consultants are sandburs

Thursday, December 31, 2009

RAMSEY - Town Center office vacancy, $19-20 per sq.ft. per year; 30% vacancy.

It is the office plaza diagonally across Sunwood Blvd. from City Hall; and part of that building is owner occupied.

This link, for any interested renter or reader.

It showed up on a Google Alert = Ramsey Town Center

I have no idea of whether the vacancy level and desired rent are above or below market, and would not speculate. Commercial real estate is not prospering now, and the bubble there has trailed that of housing.

I believe the City has data on other commercial vacancy opportunities; Sean Sullivan, Economic Development Coordinator for Ramsey, being probably the most appropriate city staff contact person, this link.

Sean Sullivan
Economic Development Coordinator
7550 Sunwood Drive NW
Ramsey, MN 55303
(763) 433-9829

John Marty and Mark Dayton not mentioned by Strib on casino money, gambling and slot machines in bars, etc., with a focus on Dems.

I find it interesting that two I am gravitating toward are unmentioned. Kelliher bears the heaviest fire. Marty is so squeaky clean he'd probably return such money. Dayton, I don't know history but I expect he's not been much of a champion of casino gambling or other varieties; e.g., Dick Day and racetrack cash for expanding ways to gamble at the track, and Rukavina wanting slot machines in taverns on the Range.

This link.

This excerpt, not in the leading report paragraphs, but naming recipient names:

One of those donors was Ted Grindal, a lobbyist for the Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa, which owns Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley. Since 1998, Grindal has contributed $140,000 himself to candidates and political causes, including a political action committee (PAC) run by his law firm, Lockridge Grindal Nauen of Minneapolis.

Besides Grindal's political contributions, his firm's PAC has given about $550,000 to candidates and causes, including many Republicans.

The Mille Lacs band's own political committee gave slightly more than $1 million in political contributions from 1998 through 2008, more than 80 percent to Democrats.

The Shakopee Mdewakan-ton Dakota Community, owners of Mystic Lake Casino, made nearly $1.4 million in political contributions during the same period, more than 85 percent to DFLers.

Three of the remaining nine Indian bands spent another $1.5 million together. They are the Prairie Island Dakota, owners of Treasure Island Casino; the Lower Sioux, owners of Jackpot Junction, and the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa, owners of Black Bear Casino.

Rival DFL gubernatorial candidate Tom Rukavina, a legislator from Virginia, Minn., said Kelliher gained an unfair advantage with the financing arrangement. The DFL has since scrapped the arrangement and the state campaign finance board is considering a GOP request for an investigation.

[...] Because he's spread so much money around, it wasn't certain that Grindal would side with Kelliher. In 2008, he gave $500 each to the gubernatorial campaigns of Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook; Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, and former Sen. Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins. Grindal said he also contributed money this year to Bakk, Rukavina, DFLer Matt Entenza and Kelliher.

"I'm a Democrat -- I don't try to hide that," Grindal said.

[...] "I don't plan on donating to any other candidates than Kelliher from this point going forward," Grindal said.

Rukavina finds himself at odds with the tribes because he wants slot machines in taverns, although he does line up with them in opposing metro-area racinos.

[...] Thissen isn't taking Grindal's decision hard.

"There are a lot of other contributors of Ted's stature and they are giving to other candidates," Thissen said, adding that he's gotten financial support from other members of Grindal's law firm.

Will Strib be on this early and often? Or is it early and not news later? And when will they do a comparable thing on money to the GOP field, and money from the health insurance cabal - who gets that taint, etc.

So far, it is one-sided reporting, which is editorial in nature, because it only looks at dirty laundry of a few, and on one side of the contest.

The editorial dimension of this is not hitting both parties equally hard over questionable money. Perhaps the GOP camp just is not getting much cash, good or bad? If so, report that.

Report about it ALL, across the spectrum, please. Anything less biases voter information.

And the IP? What about the forgotten folks, this cycle?


Bakk, Kelly, and Entenza are mentioned only once. Is that exoneration of sorts, or simply fitting the reporting online to that on paper where the reporting has to be squeezed into spaces constrained by and conformed to purchased advertising space.

Final thought - I have not tried web search for an answer, but will PiPress and the online outlets of the TV news providers also jump this train, or is it Strib's thing, alone? Time alone will tell how far this might go in anyone's decision making.

Yet it is interesting. It seems perhaps the casinos and racetrack take money away from Lottery gambling, and since the cash from that goes to the State and provides funding outside of taxation and fees, it should be favored gambling, if gambling of any kind is to be favored, (and banks, insurance companies, land developers, and business entrepreneurs all "gamble" in a sense, as do stock investors, but that kind of gambling has long been recognized as having more social worth than casino lounge lizard forms).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A District Court Plaintiffs' win in the unallotment litigation against the Pawlenty executive action, as breach of separation of powers.

There probably will be a host or reports, but I have links to two; Strib, this link, and MinnIndependent, this link, both on today's order by Judge Gearin.

Court papers for the unallotment litigation are here.

The order was 11 pages long, at this link as an Adobe pdf document, being an order with subjoined opinion, (there being a subsequent amended order page correcting an inconsequential scrivening error).

Is it immediately appealable, hastening higher court review?

There is tricky wording in the Court rules, Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure 54.02 governs judgments in actions that involve multiple parties or multiple claims. The rule as presently worded provides that a district court

[...] may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment. In the absence of such determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.

See a few recent online cases, if interested, at the law library site, here and here, or via Google Scholar, here and here. They are not about unallotment, but about when an order is interlocutory, but appealable without having to wait for final judgment.

I have not studied the order or opinion to see if there is an explicit finding of no just reason for delay, but it is implicit with the wording above the judge's signature, LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY. That wording presumably would not be used if the judge believes a just reason for delay existed. It might be the order has the effect of finality, although very prompt.

I expect the intention was to make the order immediately appealable, with notice of appeal having to be timely filed as if this is a dispositive ruling. There are no really disputed facts, only an issue of law is raised. I believe there is an appellate rule, a mechanism, where an intermediate appellate ruling can be bypassed by petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court and acceptance of review, as a matter meriting expedited procedure.

There could be a final word that way soon. My recollection is recount litigation bypassed the intermediate appellate level, but there was a panel decision at the district court level, or in the review process. Both cases raise unique matters of law so that the ultimate word will be from the top court. And there's truly at this point no just cause for delay. It could be wrapped up fairly quickly into the New Year.

I wrap up with words in an email I sent a friend on the GOP side of politics - it is only a first step. The dust settles later. That is the only certainty we share, along with the parties to the litigation. That would be the substance of my post. Unhatched chickens, you're counting eggs if anything.

But my gut feel is the District Court ruling will prevail as the only sensible one possible, given separation of powers and how, factually, the case came to its present posture. I did ask my friend, "What odds will you give me, betting it's upheld, you betting it's overturned?"

I doubt any higher odds than even would be offered in response. I wait and see.

