through the work you do. Keep it up, the more the better. People are sick of reading the same story every election clycle, mix it up you might find everyone benifits.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Tigers 17 Twins 1

After last nights 9-0 loss, and this afternoons 17-1 deficit along with the overall bad start it's time for a long overdue change.

It's time to fire Ron Gardenhire. He took a Tom Kelly ballclub to the playoffs three years, but it has been clear all along this guy has nothing going for him. He came in saying he would have his players swing for the fences. Unfortanatly they are doing that with no results whatsoever despite being given more power then any team in the last ten years or so.

We sign a .300 hitter in Rondell White and he gets off to a bad start, but has slowly come around and what does Gardenhire do? He benches him so Lew Ford and a never was 40 year old can get in the lineup? He has no clue how to use the bunt the hit and run or when to send a runner. He can't teach these guys to hit, and he couldn't care less if his players hustle.

This team might not be good enough to win the division, but come on they do have some talent on the roster.

April Governors Race prediction

A lot of stuff is going on that could change things as we go forward. The end result of the stadium debate and the public reaction will do something to the Governor Pawlenty's hope for reelection, but until we see that he does indeed sign a bill it's tough to gauge where that will go. Sue Jeffers has a major decision to make. If she wants to challenge for the GOP endorsement in any meaningful way she probably has to take the governor to a primary meaning one of the two would be out of the race in November with Pawlenty being the clear favorite.

Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Hatch are pushing forward with no real news since my last prediction.

Last month I took away a little bit from Sue Jeffers because she wasn't getting her name in the paper, clearly that has changed in the last week or so. I'll have to make an adjustment there.Iit looks like the Governor is playing the stadium debate as well as he can at this point. With all that and assuming Sue Jeffers is on the ballot as a libertarian here is my April prediction.

Tim Pawlenty 42%
Mike Hatch 34%
Peter Hutchinson 18%
Sue Jeffers 6%

Note that Jeffers is pretty high now, but she will have to keep the steady flow of media up to retain and gain support.

Friday, April 28, 2006

What is Steve Kelley doing?

Steve Kelley is clearly in favor of spending tax payers money for stadiums. The House passed something that the Governors willing to sign. Steve Kelley is promoting legislation that would be very difficult for the governor to the sign. While I as an Anoka county resident prefer Kelley's proposal, assuming the Vikings Anoka country proposal is also on the fast track, I find it completly inconsistent for anyone in the pro stadium crowd to do anything to slow the momentum coming out of this weeks House vote for the Twins.

Is pro stadium Steve Kelley trying to revive his campaign for Governor even if it means the Twins might not get a stadium?

April CD 5 predictions

After seeing Independence Party candidate Tammy Lee on Almanac tonight I am prepared to make a prediction on this race.

First off from the Republican side we have two resonably credible candidates in Alan Fine and Colin Chapman, I give the edge to Chapman although he has only lived in Minnesota for a few months.

On the Democrat side it looks like a two way race between Mike Erlandson and Keith Ellison, and it's really anybodys guess at this point, for purposes of making a prediction on the general election results I will go with Erlandson here.

Jay Pond is the Green Party candidate.

Tammy Lee is the only announced Independence Party candidate at this point and seems to have the edge in experience over the other potential candidate I have met.

As everyone knows this is a DFL district with very little oppurtunity from the Republicans. It's clearly favorable for Green candidates, and may play well to a left leaning Independence Party candidate. With basically one major party and three "third parties" in this race it will be tough to make an accurate prediction, but I'll take a stab at it.

Jay Pond Green 7%
Colin Chapman Republican 18%
Mike Erlandson Democrat 56%
Tammy Lee Independence 19%

Thursday, April 27, 2006

From the comments on Anoka's Mayor

Just got this comment on a very old post Bjorn Skogquist interview, and thought it was worthy of being put in a place where a few more people will see it.

As a citizen of Anoka, and a supporter of our young mayor, I can tell you that he is likely to go far in politics. He really is as genuine and approachable as he appears. He has a great vision, and a compassionalte heart, coupled with integrity. We're lucky to have him.

