Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Reason #2 why Ron Carey and the Republicans shouldn't hate instant run off voting

Imagine if a David Strom or Michele Bachmann type ran for mayor of Minneapolis, that's right they would lose, but they would also draw Conservatives to the voting booth, where their votes can be filtered down to the typical candidate the Republican party is willing to stamp their seal of approval on. While the Republican party triesto spin IRV as a means to vote for somebody you don't want to support, it is actually a way to vote only for candidates you support strongly. Just like our current system sometimes you vote for a candidate that loses, and when a candidate loses it's because they didn't get as many votes as the other candidate or candidates, there is nothing unfair about that.

IRV simply increases the chances that a candidate who closely matches the views of the voters will be elected, and in Minneapolis I'm convinced we would get elected officials a little more to the right of those that get elected under the current system.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Why republicans should be for Instant run off voting

Because they claim to be sick of negative campaign tactics. While this particular race would not benefit from IRV as it is a two candidate race if and when IRV comes into play we will see very few two candidate races, and thus negative campaigning will have both positive and negative effects.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just to clarrify what Ron Carey said

Had the 2006 governors election been between Peter Hutchinson, Tony Serticht, Mike Hatch, and Tim Pawlenty Minnesota republican party chair Ron Carey thinks that instant run off voting would eliminate Tim Pawlenty first. That can mean one of two things, either Ron Carey thinks Tim Pawlenty is a horrible candidate, or Ron Carey is so ill informed about how instant run off voting works that he would be wise to say so and issue no comment when the subject arises.

Either way he would seem unfit to run one of Minnesota's two most powerful political parties.

Why is Ron Carey scared of instant run off voting

Shouldn't the chair of Minnesota's Republican party be proud enough of the candidates they put forward that they don't fear a majority rule system that won't enter state wide elections in Minnesota for at least 10 years? Ron Carey on tonight's Almanac broadcast confirmed that Republicans don't intend to ever represent the majority despite the fact that they easily could without throwing away there values.

Ron Carey suggest that some elections would come down to multiple left leaning candidates, but that can only happen if the options from the Republican party aren't good enough for Minnesota. Ron Carey doesn't think Tim Pawlenty is a good enough candidate to represent the majority of Minnesotan's, Ron Carey doesn't think Norm Coleman is a good enough candidate to represent the majority of Minnesotan's.

Ron Carey the chair of Minnesota's Republican Party does not think Minnesota's Republican party is good enough to represent Minnesota. Republicans it's time to find a chair that believes in your party.

Almanac reminder

The Chairs of Minnesota's three major parties will appear tonight on Almanac. So put off heading out to see the Simpson movie an extra hour for some great Democrat and Republican BS, often cutting IP chair Craig Swaggert to bash the hell out of each other. They'll both be right as both the Democrats and Republicans are to flawed to be worthy of the average Minnesotans support.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I love E-mails like this