It was clear Judge Gearin was not ruling on constitutionality of the legislature's having passed the procedural statute authorizing unallotment in quite particularized circumstances. The statute was not the issue to Judge Gearin, it was how the Governor acted, how he postured things and then avoided a special session [to take his candidcy show on the road, or for other reasons known only to him] and in effect, legislated into effect a budget different than any the legislature voted. He overstepped his power in the view of the District Court. Wording in the order allows the Governor and Legislature to file further papers to put the case into a posture for appellate review; but the facts already have been determined, in the order they are set out in the opinion part, and the case is largely ready to be kicked upstairs for multiple jurists to have a look. While no numbered listing of findings of fact was issued, would it be needed, given what Judge Gearin wrote? To me it appears as if there's no just cause for delay. Run it up the flag pole and see how many Justices salute.

Ramsey Town Center - In the news.

Two reports for the hopeful. Here. Here.

I picked that opening image, both for the spark of life implication, and the thought that at city hall, that big main atrium could use a ceiling fresco. Presumably federal stimulus money might be available for public art projects, as was the case via WPA during the last depression. They could perhaps get stimulus money to move the Old City Hall from St. Francis Blvd, to the atrium at the new place - I am certain the open space is there for the relocation, and perhaps add an espresso cart, a bread rack, other vendor options.

Wall murals also represent a beautification possibility if suitably chosen; e.g., here, here, here, here or here. The possibilities are endless, although stimulus money mignt not be. Also, suitably chosen is subjective, in the eye of the beholder. For example, you tell me, is "architecture" in this satellite image suitably chosen? Scaled to its surroundings?

Adjacency to the rail tracks suggests a phase of public art appropriate for Town Center, as well as livening up the Northstar commuter express designs, railcar art; e.g., here, here, here, and here. There's an outside to the Norman Castle city hall building, just waiting there for the avant garde artist, (perhaps starting away from the Ramsey police anchor side is best).

Rather than sneak about in the dark of night, apply instead for a livable communities Met Council grant. They give them away like prizes in a Cracker Jacks box, deadline extensions included, as with the one of $363,756 to Ramsey for ditch-level amphitheater work and other RTC park amenities, so, no joke, why not take a chance on their giving yet more, for other silly stuff, or rolling new silly stuff into the original silly grant. After all, it's possible that amphitheater creative painting might be floated past the amphitheater folks as work under the existing grant. It's another amenity, isn't it?

___________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Two city documents are online and worth a look - and I hope City of Ramsey keeps both available, for comparison and for preserving historical authenticity.

The older seems to predate the purchase by the city of land in bank foreclosure; and shows an older proposed land use diagram. The newer shows a revised and simplified approach, suggesting a larger dedication of land for commercial-retail services - something for the rest of us, for longtime Ramsey residents, besides designing for more of those newbies in ultra dense housing fit only for those wanting the walkable Met Council gig, in the burbs.

It makes more sense, the newer thinking, however, that's exceptionally faint praise, (let John Feges and his promoter buddies with their "Creating a Genuine Town Center" spiel have hurt feelings over that hostile an opinion of their work product -- genuine indeed, their terminology that way insults the word "genuine," it being artificial from the get-go; on a vacant cornfield after all).

Faint praise is better than none at all. The new layout is less offensive than the Feges-folks' stuff.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mark Dayton and others, medication and addiction are personality dimensions apart from capability and compassionate beliefs.

Dayton's public discussion of having a medication mediated depression and alcohol addiction was probably a necessary step, to disarm those prone to later innuendo and banal mud slinging. Strib has an online follow-up (this link) mentioning Tom Eagleton and Jim Ramstad, Eagleton having suffered depression while a scion of a prominent Missouri family and a productive attorney and political figure over his lifetime. Ramstad openly has discussed fighting alcohol addiction. IP Sixth District candidate Bob Anderson has also openly discussed a period of depression he went through, in the context of his support of the Ramstad effort to include mental health treatment in medical coverage legislation. With the recent appointment of an openly gay Sheriff's officer to be Minnesota's next U.S. Marshal, yet another shiboleth has been eroded. Job function and capability are independent of personality and other dimensions. The days of "liking the cut of his jib" and "going by his bloodline and club ties" are weakening more and more, and in a global society where Kipling's work is discomforting and where some W.C. Fields lines can cause a cringe, we show societal improvement. Bigotry may be waning, with political correctness to too great a degree being the swing of the pendulum the other way, but whatever your feelings that way, it is best we never forget Ali, "I have no quarrel with any Viet Cong. No Viet Cong ever called me nigger." He declined to let some with great power define who he should have regarded as his enemies, at that time, under his past life experiences.

The Strib item uses the headline word "stigma" where I suggest "societal bigotry" is more appropriate terminology.

Having depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar personality, that was a "stigma" decades ago when McGovern dumped Eagleton from his presidential ticket, but now anyone clucking their tongue over Dayton's disclosure is not stigmatizing Dayton, but counting himself, herself, as yet one more counter-cultural throwback and bigot.

We don't need that. It is counterproductive to people achieving all they are capable of, without impediment over inconsequential things.

And if anyone wants to suggest that Dayton's having suffered depression and gone through past alcoholism troubles is not inconsequential to his present fully functional persona and his largely unselfish desire to help the state and nation as governor of Minnesota; the question is why is it not inconsequential; why should it matter, justify saying it is somehow a disqualification for the job he seeks.

Any person feeling that way, that the issue is not basically inconsequential, how would that person explain the many things Dayton's accomplished and intends to accomplish in his lifetime? Mark Dayton has started with more advantage than I did, but over time he has done more of merit. I neither resent that nor feel any need to diminish him over what basically is at present a managed medical situation.

Why should others in a similar position to me feel any need whatsoever to demonize or attack the man, other than if in seeking the same job he is seeking they see political advantage to appealing to baser things possibly felt by some voters?

I can at least understand that motive, while not condoning it. It is not unthinking bigotry, it is purposeful and conniving, but understandable. Blind biggoted reaction would be something I could not really understand as well, since it is unintelligent.

Now -- I don't intend to break out singing, "We Are Family;" but get real.

Mark Dayton's policy positions resonate with me.

Mark Dayton is running based on issue positions that I agree with. Taxing the rich to have them pay a fairer share, being decent over health care needs of everyone, what's to dispute in such policy goals, in terms of compassion and fairness?

I know there are "trickle down" arguments, but I don't choose to buy into that line.

"Trickle down" is too disingenuous to me, particularly when most arguing it as cause to favor disproportionate distribution of wealth and power hold disproportionately high levels of each.

For Mark Dayton from that position of good fortune to argue the other side against "trickle down" to me shows he has above average intelligence, judgment, fairness, courage and a lack of a selfishness that, unfortunately, is a not that widespread a set of character traits among others.

Selfishness is something people such as Dayton contradict and discredit, and the result is good.

It is not good to be mean, nasty, and greedy; though some think otherwise. And some are the hirelings of those who are mean, nasty, and greedy, and as hirelings they go about making excuses and finding ways and means to disadvantage most of the public in order to favor their benefactors.

Mark Dayton is on the other end of the spectrum from such political toads. Or newts. Pick your amphibian.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I coulda been a contender.

She's stealing my Brando imitation!

May the honest truth dog his every sorry step, wherever he is.

The link is from this page, to Strib, but it's pay per view at Strib and that's unfortunate:

Yet this linking page's screenshot gives a hint of the full whiff of -- nostalgia.

[as always click the image to enlarge, read, and guffaw for minutes on end]

John Marty and the seven dwarfs.