Mark Kennedy Gas Price plan

Mark Kennedy has a plan to lower the price of gas by a whopping 17 cents a gallon by eliminating the gas tax on a trial basis. That’s great I wouldn't mind saving 17 cents a gallon, only problem is the government is going to have to collect that 17 cents from me somewhere else.

The only potential winners out of this plan are the oil companies as they would have an additional 17 cents they could raise without the consumers noticing. The reality is adding 17 cents to the gas tax would be more effective in creating the changes necessary to slow the growth of gas prices, and move us toward other options.

Lets hope the voters aren't gullible enough to buy into this example of poor leadership.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

April prediction US Senate

First let me start with word that new candidate has decided to seek the Independence Party endorsement today so that allows the possibility of changing things.

With that said I have no reason to believe Robert Fitzgerald will not be the Independence Party candidate. Of course nothing of signifigance has changed with the Republican or Democrat parties, also no other candidates of significance are running with other parties at this point.

Really nothing major has changed since last month other then the fact that I have had a chance to see Robert Fitzgerald give his campaign speech which confirmed he knows what he's getting himself into and why he's doing it.

Some change from last month as I'm reminded that the Republican candidate is the dull Mark Kennedy.

Mark Kennedy Republican 49%
Amy Klobuchar Democrat 44%
Robert Fitzgerald Independence 7%

Please note I'm known to be seen in Robert Fitzgerald for US Senate T Shirt's these days so a bias might exist.

76-55 Twins stadium bill passes

Twins stadium passes House

At least my Representitve Connie Bernardy voted against it.

Vikings are next. The margain of the vote leaves little doubt we the tax payers will have a bill of more then a billion dollars for sports stadiums. Now when the next community is met with the everyone else is doing it argument they can include Minnesota.

10 years of true leadership in St Paul thrown away. Our last two governors races should have made the voters stance on this issue pretty damn clear.

The Twins are great for the state

House members from all around the state are saying it on the floor of the House. I think it's safe to say they are all full of shit. We need leaders in St Paul not cowards who pass taxes on those they don't represent.

By the way how the hell did anyone that is dumb enough to use the argument that we need yes votes because we need to get this issue behind us get elected? We can put a lot of bad ideas behind us, all it requires is that we elect as few real leaders as possible. There are a lot of fair arguments that can be made in support of a stadium, but that one represents the worst of the worst, and is something I don't expect from an elected official.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Twins stadium: No new taxes pledge

Tim Pawlenty seems to think he can pin the Twins stadium tax on the county despite the fact that if Tim Pawlenty does not sign this bill this new tax will not go into effect. A new amendment would take part of the tax burden away from the County, and put it on the state.

A 3% ticket tax has been added to the bill. I guess we call that a user fee. It will be interesting to see if the Governor calls the Hennepin county portion of the bill a sales tax or a sales user fee. The ticket user fee of course will only be paid as a result of ticket sales.

David Strom and the tax payers leagues expectations from the governor on this one are perfectly clear. If and when The Governor signs the stadium bill Tim Pawlenty could do himself a lot of good by saying he broke the pledge because he is looking out for the best interest of Minnesota or something to that effect.

April prediction time

I will continue to make predictions of every major race with an Independence Party candidate at the end of every month. This month we see the Independence has entered the races for congress in the 5th and 6th districts with John Binkowski's endorsement in CD 6 as well as Tammy Lee and Bill Miteikes battling for the 5th CD endorsement.

Tonight I'll start with the 6th CD

While there is still a chance for a late suprise it looks like Republican Michele Bachmann and Democrat Patty Wetterling will get the nominations from their parties. Independence Party candidate John Binkowski is just getting out of the gate at this point. Based on what I've seen from Binkowski he probably will not play well to the pro war anti gay marraige Republican crowd, meaning his pressence in the race is good news for the Republicans especially given the 6th district has been very favorable to the Independence Party in the past. Binkowski will need to be able to use his youth to his advantage if he wants to be competive.

Best bet at this point

Michele Bachmann Republican 53%
Patty Wetterling Democrat 41%
John Binkowski Independence 6%

Monday, April 24, 2006

Independence Party post convention Fundraiser

Tickets for the June 24th Independence Party post convention fundraiser at Midway Stadium are now on sale. It sounds like tickets are going fast for this one of a kind event which will flow right out of the afternoons convention at the stadium. Tickets get you a dinner as well as a ball game where the Independence Party along with Endorsed Candidates will make there strong pressence known.

