Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reason #542 why Ron Gardenhire should be fired

Gardenhire who throws temper tantrums all the time lets an umpire ruin a no hitter in the 6th inning on a call that was very clearly wrong and all he does is have a 5 second conversation with the ump. Tom Kelly might have only been ejected a handful of times over his career but that without a shadow of a doubt would have been one of them. And not seeing the play close enough is no excuse given the fact he did leave the dugout and he has kicked dirt over much less many times.

That being said how about Liriano's 3 starts

16 innings 1 run and 7 or 8 hit's including the one in question, he'll make a heck of an opening day starter at new tax field in 2010.


A movement is being created by former Maine Governor Angus King among others to get a strong independent or split ticket to run for president in 2008. In January of 07 the plan is to start registering delegates for an on line convention to select the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

I've learned not to get excited about these sorts of things as they often don't pan out, but with Governor King on board chances are something meaningful will come from this. That being said I strongly recommend you go over there and sign up to show that there are more of us in the middle looking for a real option then the partisans might want the public to think, and beyond that so that the field of potential candidates has motivation to get to take on the challange of running for president outside of the Democrat or Republican parties.

Pam Ellison challenging Peter Hutchinson

It looks like another small I independent has decided the Independence Party is a better option. Pam Ellison has decided she will be seeking Independence Party endorsement for governor. Ellison has a hell of an uphill battle, as the Peter Hutchinson campaign has actively been recruiting delegates and converting delegates, but she also does have a history in the party dating back to her work for Jesse Ventura and a run for congress in 2000, where she lost in the primary to Tom Foley. With the strong competition for US Senate, and this development the June 24th convention may have a little more excitement then originally expected. Lets hope that's a good thing.

He held the line

Governor Pawlenty in a fundraising E-mail informs us he held the line on taxes. While that’s great, but when he was holding on to that line taxes spending continued to escalate, and then this session they decided to spend a billion and a half, and that’s before we do anything around the Twins or Gophers stadium sites. I guess the justification is, yeah but the other guy is worse so hey send me a check to reelect me.

It begs the question why isn't Phil Krinke running for Governor? I think we all know that answer, it's because he isn't a professional liar, and Republican party leadership demands that of their candidates.

Haviland meets with president Bush

No not Independence Party US Senate candidate Jim Haviland, but his daughter Chelsea. Check out page two of todays Star Tribune sports section for a photo of Bush and Haviland.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Convention to victory

I just came across a couple articles on the 2002 Independence Party convention which endorsed Tim Penny. While only 177 delegates were on hand the mood of the delegates and the tone of the media members represented great promise. Of course we all know Tim Penny did not win and very little came of Sheila Kiscaden’s victory, still the campaign can not be considered a failure or a sign the public didn't see a void.

We are now in the same position four years later. Peter Hutchinson while not having the election success Penny had is the same kind of candidate. The Democrats and Republicans have done nothing over the last four years to fill the void that got Jesse Ventura elected and allowed Tim Penny to be very competitive. The one difference between 2002 and now is the media and the partisan Democrats and Republicans are having a much easier time writing off the Independence Party without being challenged just like they did until the final week in 1998.

While Peter Hutchinson is no Jesse Ventura and will have to draw a different crowd to win, in the polls he sits now exactly where Ventura stood in August of 1998, just off the radar, not a threat at all. Hutchinson has kept his campaign behind the scenes because there is no advantage to peaking early as Tim Penny did in 2002. The Independence Party for the 3rd consecutive Gubernatorial election has a fair chance at victory no greater or worse then the two prior campaigns. A convention with 177 delegates on a college campus this time around would create an entirely different story then we saw in 2002. The Party of course is one step ahead of them and is creating something that will draw a crowd, and will generate excitement by hosting the endorsing convention outdoors at a baseball stadium. June 24th this race changes for good.

A couple events

Just wanted to list a couple fun events for the Tammy Lee and Peter Hutchinson campaigns.

Monday June 5th from 6 to 8 PM the Hutchinson campaign is hosting a fundraiser to attract young people at the Minneapolis Theater Garage, 711 W Franklin ave with a band and bar.

The Tammy Lee Campaign is hosting a bowling event

Wed. June 14, 7-10 p.m.
AlleyGators – Bowling for “FUN”ds & Friends
494 and Bass Lake Road (Bass Lake Center)
13001 62nd Place NorthMaple Grove, MN
$10 donation per person (or $50 for a Bowling Team of 5)
($5 goes to Tammy’s campaign. $5 goes for bowling, 2 drink tickets, and chances to win prizes)
Limited Space! Invite 5 friends and save your spot now at:

Also Tommarow night, Wednsday the 31st at 6:30 PM Tammy Lee is having a Campaign Kick-Off and Organizing Event

Discussion, Drinks and DJ
Golden Valley VFW Post 7051
7775 Medicine Lake Road
Golden Valley, MN 55427

All are great oppurtunities to meet the candidates, get involved, give a few bucks and meet great people.