Dear Mike,
The Hillary Clinton fundraising juggernaut keeps on rolling.
Through the first six months of the year, Hillary has raised a whopping $63 million. Unfortunately, that's just the start. She is expected to raise more than $100 million before the end of 2007.
Hillary and her campaign manager, former Democrat Party chief Terry McAuliffe, are hoping her massive haul of campaign cash will pave the way to her coronation as the Democrat presidential nominee and provide her with early money to attack our GOP presidential candidates.
Mike, if we are to stop Bill and Hillary from returning to the White House, we must act now. As the only GOP organization allowed by federal law to directly support our presidential nominee, the Republican National Committee is leading the drive to keep the Clintons from another extended stay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Please help the RNC counter Hillary's growing war chest by making a
secure online contribution of $1,000, $500, $100, $50 or $25 today to support our eventual Republican presidential nominee.
We must prepare for the 2008 presidential election now. Back in 1995 -- 16 months before he was re-elected -- Bill Clinton began spending $85 million on negative ads aimed at the GOP and our eventual presidential nominee, Bob Dole. Hillary wants to follow the same playbook.
Hillary is criss-crossing the country raising tens of millions of dollars from Hollywood elites, Big Labor, and trial lawyers. She's dispatched her husband, the Fundraiser-in-Chief, to headline events and remind liberals of the "Two-for-One" package you get if the Clintons are in the White House.
And you know what that would mean:
The return of Hillary-Care -- the one-size-fits-all health care system Hillary tried to force through in 1993 that would put bureaucrats in Washington in charge of your health care choices instead of your doctor.
Higher taxes for all Americans to pay for her big government plans. As Hillary said earlier this year on the campaign trail, "Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."
The appointment of more liberal judges and the further expansion of the federal government into your daily life.
Mike, we cannot allow a return of the big government, high taxes, anything goes style of governing that Hillary Clinton embodies.
The RNC must raise the funds now to support our eventual nominee if we are to compete with the Clinton/liberal special interest money machine. That's why today I'm turning to our Party's top supporters -- Sustaining Members like you -- once again.
Please click here to help stop Hillary.
Electing a new Republican president and keeping Bill and Hillary from a return stay at the White House begins with you, Mike. Please make a
secure online contribution of $1,000, $500, $100, $50 or $25 to support the RNC's efforts today.
The $63 million Hillary now has for her presidential campaign is just the tip of the iceberg. Your immediate support is crucial to countering the Clinton money machine. Thank you.
Best Wishes,Robert M. "Mike" Duncan Chairman, Republican National Committee
P.S. Mike, you can be certain Bill and Hillary will be hitting up their liberal special interest allies for tens of millions more as the primaries near. The RNC is counting on your continuing generous support to help us lay the foundation for electing a new Republican president in 2008.
Your donation of $1,000, $500, $100, $50 or $25 is vital to our cause. Thank you.

Republicans hate the Clinton's and it's a great fundraising tool, however there is no way the money would be used to stop Hillary from winning the Democrat nominee, as they would prefer to go at her in the general election using the same propaganda, and if the Democrats are going to win Republicans want Hillary in the White House. The dirty little secret about the Democrat and Republican parties is if they have to lose they want the candidate they dislike the most to win. In Minnesota Republicans cry and whine about how horrible Keith Ellison is, yet when you question them about what they will do to defeat him you are either met with silence or told it's impossible due to all the "idiots" in Minneapolis.

Political parties like politicians learn all the dirty tricks with experience, and despite the fact that the platforms of the Democrat or Republican parties may represent the majority of Americans if we don't realize that we have to kill off a major party more then once every 300 years, we won't get real leadership no matter who we choose.

When the message of the Republican party is oh crap Hillary might win, and not hey look at all the great candidates we have don't you have to conclude that even Republican party leadership has little faith in Republicans doing great things for this nation?

It's official John Edwards is done

John Edwards just told probably 50% of the Democrat primary voters he doesn't want their vote if they refuse to vote for Obama because of race or Clinton because she's a women. The sad reality is you don't win in politics if you don't have the idiots on your side.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Does Barry Bonds deserve the record?

Lets just start this by saying that Barry Bonds in many ways is a jerk, especially to the media who often deserve the jerk treatment. As we've seen many times before the media does not conduct themselves in a fair and reasonable manor when it comes to jerks. And in the case of sports the public is often willing to buy into anything the media says in a negative manor so long as it's about a member of another team.

So now that we've got past the people that would like to see Barry fail lets look at this thing from the perspective it should. Steroids were not illegal in major league baseball until the last 3 or 4 years so no matter what you want to think every home run he hit up until that point is not debatable as far as the record goes. Since that time he has not tested positive for steroids, so unless he hasn't been tested during that period we have to assume he hasn't done steroids in recent years.