Get in on the action by placing ticket orders here

MDE on Sue Jeffers

Minnesota Democrats Exposed has accused her campaign manager of being a Democrat, and if he has his facts straight the evidence of that is pretty clear. Of course this follows my accusation that she is running a campaign to protect Pawlenty.

I think we will have a clearer sense of what she's all about when Tim Pawlenty starts signing his name to raise taxes to pay for stadiums. The fact that she won't actively go after him on smoking issues, even though that is an issue she has great passion, really makes me wonder.

I believe she would like to pull Pawlenty to the fiscal right, but I'm not convinced she is willing to do anything that will make the November election any more difficult for Pawlenty.

Playoff hockey

I've been reminded in the last few days just how great NHL playoff hockey is, it's just to bad the style of the regular season game has been so watered down even when two rivals with a history of bad blood get together.

If you have nothing better to do in the coming days, make sure to find out where OLN is on your cable system and watch a couple periods.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Tammy Lee's DFL ties

Much has been made of Independence party 5th CD candidate Tammy Lee's past connection to the DFL. Clearly she is very supportive of many DFL causes, and in the past DFL candidates, but I think a clear distinction can be made from her and any endorsable DFL candidate.

Social Security is the key issue here. It's a complicated issue so most observers don't get to in depth with it, but the DFL position on that issue would drive any sensible Minnesotan out of that party, the #'s just don't add up anymore. Tim Penny and Jack Uldrich pressence with her campaign should leave little doubt she is not anywhere close to the DFL on this issue.

Lets be honest to win in CD 5 you have to have a lot of DFL in you, Tammy has that, but there is also a clear line between the DFL field of candidates and Tammy. A line that there is no hope the DFL will ever be willing to cross as we saw with Kelly Doran.

Again this looks like another case where the DFL has to claim ownership of every non-Republican citizen. At least when the Republicans refuse to give Third Parties any credit we know it's because they ideally would like a one party system, but with the Democrats it's all about a two party system and there inability to adapt to change.

They talk a good game about anyone but Bush or anyone but Pawlenty, but when it comes down to it the DFL can not handle the idea of third party success. I believe the leaders in the party would prefer Republican victory over 3rd party victory as they don't want to create a new playbook. The best guess is Tammy Lee will not win which begs the question why the hell do they care?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Long day on a bus

I spent most of the day today on a parked bus with US Senate Candidate Robert Fitzgerald after this mornings uneventful Independence Party CD 2 convention. The discussion ranged from politics, to his fear of alligators, to his 9 mile walk home from the bus stop in New Mexico when he was in 6th grade. I have to say I'm pretty fired up to spend several more hours on a bus with Robert between now and election day. I think it's safe to say that regardless of success in November the Robert Fitzgerald campaign will be about having fun and enjoying life. I encourage anyone who has a chance to talk to Robert to go beyond politics and truly get to know him, so you can get a true sense of the kind of hard working dedicated leader he will be.

By the way you can contribute to Robert Fitzgeralds US Senate Campaign by sending checks to:

Robert Fitzgerald for U.S. Senate
446 E. Main Ave., Rothsay, MN 56579

Get on the bus

Friday, April 21, 2006

Whats Sue Jeffers true intent?

When I first heard she was seeking the GOP endorsement I thought to myself OK that’s a good move to gain media exposure, but she isn't going against just a strong favorite for endorsement, she’s going against a sitting governor who is very popular in his party.

That being said Sue Jeffers and Tim Pawlenty have clear differences on a handful of issues worth fighting over. The problem is Sue isn't putting up much of a fight. If she was truly seeking GOP endorsement why didn't she have a presence at caucuses? Even if it was just her and a small handful of supporters it would have created the appearance that she was actually seeking the endorsement and not simply trying to put on a show so she could get one meaningless line in a few news reports.

At this point I question if Sue is a true candidate or simply a Tim Pawlenty supporter who wants to make sure the Libertarian ballot line does not have a presence in November. It's a stretch, but politics can be a pretty dirty sport.