MPR Polinaut, this link - should you and I subsidize Zygi Wilf's wealth by funding any part of his building the new stadium he says he wants, wherever it is, ultimately, that he wants it:

DFL candidates

[...] John Marty: OPPOSES
"I've been very consistent on the idea that taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize private businesses."


Republican candidates

Pat Anderson: OPPOSES
"I think it's appropriate to have dialogue and I know that's what has been occurring. But the idea that we're going to spend $200 million in taxpayer money is not realistic and inappropriate. But there are other ways to achieve these goals."
She didn't specify how to pay for the stadium.

Leslie Davis: OPPOSES
"If they want to build a ballpark, they should build it with their own money."

Tom Emmer: OPPOSES
"I support a solution for a Vikings stadium but I don't think you give $700 million in taxpayer money and hand it over to a private business."
Emmer suggested a voter referendum linking funds from a new casino to pay for the stadium. He also suggested community ownership (Green Bay Packers model) or giving Wilf the Metrodome.

Bill Haas: OPPOSES
"They're holding us hostage with that situation..." "If another city comes and says hey, we'll build you a stadium, that's what will happen."

David Hann: OPPOSES
"I still don't think it's a good idea. It's a mystery to me as to why the team is pushing for public financing when everybody is financially strapped."

Phil Herwig: OPPOSES
"I, in no way, can support funding a private enterprise. It doesn't matter if it was the Vikings, the Timberwolves or XYZ company..." "Sometime we have to stop this. We can't afford it."

Marty Seifert: OPPOSES
"Other states have done this so it's not like it's a pie in the sky idea and keep in mind that with the Vikings successful season - they are filling up the dome So people say we can't be competitive in this stadium, really? The team is winning now so what's the issue?"
Seifert suggests the Vikings can rely on the marketplace (higher ticket prices, parking, etc.) and don't need public money.

MPR Audio blurbs accompany each of the Polinaut sentence summaries, and you can listen to some or all if you go to the link given at the start of the post.

All the other DFL hopefuls besides John Marty appear to be qualifying or obfuscating a bit, expressing some degree of quasi-support, or "agreeing with their friends." John Marty and the GOP block [aka the dwarfs] appear unambiguous [aside from Tom Emmer, being himself]. Read the item, the comments, and pursue it further via web searching if you like.

John Marty's position is fleshed out; this link.

In fairness, some DFL candidates are largely opposed to substantial cost participation in any stadium, itself, but suggest infrastructure improvements, doing TIF, some sort of an indirect partial subsidy, might be okay.

My view: Zygi is a very wealthy man. Whatever he wants, he has the wealth to buy. He did excactly that with a football team. Bless him if he buys a new stadium in Minnesota. It's his team to keep here or move, subject to league approval. The nation will not mourn if Zygi likes Los Angeles and LA likes Zygi, nor will the planet stop spinning on its axis. Land development deals aplenty likely exist there in LA, still, so Zygi can pursue his key pleasures.

I would not have given one penny of public money to Pohlad and his baseball team either.

Those that voted to subsidize Pohlad with public money should be called upon to explain themselves and their lax attitude to use of public money. Pohlad pulled strings, and it's wrong, him or Zygi. The only difference is Pohlad got there first and had a better idea of which strings to pull to get the proper puppet movement. Reprehensible. Totally irresponsible and reprehensible.

John Marty appears to be a fiscal conservative when it comes to some government spending - wanting full bang for the buck, and priorities to be set sensibly.

Locally, I sometimes find myself fully agreeing with the Anoka County Watchdog, a generally conservative website, but wanting fair bang for the buck and sensible priorities. We might disagree about priorities, but we agree against lobbying expenses for government to lobby government, wasteful or indulgent practices with other peoples' money - public money - restaurant tabs and all.

For the Marty view of a progressive-conservative blend; this link.

The contest for governor. The DFL field. Steve Kelley.

If a more moderate candidate than John Marty is to be endorsed, the caucuses could do worse than going with Steve Kelley. Why do I say "moderate?" His most recent mailing to the home (which demographically is in the 'burbs), says he's the candidate that can win the 'burbs for the DFL. This screenshot [as always click on the image to enlarge and read]:

Perhaps there were multiple mailings, each targeted demographically, but all I know is that's the one that landed in Anoka County mail. In the 'burbs. Saying "independent and suburban voters" is saying middle of the spectrum, i.e., well within the more moderate end of the DFL.

Well, the ox-stupid part of the population here in the Sixth Congressional District, (Stillwater to St. Cloud with some north metro in between), voted twice in the plurality for Michele Bachmann, (strongly so in Sherburne and Wright Counties), so I wonder if anyone but that kind of individual could carry a plurality here. Mike Jungbauer has been a repeat victor in my Senate district. With Mike Starr likely to challenge the District 48 seat for the DFL, with a DFL primary all but certain between two clearly capable and experienced moderate candidates seeking the Sixth District congressional seat this year, and with the chance to improve the executive branch from the sorry state it's been in recently with the unalloting itinerant tax-hater, we shall see if decision making while voting has improved, for the State and national district races and for the Governor race. Franken did not do well. Yet, there was the Klobuchar victory. Always, there is hope for betterment.

Clearly, I think Kelley differs from the level of people too many here support. More education, at quality places, more brains, none of the offensive and divisive baggage ideologically.

There are quality people here who do vote, and Kelley might be more appealing to some in that sector than my other favorites, John Marty and Mark Dayton, (and on the more moderate level with Kelley, Paul Thissen).

Kelliher also is okay, as a moderate, but has that "list thing" to be survived and clearly the GOP party officials have already begun sharpening their knives over that with a CFB complaint. Whether that is a strong, lasting demerit is yet to be seen.

From the Steve Kelley campaign website, the "about" page, this screenshot [from this webpage]:

This key background excerpting:

Steve grew up in Minnetonka along with six brothers and sisters. He went on to Williams College in Massachusetts where he met his future wife, Sophie Bell. After graduating from Williams, Steve went on to Columbia Law School. In 1983, Steve and Sophie settled in Hopkins, where Steve’s grandfather had been postmaster from 1922 to 1948. Steve and Sophie have two adult children, Paul and Eleanor. Steve served as a Minnesota DFL state senator for District 44 (St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Golden Valley) from 1997 to 2006 and as a state representative for District 44A from 1993 to 1996.

Most recently, Kelley landed quite a nice job, "Steve Kelley is currently a senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute and the director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy ["the CSTPP"]. He currently teaches 'Public Budgeting,' which focuses on budget principles and processes at the state and federal levels including departmental budgeting and the duties of the chief executive and the legislature."

For policy wonks liking funky diagrams, this CSTPP screenshot:

Kelley seems to have class and dedication. Not at all the type who would hire somebody to shadow someone else in his own party. He left the legislature and got into an existing, recognized, and growing policy study and university-level teaching situation, not starting anything anew just to have an affiliation.

On issues, Kelley's energy page recognizes the need for sustainable energy, meaning less national wealth flow out to petroleum producing nations among other things, however

Kelley's healthcare page lacks the words "single payer," and that is a large and very glaring negative, to me.

Have a look at all his brief "issue" pages, this link.