Breaking news

Tim Pawlenty will be challenging Sue Jeffers for the Republican party nomination as he has decided to run for Governor, after months of weighing his options he has finally made the difficult choice.

Here is the E-mail announcement.

Who: Governor Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Governor Carol Molnau
What: Campaign Announcement
When: Wednesday, May 31
Governor Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau
Where: Eagan
The event will begin at 8:30. Please arrive by 8:15. Holland Lake at Lebanon Hills Park (1100 Cliff Rd) 35E, East on Cliff Rd to the corner of Lexington Holland Lake is on the right

Monday, May 29, 2006

Tammy Lee candidate of the day

Austin over at Third Party Watch has once again started focusing on a candidate of the day. The first honor this time around goes to Indpendence Party 5th CD candidate Tammy Lee. When they first started the candidate of the day feature they gave it to Peter Hutchinson. There is no doubt that the Independence Party of Minnesota is the most successful alternative party in the nation, and with candidates like Tammy Lee and Peter Hutchinson change is on the way.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Instant run off voting

A minor victory on the path to major victories was made in Minneapolis for instant run off voting (IRV). The Minneapolis City Council voted 11-1 to put IRV on the November ballot. I am more a fan of the effect IRV has on 1st votes then the process of elimination that it creates, but it still is a much better system then our current system in multi candidate races. While this vote only effects city elections you can still expect the partisans and intrest groups to fight it as they don't want the public to get to like the system, and push for it on the state level

This could potentially have a meaningful effect on the 5th congressional race although at this point it is hard to say what that would be. In any event I have a tough time seeing the voters of Minneapolis reject this so we may have our first glimpse of IRV voting in Minnesota soon.

May Governors race prediction

Tim Pawlenty has signed the Twins Stadium bill into law. Tim Pawlenty has without a shadow of a doubt raised taxes, and broken his pledge with the tax payers league. Meanwhile while some rumors are floating around Mike Hatch might drop out, all indications are he is still coasting toward the DFL endorsement. The Peter Hutchinson campaign meanwhile is quite but active preparing for the convention launch into contender status June 24th at Midway stadium. Sue Jeffers campaign is again quite, it appears she continues to seek Republican endorsement, when she falls short she will have to make a quick turn around for a petition drive. For the time being I am predicting we won't see Jeffers name on the ballot in November, there is as of yet no indication that her campaign amounts to anything although that could easily change.

Tim Pawlenty signing the stadium bill and Sue Jeffers potential absence from the ballot will shoot Peter Hutchinson up a bit from last month

My May prediction is as follows

Tim Pawlenty 39%
Peter Hutchinson 26%
Mike Hatch 35%

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ralf Nader has something to say

The stadium has passed and the Republican governor will sign it. Why the hell is Ralf Nader jumping in now? I totally agree with Naders point of view, but if he really gave a damn about Minnesotan's he should have let us and our leaders know prior to it getting to the Governors desk, or the pitching mound depending on who Pawlenty's pandering to.

By the way free hot dogs at the metrodome tonight, I guess you can have your pork and eat it too. Is it considered pork if the members of the district all voted against it? For that matter is it pork if it's a metrodome hot dog?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

May US Senate prediction

I'm still waiting for something to happen in this race. Right now all the action is going on behind the scenes, at this point it's all fundraising and speeches to party loyalists, with nothing of significance beyond that. If I ignore polls I can just reproduce my April prediction which had Mark Kennedy with a 5 point lead. At this point I see no reason to move from 7% on Robert Fitzgerald, I'll be better able to gauge him out of the Independence Party convention June 24th at Midway stadium.

Although I'm making a prediction for November 7th and really don't think a lead in polls right now mean to much this early I will move 1% in favor of Klobuchar.

That makes my not so fascinating May prediction as follows

Amy Klobuchar 45%
Robert Fitzgerald 7%*
Mark Kennedy 48%

*Note that come November the closeness of the race could greatly effect Fitzgerald 's final #'s. Until we get closer I will predict his #'s as if Kennedy and Klobuchar are not within the margin of error.

The media, elections, and polls

The recent headlines regarding the poll on what effect the Twins stadium bill will have on voters decisions this fall was a little odd. KSTP's headline claims voters are not upset about the stadium bill yet 2 out of 5 Minnesotan's replied saying it will sway their vote with 36% saying they will be more likely to vote against there representative because of it versus 23% who would be likely to vote for them, that’s a pretty significant percentage. The headlines however would tell you because it's not over 50% or extreamly one sided the voters will be giving those voting for a stadium this fall a pass.