We also have to ask the question what defines a steroid and why is that cheating? After all eating food or drinking Gatorade enhances an athletes performance, and clearly that is no cheating. Heck some players don't ever drink beer should we consider that cheating? I think realistically we can say steroids are illegal in sports for the same reason Cocaine is, because it is unhealthy the performance enhancing aspect does not come into play at all.

In baseball they will put an Asterisk next to any Home run record for any reason. Babe Ruth is the greatest Home run hitter ever and anyone else is a sham. And lets face it Babe Ruth was by far the best player of his era, he also could pitch at an elite level.

If and when Bonds hit's #756 he will be the deserving record holder, and unless within a few weeks of achieving that record he tests positive there should be no debate. Much like Ruth Barry Bonds is a great all around player, and should be considered in the class of Ruth, Ted Williams and Cy Young as one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

It couldn't happen to a nicer jerk.

Almanac Friday

The party chairs of Minnesota's three major parties will appear together this Friday on Twin Cities public televisions Almanac. This will be new Independence Party chair Craig Swaggert's first media appearance. The presidential race will probably be the major topic along so the Independence perspective will be valuable with the potential Bloomberg campaign. I'll be curious to see how Swaggert does, as former chair Jim Moore was just emerging into the kind of guy that could make the most out of these opportunities rather then sit in the background and wait his turn like Democrats and Republicans think third party folks should.

That being said nobody watches Almanac anymore right?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Could Tammy Lee run in 08?

Tammy Lee tonight was not ready to say she wouldn't be running for something in 2008. My read is she is prepared to run for state house if it will benifit candidate recruitment elsewhere. Tonight Tammy hosted an event on the Michael Bloomberg possibility along with those in the New York Independence movement, and while no great information was gained on if or when a Bloomberg announcment might be made it is becoming clear Tammy Lee is going to do everything she can for the Independence Party including potentially running again sooner then later.

I hold out a little hope that Tim Penny among other would also run for state house and the Independence Party can have it's strongest ever legislative field.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's time to stand up for the tax payers and principal again

Tim Penny and Peter Hutchinson have given the Independence Party the image of a fiscally left party. Neither did a good job of presenting themselves as strong watchdogs of our money despite the fact that they both have a good track record in that respect. The problem was as candidates they made it a priority of displaying their plans rather then principal.

About two years ago Tim Penny was focused in on the social security making strong statements about the action congress and the president needed to make. In fact Penny was mentioned in president Bush state of the union for his work on the issue. Since then 2 years have passed the Democrats continue to keep their heads in the sand and while the Republicans no longer have the ability to get anything done they sat on their hands on the issue, Tim Penny and the Independence Party should be getting louder by the day on the issue, while keeping her stance on the issue very quite in her race for Congress Tammy Lee along with all other IP Federal candidates was in favor of a consumption tax rather then an income tax. In large #'s Independence Party candidates understand the implications of minimum wage laws and are willing to vote in a manor that has everything to do with reality and nothing to do with politics unlike many Republicans.

While aligning ourselves closely with the tax payers league may lose some support it will give people something to identify the party with and a reason to consider the Independence Party from day one rather then only when polls indicate our candidate can win. Jesse Ventura won and while it is true he closed the election with college kids and others deciding why the heck not he was in position to make those votes matter because he won over enough people on the issues, he won them over by saying no tax payer dollars for stadiums, he won them over by saying it's time to stop giving schools handouts with no question's asked and he won them over by making it clear he knew who's money was on the line. This party only succeeds when it chases people in from the fiscally Conservative side. It's time to regain the image that gave this party success. When it wants to be the Independence Party is Minnesota's only fiscally Conservative party, and despite the fact that Minnesota is more of a Democrat then Republican state I think Minnesotans are more fiscally conservatives then not.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Speaking of Ventura and Ellison

While it's really easy to put a guy in the nut job category it's nice when someone can be honest about what they believe.

I think people sometimes like to make things more simple then they are. We've lost more people in Iraq then on the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, which should be proof enough to at least consider that our government can find situations where a major sacrifice of human life is necessary. I doubt that we are being lied to in any meaningful way about the reality of 9-11, but those that ask questions and demand answers deserve more respect then they get.