Another thing I would hope to see revised and expanded on the Kelley website's education issues page is a clearer statement about the critical importance of post graduate excellence at the Twin Cities U. Minn. campus, as the seed corn of the future prosperous and innovative business growth in the state, and something about the tuition crisis being faced now by students because of funding realities with a GOP governor of the quality of the present one. There needs to be a focus on keeping key faculty since excellence takes years to build and months to dissapate; and some price relief for the students at what is, after all, a public land-grant university. I have no cause to believe Kelley is unmindful of the truths, and his education policy heading is "Education and Opportunity for All." Yet under that banner, it seems higher education is given short shrift. As one affiliated with an academic policy center, he should say more about where his own expertise has gravitated. And for a relevant context, there are two recent Strib links worth reading, here and here. Perhaps the word "excellence" also should be added to the page headline, perhaps "maintianing excellence" as a flag to what is there that can be far too easily lost.

_______FURTHER UPDATE________
Broadband: This CSTPP link, for this quote.

Director Steve Kelley, interviewed on MPR, January 26th, 2009: Steve Kelley favors a "build it and they will come' approach to expanding broadband. He said once people see the opportunities high-speed Internet service creates, if its available, they'll buy it. "When the tools are there ahead of time people invent lots of new ways to use it," Kelley said. "So I do think we've fallen behind on providing the capacity and infrastructure that will generate new innovation in how we use it." Follow this link for the full story.

This screenshot, for the January 2009 MPR item per the embedded link in the above CSTPP quote [as always, click the image to enlarge and read]:

The chart MPR presented, readable, this link.

The remainder of this update is me, not Kelley, on what's best for people, the state, the nation and the world. That has to be understood. See the sidebar link to the Fibernet Monticello pages. My hope is that Kelley, indeed all of the DFL governor candidates, would embrace what the municipality did, and would consider legislation aimed to forestall the sabotage, abusive litigation, and tardy uptake of opportunity that City of Monticello suffered at the hands of the private-sector telephone services provider holding a contract with the City. We learn from history or repeat it. Learning is best in this instance. The private service provider's level of obstruction was obscene and should not recur in Minnesota in ways that would retard broadband progress statewide. And while rural broadband has national attention as part of stimulus spending, there should be no donut-hole problems tolerated, for towns, the Twin Cities, or where I live, in the seven-county metro area, but in the outer cusp where growth has recently gone from excessive and problematic, to moribund. This is perhaps the most troublesome area to assure suitable braodband, due to the housing and business state of flux. Qwest and Comcast, there has to be something better than either, and they should not be accorded any profit-centered broadband stranglehold against progress. Finally, regarding broadband in Minnesota, and levels of government transparancy and openness we all would want our progressive or moderate candidates for governor to embrace and support; this link.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Why Obama won - the relative quality and agelessness of the endorsements?

Yeah, I know it goes back further than the present year, and it's traditionally a current year retrospective. But it's worthy. McCain, he had that Ship of Fools NASCAR stuff, Obama had ACORN - and -

Or was it total quality of the ticket, class all around, that was a more decisive factor?

Concerning class all around there now is a pending custody battle, and Levi Johnston has gone on record opposing anonymity because of being fearful of vindictiveness on the other side. Not Bristol Palin. But -- guess who? This reporting link. This link for court papers. I'd be witch-worrying too were I in his relatively powerless and impecunious position. Sarah and Todd Palin sure went after her trooper-in-law, together the both of them did that, and Johnston is no better equipped to counter vindictive pressure than the Palin sister's former husband, the trooper both Palins tried to have fired without a shred of evidence of any job-related wrong doing. It was by all accounts, sheer spite.

_______FURTHER UPDATE_________
The original posting of court papers was by an Alaska online publication; this reporting link, giving links to download a fuller set of litigation papers. It appears that the child's maternal grandparents are litigious, and have used their personal family lawyer to bully or try to bully others in the past; with the same lawyer appearing to have preemptively filed papers in this instance to bully Levi Johnston. Others can read the court papers differently, but Brad Blog, here and here documents and comments upon prior bullying tactics from this camp of Alaskan special people. It is offensive to me to see that, and the bully tactic appears to have failed both times. As is best, neither fear nor respect were earned by such devices. Some lawyers ... Some clients ...

Friday, December 25, 2009

If final federal legislation allows an opt out from federal pro-insurer constraint, Minnesota could have its own SINGLE PAYER healthcare reform.

Eric Black used to write for the Strib, and since has moved to Minn Post. His work has always been first rate, his latest item included; this link.

In it, Black reports about six of ten DFL candidates for Governor that support a John Marty drafted state bill that would establish single payer coverage for all Minnesotans, with the privateer-profiteers of the insurance-industrial complex frozen out, driven to the sidelines to offer extended coverage plans and proposals, as is proper in a proper world as the proper private insurer function because access to decent baseline healthcare for everyone is a fundamental human right. Including dental coverage. With cost-payment administration to get fair prices from providers and Big Pharma. Even if it means buying in Canada for Minnesota plans. If UnitedHealth wants to provide Schiavo coverage above and beyond basic, bless them and all who'd buy it. A market for extra-wealthy-extra-coverage extensions would not close the privateers out entirely.

Detail of how a state single payer system would interface with Medicare and Medicaid and the multinational corporations providing private-funded coverage might need to be worked out, but that is opportunity, and not problematic. Some large multinational businesses self insure now, with or without insurance firms holding management contracts, but again, detail can be squared with the basic rights of everyone to adequate healthcare being the cornerstone to all details of reform.

The screenshot, below, gives a feel for the entire article, via a few opening paragraphs. There is much beyond the opening in the item for intelligent readers to enjoy. Please read this item if you read little else between the holidays. It presents hope for the public. It shows that not all in politics are crass, or compromisers, or appeasers, or tools of lobbying cash. Six - Marty, Kelliher, Thissen, Dayton, Bakk, and Rukavina are reported by Black to embrace single payer for Minnesotans. They have the good sense to affirmatively distance themselves, on the record to the press, from the mess that the DC divas are producing against us, rather than for us. That is six out of ten candidates reported to favor this true reform. The other four? Who cares?

Again, to read the entire article and to be able to follow items linked to in the Minn Post's report, this link.

From a cursory reading of Eric Black's report, I was unsure he'd pinned people down on positions. He did. He did not rely solely on bill sponsorship. Right now, from his reporting, and the waffling and hesitations of some, and late arrivals to the thought; I am leaning more and more toward favoring John Marty and Mark Dayton as the best progressive candidates in the crowded field. Others are quality people, but healthcare is my major issue and after the mess made by BOTH houses in DC, there's little hope for any decent package at the federal level. That is why I would base a decision on Governor by who shows the most courage and dedication to healthcare as a human right, and all others fall by the wayside, the naysayers and the qualifiers. Those resorting to shilly-shallying might make some feel more comfortable, but I prefer, so far, the unqualified commitments of Marty and Dayton.

And let the GOP tax warlocks have their bleating frenzy, for we are talking decency and human compassion - for real people with real needs, and we should do that and not slip instead to splitting hairs over the hypothetical status of embryos as a means to deny families the fundamental right and ability to choose how to manage their size and make up, and to time family expansions they might desire, rather than to have unwanted changes thrust upon them because of feelings others have that they should choose such things for all families. That kind of hubris fires the GOP zealots in their RINO purge frenzy; and may they remain the happy unified loud obstreperous minority they seem intent to be.