If Sue Jeffers cared about the Libertarian Party or her campaign one would think she would go out of her way to discuss the smoking ban particularly since the issue is important to her on a personal level.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Twins stadium going forward

While the Gopher stadium vote gave a strong indication the Twins stadium would be pushed forward. The recent pathetic actions of Sid Hartman and others added a little doubt, but tonight it appears the Twins are in good position.

Governor Pawlenty seems to hold all the cards and as of yet he has made no clear indication of what he will do, but the best guess is he has flip flopped to the supporter side or any stadium anytime anywhere for anyone.

David Strom vs Mike Max

Love it political debate between an experianced politial debator in David Strom and a guy who thinks he belongs in the middle of the political debate once every spring in Mike Max just finishing up on WCCO on the stadium issue. Needless to say Mike Max looked like a fool.

Don't worry Mike Max will get coaching from Sid Hartman and when an average citizen debates him in a few minutes he will at least get to feel he's winning the debate.

Sids got an excuse he's 102, but Mike Max should really be prepared if he's gonna show up to do his show at a political hearing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tammy Lee announcment audio

Polinaut links to the audio of Tammy' Lee's announcment speech.

Looks like she's ready to talk about issues which is always a plus in a candidate.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Tonights event

I now have names and faces for the two Independence Party CD 5 candidates. As I mentioned earlier tonight Tammy Lee who will announce officially at the capital tommarow morning, the other is Bill Miteikis (I think I have the spelling right on him).

We also had a good discussion on transit and where we need to go if population continues to grow, I think the reality is like rail or hate it we'll be going all out building more lines no matter who's in office so politically it will soon become a non issue.

Also had a chance to talk to Robert Fitzgerald about his Senate campaign a little bit. He's going to hit all the CD conventions so it appears he is doing everything right should another candidate emerge late.

Finally Peter Hutchinson gave an extreamly opptimisitc pep talk about the success he is having on the ground. He's a candidate so we have to take that for what it's worth, but he's demonstrated an ability to answer any question fired his way without that "brief think up some BS pause" that can really make a candidate look bad, so I imagine he is swaying a fair amount of voters.

I'd add more but it's late and I still have to watch 24, and with back to back 14 Hour work days ahead of me I should try to get to bed sooner then later.

Oh one more thing Jay Pond of the Green Party was there and discussed the idea of a softball game, so that could be fun.

CD 5 IP announcments

Two IP candidates for congress will be at the Independence Party Meetup 7 PM at the Loon Cafe in Downtown Minneapolis tonight. I know one of those candidates is Tammy Lee who has recently worked as a spokesperson for Sun Country Airlines. At least one candidate will officially announce Tuesday. Hopefully at the very least a strong IP candidate can force the DFL toward the middle.

As I have mentioned earlier the subject of the meetup will be transportation, of course with emerging candidates in the crowd the focus may very well bounce around to other issues.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Libertarian convention

Today was the Minnesota Libertarian Party convention where I presume Sue Jeffers was endorsed for Governor. Google searching the news I find nothing on it, worse yet Google searching blogs, I only find this day old posting promoting the convention. Occasionally I see a mild plug in my comments section or the comments sections elsewhere for Sue and the Libertarian Party, but from what I can tell it's coming from only one person.

In one sense I am disappointed in the media for not getting a little coverage on the Libertarian party as uncompetitive as it is helps drive the agenda as good as any major or minor party, but the party and the Jeffers campaign themselves really are responsible for whatever coverage they end up getting. I don't care if your the kill the cats party, if you have a convention and a fair amount of people show up to endorse a candidate or many candidates for major office the media will send someone your way if you do the work to make sure they are aware of the event, and you expect coverage.

Any time I see a third party candidate fail to find the base they represent, I get a little worried that maybe the process we have doesn't work. Hopefully this has more to say about the quality of the candidate and her team, and the reality is Sue Jeffers wouldn't be an effective governor.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Minnesota Democrats exposed

looks like for a few nickles our favorite Republican party blogger will sell out to anyone. Typical Republican, oh sure he says he doesn't like it, but I'm sure he'll cash the check.

Twins beat the Yankees

Before the season major question marks for Scott Baker, Shannon Stewart, and Tony Batista. It looks like all three will produce as they did tonight. If Rondell White and Tony Batista flip stats the next ten games that will be OK just as it would be OK if the SS spot and RF spot do the same. It really doesn't take much to go from a bad offense to an above average offense.

