consultants are sandburs

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The latest sidebar poll is closed. Responses are divided, with a majority believing (responding) that Ryan on the ticket will help Romney.

Only twenty responses, 11-9 on "Helps Romney" vs "Hurts Romney." It appears that of readers caring to vote Ryan and his politics are more popular than Romney and his. That a belief exists that Romney is too centrist a Republican for those believing Ryan is the voice and soundest direction of the Republican future. With much of Crabgrass blogging tied to local matters, a presumption is the cross section polled, those volunteering to respond, are from north metro, concentrated in and near Ramsey.

Friday, September 28, 2012

RAMSEY - All the fun stuff is closed meeting.


Give me a break. Get real.

In Free Press v. County of Blue Earth, 677 NW 2d 471, 478-79 (Minn.App. 2004)(online, here), the court clearly opined:

In its summary judgment memorandum, the district court "decline[d] to endorse [whether] a statement by the [c]ounty [b]oard that it was going to discuss `a complaint filed with an administrative agency by an unnamed former employee,' or a statement of similar import, would have been sufficient." The district court simply enjoined the county from closing a meeting absent a public statement indicating both the specific grounds for closing the meeting and a description of the subject to be discussed. This recitation of statutory language does not serve to notify the county with reasonable specificity exactly what conduct is restrained, or conversely, the exact nature of the language that would satisfy the statutory requirement. Therefore we remand this issue to the district court for more precise direction to inform the county what specific information is required to satisfy the requirement that it describe the "subject to be discussed" under section 13D.01, subdivision 3.

In so doing, we recognize the importance of balancing the public's interest in free and open public meetings with the current or former employee's privacy interest. As the district court noted in its summary judgment memorandum, members of the public retain an obvious interest in knowing what litigation is pending against their county and the basis for that information. On the other hand, the open meeting law recognizes specific privacy protections for data on individuals. See, e.g., Minn.Stat. § 13D.05, subd. 2 (2002) (stating that meeting "must be closed" for discussion of certain nonpublic data, including active criminal investigative data and certain educational health, medical, welfare, and mental health data).

The district court in this case determined in its summary judgment that the non-identifying information contained in the EEOC charge was not private personnel data under Minn.Stat. § 13.43 (2000). This determination has not been appealed. Similarly, although federal regulations prohibit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from making public a charge asserted under relevant law before a lawsuit is commenced, this prohibition does not apply to "the publication of data derived from such information in a form which does not reveal the identity of charging parties, respondents, or persons supplying the information." 29 C.F.R. § 1601.22 (2003). Because neither state nor federal law prevents disclosure of non-identifying information in the EEOC charge, the district court correctly determined that the public had a right to the information contained in the charge, including its legal basis, as redacted to preserve the complainant's identity. Because of state and federal law providing for confidentiality and privacy, describing the "subject to be discussed" will not always permit disclosure of the current or former employee's identity. The primary matter of public concern remains the nature and substance of the legal charges leveled against the county. If the district court determines that making public the legal basis for a charge effectively identifies the complainant in circumstances in which the complainant's identity is protected by law, the district court must use its discretion to fashion an equitable, particularized injunction.

Besides looking at the ill-disclosed case in secret, the council should review standards with Bill Goodrich to assure Bill Goodrich in the future gives ressonable and sensibly adequate disclosure. The Council should consider with Bill and Kurt, exactly what the public's right to know is; since this thing from Ms. Lasher is clearly deficient notice. Is it a former or present employee's potential litigation, Landform's, or what? Is there any possible justification for the deficient public notice being given? If so, what?

This is being incredibly disrespectful and patronizing to the public and should stop. Who is threatening litigation, and on what basis, over which specific factual instance, all that is information the public generally can and should learn unless there are rational and articulable grounds being asserted as somehow special in this instance as justifying a constriction of public notice?

_____________UPDATE_____________
It is important to note that Free Press v. County of Blue Earth, concerned a personnel matter, where privacy concerns of a complainant are a factor. When a matter that is not personnel-related is at issue, courts have routinely stated case facts where the WHO, WHAT, WHEN dimensions were revealed, but press complainants sought further information, and it was a given that the public's right to know such fundamental things the disclosure of which would not cause one iota of prejudice to legitimate attorney-client secrecy needs; Prior Lake American v. Mader, 642 NW 2d 729 (Minn. 2002), (leading case, having reached Minnesota's Supreme Court, disclosure well more than Ramsey's of record, WHO, WHEN, WHAT not withheld but recited in opinion text); Brainerd Daily Dispatch v. Dehen, 693 NW 2d 435 (Minn.App. 2005)(construing Prior Lake again with WHO, WHEN, WHAT recited as voluntarily disclosed, decided on other issues); City Pages v. State, 655 NW 2d 839 (Minn.App. 2003)(public data law at issue, not open meeting law; trial court's denial of press access to Cerisi firm's Tobacco litigation billing records reversed and remanded). The clear law is that unless a personnel matter is at issue, WHO, WHAT, and WHEN are presumptively to be disclosed; and when personnel issues exist the balancing of interests favors public disclosure of as much as feasible, but where perhaps individual identity is protected.