If you look at the raw numbers it would indicate about a 5% swing against anyone who voted in favor of the Twins stadium, that would swing a significant # of races, and would result in the Vikings not having the votes the next 4 years. Beyond that it would seem the passion lies against the stadium, the passion is a little watered down at this point, but it has never taken great passion to find a reason to vote against someone.

In 2004 the Democrats took 13 seats for no clear reason, now we have over 100 bipartisan legislators and a governor putting themselves on the line for something the majority of the public is very much against. This is going to play out over the next 5 months, for KSTP and others to write it off as a non factor is laughable. We may have let a few pro stadium folks slip past us in the last couple years, and were mislead by governor Pawlenty on his stance, but make no mistake public opinion on this issue has not changed over the last 10 years.

Fighting for what matters

A letter to the editor in this mornings Star Tribune counters Jim Moore's recent editorial stating that most Minnesotans are independent, and that is a good thing. Letter writer Alex Kurt seems to think being Independent means you believe nothing, and that the constant bickering by the opposition parties is good for the process. Alex is 100% right in making the point that great passion and fighting for what you believe in is what our system about.

Unfortunately the opposition parties don't do that, oh sure when running for election they talk about there strong stance on abortion, or they sign a no new taxes, or talk about how they won't expand rail transit. All to often though that is where it ends, at talk.

If Tim Pawlenty was fighting against taxes, fighting to make abortion illegal, and fighting to stop funding to rail transit then the 30% of passionate Conservatives would have something to fight over. If Mike Hatch did everything he could for the environment, fought day in and day out to get minimum wage to $10.00 fought to reverse the law banning gay marriage, and did everything he could to improve education he would be someone worth fighting for the 30% of passionate Liberals, but those candidates say what’s best for there career leading up to the election, and then do what’s best for there career following the election, and unfortunately for those with great passion those two paths are separate.

Alex Kurt in an attempt to rip the Independence Party, brings up Jesse Ventura to close his letter. While clearly Jesse has his share of flaws, a firm belief system that he fought day in and day out for was always there. Clear consistent views remained from the campaign to his four years leading the state. Even if Alex Kurt tended to disagree with Jesse that's OK because Alex thinks great passion and disagreement where it matters is good for the process.

The Democrats and Republicans while employing decent passion also have used the system to the point where they disagree for the sake of disagreeing. For them it is not about right and wrong, and the passion behind there views, instead it is about who's idea it was. You need look no farther then social security. Any decent president will do his best to lead on that issue, unfortunately it is an issue where the end result is a clear negative. The party of the president will always support him while the other party will bring up all the negatives within the issue.

While there may be some level of inconsistency within the Independence Party from candidate to candidate the one thing that brings us together is a commitment to honesty, a commitment to citizens and voters over campaign donors, and a commitment to look at the whole picture and not get caught up on minor differences at the expense of major needs elsewhere, and a commitment to displaying differences on the campaign trail. As we have seen with Tim Pawlenty signing away on taxes, or Democrats voting for conservative social policy they don't have the level of consistancy that we fight so strongly over. Without honesty all the partisans are fighting over is dumb luck, and if thats all your left with you might as well be an "independent" of no convictions.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I hate this stuff

Ron Ohmann of the St. Cloud times choose to editorialize with his token mention of John Binkowski in an article on the CD 6 race.

With all due respect to Independence Party's John Binkowski, the voters' pick Nov. 7 will likely be either the DFL's Patty Wetterling of St. Joseph or the GOP's Michele Bachmann of Stillwater.

That sort of comment is perfectly fine if the writer tells us a little something about Binkowski before slapping him in the face. At least Ohmann lead off the article with the Binkowski mention, I don't want to read anything into that, but it makes me wonder a little what Ohmann is seeing or hearing.

While this is an annoying thing to read, it is the sort of think that a minor campaign can use in becoming a major campaign. Lets hope Binkowski and his supporters show Ohmann and the rest of the district that there is something behind his campaign.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reaching out 1500 feet

The Independence party and Peter Hutchinson campaign need to do one thing to ensure they have a shot in November. They need to reach out 1500 feet from Party and Hutchinson headquarters to the KSTP studio.

The stadium issue and Tim Pawlenty's impending signature to raise taxes has fiscal conservatives outraged. You can hear it this morning from the callers to the Bob Davis show on KSTP AM 1500. The callers are ready to reject Tim Pawlenty, some of them ready to go as far as voting Democrat to send the message, some will vote Sue Jeffers to send the message, and at least one caller will vote Peter Hutchinson to send that message.

