Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Star Tribune on Tammy Lee

Since nobody is doing a poll on the 5th district race the bias Star Tribune is moving in on Tammy Lee. In describing Tammy's chances Rochelle Olsen cites the fact that Peter Hutchinson and Robert Fitzgerald are polling in the single digits. I'll take a bias Star Tribune poll under polling Tammy by 10% over that BS line. The Star Tribune showed their hand in endorsing Keith Ellison, for whatever reason they don't believe in responsibility. The Star Tribune knows where the #'s in this race are, Rochelle Olsen has talked to those in the Ellison camp who are running scared of what the internal polls show, a wave of false rumors are spreading from the Ellison campaign in regards to Tammy Lee as they desperately try to hang on to their lead. This race is about to get ugly, and Keith Ellison has the Star Tribune doing his dirty work.

An election without polls?

With a week remaining it's appearing more and more likely that no poll will be released in the 5th congressional district race. Polls can either help or hurt the process depending on their accuracy. A poll showing Tammy Lee ahead of Alan Fine for example would have a huge impact, while a poll showing Keith Ellison at 62% (say Star Tribune poll) would effectively end the race. I have a good feel about where the race is, but that only gets me within 10-15% of reality. My gut tells me as of today Ellison is around 45% Tammy Lee is around 25% Alan Fine is around 15% Jay Pond is under 5%. A poll indicating this information would put the momentum into the Tammy Lee campaign allowing a few more Democrats to leave Ellison, allowing any Republican that puts a priority on beating Ellison to leave Fine, and motivating the undecided and traditional non voters to vote Tammy Lee giving her the victory.

Without the poll the election itself may very well act as the initial poll and provide the above mentioned results. Unfortunately without polls people will use past history to assume Ellison is at 60% and they have no reason to get informed on this race. As I mentioned last week those coming to this blog through google searches nationwide are looking for a poll in this race as they know Ellison is a flawed candidate and don't have the confidence he will win, what is otherwise a safe Democrat seat.

Tammy Lee recently has gotten some good coverage as the #1 challenger to the flawed Ellison, and hopefully people see that as they would a poll, but I'd really like to see the media (the honest media anyways) conduct a poll on this race.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Democrat nose-dive

With one week remaining in the campaign it appears the nationwide Democrat advantage is starting to evaporate. Patty Wetterling's hope in the 6th district now seems to be gone; Colleen Rowley's campaign appears to be as good as over. Keith Ellison's sure thing victory is no longer a sure thing. Tim Walz and Mike Hatch remain their two rays of hope but Hatch is busy taking all sides of all issues, and turning independent voters off, while Walz does not appear to have what it takes to get over the top.

Across the nation it also does not appear the Democrat advantage is as strong as originally thought. No doubt they will pick up seats, but the hope of taking over both the House and Senate and challenging president Bush seems to be dwindling.

Why is this nosedive happening? Debates, while we as a nation want to get out of Iraq, and want better roads, schools, healthcare, renewable energy, and an environmental objective that the liberal agenda tends to better promote, democrats nation wide are not able to convince the voters that they have a worthwhile plan to accomplish these bold goals. This is why the Independence Party exists, anybody can tell you what the agenda needs to be, but it takes someone that can explain how that agenda can be accomplished to lead. We did not see that from John Kerry, we have not seen it from the Democrats in congress, and we are not seeing it from Mike Hatch.

What a world of difference it would be if Democrats accepted the fact that voters are looking for meaningful change, not only away from the Republicans, but also away from politics as usual. Until they understand this, they will continue to allow the Republicans to promote a more and more extreme agenda.

If and when voters choose Peter Hutchinson over Mike Hatch or Tammy Lee over Keith Ellison it won't always be because they are choosing Independence over Democrat, it will be because in rejecting the DFL they are avoiding the Republicans. When the DFL once again blows an election they will point fingers at Peter Hutchinson and possibly John Binkowski, but they will lose because Mike Hatch and Patty Wetterling are severely flawed candidates. In fact the reality is polls are suggesting Peter Hutchinson is helping Mike Hatch, so beyond blaming Independence rather then themselves, they will also be ignoring the reality that the Independence presence is benefiting the DFL.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Only one fiscal conservitive

While he doesn't attend to hack away at vital programs, Peter Hutchinson showed in tonights governor debate he is the only true fiscal conservitive in the race. While Tim Pawlenty talks about which taxes he will shift around, he does not have an agenda that cuts speanding, and lets face it Mike Hatch spending proposals would put us in debt that goes well beyond any uncollected tax dollars he can track down.