Happy Birthday Governor

Today's Jesse Ventura's 56th birthday, as a former pro wrestler that's more like 80. I think it is now safe to say Jesse Ventura is retired from everything. If he announced tomorrow he was running for President make no mistake he would win, but I think he's at a point where he fears dying as a politician.

Will Alan Fine run again?

Former Democrat, wannabe Independence Party candidate, and token Republican candidate for Congress Alan Fine has been seen making blog comments in regards to Keith Ellisons comments on 9-11 and Hitler-Bush comparisons. It is clear that Fine hates Keith Ellison and while politically the former Democrat might have a few disagreements with Ellison, and probably doesn't respect Ellison I fear that Alan Fine still think he is the guy to defeat Keith Ellison.

Leaving aside the fact that Alan Fine has limited ability to convey his political message, and has a multi party background that leaves the voter completely confused as to what Alan Fine would actually do if elected, Alan Fine is an unelectable candidate even if his politics clearly matched that of his district. While it might have been unfair for the media to report it his history with his ex wife that conduct will not be tolerated by the voters.

If the goal is to defeat Keith Ellison, as I, a lot of Democrats and non partisan Republicans (the partisan Republicans want Ellison in office as long as possible) would agree it should be then another Alan Fine run is the worst thing that could happen in the 5th district. While the 5th district leans hard to the left Fine and the rest of us that would like to see Ellison replaced have to remember that Ellison only recived 55% of the vote which means in a two person race if Ellison receives 6% less he's retired. That's a small enough margin that it could happen simply by increased pro opposition turnout, but assuming Ellison is again endorsed by the Democrats another Alan Fine run guarantees Keith Ellison's reelection. Where the candidate that can defeat Ellison will come from is unknown at this point (while it is known, but there's no indication Tammy Lee will run), but everyone in the district including Alan Fine's dog knows it's not him.

By the way the Alan Fine website can go ahead and quote or link to this post if they would like.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Trade Joe Mauer

Between Torii Hunter Justin Morneau Johan Santana and Joe Mauer I have to say I can live without Joe Mauer long term more so then the others. Joe Mauer is a great hitter, and a great catcher, but he can't put those two things together to be a great baseball player. And as odd as it might seem it appears Mauer likes Minnesota less then the other three despite being from here. Plus Mike Redmond is not nearly the drop off that we would see at pitcher with someone like Dave Gassner taking a spot or first with Garett Jones or Center where the drop off is so large I can't even name the guy who is most ready to take over. It's great to have a superstar at a weaker position like Catcher but if he can't single handily win us a playoff spot then you have to consider him just as much as anyone else.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A few things

It appears John McCains run for president is as good as over as he has no money or staff. Just another example of what happens when a noble politician gains to much experience and starts playing political games. In 2000 he was the best man to lead this country, today while he still might vote in the direction I would like more often then most I can't trust him to ever make the right vote when it matters. This of course was a predictable result which makes you ask the question why did Tim Pawlenty get involved. He seemingly gained no national credibility as a result, he didn't put himself in position to become a VP candidate and he didn't do anything to improve his image in Minnesota. I have to wonder if he didn't realize where McCains campaign would end. If that's the case I take back everything I've ever said about Tim Pawlenty the politician, and the idea that he has a future in the White House.

Cindy Sheehan (sorry I don't care if I spelled her name right or not) has decided to take on Nancy Pelosi if Bush is not impeached unfortunately she will run as an independent and not a Green which will lead to some unneeded confusion for both Bloomberg's independent run and the Independence Party. Cindy needs to deal with reality although the Democrats won't put all their political capital into ending the war they've examined what they can do and it's simply up to Bush and the Republicans until the #'s change. I don't really see Sheehan as a competitive candidate even in that district, but hey more power to her even if the net effect of her eliminating Palosi for the anti war movement is probably negative

And finally Tammy Lee and the Independence party are hosting an event examining the effect a Michael Bloomberg run for president would have on the Independence Party in Minnesota. Tammy has been to New York meeting with some involved in the Bloomberg effort and is heavily involved in candidate recruitment here. She might be able to provide details on why we should have hope at a state level in 2008.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Am I the only one?

