Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who cares?

So a Senator seemily persued sex with another man. In the process he committed an extreamly minor crime. If Larry Craig has to go then so does Keith Ellison. There is nothing wrong with an adult persuing sex with another adult, What Bill Clinton did was without a shadow of a doubt worse, but again it was sex between two consenting adults. Larry Craig might be shamed due to his anti gay politics, but he should remain in the senate and finish his term so long as his conduct was limited to what is being reported.

Monday, August 27, 2007

State fair observations

I spent some time in all the political booths and the main impression I got was people really couldn't care less about politics at this point, especially presidential politics. It seemed that there were some people trying to figure out where they stand between the DFL senate candidates but otherwise it was pretty basic stuff.

As for the Independence Party booth I spent about an hour in the booth trying to get a feel of where the party was headed and really got no indication that it's headed anywhere. The main thing they were pushing was IRV in St Paul which is great but that's someone Else's battle the Independence Party of Minnesota should push for it state wide and while getting it to as many people as possible at the local level is a good start it would be nice if they at least appeared active in the statewide push. This is one of the few issues where the Independence Party is able to establish exactly where it stands, to me when you stand for something you boldly stand tall and proud and go beyond what is currently reasonable in your expectations.

All that being said the Independence Party can have IRV but it still has to reestablish itself across the board to the level it was at in 2002, cause as much as party loyalist might think we have the best candidate, and many close observers might agree IRV isn't going to move a candidate from 5% to 50% if your not getting the exposure that the Independence Party was granted in 2002. It really seems to me that the current leaders of the party don't know what it was that made the party somewhat successful with Jesse Ventura. The quality of candidates is clearly up but the message is nowhere near where it needs to be.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Going to the fair today

I could go to the Republican booth and support Ron Paul, I could go to the Libertarian booth and support just about everyone and most every concept, I could go to the Green Party booth and respect what there doing, I could go to the DFL booth and look at the idiots.

But if I go to the Independence Party what the heck could I do. I suppose look at what happens when a former DFLer is given to much power. I say it all the time about Norm Coleman, and really it has to apply to Tim Penny too, once a DFLer always a DFLer. And the only Minnesotans who like DFLers vote DFL. Maybe if I go to the Independence Party I can find out 2 people I've never heard of are considering running for school board or something.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ron Paul!!!

Beyond the fact that Ron Paul represents me almost perfectly it's fun to see the partisan hacks within the Republican party go out of their way to insult his supporters despite the fact that he is a republican, and he actually won his 2006 election.

I suggest you go to the state fair and shout out Ron Paul's name as you pass the Republican booth, the idiotic responses you will get will probably be worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

State Fair time

This would be a great time for the Independence Party to bring forth a gameplan for the next few years.

Bloomberg out. Or is he?

Michael Bloomberg yesterday seemed to end all speculation that he will run, and there's a fairly good chance he is leaning against it. In fact if Guliani were to win the Republican nomination Bloomberg would have no intention to run and that is looking more and more possible by the day. That being said it sounds like Bloomberg remains prepared to make an announcement come March if the right senerio presents itself.

As I said yesterday I don't think he will be able to attract widespread appeal, but at the same time the country seems prepared for a Bloomberg type, and if they were convinced an oppurtunity for victory existed they may be willing to jump on board.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Michael Bloomberg can't win

And thus he will not run for president according to news reports today. It leaves a huge void for those of us looking for a viable alternitive. Unfortanatly much like Tim Penny or Peter Hutchinson Bloomberg is not exciting nor does he talk about the issues that will excite the base that voted for Ross Perot or Jesse Ventura.

Had he run I would have done as much as I could for him, but the truth is I would do so knowing he was not ever going to hit the widespread support that gives him a chance. I had predicted him at 15% and stand by that prediction, but the room for growth did not exist. The truth is the only reason Bloomberg excited me was because he had meaningful status and money.

Unity08 is still out there so maybe they are an option, but they don't seem to understand that we are looking for a candidate that has strong fiscal conservitive values that they proudly express at every oppurtunity. So I'm left probably voting Libertarian again wishing that I could vote for a candidate who gets over 1% at some point.

Heres hoping Minnesota's Independence Party has a plan, but at this point it is more and more likely that the Independence Party is dead despite the golden oppurtunity Tim Penny was given by Jesse Ventura in 2002.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Presidential prediction time again

This is the fun part of the campaign when your supporting an as of yet unannounced candidate. All of the front runners are making each other look foolish while Fred Thomson and Michael Bloomberg can simply wait it out unchallenged.

Last month I predicted Thomson would be your next president and I continue to lean in that direction now considering him the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination, You have to assume the anyone but Giuliani crowd among Republican primary voters is well above 50% so despite the fact Giuliani continues to hold onto the lead in the polls the reality is as the other candidates drop out Giuliani's support will remain flat.

If an opportunity emerges for someone other then Clinton or Obama on the Democrat side it might get interesting, but I really don't see anyone taking advantage, and while the Obama bandwagon may be strong enough to prevent rational decisions by Democrat primary voters I still see Hillary with the edge.