Over the course of Tim Pawlenty's term spending has gone up, Tim Pawlenty has not been able to cut the waste as he promised in his 2002 campaign. Tim Pawlenty did not veto a tax to pay for sports stadiums as he had promised in 2002. And now as Peter Hutchinson is cutting into his base Tim Pawlenty is attacking Peter Hutchinson on immigration related issues, as he can't possibly challange Peter Hutchinson on fiscal matters. While I dread Mike Hatch benifitting from Peter Hutchinson's candidacy, I see no good reason for a fiscal conservitive to support liberal Tim Pawlenty.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pawlenty attack ad's

It looks like there is a ray of hope in the Peter Hutchinson campaign after all. Pawlenty has focused in on him in attack ads. In 2002 he had a similar immigration attack ad against Roger Moe and Tim Penny that was very damaging to Penny, but this one is much different. First of all it's so late in the game that everyone is already starting to think every attack ad is 100% lies, which makes the label Liberal Peter Hutchinson almost a complement as the viewer makes their own judgment of where the reality is. The other thing this ad does is gets the name Peter Hutchinson out to a lot of people that otherwise still don't know much about him, this is a perfect set up for the upcoming debates. Also you have to wonder if Pawlenty is seeing upward movement in the polls for Hutchinson. The threshold where the voters start to take a look at him isn't all that high if he performs well in the debates. If he's sitting at 13% pre debate, he may just be able to get momentum on his side, drive up turnout, help Tammy Lee and the other Independence candidates, and if the timing works out just right sneak into office.

It's gonna take a great combination of events, but Pawlenty has given him hope. I usually think every political move Pawlenty makes is a wise one, but I just can't figure out how he benefits on this one.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Debate mess

The Minnesota News Network for their November 2nd debate has effectively kicked Robert Fitzgerald to the curb. Poll #'s are cited as the reason, and to the casual observer that's going to be a fair enough excuse despite the many credible arguments that can be made on that front. Robert may be a long shot for victory, but so is Mark Kennedy. Why not simply do an hour-long interview with our next US Senator Amy Klobuchar? Why should we be bothered by the desperate BS Mark Kennedy has to say when polls clearly indicate Mark Kennedy will not have a damn thing do with federal policy when his term in congress ends? Lets be clear a three way debate is less entertaining then a two-way debate, and a one on one interview is even less entertaining.

I have to ask the question does the media care about airing a debate among the candidates or are they more concerned about drawing viewers? If I want to see competitive sprit and fighting I'll watch a hockey game, debates are for informing the public of their choices.

It also must be noted that the Minnesota News Network is in large part a factor in Robert Fitzgerald's low poll #'s. Sure their are things he could be doing that would gain his campaign more media, but the media is the spark that gets a state wide campaign running. Debate exclusion is certain to damage Roberts final poll #'s November 7th.

And by the way if the one on one debate concept is ideal there is a way to include all major party candidates. Simply hold 3 separate one on one debate. I should end this post by informing you how to get in contact with the Minnesota News Network in hopes that the might give a damn what you have to say.

Phone: (612) 321-7200

E-mail: pmeier@mnnradio.com

Address: 100 North Sixth Street – Suite 476A

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Don't wear your bias so proudly

The Star Tribune editorial board, along with their board of inaccurate pollsters has a strong reputation of liberal bias, in the past they have made the effort to hide it when making endorsements, but the endorsement of Keith Ellison over Tammy Lee really demonstrates a lack of understanding of the role a congressman plays. We can all kick and scream with passion, as Keith Ellison is praised for, hell I'm kicking and screaming with passion right now, but the role of a congressman is at the very least lead by example.

Keith displays a strong inspirational message, pick yourself up and make something of yourself, but I just don't think the average resident he inspires is going to make it up if they have 35 unpaid tickets, for that matter they will struggle without a valid drivers license, and if they don't pay their taxes it will come back to haunt them. The Keith Ellison on display in the legislator and in the community would represent the 5th district well, but Keith Ellison the man has not yet picked himself up to the point where he's qualified for the office he currently has let alone United States Congress. He couldn't get a job as a mailman yet the Star Tribune thinks he would make a great congressman? Give me a break.

Meanwhile Tammy Lee represents everything the residents of the 5th district wants; she knows how to run a fully functioning campaign. No she has never held elected office, which puts her in the same boat as Colleen Rowley and Patty Wetterling. What better way to hide their liberal bias just enough to maintain some credibility then to endorse Tammy Lee? After endorsing Martin Sabo election after election shouldn't they be endorsing the candidate he is supporting, seems like a fitting way to fill their non DFL quota, but I guess that quota no longer exists.