Who thinks a tank of gas is a bargain even at almost $40?

Who gives the president the benifit of the doubt on the war in Iraq, because there might be things going on that the public can't know?

Who thinks Osama Bin Laden has made phone calls and sent E-Mails in the last few years, and is not simply dying in a cave?

Who thinks only good can come out of legalizing gay marraige and yet respects Michele Bachmann more then most elected officials because she doesn't lie?

Who thinks unions should be outlawed?

Who keeps his mouth shut at work about politics?

Who doesn't have a partisan agenda in every blog post despite being a partisan blogger?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The correct way to look at IRV

We very rarely get the republican view point on Instant Run-off Voting mostly because we're to busy waiting for the liars on the Democrat side to do something on the issue to question the Republican perspective.

In debating a Republican it becomes clear they are more open to analyzing all sides of the global warming debate then to consider IRV. They will tell you IRV will elect fringe candidates yet IRV in fact will only elect mainstream candidates. Of course they can come up with examples of far left candidates winning under IRV, but that's mostly due to the fact that IRV only makes it's way into law in left leaning districts due to Republicans baseless opposition.

A lot of people like to look at Nader in 2000 or Peter Hutchinson in 2006 and use those elections along with some poll #'s to predict what might have happened with IRV, but without IRV in play there is no way of knowing how the prerun off portion of the election might have been different. In 2002 a poll came out a few days after Minnesota's Gubernatorial election asking voters if they cast their vote for their preferred candidate. An overwhelmingly large # answered no, yet those analyzing the effects of IRV don't look at it as freedom to vote for your first choice, rather they look at it as what will happen when the crazy non 2 party system voters are forced to choose between the two, and while in the case of the Green Party or say Constitution party it may be easy to predict the end result in the case of a Peter Hutchinson or Tim Penny it's not as easy to know what happens, after all the public did seem to like them in much larger #'s then the election results, and in the case of the 2002 election their is real evidence to suggest that Tim Penny would have been eliminated after at least one of his two party system opponents.

As the Democrats and Republicans view the possibility of a Michael Bloomberg run for president, it will be those parties that use a strong centrist candidate to move farther to the fringes. Despite what partisans might say Instant Run Off would guarantee a mainstream candidate whether or not the traditional parties choose to give us a mainstream option.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The time is now

Being a part of party leadership in the past, I have to say I am very dissapointed that as far as I know nothing has changed for the Independence Party. The quality of people leading the party today is at all time high, but I question if the combenation of competence and experiance exists to create an enviorment that draws in good candidates, and goes above and beyond to make sure these candidates have well ran campaigns. We have 136 state house seats up for election in now only 16 months, and given the indications that the party does not intend to be a player in the US Senate race (which by the way might be a good decision as the money in that race could possibly make even a Tim Penny a 2 or 3% candidate) I would be hugely dissapointed with the Independence Party being represented by endorsed candidates in less then 50 of those races. Unfortanatly I would be hugly suprised if we have more then 30 candidates. The time for action is now, the Independence Party must do something to create an enviorment that draws in potential candidates, and while I'm sure some effort has been made toward targeted candidates they also need to do something to get those they aren't personally contacting to give it a run.