So, if this is, for example, some contractor or contract bidder with a grievance there is absolutely no cause to withhold the identity of the party, the contract at issue, the timeframe, and whether it is irregularity in a bidding process or dispute during a contract performance that is at issue. If some contractor is claiming the city did not sufficiently pay or properly handle a change order situation, that should all be stated publicly - because attorney-client discussions of litigation strategy and settlement negotiation positions would not be at all prejudiced by telling the public basic facts. Public disclosure of such facts would not intrude into decision about what to do about such a factual situation. Another example, a party claiming to have been defamed by a city official - who is claiming so, the official in question, and the time and substance of the statement(s) claimed defamatory are things the public would benefit from knowing, especially if an elected official were involved where voting rights also would be at stake - the right to have an informed ballot choice.

Given the head chopping that's been pursued, the main post presumed it might be a personnel problem, and cited the case specific to that context. Absent that, the duty to give the public fair and decent disclosure is manifestly evident.

RAMSEY: Some may not already know that Ramsey's IT head, Dean Busch, has joined the ranks of those who have resigned; yet with an election soon involving absentee voting and election day voting at city hall that requires IT connections to county election offices, replacement arrangements are being formalized.

I cannot say what Dean's move entails, but it is official, while an intern is being suggested by staff for the position; with, of course, a pay grade lower than Dean's.

This link. (A WebDocs LaserFiche link, so hopefully it works for readers, otherwise from the city homepage navigate to agendas/minutes, and check the personnel committee agenda).

Jason Fredrickson.

I have heard he is a fine young man, and wish him a successful tenure. I understand he has experience working with Dean Busch, so that he is stepping into a familiar duty roster. Wishing both Dean and Jason success and satisfaction.

Taxpayer League's Chairman gives indirect endorsement of incumbent Melissa Hortman, Legislative District 36B, by getting drawers in a bind over MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce's endorsement of Hortman.

Not that watchdogs wear drawers. It would restrict their liberty. It's a phrase that I think originated from vexatious pulling on cabinet drawer handles, etc. This link.

Harold, at this link.

HORTMAN campaign site, here.

REINHARDT campaign site, here.

Harold is seeing ghosts again, "You see, Mr. Haluptzok, the chairman of the MetroNorth PAC, is also Rep. Hortman's uncle. Did the family relationship have anything to do with the endorsement? We don't know. But we [... insinuate]". Sure, one man, one Chamber decision. Just as, I suppose, Harold unilaterally dictates all decisions of Taxpayer League.

Sure. Pigs fly.

It is amazing how the man can only see the ghosts that cut against his own biases. The Citizens for Responsible Government is "bad PAC" his own lobbying and long-standing ongoing Taxpayer League is "good PAC." The sky is filling with flying pigs. But I digress.

I agree with Harold on specific instances of waste and bad government. In general we have a divergent view of the aims and purposes of good government.

photo credit
Taxpayer League Chairman Hamilton prefers Matt Look, while I prefer Allison Lister, with neither of the two posing as being a spendthrift indifferent to the responsibility of spending tax revenues wisely. Matt Look while on the Ramsey Council was instrumental in the decision to buy into socializing Town Center land speculation, and was instrumental in picking an ongoing consultancy. Lister clearly had no role in that.


UPDATE: But wait. There's More. Rasputin's Fingerprints, for sure, and ya betcha. These two images from the MetroNorth Chamber's Aug-Sept online newsletter. See, twice, the name Erhart. It must be he and the Hortman uncle nefariously controlling the full remainder of those named on that sidebar on the first image. PAC, PAC, PAC.


click either image to enlarge and read

Not only that, The MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce online Annual Report, very first page, "Erhart" again, then fourth page, that fellow Haluptzok his page, (below), and look he features photos of  Sen. Michelle Benson, then Rep. Branden Petersen, Rep. Peggy Scott, and the bias never stops, and ...



... WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, er, ah, ... woof, er, ... never mind.

....................
So, suck it up woofer, Hortman simply is the better candidate, live with that, and remember that one implied conspiracy theory too many can quell a bark. One push, one shove off balance, too much of a thing, it undid friend Brodkorb.

A blast from the past. Indicative of current Ramsey council ways and means. Spend profligately, hide it, say you don't raise taxes, fire people to lose institutional memory to become a town run by interns, and seek reelection. A surprise - where the money was shaken from. No surprise, where it went.

Still online. This link. Toys-R-Us. Spiffy new TVs. Instant gratification, as with the family overextended on the credit card.

Good morning, town of Ramsey. Let's all go to city hall, for a show-and-tell presentation.

After you read about the purchases, the scanners being justified, but after reading what Heidi said, note the kicker:

The city plans to spend the funds on new audio/visual (A/V) equipment, including a ceiling mount projector for the COR conference room and $3,600 for a new wall mounted electronic whiteboard for the Itasca conference room.

The COR conference currently has no visual presentation equipment, said Deputy City Administrator Heidi Nelson.

Having the equipment in the room will allow them to enhance the COR presentations and review different development plans on a large screen, she said.

The estimated cost for the COR conference room is $7,000.

New equipment is also planned for City Administrator Kurt Ulrich and Nelson’s offices.

The city expects to spend $3,000 to install wall mounted LCD televisions in each office.

Having the televisions allows them to review the city council recordings and have access to important news media reports, Nelson said. [...]

Following the money

The $30,000 that Ramsey is requesting from QCTV is from the franchise fees and public, educational and government (PEG) fees that cable companies collect as part of their monthly subscriber billing.

The QCTV board, which includes two members from Ramsey, Andover, Anoka and Champlin, decided in late 2010 to allow its member cities to take funds from the individual city’s QCTV capital improvement projects (CIP) fund.

At that time, each city’s CIP had a $40,000 fund balance.

[bolding in original] That's right "the QCTV board ... two members from Ramsey ...".

Who dat? With QCTV available preelection as a potential propaganda tool, who IS on the board now; and with that fund looting as a legacy to leave the next council, who was making QCTV board decisions then, from our town?

And, of a reserve fund, go spend 3/4 of it so Heidi's office has a wall TV. Darren gets a share. All are happy. All are good.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Strib has a provocative article on military funerals.

In opening I dislike funeral ceremonies collectively, believing we be kind and decent to people while alive, with that a bigger honor to them than some show they are unable to enjoy. I am one hunderd percent in favor of trimming a lot of the military-industrial arms budgets, while assuring the VA is funded and top notch, and that there be homes and hospice last care for veterans, particularly those having served in combat. But show and pageantry is fluff, not recipient directed compassion. Strib in "Budget cuts imperil final honors for veterans" writes:

For many veterans, a military funeral is often the only request they make for their military service. As many as seven out of 10 Minnesota veterans receive no federal benefits other than a military funeral.

"I'm probably going to have to say no to some veterans," said Chris Van Hofwegen, who heads the program for the Minnesota National Guard. "They want that headstone that says what they were. They were proud of their service and they want the honors that are due to them because they put that service in."

The state's Military Funeral Honor unit is on pace to perform 4,700 funerals by the end of its fiscal year.

First, I find it hard to believe that 7 of 10 veterans make no use of the VA and its single-payer medical care. Second, the headstone is a lasting memorial and might be a cost that can remain, even at 4700 of them paid from taxes; but having full time parade and honor guard duty assignments means that reservists and professional ground troops are being stretched thin in combat areas, or elsewhere, so that honor guards can be sponsored. It seems priorities should be toward the safety and well being of the foot soldier in combat, with all secondary behind that. Spending on better missle guidance should be secondary to spending on better IED detection, be it trained dog use or artificial odorant detection technology. And put it in battle zones before airports, as the relative risks are clear, and TSA is wasteful and intrusive.

My guess is any family would rather money spent towards a safe return, rather than a ceremony where the family gets a folded flag off a coffin. Then there is brass heaviness and pay scales and perks at the top that could be evened more, so that lower rank troops without academy histories have things better for themselves and their spouses and families.

Finally, I would rather see Colin Powell getting a lesser pension if it would mean five more families needing food stamps get them. Especially families not having any member who ever lied to the UN.

Not one alone, standing, deciding for himself? An across the board planned collective absenteeism? A group boycott of League of Women Voters, as if this public spirited organization is a feared pariah? You decide.