Oh well now Keith Ellison has the Star Tribunes kiss of death. We shall see how that goes for him as Tammy Lee continues to roll past him in every other aspect of this race.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Will he come in to play?

The media has completely ignored it, but on the ballot for Governor will be a candidate running under the "quite raising taxes" label. Polls indicate the race between Mike Hatch and Tim Pawlenty is to close for polls to call, and it very well could come down to less then 2 or 3%. Could Walt E. Brown fair as well as Sam Garst did in 2002 running under a similar label, and receive over 4% of the vote, the vast majority coming from fiscal conservatives? Even at half that total Mr. Brown could very well be the deciding factor as Tim Pawlenty has been no friend to the anti tax fiscal conservative, despite his no new taxes campaign promise.

Might Brown also trim Peter Hutchinson's support? I believe a large segment of Hutchinson support is coming from fiscal conservatives and/or traditional protest voters. While I think he will end up closer to 10% then 5%, Hutchinson is being counted on to deliver at least 5% retaining major party status for the Independence Party, as the success of Tammy Lee is meaningless in that battle. If Walt Brown cuts a percent of Hutchinson's support it might get dangerously close to that 5% level.

Fiscal conservatives wishing to make a loud statement election day should have a chance to confirm that Walt Brown is what he says, hopefully the media provides that service to the voters soon enough so they can make an educated decision, and not a last minute decision in the voting booth.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where are the polls?

As I look at the google searches that have lead people to this blog, it is clear the voters want to see a 5th district poll. As I read other blogs it is clear people are waiting for a poll on the race. People can sense what's going on around them, their DFL friends and neighbors are not supporting Keith Ellison, he will not get the 60% that Martin Sabo would get in a bad year, and it is reasonable to predict he will not get the 50% that ensures victory. People all around the 5th district sense this. Republicans while wishing they could support Alan Fine to victory realize that not only can't he win, but also he is not worthy of their time and energy, they know Tammy Lee is a solid candidate and want to make sure Keith Ellison is defeated. They want to see a poll to confirm that Tammy Lee is indeed ahead of Alan Fine, so they can bite the bullet, cut their losses, and vote Tammy Lee with no regrets.

The people of the 5th district seem to be excited about the prospect of sending Tammy Lee to Washington, but in light of the fact that other Independence Party candidates are polling low they want to see that what they sense is indeed reality.

I can tell you based on everything I've heard and seen about this race that Keith Ellison is falling flat, and Alan Fine is not at all capitalizing on that, instead all of the traditional DFL support is falling into the Tammy Lee camp or the undecided camp waiting to see that Tammy Lee is indeed on the verge of victory. No doubt Ellison is still leading, but the gap is closing in fast, and Alan Fine remains a non-factor.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

5th district final 2 weeks

Tammy Lee is in position to win, you need to look no further then the Republican blog arguments suggesting Alan Fine has a chance to know that Tammy Lee has a real chance. Ultimately it is still about how Keith Ellison does, as of course if he gets above 50% no hope remains for the opposition. Several factors are working towards that end. Alan Fines baseless attacks on Ellison should shave a handful of % from Ellison's eventual total, but more importantly Keith Ellison's lack of legal responsibility the last few years has not yet become a critical issue in this campaign. We saw this week that members of Martin Sabo's staff are publicly stating they can not support Ellison, as he is unfit to replace Martin Sabo. I think Ellison can and will be knocked down below 45%, how much farther who knows, but at 45% it gives Republicans the opportunity to vote against Ellison and in effect fire Ellison from the office he has yet to win, and has never earned. If Ellison finishes election night under 42% Tammy Lee will be our next congresswomen, and right now that is a very realistic scenario.

Expect one or two suprises in the final two weeks, and on election night as the Democrats are sweeping the swing districts, watch the national media focus in on what should be one of the safest districts in the country for Democrats.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Minnesota poll?

Every other poll shows the governors race as a dead heat, in The Minnesota poll Hatch is up big, every other poll shows Bachmann up at least 3 points in the 6th the Minnesota poll has Wetterling up big, the margin in the US Senate race is large enough that the Minnesota poll inconsistency is not as noticeable but the 10 point ridicules effect exist there as well, and lets be clear the Star Tribune doesn't just cheat (and we have to call it cheating when they give no credibility to other polls and all the credibility in the world to their own) against Republicans, but probably more significantly the Star Tribune cheats against the Independence Party. I hold the Star Tribune personally responsible for Robert Fitzgerald's campaign stalling out in single digits.