The Twins are just a game out of first without the luxary of a single game against a non contender, if we can just get out of April at .500 we're in great position, all indications are that shouldn't be a problem.

By the way I like where the trend of the last 4 games is headed, down 4-0 Tuesday to comeback and win, down 3-0 Wednsday to come back and win, down 2-0 Thursday before taking the game over, and now tonight only getting down 1-0. The best part of all 4 games is no matter how far down the comeback came right away.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Reminder to Republicans

When you file your taxes your paying thousands of dollars so the citizens of Iraq can dip there fingers in ink for elections that so far have amounted to nothing. One would think that the typical Republican would rather donate $1,000 to the Republican candidates of their choice rather then continue to spin a war that doesn't fit into the Republican platform.

I don't like to get into the Democrat play book and bash the war in Iraq. I don't have access to internal information that could very well justify this war, but the justification the average Republican on the street is buying into doesn't make any sense once you realize they are literally buying into this war.

If light rail is a waste of tax payer money because it's failing by the opponents standards, then the war in Iraq must also be a waste.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Taxes done

Nothing more annoying then the 5 minutes where you think your taxes might be complicated, but 30 minutes and I was done, and that’s with 4 W-2's. Now I just wait for my $200 interest free loan to the government to be returned.

That will buy a summers worth of beers on the deck.

Minnesota blog of the day?

Wow I have the City pages Minnesota blog of the day?

It's to bad I haven't posted anything in the last few days. Twins homestands make for a long work week, but the Twins will be back on the road just in time for things to heat up at the capital on the stadium front late next week.

Twins finish off a nice sweep against a very good Oakland team with the 8-2 victory this afternoon. It looks like this team will be able to score enough runs to come from behind this year which is great news given the pitching staff should come around to the point where we shouldn't need to many 3 and 4 run comebacks. Now if we can start getting the early lead that would be nice.

Bring on the Yankees, and look for Rondell White to get the bat going this weekend.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Opening day at the dome

Heck of a game coming back once again from a 4 nothing Radke deficit. Got to watch it from my favorite spot in the dome tonight, and made $50 in the process. If I wasn't a man of principal I might actually be for the stadium after tonight.

Tony Batista has offically taken over for Matthew LeCroy as my favorite Twin.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Independence Party Convention

Those of you interested in attending the Independence Party convention may now purchase tickets to the post convention tailgate dinner and Saints game June 24th here. Of course the convention itself is free. If your interested in becoming a delegate go to the Independence Party Web Site and find contact information on your local CD chair or contact the party office at 651-487-9700.

Should be a fun day for all, with activities going on during the convention for kids, and those that just need a break away from the action. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

IP CD 5 update

It appears we will have 3 credible candidates battling for Martin Sabo's seat in congress at the Independence Party CD 5 endorsement convention in May. Expect more details next week. I know one name already, but will wait until I know all three to comment further.

Off to a bad start

Looks like the Twins aren't off to a great start, losing 4 of there first five. The good news though is they have played 2 solid opponents on the road, and have yet to lose a game to the Royals. As long as the White Sox don't jump 5 games up we should have our chance to recover from a bad first week. So far I like most of what I see from our linuep although I see Ron Gardenhire is stuck in his ways about keeping his top players out of the lineup to often. Hopefully with Santana going today we can back to the win column.

Friday, April 07, 2006

At least there still might be 30 ok ones

This list of those that voted no on the Gophers stadium is filled with those we already know are not good legislators. I would tend to think that most of the 35 that did not vote were simply cowards, who are undeserving of any sort of credit. For what it's worth here is the list of 30 legislators that were not eliminated from my future consideration last night should I have a chance to determine their fate in the future.

Anderson, B.
Johnson, S.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

It's over, we lost

The decade long battle against stadiums has been lost. This is truly a sad day for real fiscal conservatives, and a very telling day for those that thought the Republican Party cared about our dollars. Given the Overwhelming stadium support from the House we know the Governor is about to confirm he is a billion dollars worth of flipping and flopping, there is no doubt the Senate will vote for the Gophers, and given the ease with which this money was wasted, the Twins and Vikings will follow in the coming weeks with ease. But it's OK they will use this stadium more then 6 days a year, because some shmucks want to play soccer on the field it will have artificial turf and come in as the 11th best football stadium in the big ten. But hey the 70 year olds can spell the name of the state a few times on a few Saturdays, and some hung over students can play their soccer.