Michael Bloomberg continues to sit on the side lines monitoring the action, and if the above scenario plays out will almost be a sure thing to enter the race. If he does enter it will be a major signal that he sees a scenario where he wins, and while almost all candidates try to paint that picture most candidates don't spend 10's if not hundreds of millions on their campaign.

So now the question is where will Americans be in November of 08. I'm convinced they will be to the right of where they were November 06' in fact many Americans will be far to the right of their Democrat votes in 06. That would tend to mean that if Bloomberg does well it's over for the Democrats.

My prediction
Bloomberg 15%
Thomson 46%
Clinton 38%
other 1%

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Could write in play the role of spoiler

Current election results in the special election to replace Steve Swiggum


Republican STEVE DRAZKOWSKI 1749

Write in 10

Should this trend con tine and potentially get more severe I have to wonder if partisans will start complaining about the write in option. Imagine if the DFL loses by a handful of votes who will the blaime?

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Don't look now but the Minnesota Twins are 4.5 games out of the division lead and 4 games out of the Wild card. And hey Johan Santana is due to go on about a 5 game win streak. Hopefully they can act quickly and add a solid bat in the DH spot like Mike Piazza. The way they are pitching I can't say that they aren't a world series contender (by no means a favorite but an absolute contender) and given what I though about 10 days ago that is a complete shock.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

To tax or not to tax?

One bridge fell, and of course that means we have been and will continue to spend a lot of money to deal with the situation, but if one bridge fell it shouldn't mean other bridges are more likely to fall. We have thousands and thousands of bridges in this country and around the world it is extremely rare they fall.

To put it in perspective if your neighbor slipped and died in the shower would you expect the state to spend a couple hindered dollars per home to make shower's less slippery? Until we find some evidence to suggest over the next 10 years we can expect multiple bridge collapses in Minnesota should we assume that over the next 10 years we will see none. The Democrats have backed Governor Pawlenty into a corner, and Pawlenty who would rather be liked then stick to his convictions will give in to the Democrats spending habits once again., and hey 50 or 60 cents on the dollar is spent as I would like it by the Democrats but I expect the Republicans to protect a considerable portion of the remainder. If having convictions means Tim Pawlenty doesn't win he next election so be it, if he's right then the people will eventually come around.

We have the money, and with the right set of priorities we can do more for less, I used to think Republicans were at least proud enough to say that even if they are no longer willing to act on it. Now a no new taxes pledge has so many exceptions that it's not worth the paper it was written on.

An argument can always be made for raising taxes and I would love to hear Pawlenty out on why it is now necessary to raise taxes, but really it's not the temporary cost that the state has to deal with can be met with a few prioritized shifts.

Reactionary policy is bad policy.

Friday, August 03, 2007

It wasn't that long ago

That Peter Hutchinson in the debate setting was telling voters that the roads in Minnesota "suck". I'm not going to say had we elected Hutchinson this bridge collapse wouldn't have happened, but it sure would have been nice if we had a Governor who would directly convey information to the citizens. To Governor Pawlenty's defense it appears this bridge wasn't considered the most unsafe in Minnesota. Of course those less safe bridges have not been shut down so either the idea that these bridges need immediate inspection is PR or he is willing to play Russian Roulette with other peoples lives.

Gas Tax is on the table

Governor Pawlenty is ready to raise taxes, and justifiably so according to his comments on tonights Almanac.

It never ends

Well the idea of most people waiting for the bodies to be pulled out of the river for the politics to begin seems now like an irrational concept. Minnesota Republicans are going out of their way to point fingers at Democrats who answer media questions on things such as gas taxes. Talk radio has again gone on their mostly BS light rail rant, or on there lets cut programs to fix all the bridges rant.

And for what, the next election that can address any of these ideas is 15 months out. Then again the politicians right now seem like the sane one's and it doesn't appear to be an act. In the coming weeks and months we will find out what we have in Washington and St Paul. Maybe just maybe the concept of leadership among elected officials still exists, and maybe I should stay away from talk radio for a few days.

Of course tomorrow is Saturday so I'll have to examine just how bad the hate fest on the patriot 1280 gets. I sure hope all those self promoting morons are able to get in the name of their blogs every other sentence.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

If a bridge falls into the river?

It amazes me how easily people make the collapse of the 35W bridge into a political event, as if to say certain politicians don't care about bridge safety. If someone screwed up to the level where they need to be held accountable it won't be a politician, and while it seems to be to late to save anyone else the focus should be on them and their families for a little while.

The political debate on this once the time becomes appropriate will not be about which political party will screw up less. It will be about what the real priorities of Minnesotans and Americans are, and whether or not leaders should worry about the political implications of putting there own informed set of priorities ahead of the public often uninformed set of priorities, which in many ways changed yesterday.

I've been very careful not to name a politician or for that matter a political party in this post, in events like that they are not significant other then the leadership they can provide.