Why not stop polling until you can figure out how to do it either accurately or with a random error? I'm not some crazy Republican, who hates everything the Star Tribune does, but this is a joke, and it has immeasurable influence on our elections. It's unfortunate people base their vote in part off of polls, but the people at the Star tribune are smart enough to know that happens.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Note to lawn sign thiefs

If you take all the Republican and Independence Party signs and leave all the DFL signs it's easy to tell your not just some know nothing kids on a Friday night. I can see someone in a moment of guts taking one sign, but to go up and down a block taking each and every sign that supports the opposing party is beyond pathetic and is beyond criminal.

Why is the criminal element of the DFL so afraid of Tammy Lee and Mark Kennedy? On the plus side these thugs were unprepared to deal with Peter Hutchinson leave bags. Residents of 51B your on notice, hopefully a good republican with a gun gives this loser a good scare.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

John Binkowski trending up

The most recent 6th district poll shows John Binkowski has moved from 5% to 7%, this is significant because the race is tightening between Bachmann and Wetterling, and the exposure those two are getting along with the ad wars should be crowding Binkowski out. While time is not on his side, if he can move up in this setting he may have some hope of taking a major stride should one of his opponents fade back down.

Alan Fine is scrambling

Former Independence Party candidate wannabe Alan Fine is left scrambling to maintain his small Republican base in the 5th district. No matter where the truth lies in his dispute with the Star Tribune, he has handled the situation incredibly poorly, and Republicans are starting to relize the oppurtunity to defeat Keith Ellison is not with Alan Fine.

This could not be seen more clearer then last night when Tammy Lee was on with Jason Lewis, and former Independence Party candidate wannabe Alan Fine called in to claim his conservitive credentials. As we saw early in this race Alan was playing the middle of the road well and he was at that time the alternitive to the DFL, but now he's left simply hoping he can finish with a respectable showing maintaining the conservitive vote. There is a lot of evidence that a good chunk of that conservitive vote has left him. Meanwhile Tammy Lee continues to gain across the board support.

It looks like Alan Fine is getting what he wants, after trying to be a 3rd party candidate in 2002 he is succesfully making himself into a third party candidate in everyones mind this time. I guess we'll have to wait to get those machine guns on top of the IDS.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Campaign update

Peter Hutchinson for Governor

Poll #'s for Peter remain right below that significant double-digit threshold. The good news is that televised debates haven't started yet, the bad news is they don't start until the final week and a half assuming his opponents no show the debate on channel 23 later this week. The Jesse Ventura ads were great for exposure, and hopefully will grab from the Ventura base enough to put him clearly above 10% in the next poll. This is the one race where the media is going to give the Independence Party the fairest shot.

Robert Fitzgerald for US Senate

Robert's campaign appeared to take a major blow with the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press polls showing him completely off the radar. The good news is the damage caused by those two polls does not appear to be that severe as he is now sitting at 6%. He has a lot of debates, and will continue to introduce himself to the voters. The media will largely ignore him, but if he can keep up the strong fight he has a great opportunity to be the most successful Independence Party US Senate candidate to date.

John Binkowski For Congress 6th district

John's sticking his head in the middle of his opponents very nicely. The national exposure from Wetterlings awful ads has taken the medias attention on this race away from real issues, and that can hurt John, but he's remaining strong and as people get more and more outraged at the actions of his opponents, he will be the beneficiary.

Tammy Lee For Congress 5th district

What a week for Tammy. The story on Alan Fine, along with his reaction to it is driving Republicans away from him toward and toward Tammy Lee. The Martin Sabo photo is drawing Democrats to take a look at her. I'll just add this, there are a few other things going on that will drive traditional Democrats her way. After this week she is in a one on one battle for an open seat in congress, and if she gets the funds this very well can be an Independence Party pickup.

Now is the time where the fun volunteer opportunities start, be it standing on a bridge with fellow supporters holding signs, pub crawls, driving around delivering lawn signs, lit drops (that's right I said fun) or anything else you can be a great benefit towards a successful November 7th. It's not to late, heck 4 years ago at this time I still wasn't involved. By all means make a phone call, send an E-mail, or just pop into the campaign office and someone will find a fit for you.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Can't say I'm shocked

Pathological liar Alan Fine is able to make a lot of denials and seems not to remember a damn thing about significant moments in his life leading up to his divorce, but the real kicker here is that he was so desperate to keep this out of the public eye that he went after the newspaper because these revelations might hurt his son. There was a simple way to keep this out of the newspaper, when you don't have a chance, and you have a past that you are ashamed of a smart person does not run for political office.

We shall see if Minnesota Democrats Exposed continues to label Alan Fine as a good candidate, or if Alan Fine has finally lost his only vocal supporter. It's time to drop out of the race Alan, you've hurt your son enough.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Is it an endorsement?