Bob Davis seems to believe that Peter Hutchinson and the Independence Party don't have the organization to make it happen. 1200 people at the kickoff event suggest to those on the inside that we have something going. 900,000 votes in electing Jesse Ventura tend to suggest that we have something going. Tim Penny polling at around 30% up until the final two weeks in 2002 tend to suggest we have something going. Still I won't disagree with Bob Davis that the Independence Party is lacking and is nowhere near the Democrats and Republicans on the ground, but as this party has demonstrated in the past the ground game is not the #1 factor in converting votes, putting up candidates that the public wants to get behind is what matters.

The Independence continues to put forward the candidates the people are looking for, it will take a good ground game to demonstrate that to the voter, but it won't take a great ground game. Peter Hutchinson is doing the things he needs to do to win. A lot of other things out of his control will have to happen, the governor signing a direct tax increase for stadiums goes a long ways toward that, but in light of Jesse Ventura's victory in 1998 Bob Davis and those like him are simply labeling the Independence Party a typical non factor third party simply because they are such strong partisans that they don't want to acknowledge reality.

If Independence Party supporters start calling in to Bob Davis, and the rest of the shows on AM 1500 as well as KFAN, KTLK, WCCO, and all of Minnesota's political talk stations it will go a long ways toward victory. Likewise letters to the editor, E-mails to reporters and calls to TV news stations will go a long way towards getting the Independence party elevated to the status of the Democrats and Republicans. I've seen how quickly the media will change a story based on just a small handful of calls and letters, if you get in on that end of the fight you will help the Independence Party more then any fundraiser, more then any bumper sticker, more then any lawn sign, more then any lit drop, and more then any rally. The level of organization needed really isn't that huge if just 20 more people started calling and sending letters once a week Peter Hutchinson would do no worse then Tim Penny, and if the climate is right November 7th he will win.

May CD 5 prediction

A lot has happened since my April Prediction. Endorsements in the DFL and GOP are now out of the way leaving us with a decent idea of where this race is headed. On the DFL side Keith Ellison defeated Mike Erlandson and the rest of the field by a pretty decent margain. On the Republican side Alan Fine was endorsed. The Independence party endorsed Tammy Lee in front of a great crowd of delegates, and the Green party endorsed Jay Pond.

Republicans are taking a nothing to lose approach on this race and attacking Ellison any way they can, while it appears they have no intrest in promoting their candidate. Meanwhile Tammy Lee's campaign is holding four big ticket fundraisers this month, and is already running a strong campaign for November. Pond will appeal to strong Green support in the district but with Ellison on the DFL side his support may be watered down a little. I'd love to say I see Ellison at 45% and that a small opening exists if the Republican and Green support was low, but at this point I can't go that far. Still Tammy Lee has emerged as the clear cut favorite to finish 2nd and the only candidate that can take advantage of a stumble by the Democrats.

My prediction for May is as follows

Keith Ellison 56%
Alan Fine 12%
Jay Pond 5%
Tammy Lee 27%

Monday, May 22, 2006

Independence party US Senate race

I have focused here on Robert Fitzgerald as he has been the most active candidate in the race all along, but there are three other candidates who may be seeking the party nomination. Jim Haviland who in 2002 challenged Tim Penny at the convention and was given an opportunity to speak at last years convention sent delegates an E-mail this weekend, he delivers a good speech and should do well. Over the recent CD conventions 2 other candidates have delivered speeches to the delegates along with Robert Fitzgerald. Stephen Williams is a candidate of great passion, but does not appear to have the public speaking skills to rise to the level of United States Senate, Fred Zimmerman who is still evaluating running is a retired professor who is an expert on manufacturing. He delivers a very good speech and also would be a strong candidate for US Senate.

I still think Robert Fitzgerald is in the lead, but it will be a strong indication of the strength of his campaign if he can get 60% on the first ballot. The Wild Card here is that the vast majority of the delegates are new so it's tough to get a sense of where they stand, and key endorsements from Peter Hutchinson, Tim Penny, and/or Jack Uldrich might swing things. Talking to Jack on Sunday it appears he is firmly undecided at this point as none of the candidates have blown him away.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Let the campaigns begin

With the Twins and Gopher stadiums being approved, and the legislative session ending today the 2006 campaigns are about to heat up. The approval of a billion dollars worth of stadiums really changes the dynamic heading into November. Luckily with the Vikings still on the table candidates will be forced to be honest on the issue.

Personal differences on the issues aside I have to give the legislators some credit for a good compromise, and getting the job done on time. Still they made huge votes at 5 AM while nobody was watching. I understand they don't want to work on a Sunday morning, but that’s not an excuse to pull this overnight crap year after year.

From here on out it's all out campaigning. With the medias focus shifting over hopefully we will see more and more on Tammy Lee, Peter Hutchinson, and Robert Fitzgerald as those campaigns gain momentum over the summer.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Robert Fitzgerald in the News!!!!!!!!!