Further update - the second paragraph of the post was revised and extended.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
There should be no bar against a state opting for its own single payer system. If the federal bill permits opt-out for states wanting and liking the status quo, it is only simple fairness to allow opt-out to permit various other forms of state experience - experiments to allow the chance of finding better ways.

This fits the well known quote of Justice Brandeis that the states are the laboratories of democracy. For thoughts in that direction, here, here, here, here, here.

The Brandeis dissent was in his Supreme Court dissenting opinion in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, oft called “Laboratories of Democracy” quote:

It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.

Massachusetts has its Romney plan, which some have characterized as faulty and far too expensive - and it has similarities to what the two houses of Congress are up to.

Minnesota should take the shot that the DFL hopefuls support, and prove single payer a far better way to proceed. It would be a fine laboratory of democracy up on the hilltop in St. Paul, if it happens.

On that, the base coverage per single payer should be top-down thoroughout government. From the Governor to every city receptionist - no special deals. If the bureaucrats want better terms and conditions, for the taxpayers to pay for that, then they have to lobby the legislature, on the same plan, to change things for everybody.

Their feet should be to the fire. They should not have any better deal than the deal available to the taxpayers who would be funding things. That would mean a legislated bar to any collective bargaining contract with a government entity for the bargaining unit to cut special deals for themselves at consumer-taxpayer expense.

Private entities could provide privately provide extended coverage, and pay on government bargaining unit contracts can be adjusted so that the bureaucrats can have extra cash compensation with which they could buy the extended coverage, or not.

But to make it work, there would either have to be few but well defined tiers of single payer coverage via some opt-in greater payments by the covered individuals above the base threshold; or only a base threshold with all else private sector - at least at the start.

But that's getting too far into details. The aim should be to establish the framework, Minnesota goes single payer, statewide, public and private workers, farm labor, all included. One person proprietorships, multinational corporations employing people in state. Everybody in, no opt-out, and then there can be opt-in extended coverage possibilities, or not.

Moe is the one in the middle. Curly and Larry on the sides.

Photo from Minn Post. The reporting is sound, go there to read it; this link. As reporting, not editorializing, its headline differs from mine.

I think I made a mistake not voting for Priscilla Lord Farris.

I do not feel that Klobuchar nor Franken were strong in speaking out in opposition to the weakening and appeasement that went on in DC on healthcare revision, when it was clear the people wanted reform. I could go on and on. I will not.

In retrospect I suppose Priscilla Lord Farris might have acquitted herself better on this one than Franken. I expected more fight and less compromise out of him. I understand accepting political realities is the norm in DC, but then do not go to Minnesotans and say the emperor's clothing looks spiffy. Etc.

Below is a Polinaut screenshot of initial official comments by our two Senators on the recent bill passage. Please, go to the original, this link, and read comments.

I have added mine there and will not repeat them here. I urge all Crabgrass readers to do the same; so that it becomes a forum for those who have opinions, one way or the other, on the healthcare issue and in particular on the quality of this Senate bill.

[as always click to enlarge and read] And, again, go to the original, this link. Again, note that at the end of each segment, there are the words, "Comment on This Post."

Democracy works best when the politicians know what people hold as strong opinions, and unless those strong opinions are expressed the politicians will make their own assumptions, including that dissembling is acceptable, and that Lieberman, Baucus, and the Republican anti-reform stonewall possibly might not be worthy of eternal public disdain.

We do not want our two DFL senators to think that way.

We want them to know that state DFL leaders and candidates will now face the somewhat daunting task of distancing themselves from the awful compromises and policies of appeasement made in DC. Already six DFL candidates for Governor have done exactly that, which is discussed in a separate Crabgrass post.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday screenshot presents for Michele Bachmann and her Bachmannistani groupies.

Each item can be printed and posted into the new year on a prominent dwelling wall.

First, from here, for Michele Bachmann and the ACORN haters:

Second, from here, for Bachmann and her "prayerful" true believers wanting to save deluded Dems:

Third, from here, for Bachmann and her Socialism haters:

If you want links, and believe me you do, go to the originals. Above, I gave links to each of the three online items, while the screenshots do not present underlying active links but only indicate where they'd be in the story.

And may haters have a hateful holiday, while the Dems will be okay, because they're prayed for.

RAMSEY - How many ways might this slide show have become untimely?

This link. My suggestion, third slide of the fourteen, at its first bullet point, is the start of untimeliness. And then it's downhill from there?

Seriously, if there is staff time, this tight Trudgeon presentation from before the last election cycle should be updated. No longer the pending Town Center bank foreclosure. A new water tower. Town Center renderings and such may be more informative if updated to present status quo and plans. Indications are the commercial and retail real estate bubble is still deflating. An update would be appropriate. Yet, many other things make demands on time.

At some point, an update featured via a prominent link on the City website homepage, would be worthwhile.

Second good idea.

Debt service on the structure depicted on the above-shown opening slide, at barely less than half a million bucks a year, (each and every year or is the principal being amortized), is information that should go with every presentation by the City of the image, as a reminder that unrestrained hubris and dismissive downplaying of long-term downside risk is either dishonest or stupid, depending on whether the actor knew better or was clueless.

Disclosure need not be any more offensively prominent than on the image segment at left [vague red text on that image, and on the above; readable when you click to enlarge the left item, unreadable even at the higher resolution when you click the above image to enlarge]; just so it is always there. That is the main point. The whole point. Never forget. That bare little bit of "truth-and-reminder-badging" would make it quite easier for Ben to keep smiling across the road, were that reform instituted.

MINNESOTA SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT - Aggregate fundraising, yet another site. Yet more Crabgrassing analysis.

This cycle, Maureen Reed, 2009-10; here.

Tarryl Clark, 2009-10; here.

For comparison, Tinklenberg, 2006, here; showing about equal PAC and individual money. That is 4-year-old data, but is a good measure because that cycle his fundraising ran only to endorsement. For a full campaign to the general election; Tinklenberg, 2008; here. Both Reed and Clark have much further fundraising to do to prove candidate viability by that measure. I could not find on this site via cursory search, any Tinklenberg 2008 data indicating how much individual last minute money surged in via Bachmann's neo-McCarthyism mouth, on Hardball. That would be interesting to see, but the best guess is that the DFL cannot count on any comparable gaffe prior to the 2010 general election; although Bachmann after all, is Bachmann, so you never know.

Reed and Clark each, so far and this early in the cycle, have each raised about as much as Tinkleberg had in 2006, pre-endorsement, with Reed almost already equaling the total. Each is - so far - more heavily reliant on individuals, percentage wise, than Tinklenberg was at about the same point, in 2006.

After endorsement, and absent an irreconcilable tie, the expectation would be the endorsed candidate would attract union PAC money. It appears each shall face spending on a primary contest, absent in Tinklenberg's 2008 case.

For further comparison, Bachmann, 2010; here; showing a freightening percentage of individual donors, i.e., people who approve of the quality of her representing FOX, its talking heads, Wall Street, the health-industrial complex, and few if any in the district beyond haters of ACORN, the embryo fanatics, and those disputing Obama's place of birth. Advantage of incumbency? Special interest folks? Big-time Dobsonians? Ill-equipped stupid people? Patriots?

Form your own theory.