$250 million down the drain

The house approves the Minnesota Golden Gopher football stadium bill 103-30.

I don't get it

I heard Dick Day on KFAN today discuss the prospects of getting a Twins Vikings and Gopher stadium. I of course am against all 3 stadiums if they use any tax payer dollars (and by tax payer dollars I mean any dollar collected from a Minnesota citizen to our Government including fees, fines, sales tax, income tax...), but I can accept open honest opposing opinions.

The company line on the Twins stadium is 3 cents on 20 dollars, and while I see through that for what it actually is (a couple thundered million dollars) that’s a fair way of trying to rationalize this plan to the public, but if your going to talk about both the Twins plan and the Vikings plan, it is significantly less then honest to mention 3 cents on 20 dollars when it comes to the Twins, and then fail to mention the $20 ratio for the Vikings which is of course five times that amount.

Also it is less then honest to fail to mention that county commissions were not elected with the power to raise any taxes let alone hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. It's great that those at the county level are satisfied with the proposals, but it isn't there call. Imagine for a second what would happen if your soil and water board went to St Paul to get even a $500,000 local tax raised. They don't have the power to do it, and they don't have the right to act like they have that power. I think there was some sort of war about 230 years ago regarding this issue.

Finally getting back to Dick Day I heard him say that this was a good proposal because those not living in the 2 counties would not be on the hook, yet they would receive the benefit. I'm sorry but if your Dick Day and you are to much of a coward to let the voters make the call on the issue, then you need to pass the tax burden on to all that would benefit including the citizens of Owatonna. If it's a good idea then why are the supporters such cowards?

The first step a leader needs to take when willing to spend a billion dollars of other peoples money is honesty. Dick Day and most stadium supporters are not honest therefor they should do one of three things, forget about spending our money, get real honest real quick, or get the hell out of politics.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Twins win Twins win

I completely love the balance of this lineup. People may overlook Tony Batista because he is not a complete player, but when you combine the batting averages of Rondell White Luis Castillo and Batista the average of the 3 makes for a solid player who has better stats then Luis Rivas Matthew LeCroy and Michael Cuddyer. But more important then the overall net gain at the three positions is the fact that these are batters that force the pitcher to feel a little stress as they all bring a real threat of helping the Twins score runs.

While they won't score 13 runs a game it appears that we are going to be capitalizing on every base runner we get, and if we can do that our pitching will easily take care of the rest. We may have some good division rivals, but that doesn't change the fact that we have easily one of the top 5 teams in baseball.

Note: Expect me to post more and more on the Twins and less on politics as the season continues. When you invest upwards 3 hours most evenings watching baseball you have significantly less time to search for minor political news, I'm sure I'll get around to posting on every political story I find important, but it may be less frequent.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Michele Bachmann has failed again

Not only has she failed to pass her #1 priority, but she also has failed to keep the line on spending, she has failed to slow the growth of minimum wage, and she may very well now fail to stop stadium bills from passing. I'm all for passion even if I oppose it, but with passion should come results.

While I couldn't disagree with Bachmann on the marriage issue more, it appears she had an opportunity to push her agenda forward had she conducted herself in a less divisive manor. If the voters of Stillwater or the 6th CD want a fiscally conservative socially conservative leader, they won't get one in Michele Bachmann. They'll get a lot of passion, they'll get someone who will take a hard swing at things, they'll get someone who comes with no BS, but they won't get a leader for their agenda. Michele Bachmann has failed in Minnesota and there’s no reason to believe she would fare better in Washington.

Monday, April 03, 2006

CD 5 candidate

Over at the meet up site, Independence Party Vice chair Dan Justesen confirms an IP candidate is lined up to run in the 5th congressional district, this candidate will be present Monday night. I have yet to hear confirmation of who this is other then a good hint that it is a female who has a background in political fundraising.

The Twin Cities Independence Party April Meetup

Thought I would pass along this information, as we are having another issue base Independence party meetup this month.