In news worth drinking a beer over, ok fine I was already drinking a beer when I read it, Independence Party US Senate candidate Robert Fitzgerald has appeared in a major media news article. As I had been expecting the national media picked up on Robert's campaign before the Minnesota media. The Washington Times in an article reviewing the state of politics in Minnesota gives Robert a rock solid mention.

What is really cool is that they didn't even mention Tammy Lee, or for the matter the name (not to be confused with a real candidate) the Republicans will put on the ballot in CD 5 were not mentioned, meaning the Washington Times is taking Robert Fitzgeralds run for US Senate very seriously. Robert has a lot of relationships to build to compete on an equal playing field for US Senate, but there is no doubt in my mind he is the real deal.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tammy Lee is a great candidate

Tammy Lee, Keith Ellison's challenger for Martin Sabo's seat in congress, has really impressed me from day one of her campaign. Her web site is as good as it gets, she has bumper stickers out of the gate. She even had entrance music for her nomination speech to coincide with her campaign theme, changes.

Now I find this interview with at Patriotlog, which really demonstrates the knowledgeable honest approach she is taking in dealing with real people. Tammy really is an all around candidate which in the Independence Party is a great luxury to have. Typically candidates in one way or another create minor challenges for the party (find them volunteers, help them with their platform, help them raise money...) but with Tammy, while the party will absolutely do some of those things, she is really more of an asset to other candidates in those areas.

Having Tammy leading the charge along with Peter Hutchinson and Robert Fitzgerald will go a long ways toward making every Independence Party State House and Senate candidate in the 5th congressional district successful in November.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lets fine the kids and kill an hour

Saw a really long and stupid debate on the floor of the House today. The bill was in regards to fining kids under 17 years of age $25 if they buy or rent mature rated video games. Beyond the fact that law enforcement would never consider wasting time and energy to enforce this law, it is completely insane that in the final 4 days of the session they would spend significant time discussing a bill which most critical element is a $25 fine. And of course it was also comical how limited there knowledge was of the games, sure you don't need to know to many details about a game where cop killing is unavoidable such as Grand Theft Auto, but why they call the green rectangle shaped things with dollar signs on them points is beyond me.

May predictions

With major party endorsements out of the way in the 5th and 6th CD I'll start a little early on my May predictions.

In the 6th CD the Endorsed candidates are Patty Wetterling DFL, John Binkowski IP, and Michel Bachman GOP. As we all know this district leans Republican. This year the Republican delegates really took past history to heart and nominated a candidate from the extream right on both fiscal and social issues in Michele Bachmann. The Democrats for the 2nd consecutive election nominated the well respected Patty Wetterling, and the Independence party nominated a young newcomer in John Binkowski.

While Bachman is probably a little to far to the left even for this district she should do fine, Wetterling was a great challanger the first time two years ago, however she was exposed as a political novice and will likely go down from her 2004 results. The Independence Party re-enters this race for the first time since 2002 when Dan Becker recived 7.48% of the vote, Binkowski appears to be a candidate of similar status to Becker and should be equally competitive.

I'm moving a little from my April prediction as Wetterling is not gaining momentum out of her Endorsement.

My prediction for May

Bachmann 52%, Wetterling 38%, Binkowski 10%. The larger the seperation between Bachmann and Wetterling the more voters will consider Binkowski.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Twins shaking things up

Today the Twins sent Kyle Loshe down to the minors. I like the fact that I get to see Boof Bonser who was called up to replace him in the rotation, but come on you decide to pay this guy $3 million and then you send him to Triple A after 8 starts? They can't make that kind of mistake on this budget. We can only hope there is a team ready to give up a Shortstop prospect for him sooner then later.

How to become a delegate

As someone who lived a mile from the 2002 Independence Party convention site in St Cloud in 2002 yet didn't become a delegate and attend that convention, I want to let everyone know just how easy it is to get involved and become a delegate.

The Independence Party endorsing convention is rapidly approaching June 24th at Midway Stadium in St Paul, the state party bylaws require all delegates must be in place 72 hours prior to the convention to vote. We have 134 legislative districts from which we can elect up to 10 delegates as well as unlimited alternatives. Very few districts are filled as of yet. That’s all great, but if your anything like I was you are still wondering how exactly you qualify to become a delegate. The answer is simple show the commitment to attend the convention and help out where you can, and you are qualified.

I signed up to become a member of the party in late October of 2002, by sending an E-mail as directed to on the state party web site, then got actively involved in February of 2003, by the end of the summer of 2003 I was appointed the parties vice fundraising chair. The bottom line if you want to get involved at any level just go ahead and do it and don't delay.

