Many readers concurred that Lister is a true "empty suit" candidate at this point, offering no real agenda other than some simple platitudes and vapid sound bites via her web site.
If elected along with Carol LeDoux this November, Anoka County would be the first in the nation to feature not one but two empty suits on the same county board, according to the Watchdog Analysis and Statistics Department.
Agenda? We don't need no stinking agenda!
Certainly, she has ducked every chance to address Watchdog readers and explain where she stands on key issues facing the county.
In short, she's a candidate with no agenda and no name recognition, having never run for office before (to the best of our knowledge) and not having any kind of public profile in the county besides some whining about the county board while she was a county employee.
[...] So how did she take second place in a four-way primary?
The answer seems to lie in the one thing we do know about her. She's supported by the Good Ol' Boys and their special interest PAC, "Citizens for Responsible Government," otherwise known as the "We Ran This County and Want to Again" PAC.
Being supported by this PAC says much to voters about Lister and her real agenda. If you're in with this crowd, it speaks volumes about who you are and what you want to do to the taxpayers in this county.
[...] Hurling vague accusations is classic Good Ol' Boy [tactic].
Good Ol' Harold. Not liking "vague accusations" while making a string of them. The gentleman inspired me to send this email:
Am I mocking Harold by sending such an email.
Of course I am.
He deserves it.
He has overused that "empty suit" line one time too many for women he wants to belittle. He is way out of line and needs to be ridiculed.
How will Commissioners Sivaraja and West regard my email? I hope they will read it with regard to Hamilton's name calling, and then dismiss it accordingly.
Do I expect either of the commissioners to respond, detailing an agenda which I can then attack point by point, item by item, post by post up to election day?
Of course not.
They are not stupid individuals.
My purpose is to highlight that Allison Lister is not stupid either, and Hamilton knows from the outset "every opportunity" to be waylaid and criticized further is a disingenuous thing to write of, in the way he writes. It smacks of insincerity. Hence the insincere email he inspired, to highlight insincerity for what it is.
My impression is Harold's bias against the Erhart brothers is extreme. Yet he has never called either an "empty suit." Not Dan. Not Bill. I dislike the gender bias of this pattern, and am posting to call it out to community attention.
If it were the first instance for Harold that would be different. LaDoux running last term faced the same stuff, although then it was "an empty Ann Taylor suit."
Variations on a theme.
Hamilton does not like the Lister website, his words being, "no real agenda other than some simple platitudes and vapid sound bites via her web site."
Harold likes this instead:
Trust the bark? If the Lister website were to contain that kind of "solid non-vapid" content would he bark?
Lister's bad is her website does not say as Rhonda's does, "Construction and maintenance of local roads and bridges, public safety, and child protection are just a few examples of our core services. Just as families have to live within their means, so should county government," but instead, in woofer eyes, is "simple platitudes and vapid sound bites." Contra to Sivarajah's website? Sure, if Harold says so, don't bother looking here to compare.
Understand where Harold's coming from. He's lobbing his home plate throws from deep, deep Right Field.
Good Ol' Harold.
The inspiration may never cease. He inspired me to send a fifty buck campaign contribution.
To "Citizens for Responsible Government."
After all who is not for responsible government?
I want it. Don't you?
Harold propagandizes the organization which allows citizen contributions which can be in modest twenty-five or fifty dollar amounts, to benefit election chances of a range of candidates, and thus a small contribution obviates any need to pop such amounts to multiple individual election efforts. If you indeed believe the candidates listed by Citizens for Responsible Government on the whole represent a move away from the status quo and toward "responsible government," which I do, then you probably would agree that being able to send one modest contribution to spread the benefit is a good citizens' opportunity.
SO - Read the names of who this campaign effort supports, from this page of the county elections disclosure filing:
Those supported by Citizens for Responsible Government still in the running after the primary election: Dan Sanders, Allison Lister, Sarah Strommen [proper spelling, not "Strohman" as listed], Mark Kuzma, Chris Riley, and John LeTourneau. That select group includes the decisive frontrunners in each of the primaries in Ramsey; i.e., Kuzma, Riley, and LeTourneau. And they are not just frontrunners, but majority choices. With each of those the organization supports getting a majority of votes [not a plurality but over 50% each - Kuzma even getting 60%, LeTourneau at 55%, Riley at 53%]. Those are devastating numbers for the opposition, and Harold does not talk of Ramsey's vote counts. The bottom line is that a lot of Ramsey's citizens want responsible government of a kind these individuals represent and offer despite what good Ol' Harold may want to write in persuasion for what appears to be a voter-disfavored Ramsey status quo.
Those votes are real. Harold ignores them. We should not. Those votes are not anyone's propaganda. Not woofing, but real at the polling place VOTES. Those are citizens making the effort to voice citizen choices.
It's not PAC this, or PAC that, as good Ol' Harold would have you believe, nor is it anything nefarious simply because one of the Erhart brothers donated cash.
Harold has his dislike for the brothers which he most certainly has not hidden. It's something he will have to deal with because neither of the two appears inclined to go away. That is Harold's longstanding bugaboo, and anything he publishes has to be read in context.
Indeed, to be honest about things, I think Hamilton sees Erhart hands at play even more frequently than I speculate about a particular county board member being something of a puppet master, in Ramsey ...
a candidacy I previously was unfamiliar with. Sanders is running to replace Robyn West on the county board. Had Hamilton not called attention to Sanders as one of a group supported by Citizens for Responsible Government, and given that the board district is not mine, Sanders would have gone under my radar.