I've been careful to not say anything about the Tammy Lee Martin Sabo photo until I knew more. It's apperent now that while this is not an official endorsement, this is also not the a bluff on the part of the Tammy Lee campaign.

Martin Sabo will no doubt be pulled in by DFL and Ellison supporters to counter this and do a similar photo for Ellison. In the coming weeks it will be very clear where the current congressman stands.

Texas governors debate

What better way then spend a Friday night then drinking a beer and watching the Texas Governors debate on C Span? The debate will be on in about 10 minutes, it will be interesting to see if Kinky Friedman can produce Jesse Ventura like magic.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is it time to schedule more debates?

On Almanac a few weeks back one of the excuses used for the lack of the debates in the Governors race was the fact the Twins were going to the playoffs. While I remain hopeful they can come back and keep their season going, it's now safe to assume that their season will end before next week. If it was a legitimate reason for the lack of debates it would only be logical that Team Hatchlenty can now commit to a few more.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Someone gets it

It's to bad more of our media isn't willing to challenge candidates to give the voters what they want, but hey this is beyond awesome.

We shall see if Team Hatchlenty caves. Knowing the history of the anointed debate decision maker for Team Hatchlenty, I'd say they will show.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Democrats done talking issues

1 of the 435 congressman (actually former congressman at this point) found himself in a personal problem that has the potential of getting him in legal trouble, and thus the Democrats across the nation have decided the issues that matter to the American people no longer deserve to be the focus of the election, instead the actions of one congressman will be the focal point of the remainder of their campaigns.

Why don't Democrats want the public to be informed on the issues that matter?

Patty Wetterling doesn't understand the Fair Tax

In Patty Wetterling’s latest ad she accuses Michele Bachmann of supporting the Fair Tax. First of all Bachmann does not support the Fair Tax so right there Patty Wetterling is a liar, the only candidate in the race that openly supports the Fair Tax is John Binkowski.

The Fair Tax is a conversion of the income tax to a sales Tax, meaning assuming normal spending the overall level of taxes a person pays remains relatively equal, but Patty Wetterling is not willing to tell you that, instead she wants to talk about the fact that we will pay an additional 23% when we make purchases. Of course basic economics will tell us this is not the truth, when we reduce the income tax we also reduce the price of getting goods to the consumer meaning the base price will go down. Under the Fair Tax the American worker will take home 23% more pay, and will pay something slightly less then 23% more then current levels when making purchases, a net gain for all working Americans.

The other aspect of the Fair Tax that Patty Wetterling continues to lie about is the fact that it is not a regressive proposal. She would love to convince the voters that the fair tax is somehow unfair and damaging to the poor, but she doesn't want to let the voters know the true details of the proposal, notably that a cost of living "Rebate" will be issued to all tax payers.

Why does Patty Wetterling have to misrepresent her opponents and their proposals? If Patty Wetterling can't win on the truth why is she running?

The no new taxes candidate?

It strikes me as pretty odd that Mike Hatch closes his latest ad saying he won't be raising taxes. Theres just no way he can accomplish what he proposes without raising taxes, unless he thinks fees are the new way to go. Whats wrong with being honest?

Mike Hatch is a lot of things, but he is not a fiscal conservitive, and no matter how much Tim Pawlenty misrepresents his proposals Mike Hatch is equally accountable for the lies his campaign is making.

Final month

There is an amazing dynamic that can happen at this point in an election. People tend to prefer the Independence Party candidates on the issues, but they need to see that their friends and neighbors are on board. Peter Hutchinson John Binkowski and Tammy Lee want a lawn sign in your yard, it's easier to vote Independence if you see that others that you know are doing it, Lawn signs make a huge statement.

Letters to the editor are always good, go ahead and fire them off every so often. Even if they don't get published the newspaper takes notice.

Even at this late stage money is critical send what you can to any Independence candidate it will be a huge help.

Online communities have the same effect as lawn signs. Send a message to all your contacts telling them you support the Independence Party candidates and why. Sign up to myspace or facebook and become a friend or supporter of Independence Party candidates, again streangth in #'s encourages others to jump on board.

It's not to late, there is no need to waste your vote or support on your 2nd choice. Lets do our part in making this state and country work, and build toward even bigger things in 2008 and beyond. We only get one chance every 4 years to make our decisions, lets not make one that we regret.

By the way I'm going out on a limb and saying that no election involving an IP candidate will come down to less then 100 votes meaning even if you and 99 of your anti GOP, or anti DFL friends vote IP it won't change a thing other then help put the Independence Party over the top.