Call the party office at 651-487-9700 or send an E-mail to the party secretary, heck leave a comment here and I'll pass it along to the right people.

Also I want to continue to pitch the post convention fundraiser, for $35 you can enjoy a great summer evening at the ballpark along with other Independence Party supporters. This event is open not only to delegates, but anyone who is interested in changing politics in Minnesota as well as family and friends.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

David Strom at IP meetup

Tonight's Independence party meet up guest speaker was Tax Payer’s league president David Strom. It's easy to be critical with Strom because of his GOP connections, but don't confuse Tim Pawlenty acting like he is off the hook on his health impact fee or willingness to sign a county tax for stadiums, with David Strom letting him off the hook.

Strom was very complimentary of what the Independence Party represents, which if nothing else is a vehicle to push the other major parties towards the issues that they will otherwise ignore. While the audience included Independence Party supports from both perspectives of tax issues, there was next to know disagreement with what Strom stands for, as David Strom when given an opportunity to fully explain himself is a well reasoned advocate for the tax payer.

While he clearly leans Republican, especially from a two party perspective, he is very critical of what Republicans are doing at both the state and national level, in fact at one point he reminded the crowd that the divided leadership under Clinton resulted in some great years for the tax payer.

health Impact Fee approved by courts

In what is a victory for all tax payers (the Tobacco companies would have pocketed the money otherwise) the health impact fee has been ruled legal. It literally is enough money for one of the three stadiums, so while the money has already been spent it is very significant.

This is both good and bad news for Governor Pawlenty. Any extra money available in an election year is always a good thing, but it also means a tax (as I watch the governor proudly state that the courts called it a fee) the "no new taxes" governor signed into law is not going away. At least one of the Governors challengers is going to make a big deal about this day in and day out throughout the campaign, it will no doubt have some negative on how Pawlenty does in November.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Alan Fine admits he tried to use the Independence Party

Republican endorsed 5th CD candidate Alan Fine admits in todays Star Tribune that his 2002 Independence Party Senate nomination quest was out of desperation as he knew he could not compete in his own party. So far Fine's campaign amounts to calling his African American Muslim DFL opponent a racist through Republican party leadership.

I'm sure many good residents of CD 5 would love to elect a Republican, but the nomination of Alan Fine was a pathetic mistake, and ruined any hope of a real Republican being elected. The Independence party in 2002 was smart enough not to make this same pathetic mistake of endorsing this fraud.

True independents hold true power

My mother has voted for Nader and Bush over the prior two presidential elections, she also has voted for Walter Mondale (after intending to vote Coleman up until Wellstones death) and she has voted for both Jesse Ventura and Tim Penny.

My mom is not a confused voter, she knows exactly what she is doing. My mom is a true independent voter. Independent voters are hard to define. They very clearly are not going to vote Independence Party all the time, nor are they going to limit themselves to the Democrat and Republican party. True independents instead start by rejecting candidates, and accepting candidates based upon issues integrity, and perceived ability to get the job done.

Polls, the media, and those who are perceived to have a strong political sense often discount true independents by suggesting they lean Democrat or Republican, and overall are only a minor factor, but the reality is true Independents have control of every election not only for Democrats and Republicans, but any other credible candidate that makes it's way onto the ballot.

The real reality is that about 25% of voters are true Republicans 25% are true Democrats 20% are Independents leaning either Democrat or Republican, 5% are totally clueless voters who have no meaningful basis for there vote, and the remaining 25% are true independents.
Clearly in the case of Jesse Ventura he won the clueless voter vote, but the opposition wants to pretend that’s the only reason he won, the reality is that true independents as well as leaning independents went his way and created the base for him to win off of

For an independence party candidate to win they must convince the true independents they are the candidate for the job, and then get the majority of leaning independents and clueless voters. It can very easily happen again. The sadder reality is when true independents don't sway an election the Clueless voters hold all the power.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

6th district race

Today the 6th district DFL endorsed Patty Wetterling. Patty Wetterling was the perfect candidate in a Republican leaning district the first time around in 2004. She was politically unknown, but known and respected by just about everyone in the district and beyond. She ran an ok campaign and lost by a significant margain to Mark Kennedy on the issues.

This time she decides to run for senate where she wouldn't have to overcome a republican leaning set of voters, however she appeared unable to win that endorsement so she came back to the 6th. One small problem she made a reasonable candidate for that office a promise she would not enter the race. And even thats ok as it is the nature of politics, except for this Patty's appeal is not at all political, and thus that can and will be used against us.