I've said it in the past and I'll say it again, the best thing that could possibly happen for this party heading toward the 2008 elections would be for Tim Penny to announce he is running for state house. The idea that the Independence Party has a candidate who would probably be the favorite to go to St Paul at this stage in the game would give the public the hope that this party still has life. You follow that up with some positive poll #'s for Bloomberg and you are back where you were the summer of 2002, but to rely on Bloomberg's possible success is asking for disaster. I know great things are going on behind the scenes, but now that I'm out of the loop on most of that stuff, I and the rest of the public needs to see it and we need to see it now, even those that aren't putting forth to much effort to find out information on the party's future.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

2008 US Senate race

The Independence Party has no US Senate candidate at this point and all indications are a serious candidate would let it be known they intend to run at this point. As the days go by the chances of a Tim Penny or Jim Gibson run are heading towards 0. For that matter Robert Fitzgerald was well on his way by this point in the last cycle.

James McBroom commented that the party informed him they do not intend to endorse anyone. Of course it's up to the delegates and not the top of the party to make that decision, and although party leadership has great influence over most if we have halfway decent representatives of the parties principles filing and asking for the endorsement chances are the delegates will want a dog in the fight especially since they can simply win the primary or worse yet a decent candidate could be beat by a horrifying candidate because no endorsement was made to help guide the primary voter. 6 candidates at some point sought out the Independence Party endorsement in 06, with another candidate popping up to run in the primary. Of those 4 would have been able to represent the party very well, and only one would do things that would damage the party. I don't know anything about the late primary Challenger, but unless we as delegates are certain nobody will file chances are someone will make the sacrifice and fill that line on the ballot even if it is made clear the party see's no reason to go out of their way to help them and 5% might be a long shot.

Of course a Bloomberg presidential run may bring with it someone credible, but if those folks exist I have a hard time imagining the Independence Party would not already know about it. If the party does sit this race out it will be seen as a big indicator of where the Minnesota Independence Party is no matter what happens with Bloomberg. Now if Bloomberg runs and we have candidates in upwards of 50% of state house races it will be a different story but this is not a race you can simply ignore as it will make it that much harder to get candidates motivated at the lower levels.

At this point I would have to say a Tim Penny US Senate run is at about 1%, a Tammy Lee run is less then 1%, and a Jim Gibson run is no greater then 10% still I'm not ready to say it would be imposible for an Independence party endorsed candidate to exceed 5%.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

July 2007 presidential prediction

A few things have changed since my last prediction. While neither have announced Michael Bloomberg and Fred Thomson now appear to be in the race and the media and pollsters are seeing the effects. Last month I had Mitt Romney winning for the Republicans and becoming our next president, and while he still has a shot he has done nothing to help his cause in the last month, and given he still has to pass a handful of candidates it is doubtful at this point that he can build the momentum. Hillary Clinton and Obama now seem so far seperated from the rest of the Democratic pack that there is no longer a need to mention any other names. Bloomberg meanwhile has drawn a lot of attention and is simply waiting things out before he jumps into the race full force.

Bloomberg's emergence makes it a little easier for Republicans to consider their entire field which should help Thomson. While Guliani still clearly has the lead and John McCain is not out of things, neither of those will excite Republicans given the option of Fred Thomson. This would create the ideal senerio for Bloomberg and would insure his entrance into the race.

While I still think he will meet or exceed the success of Ross Perot in 92 I will not go overboard with my prediction until I see some poll #'s, but for now I will predict.

Hillary Clinton 42%
Michael Bloomberg 13%
Fred Thomson 44%
other 1%

The first political half of 2007

The best way to sum up what has happened on all thing politics is nothing. Nothing of significance has happened in the presidential race as of yet. The newly elected Democrats in congress have done nothing more then increase minumum wage. No Independence candidates have declared for any major office in 08 (sorry McBroom, your confused as to which party you belong). Heck no progress has been made towards actually putting Instant run off voting in Minneapolis (way to go Democrats), and the Twins Stadium still hasn't broken multi million dollar ground.

It's really kind of pathetic, but it's nothing new, until the voters hold politicians responsible they won't put forth the effort to lead. As for the 08' campaign the citizens aren't paying attention, but that will start to change before the end of the year.