Now, after Hamilton called attention to him I want to contribute to Sanders. I already have contributed my fifty bucks directly to the Lister campaign. Problem, Sanders on his website is not soliciting contributions. However, I still can help.
With the fifty Harold has inspired me to send Citizens for Responsible government; I know I am spreading some of the amount to help Sanders, with the remainder to be allocated by the Citizens for Responsible Government managing people in a manner I fully and unequivocally trust to be well thought out and effective. I want to be helpful and would not want to send token amounts to multiple campaigns where it can be more of a headache for campaign treasurers to process than it's worth. Thanks to Citizens for Responsible Government there is a way to avoid that.
Do not doubt, I appreciate that option despite anything Hamilton may write or think. For me, it is a helpful thing, not some manner of public pariah as Hamilton paints it.
NOTE: I speak only for myself in being thankful that Citizens for Responsible Government exists to allow me to spread my limited resources in what hopefully is a most effective manner. But I believe we all should be thankful, the greater our options. So, again, where my contributions went and where I urge readers to contribute $25, $50, or more if resources allow, in the order I feel most important:
(make checks to: Allison for Commissioner)
20530 Ivywood St.
Oak Grove, MN 55011
Home: (763) 205-5814
Cell: (218) 330-9924
Citizens for Responsible Government
1207 Constance Blvd. NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304
Phone (763) 434-5929
In closing, it is clear from disclosure, Citizens for Responsible Government has paid for signage.
Mailings will be needed, and mailings cost a lot in order to reach even modest numbers of voters. Without the capacity to properly fund opposition candidacies between the primary and the general election the status quo might end up prevailing; and that is something which I join with the Citizens for Responsible Government in not wanting.
So again, I urge readers to spend accordingly if in agreement with my thinking and with the clear orientation of Citizens for Responsible Government.
Contributing is the responsible thing to do. That and voting. I probably will contribute more to the Lister campaign before the general election because she is running against a guy who prints his own highway signs in his garage while Lister faces a larger charge to compete. But I appreciate having the Citizens for Responsible Government existing, so I also can help several others, something which would not be feasible otherwise because I am not a wealthy man who can afford to contribute in a lot in diverse directions like Harold can. Finally, apart from politics, Harold is and has been a gentleman who I do not resent and for whom I wish total continuing success and prosperity on the business side of his life's efforts. There exist differences of opinion and each of us freely speaks his mind and publishes, but there is no personal rancor.
Being as fair to Hamilton's position as he would be to mine, here is the gist of campaign reporting that has him seeing the bogey man -
Harold also objects to the citizens having duly chosen and formed a corporate activist format. This is entirely in line with the GOP instigated Citizens United decision, so I am unclear whether Hamilton is complaining as a critique of that jurisprudence, or a complaint of its use by others than bona-fide GOP franchisees. A bad shoe can pinch anyone's foot, and while I detest the decision, if it has to be lived with it has to be utilized by the good guys, not just the Republicans.
Hamilton has not made it clear how he squares Citizens United with his own unhappiness. Bill Ehhart, an attorney, handled the Citizens for Responsible Government incorporation detail - laymen can form corporations but it is best to use an attorney - so it appears again that the Hamilton unhappiness is not with use of counsel, but with the bogey man brother of his major bogey man official. Hamilton's Moriarty, if you want to view it that way.
Things seem to boil down to Hamilton's dislike of the Erharts, and his unhappiness with a GOP tactic being used by some who are outside the GOP tent. Give him a crying towel for that haunting. It is not going to go away until that repugnant Citizens United decision is undone. Until then, it is fair game for all to utilize. Indeed, to me there is more glee to its being used against the Republicans who foisted it off against the public. Aside from that, again, I welcome the vehicle that allows people to spread effectiveness of donations when they have limitations on the amounts they can afford to contribute.
In exhorting help to Citizens for Responsible Government with mailers in the future, here is one candidate's past filing of a mailing cost; identity does not matter; but the mailing amount dwarfs much else.
Please help the Citizens for Responsible Government position to be ready to send sufficient mailings to allow their supported candidates a fair shot in November's general election. With down-ballot offices sometimes overlooked by presidential year voters, the importance of mailings is even greater with cycles such as ours. Add to that the redistricting effect, with more county seats up for voting than normal that way, and every donation helps.
Again, the candidates that Citizens for Responsible Government list:
Dan Sanders, Allison Lister, Sarah Strommen, Mark Kuzma, Chris Riley, and John LeTourneau.
If you support three or four people on that list and can only afford $25 or $50 as a contribution, consider the Citizens option. It might work best for you.
I am informed and believe that persons contributing one hundred dollars or less to a candidate or organization are not required to be listed on disclosure forms with the County. That would mean multiple contributions of a hundred dollars or less, each to a separate candidate or organization would not be subject to required listing. A candidate can, of course, list all donors. That, however, is not a requirement. Also, contributions are aggregated. If one person gives two separate hundred dollar checks to one candidate, that is past the threshold. If two spouses each give a personal hundred dollar contribution to a candidate, that is not aggregated because each is a separate person making a personal decision.
That is as I best understand things. Again, check with county election officials for a definitive answer.