So what are we left with? A Republican leaning district, a Republican candidate that any moderate voter despratly hopes won't get elected, and a DFL candidate that is dammaged goods. We also have John Binkowski from the Independence party side. I can tell you this there will be a lot of non Democrat voters who won't even consider Michele Bachmann. I can't imagine that these people will be fired up to vote for Patty. For that matter I doubt they are fired up to vote for Binkowski, but this could really drive a lot of people to look for an alternitive.

I think Bachmann has over 50% of the votes and will win the seat, but there is an oppurtunity here for John Binkowski to do suprisingly well. I'm very curiuse to see where Wetterlings campaign goes from here, by gut feeling is her support will only go down from here and it's just a matter of how far she can fall.

Media equality?

In my comments section Chris suggested I was unrealistic expecting equal coverage to the two other major parties.

I would now like to recreate my prior post had I been asking for equal treatment to the two other major parties.

The casual observer assumes the media does a good job covering politics among other things. But when they don't write articles on the Independence Party presence in the 5th CD race following Sabos retirement announcement, don't write articles leading up to the Independence party conventionspeculating on what might happen, don't send reporters to the convention for their newscasts, and don't immediately have articles on the endorsement of Tammy Lee they are not doing a good job. When they write an article on the CD 6 DFL convention, and don't talk about John Binkowski's prospects for victory they are not doing a good job covering politics. When there is of yet not dozens of articles including US Senate candidate Robert Fitzgerald that is not a good job of covering politics in Minnesota.

As I said in the comments I don't expect equal coverage, I do expect informative and fair coverage. If they simply include John Binkowskis presence in the race as an IP endorsed candidate those that care to learn more can Google him, those that don't have only wasted two seconds of their life becoming slightly more informed voters.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The media on politics

The casual observer assumes the media does a good job covering politics among other things. But when they don't even cover the Independence Party CD 5 convention or the endorsement of Tammy Lee they are not doing a good job, and when they write an article on the CD 6 DFL convention, mention that Michele Bachmann has been endorsed by the Republicans, but don't type 7 or 8 extra words to inform the reader that John Binkowski is the Independence Party endorsed candidate they are not doing a good job covering politics. When there is of yet not a single article including US Senate candidate Robert Fitzgerald that is not a good job of covering politics in Minnesota.

Sure politics are about who's in power, but when your talking about who is seeking power I think it is vital that every candidate from any party that has elected a governor in the last 20 years (gotta stretch that out long enough to include the DFL) gets at least a mention in the paper when that is consistent with the coverage the other parties are getting. All to often the media underestimates their importance in November, and the result is someone like Jesse Ventura is electable, but it is very difficult for a Tim Penny or Peter Hutchinson.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Real solutions for real people

Anyone running for federal office is going to be asked about energy policy, and they'll all come up with something that sounds good to the right crowd, but the most effective solutions do not come from the government they come from the people.

Both Robert Fitzgerald and Tammy Lee have demonstrated a personal commitment to doing there part. Robert has converted his campaign bus to run on Vegetable oil, while Tammy Lee has been driving a Hybrid long before she considered jumping into this race. These are the sorts of things we should expect out of anyone who wants to lead us.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The real price of gas

Would you work 3 hours so you could drive to Duluth and back? If your making a minimal wage of $10-12 an hour you have to make that decision. While gas prices are now rising past the rate of inflation it has lagged behind inflation for sevral years. I'm of the belief that gas is a heck of a deal at the current price, try walking from Fridley to downtown Minneapolis, even a bike will take you over an hour. Walk a quarter mile to the nearest bus stop and wait for the next bus to show up and then pay the same dollar you would spend on gas.

We should think of ways to use less gas, or alternitive fuels, riding the bus or light rail if the schedule works for you is a great idea, but we should have been thinking about those sorts of things a couple years ago when gas was a buck fifty as well. This constant whine from the local news anchors every other day and pandering by politicians like Mark Kennedy is embarrassing.

Gas is a heck of a deal, we don't need to shift taxes to artifically alter the price, we simply need to take one less trip every once in a while, or work an hour overtime once a month. And if you make $80,000 a year all you need to do is shut up.

Allan Fine/GOP attack on Ellison

Alan Fine in his quest to finish above 15% in the 5th congressional district race has begun the attacks on Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison is an easy target for any Republican, Ellison is way to liberal to be an effective congressman, he is easily attackable on the issues, but for Alan Fine and the Republicans this race isn't about issues. Tammy Lee is running her campaign for Martin Sabo's House seat on the issues.

You see Keith Ellison helped organize for the million man March and thus was inderectly associated with Louis Farekahn. As we all know desprate politicians like to try to turn inderect associations into direct associations.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

CD 5 convention review

First off the good news, the delegate count rivaled Independence Party State Convention I've been too, Peter Hutchinson and Robert Fitzgerald both delivered there best speeches I've seen thus far, and Tammy Lee really provides the party with the kind of candidate to give the voters of the 5th district a real choice, unfortanatly Bill Mateikis dropped out of the race at the last moment eliminating any drama or competition.