Note - Those having color printers can print out the image, paste it onto cardboard, and using one of those silver or gold marking pens, label it "Michele" and hang it appropriately, for the holidays - my suggestion being on a tree, not with Mistletoe, not in any way as if it represented a lovable little fuzz ball, unless that's your belief system.

Some think that. Few, I expect.

For a final general election number and breakdown, Bachmann, 2008; here.

An interesting comparison, 2008, Bachmann total money was $3,494,045 and Tinklenberg's was $2,968,319; a difference of $525,726. Bachmann PAC money of $975,875 more than doubled Tinklenberg's $416,613; individuals giving more to Tinklenberg than to Bachmann [the Bachmann-channeling-McCarty impact, probably]. Vote data, here, shows Bachmann's 187,817 votes exceded Tinklenberg's 175,786 by 12,031 (so that if 12,032 idiots had stayed home Bachmann would have been defeated, but not without her recount).

Interestingly, Bachmann's 2008 money raising was 118% of, or 18% more than Tinklenberg's. Her vote total was 107% of, or 7% more than Tinklenberg's. Proving that money alone cannot proportinately buy more votes. Yet she took in $525,726 more cash and got 12,031 more votes, or $43.70 more money per additional vote; and you could not buy votes that cheaply.

BOTTOM LINE: Reed and Clark each is head and shoulders better than Bachmann [having little to do with Bachmann being a short person and more to do with her astounding mediocrity and divisiveness]; though some disagree; but with that as a given, it means readers themselves and by telling friends should do all possible to assure each [for now pre-primary] could not blame a Bachmann reelection on Michele having more money in the fight.

For those slow on message uptake; give Reed money, give Clark money, unless or until you decide to favor only one as the viable Bachmann opponent.

Maureen Reed's campaign site tells you how to fund the Reed campaign as much as you dare.

Tarryl Clark's campaign site tells you how to fund the Clark campaign, as also expected.

Please pay to quell the chance that Bachmann wins again by having more money to fight a campaign than her DFL opponent. Quell that opportunity. And yes, saying that is acknowledging yet again that our nation for better or worse, worse I believe, is enslaved to the two-party system.

I surely don't like that but it is what reality provides us.
Also of note but not greatly relevant for the immediate future, Tinklenberg, this cycle, 2009, here; with a small and highly concentrated donor pool, indicating a likely reason that Tinklenberg folded early, (along with his declared belief in DFL solidarity being important to unseat Bachmann).

HEALTHCARE - A friend forwarded this email suggesting a barometer for how bad healthcare "reform" is for the people.

That barometer is, obviously, how good the so-called reform is for the rapacious malefactors of great wealth [aka the health-industrial complex, aka the insurer cabal, Big Pharma, HMO and other "administered" providers]. The better the deal for those wanting to disadvantage people to gain greater wealth inequity, the worse it is for people wanting, instead, fairness. [note that others might object to my wording as carrying unstated but implicit value judgments, which makes for fewer words to read and is hence a good thing]]

That said, Kucinich provides the logical measuring system, if the market ups the anticipated future value of health-industrial complex stocks on the trading markets, something shown by current trading price increases, then the dark forces are gaining at the expense of the decent folks. Kucinich's email, in that context, states

Values of Health Care Stocks Increase Fearlessly as Public Option Is Dead

Wall Street Celebrates Senate's "Significantly Watered Down" Health Care Bill

Dear Friends,

Wall Street is celebrating "Health Care Reform." According to an industry insider report yesterday by MarketWatch (Gibson and Britt) health care stocks rallied as the bill moved through the Senate, particularly since there is no public option in the bill to compete or compare with insurance company rate-making.

"Health care investors find themselves having confronted their greatest fear, and, while there will be legislation, it will be significantly watered down ..." said Mike O'Rourke, chief market strategist at BTIG LLC. As a result, shares of Aetna gained 4.7%, while Cigna rose 3.9%. United Health and Wellpoint "rallied to 52-week highs."

Once the bill becomes law, insurance companies will gain at least 26 million new customers and as much as $50 billion in new annual revenue from private-pay and from government subsidies as people will be required by law to purchase private insurance. While certain expenses are capped in the bill, it appears that premium costs are not.

The Senate's move prompted Gregory Nersessian of Credit Suisse to raise his price targets [predicting greater strength of stock performance] on seven insurers: Aetna, Cigna, Amerigroup Corp., Humana Inc., Molina Healthcare Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Wellcare Health Plans Inc.

" ... the [bill] is a positive first step" Nersessian said in a note to clients. "The heavy lifting will come when Congress is forced to slow the rate of medical cost growth through more aggressive payment restrictions and utilization controls down the road," he said - meaning that this particular industry insider is predicting limitations on benefits.

Marketwatch also wrote that none of the new standards on how much the industry must spend on medical expenses will "impose great hardship on any insurers."

Tomorrow: My analysis of the health care legislation as it currently stands.

I do not see how anyone with any intellectual honesty can deny the compelling truth of that communication. This one sentence rang my BS meter - pinned it to the far end of the scale and rang an alarm bell:

United Health and Wellpoint "rallied to 52-week highs."

That fits a barometer of mine - what's a boost for Hemsley [aka UnitedHealth's poster child CEO] is bad for all real people, those earning their keep by honest labor rather than by heading a plundering operation, which is my view of what the health insurance providers are up to. Kucinich might agree.

Relate betting on the market, and watching changes in the betting, to a Vegas tracking of point spread allowances in betting on the NFL. My guess is if the bookies in Vegas saw betting swings such as the Kucinich email highlights, they'd pull the game from the boards. They do that when their evidence suggests a fix is on.

And Obama, if you've noticed, is no longer singing along with Dylan, "The Times They are a'Changing." But what in the world did you expect? Change? Get real.

We have to conclude that Mark Dayton's assessment, DC is a cesspool, has merit.

I suggest that Baucus and Lieberman right now are in contention for being the biggest cess in the pool. So to speak. But each is certainly not without many, many challengers for the accolade. Any reader nominees - biggest cess in the pool? Leave a comment if so.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Here is a test of perseverance. How disciplined do you think you are?

Go to this web page.

See how many letters you can get through before throwing up you hands in frustration shouting, "Who the f*** cares!!"

A hint on scoring:

One letter or a part - You are both intelligent and wise.

Two to three letters - You are a dedicated disciplined person, and when accepting a task you persevere showing stamina and ability to concentrate. You are not easily deterred.

Five to nine letters - You have Asperger's syndrome. Beyond a mild case.

Ten letters to fifteen - Autism. You cannot shift gears. Seek help.

Twenty letters to the limit - Bachmann staff openings arise frequently. You are qualified.

Michele Bachmann on Healthcare. Can anyone tell me if the Bachmann clinic staff is still going uninsured?

Michele Bachmann seems opposed to generally available federally sponsored health care coverage in several ways.

When Bachmann ran against Patty Wetterling in 2006 Eric Black, then with STRIB, reported that Bachmann had in answer to questioning stated that the clinic she and Marcus Bachmann, (her spouse), owned and operated declined to provide workers with any health care coverage.

To the left is a clinic screenshot. It presents the opening four clinic "counselors and therapists," (via staff person blurbs), with clinic blurbs for all arranged in alphabetical order. It appears that faith, indeed apparent faith healing, is a big item with Marcus Bachmann and his staff. As always, click on the image to enlarge it and read. (And note that I suggest it as being a fair sampling of the entire staff set; or you can go to this link, for the full item set on the webpage - with it unclear what total number of employees there are when reception, records, billing, and other support staff are included.)