What: The Twin Cities Independence Party April Meetup

When: Monday, April 17 at 7:00PM

Where: Loon Café 500 First Ave. N. Minneapolis MN 55403612-332-8342

Event Description: Take the train or a bus or carpool on down to the famous Loon Cafe in the warehouse district of Minneapolis. It's just steps away from the current end of the line LRT. You know that "line to nowhere" that no one will ride. Parking ramps are within a couple of blocks too. Curt Johnson, fomerly head of the Citizens League, will be our guest speaker. Curt has come full circle on the LRT issue. Back in the 20th century, he was a strong voice against building light rail. Now, in the enlightened 21st century, he is a forceful advocate. And while Curt will leave the enginnering to the technical folks, we need to talk about not wheel type but "more lines or not", lines to where?, and how to justify & allocate the costs.

I hope you MeetUP with us. PS. Due to the anticipated group size, please RSVP. Also, the Loon has great food & beverages for you. Drinks will be on individual tabs but they require us to have a group food bill. If you choose to eat, please remember to chip in as we are a non-profit.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A little info on the Independence party Convention

As I have posted already the Minnesota Independence Party Endorsement convention is June 24th at the home of the St Paul Saints, Midway stadium. The event will include what we hope will be the quickest most interesting convention of all the major parties. If you are not a delegate you have up until the final 72 hours to become a delegate, although the longer you wait the more complicated it gets, so I strongly encourage you to go to the state party website and contact the party either with a phone call to the party office or an E-Mail to one of several contacts listed on the site. Don't worry if you don't know much about the process as you will learn quickly with just a little involvement.

We expect a great slate of candidates to be elected for all state wide office, and are planning on celebrating after the convention with a fundraising picnic and a ball game where you will have a chance to meet with the candidates, party leadership, and other Independence Party supporters. In the next few days a link will appear on the state party web site indicating how you can reserve your place at this fundraiser.

Don't miss out this is expected to be a huge event.

US Senate race prediction

I have ignored this race recently as I'm less optimistic, the issues are much more dull, and nothing has changed in the race other then the confirmation that Ford Bell will fall short of the DFL nomination, but I thought I would give you my best prediction as of today.

Mark Kennedy 51%
Amy Klobuchar 44%
Robert Fitzgerald 5%

I want to go higher on Fitzgerald as I see the potential, but at this point I still have to see a few things play out. The 2002 race proved running for Senate is a huge uphill battle that demands not only the perfect candidate, but the perfect campaign.

Oh what the hell it is April 1st afterall

Robert Fitzgerald 93%
Mark Kennedy 4%
Amy Klobuchar 3%

The issues we win on

In three way races against two more powerful parties there are very few issues you can win on. We have a basic set of unshared principals (special interest money, positive campaigns...) that we've used to build a solid base of around 6%, but it is rare that we have an issue we can stand on that has wide spread appeal. In 2002 I believe Tim Penny’s fatal blow came when he stood beside Roger Moe on the non citizen drivers license issue, whatever support could be gained by taking the stance Penny took (ignoring the details as most voters do) went to Roger Moe, while Penny shared all the opposition.

This year the biggest issue of the last decade is on the verge of blowing up to the tune of a billion dollar price tax, that being the stadium issue. If even one stadium is approved it will come with a Tim pawlenty signature, and significant DFL support. Mike Hatch will have to be very careful in choosing a running mate if he wants any hope of being able to oppose the governor on the issue. Peter Hutchinson has a great shot of being able to stand alone on a huge issue.

Another thing he has going for them is he's not going to play up his stance on hot button issues, sure the voters will know his stance, but by not standing side by side with an opposing candidate he will have a better chance of getting the effect of the supporters of his stances, while taking less of a blow from the opposing point of view.

And finally he will be able to give voters his bold vision that any good politician shares (free flowing transportation, great schools, inexpensive health care...), with the ability to point out where he's done it before, and the role special intrest money plays in this.

The 2002 campaign was difficult because no critical issue aligned into Tim Penny's exclusive vision. If the stadium issue either gets resolved at our expense, or is voted on in a way that makes it impossible for the governor and the DFL deny there support, the path to another Independence party victory will be wide open.