Now the bad news no reporters in the crowd. It sucks that when you really nail a convention and give the media what they demand out of you they don't even bother to send a reporter a couple miles to cover it.

Got another chance to spend a couple post convention hours with Robert Fitzgerald, wrote his campaign a check and drove around with Robert and another delegate for about an hour trying to find a place to eat only to end up at Taco Bell, which wasn't so bad because it's good for the wallet, and they provide free forks.

Robert convinced me to head to the CD 3 convention tomorrow, so while the convention probably will be rather dull compared to tonight the post conventions random shenanigans should be great once again.

Random thought of the night, at what point does a Gymnasium have enough basketball hoops? This was a small gym and there were 10 backboards.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Becky Lourey has selected a running mate

She will announce sometime this week according to Polinaut. At this point it doesn't appear anyone has a clue who it could be. Nor is there much guessing. Given she fulfills the female and out state aspects of the ticket it really could be anyone. There are very few Metro men that jump out at you.

For the sake of making a wild guess I'll go with my State Senator Don Betzold, but I have absolutely no clue, and don't really care as I don't think she makes it to November.

David Strom at next IP meetup

While I'm not a fan of some of his republicanish rehtoric, I do like David Strom's strong stance on our most important issue.......spending. He will drop by the next Independence Party Meetup to discuss the stadium issue.

Event details here

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I need some new blog links

Haven't seen a new post from Great Plains View in a week or two, Backbone Minnesota has announced there will be no posting for a couple months, Minnesota Campaign Report is often inactive for a couple days at a time, and several others don't post often.

That being said I want to link another extreamly active blog or two. If you have or know of a Minnesota political blog and can promise me at least 3 good posts a week that is not overly partisan toward the Democrats or Republicans let me know. Ideally I'm looking for those that aren't linked on every other blog so if you know of something new, or are considering starting one up let me know and I can send some of my readers in your direction.

Also I will accept a partisan Green or Libertarian Party blog or two

Leave suggestions in comments and if your suggestion meets the above criteria I will link it.

Convention weekend

The DFL and Republican parties held several congressional endorsing conventions today. The big ones were the Republicans in the 6th district, where to nobodys suprise Michele Bachmann won easily, the DFL 5th where Keith Ellison won by a suprisingly large margain. And the Republicans endorsing former US Senator Rod Grams in the 8th. Much less significantly the Republicans endorsed former Independence Party US Senate candidate Alan Fine (he lost in the primary to current Independence State Party chair Jim Moore in 2002) for the 5th congressional district. For the most part these endorsements should not be overturned in the primary, although with the 5th congressional seat up for grabs anything can still happen.

I don't know that either the Ellison or Fine endorsements are of any significance to the decision Independence Party delegates make Tuesday in the 5th, but it is nice to have those endorsements out of the way before we have to make our decision.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Binkowski in the news

Independence Party 6th district congressional candidate John Binkowski held a news confrence earlier this week at the capital, the St Cloud times ran an article on it, and MPR has the audio of the press confrence on the Candidate profile page.

Lets hope the metro papers and news casts give John and the Independence party fair coverage as well. As I've stated earlier the CD 5 convention is Tuesday night and while the media expects Tammy Lee to be handed the endorsement there are two strong candidates, and it will be a real competition for endorsement.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Independence Party CD 5 endorsing Convention

Next Tuesday Independence Party delegates to the 5th congressional district convention will have two solid candidates to consdier endorsing in Tammy Lee and Bill Mateikis. I've profiled Lee and linked her website so I won't go over her background again here. Mateikis is currently director of Global Trade Compliance for Honywell Corporation, he has leadership experience in non-profits, and as an unemployment law attorney. Both candidates are skilled public speakers and proven leaders who are committed to making sure the Independence Party sees success in November and beyond.

It should be an exciting night with a good fair clean fight for the endorsement. Candidate for Governor Peter Hutchinson and US Senate candidate Robert Fitzgerald will address the convention, as well as other special guests. The convention itself starts at 7 PM at Kenwood Park, 2101 West Franklin, Minneapols, with a meet and greet proceeding the convention at 6. Hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Twins stadium bill

More questions then answers keep coming up every day. What will come out of confrence committee? What versions of the bill beyond the House bill would the governor sign? If it goes to refferendum will the Twins really sit on the sidelines and wait for it to fail? Does commisioner Selig really get his information on this from Sid Hartman as Sid claimed Sunday? Which House members didn't vote there convictions? What will Michele Bachmann do to keep a stadium bill from passing the senate?

We will start to get our answers later this week when the Senate passes something.