A feeling for what the clinic is can be gleaned from the clinic's mission statement, identifying it as giving "quality Christian counseling in a sensitive, loving environment," with Marcus Bachmann's personal mission statement:

Personal Mission Statement: I believe my call is to minister to the needs of people in a practical, effective, and sensitive way. Christ is the Almighty Counselor. My wife and I are the parents of 5 children and have been foster parents to more than 20 children.

[bolding in original] If that is not calling on faith to heal, I am hard pressed to know what else it could be. Also, how Marcus Bachmann's family fecundity relates to competence to treat is unclear. Whether treatments are even offered for Jews and Muslims also is uncertain, the implication being it is absent when they embrace their own faiths strongly and do not approach the clinic seeking Christianty.

So, that is all I will present of the healthcare that the clinic offers patients.

The answer to the question of whether any coverage is presently given employees is unknown to me. i have no cause to believe the status of the clinic coverage has changed. The Congresswoman and family have coverage available via the government.

They apparently enjoy federally paid and provided coverage, in that I have seen no public disavowal of coverage by the family based on political or other ideological grounds.

Yet Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has on every opportunity voted against any manner of federal government paid coverage for those not qualifying for Medicare, veterans benefits, or Medicaid. She has been steadfast in that pattern.

So, on conservative principles she shuns covering those not already covered by federal government sponsorship; but while not renouncing conservative principles I have seen no indication that she has not eagerly enjoyed having federally paid and provided care for herself and those related to her by blood or marriage.

If any reader determines I have misstated one single thing in this post on Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and/or her family business, please immediately send an email or post a comment pointing out error, if any.

John Marty. A holiday time email, appending a Strib OpEd. Plus, John Marty, from January, on Health Care.

This will be done via screenshots from the email, first the opening message in the first thumbnail [click it to enlarge and read it]. The op-ed text is in the second.

The email gives a hotlink for the Dec. 5, Strib item Marty authored, (there is not an active link in the image), so click here, to access the published original.

It is a valuable message, and I endorse it. It is online via an earlier Marty op-ed, again in Strib, "Efficiency Inherent in State Health Plan," from January, 2009. It remains for now still online as free archive material.

As long as the STRIB archive item is maintained free online read it there.

Given how healthcare is to me the single most important issue from now onward to more than a decade into the future, a candidate willing to write about it is welcome; and I believe that each of us should read it.

Finally, because I am unclear on STRIB archive policy, when paid-subscribed access is demanded, when not, I have taken a screenshot of the "print-this" version to assure all can read it, (again click to enlarge and read).

Matt Entenza - On healthcare. After awaiting a guest editorial that never arrived, an Entenza post from his website.

This link, for the website's sitemap. Here is the screenshot [click to enlarge and read it] from the item online, this link.

I present this while having personal reservations about the Entenza candidacy, and while favoring others, because a past comment that never emerged from moderation characterized me as ignorant of Minnesota Care and the Lois Quam role in its history, calling me biased, and suggesting I was paid by someone to criticize Entenza. The offer of an opportunity to write a guest post was declined, the condition being it could not be anonymous as was the unpublished comment. It is unfortunate people do that, so, instead of an Entenza supporter's views; I republished those under the Entenza byline, his own item.

[note, whether the Entenza email address given with the byline per his item remains active during the campaign is not known to me, and I suggest trying it, or looking to communicate via the candidate's campaign page - the original is undated and I have no idea when this was authored or originally posted].

Please read the comment left by Bridgit Cuisick, and an anonymous comment I otherwise would have not published but for clarification of the kind of thing I use moderation to generally screen out. I have sent Cusick an email. I thought I was unambiguous, above, but now I will be. I received a comment to this post, that went on at length touting Entenza and Quam, and sent without the author having courage enough to provide his/her name. I forwarded that item to Cusick. It is not her or the Entenza staff that has been unresponsive(unless that anonymous person is on staff, something I cannot know and which Cuisick can pin down and send another comment, should she choose that). It is the person who enjoys fuming and namecalling but has declined the offer of a guest editorial. Again, see the updates to this post. That gives the context.

MOREOVER, if Ms. Cusick wants to modify or revise and extend the remarks from that I posted in the screenshot, on behalf of the candidate or as her own independent opinion, I will publish it, here at Crabgrass, under her byline.

I think this response is fair and clarifies - the person I had trouble with was not Cusick or anyone else willingly providing his/her name.

Presumably if an opt-out is included in the conference committee bill and ultimately is signed by Obama as the health care revision from this congress; and Entenza unequivocally would support opting out for instead a complete Minnesota government run and financed program at the state level in opting out; what the Kucinich Amendment sought; I would be overjoyed to hear that. And if something different, under the Cusick byline is emailed me, I will publish it on Crabgrass.

And if this disambiguation update is satisfactory to Ms. Kusick's worries, which I respect, and that ends things, that is a proper outcome also.

Does anyone have any questions or complaint with this update? Let me know if you do.

_______FURTHER UPDATE_______
If Ms. Cuisick has a website, it was not returned via the first page of ten hits, this Google, and I have tried to get the unbiased search by turning off the default personalization that Google now uses. If she has a site, not Facebook, not Twitter, and sends a link I would want to read it. She consults, and has a Blogger ID, saying she consults.

Monday, December 21, 2009

RAMSEY - More crabgrass hits the fan; Summerset Meadows, LLC, has its project foreclosed by a Wisconsin bank, per a purported $22 million mortgage.

I learned of the situation via a Google Alert, to this Finance-&-Commerce December 21, 2009 item:

Bank takes back Summerset Meadows land
by Burl Gilyard Staff Writer

Citizens State Bank has taken back a 187-acre tract of land in the Anoka County town of Ramsey after development plans stalled.

Plans for the Summerset Meadows project called for a mix of residential and commercial development. At one point, expansive plans called for approximately 600 units of housing and 38.5 acres of commercial development. Today, it remains raw, undeveloped land.

Tom Van Pelt, senior vice president with the Hudson, Wis.-based Citizens State Bank, said that the bank got the property back this fall. He said that the bank expects to put the large, undeveloped site up for sale in January.

“We’re in the process of finalizing a listing arrangement,” Van Pelt said. “We’re still trying to figure out what the appropriate listing price is in this market.”

In mid-November, Citizens State Bank secured a judgment of $11.45 million against Summerset Meadows LLC and developer Gary T. Mulcahy.

Ramsey is 27 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis. The city’s long-range planning goals outline a mix of uses in the area.

Van Pelt acknowledges that the loan, issued in 2006, was substantial for the community bank.

“It’s a large loan. We have a syndicate of participating banks, but yes, this would be a large transaction for us,” Van Pelt said.

“Given the condition of the market, we’re not certain how long it will take to market the real estate,” Van Pelt said.

The Summerset Meadows land sits near the site of another project that never panned out as planned: Ramsey Town Center.

Van Pelt noted that the only connection between the two is geographic proximity.

That's an excerpt, so access the original for the complete story.

This one went under my radar, but look at this July 24, 2009, forclosure notice and remember that date [source, ABC Newspapers, this link]:

NOTICE OF MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE SALE Date: July 24, 2009 YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT: 1. A default has occurred in the conditions of that certain combination mortgage, security agreement and fixture financing statement executed by Summerset Meadows, LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company, as Mortgagor, in favor of Citizens State Bank, a Wisconsin banking corporation, as Mortgagee, dated July 7, 2006, and recorded on July 11, 2006, as Document No. 1985887.009, as extended by that certain extension of mortgage dated July 15, 2008, and recorded on October 27, 2008, as Document No. 2003644.011, all in the Office of the County Recorder in and for Anoka County, Minnesota (collectively, "Mortgage"). The land described in the Mortgage is not registered land. 2. The original principal amount secured by the Mortgage was: $22,000,000.00. 3. No action or proceeding at law is now pending to recover the debt secured by the Mortgage, or any part thereof. 4. The holder of the Mortgage has complied with all conditions precedent to acceleration of the debt secured by the Mortgage and foreclosure of the Mortgage and all notice and other requirements of applicable statutes. 5. As of the date of this notice, the amount due on the Mortgage is: $15,199,874.71. 6. Pursuant to the power of sale in the Mortgage, the Mortgage shall be foreclosed, and the land located at XXX, Ramsey, Minnesota, Property Tax ID Nos. 29-32-25-21-0001, 29-32-25-12-0001, 20-32-25-43-0001, 29-32-25-11-0003, 20-32-25-31-0001, and 20-32-25-34-0003, and legally described as follows: Parcel 1: Lot 1, Block 1, HY-10 Ramsey 2nd Addition, Anoka County, Minnesota. Abstract Property. Parcel 2: Tract 1: The Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter, Section 20, Township 32, Range 25, Anoka County, Minnesota. Tract 2: Outlot A, Pine Shadows, according to the map or plat thereof on file and of record in the office of the County Recorder in and for Anoka County, Minnesota.; Tract 3: The Southwest Quarter of the Southeast Quarter, Section 20, Township 32, Range 25, Anoka County, Minnesota, except that part platted as Menkveld's Pine Hill's North; Tract 4: That part of the Northeast Quarter of the Northwest Quarter and the Northwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter that lies North of the Burlington Northern Railway right-of-way, Section 29, Township 32, Range 25, Anoka County, Minnesota. ("Property"), shall be sold by the Sheriff of Anoka County, Minnesota, at public auction on September 11, 2009, at 10:00 a.m., at the Anoka County Sheriff's Office: Anoka County Courthouse, 325 East Main Street, Anoka, MN 55303. 7. The time allowed by law for redemption by Mortgagor or Mortgagor's personal representatives or assigns is twelve (12) months after the date of sale. 8. THE TIME ALLOWED BY LAW FOR REDEMPTION BY THE MORTGAGOR, THE MORTGAGOR'S PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OR ASSIGNS, MAY BE REDUCED TO FIVE WEEKS IF A JUDICIAL ORDER IS ENTERED UNDER MINN. STAT. ß 582.032, DETERMINING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE MORTGAGED PREMISES ARE IMPROVED WITH A RESIDENTIAL DWELLING OF LESS THAN FIVE UNITS, ARE NOT PROPERTY USED IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, AND ARE ABANDONED. 9. The Mortgagor released from financial obligation on the Mortgage is: None. Citizens State Bank (a Wisconsin banking corporation) By its attorneys: Joshua D. Christensen, (#332616) Alona V. Rindal, (#388866) Nicholas C. Jellum, (#328856) Anastasi & Associates, P.A. Attorneys for Mortgagee 14985 60th Street North Stillwater, MN 55082 (651) 439-2951 14435-F abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Published in Anoka County Union July 24, 31, August 7, 14, 21 & 28 2009

[italics added] Does anyone know where exactly that is? Does anyone know the current status of the land? Or who was the promoter, the landowner, and the front-money person for starting this ball rolling? Is it still "green acres" for tax purposes?

If you know anything, please send an email. Below is what I found online.

The LLC is not registered with the SoS as a Ramsey business location, and the registration appears to be long expired:

[as always, click on the image to enlarge and read]

The mayor has a blog or is invited to leave a comment here or an email, and I note that the City considered a proposal advanced by a "Greg Schlenk" on behalf of the Mahtomedi-based LLC, June 9, 2009, regarding the site; this link; i.e., on a date inconsistent with the Secretary of State's record of the LLC's good status running to 2008; but quite consistent with the foreclosure notice in the paper; and with City of Ramsey minutes not noting boo about there being a delinquency with the lender; yielding foreclosure notice publications a month and a half later. Moreover, this IS in the minutes:

Motion by Councilmember Elvig seconded by Mayor Ramsey to Adopt Resolution 09-06-117 to approve a 30 day extension to Summerset Meadows LLC to submit the final plat application for the Summerset Meadows subdivision.

[...] Motion carried. Voting Yes Mayor Ramsey, Councilmembers Elvig, Dehen, Jeffrey, Look, McGlone, and Wise. Voting No None.

Was the council sort of hoodwinked? It seems possible. Somebody must have been trying to be really cute; or else staff and the developer had reasons to not publicize the extreme precarious status of things back then. However it stands, the staff-prepared agenda for the meeting; this link; divulges nothing about anyone's specific financial dire straits, beyond some general language not at all site specific about it being hard times for crabgrass.





If the bank was on the string for twenty-two million smackolas, somebody surely got cash out of it.



NOTE: The court system now allows checking district court docket info, via this link, and this image lists cause numbers for litigation.

For those wanting to pursue the matter further, the image does not toggle to individual cases, but they can be reached via the court link just given. I have not gone to the courthouse to pull files and review them, and do not intend to. So, after declining that step to search for info; was there any notice to staff, the City Attorney, or others such as councilmembers, about the status of litigation at the time of the meeting and discretionary decision making by the council this summer?

Who will let me know, if there was?

For a Google = gary t. mulcahy sr.

three interesting interrelated items were returned, here, here and here.

With the case still pending we cannot jump to conclusions, but the money was as green as crabgrass, and somebody made a bundle of it in dealings. I think that is a fair conclusion, even if a lesser underlying lien existed against the ownership interest of the land-holder who sold to the Mulcahy interests.

It's part of Ramsey history, and we all should take an interest.

Should they put him in jail and throw away the key?

Credit fraud-hacking:

This link, and this link.

Comments expressing thoughts on issue, would be greatly appreciated, especially with reasoning stated that led to a conclusion.

Should service providers, those enabling a fraudster's link from a workstation to the Internet, be held to a policing standard, and be liable in some fashion, to some degree?

In China certain "corruption" crimes have led to execution of the offender.

If that strong a general deterrent were in law, would you think there would be less Internet crime of this kind? Certainly it would reduce recidivism, but beyond that?

Honor among theives? This link.

Should one who abuses a public trust to enrich family be let off easier; i.e., where mixed-motive situations can be argued - and public benefit vs. private are arguably hazy, is that cause for restraint in criminalization of behavior? NOTE: The question is not whether there should be some ex post facto reach back at conduct not criminally culpable at the time the conduct occurred; moral judgments can exist, but I would not suggest ex post facto criminalization is at all sound, and instead I believe it would threaten some basic values our nation is said to treasure.

Any reader thoughts on either update paragraph?