"He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper."

 Edmund Burke

.........................

My understanding is at the Tuesday, Sept. 25 Ramsey City Council meeting there was citizen input about this. It is live-streamed on QCTV, so have a look. I was not there. That evening I was attending the Anoka County LWV forum, which was half-complete due to non-attendance but did not have to be cancelled over a slate of no-shows.

As a start, read reporting by Sakry, of ABC Newspapers, here. Rely on Sakry for facts and public commentary, since I add only a single opinion, and I am aware several readers hold differing opinions - something making our nation great - diversity of opinion.

In any event, know what Sakry reported, since you cannot judge things for yourself, until you know the facts.

Sakry's report, in part:

Ramsey voters will not get the opportunity to see the city council candidates go head to head on the issues this election.

With half of the candidates declining to participate, the League of Women Voters (LWV) had to the cancel the candidates forum scheduled for Oct. 10.

It is the LWV policy to have at least two or more candidates for each seat participate, [...]

Incumbents Mayor Bob Ramsey and Ward 2 Councilmember Colin McGlone as well as Wayne Buchholz for Ward 4 candidate and Joe Field, who is an at-large council candidate, declined to participate.

For Buchholz, the night of the forum conflicted with a previous commitment.

But for McGlone, his reason for not participating in the forum is more about campaign strategy.

His opponent Mark Kuzma is backed by an action committee that is stuffing mailboxes and putting up signs for him, so why should he give Kuzma more airtime, McGlone said.

[...] Mayor Ramsey’s reason has more to do with the LWV.

“I don’t agree with any of positions that the League of Women Voters has,” he said.

[...] “I don’t want to be subjected to answering questions that are skewed toward the league’s objectives,” Ramsey said.

Field objected to this year’s proposed format that would take questions from the audience.

With a political action committee (PAC), Citizens for Responsible Government, involved in local elections this year, taking questions from the audience would invite mischief, he said.

“I do not see this as a healthy, productive opportunity for discussion with a PAC involved,” Field said.

This is not the first time LWV has had to cancel a candidate forum in Ramsey.

In 2008, LWV only held a forum for one of the three seats that were up for election that year because of the lack of participation, McCulley said.

While the goal of the forums is to give citizens the opportunity to get informed, candidates have declined to participate for several reasons over the years, she said.

[emphasis added]. Not hiding behind mamma's skirts. It's the PAC, the evil devil, it will disadvantage us wholesome men who would be kings.

Or some say.

Other excuses: LWV is biased; or, sorrrrrrry, conflicting engagement. Sure. Hat tip to Bob Ramsey for at least speaking his mind over why he went AWOL. No odor of mendacity to his position. Not that we must agree with Bob, I surely do not. The League stands for many things, including the advantage to voters of having a chance to see candidate demeanor in public and to hear candidate ideas and counter proposals. Who can really be against that? Besides the no-shows.

Sure, you vote a secret ballot, but that does not mean it has to be an uninformed ballot too, or ill informed.

If there is a stalking evil PAC afoot doing truly evil things, wouldn't the logic be to show up and give warning, and hear rebuttal and hope to let voters see both sides of the coin to prove whether either side is counterfeit?

And what's counterfeit? "The PAC made me do it. I fear Dan Erhart, Natalie Steffin, big bad adults whose actions leave me tongue-tied, apprehensive."? Come on. Be real. Even the dog catcher has to show some fortitude, though none are running for that position. Fear of looking like a dunce because an opponent is more credible and argues better, that may exist, but then who is the better choice for council?

The idea, we contend we are capable to govern but will not confront opponents for a host of excuses, is an idea that neither hangs together nor sits well. And if you taste a Republican flavor to the collective boycott, don't ask me to disagree.

Bottom line in my mind: You do not get leprosy by showing up. You are no battle tested hero, by dodging battles. By trembling in contemplation of confrontation. In all four races, heads getting together? Group boycott? One could argue that. Figure it out for yourself.

What resulted is one stillborn town candidate forum where ideas might have been exchanged in a way helpful to voters. But not to be. Unfortunate is one word for it, planned is another, but that's a circumstantial inference which is arguably justified if you do not hear credible denials or counter-explanation. Weigh the evidence.

Joe, Colin, Bob and Wayne - what's to fear but fear itself?



"The biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it."
 Voltaire

“Silence is argument carried out by other means.”
 Che Guevara


___________UPDATE___________
Picture this. Paul Revere, "I do not see this as a healthy, productive opportunity to ride, with the British coming." One if by land, two if by PAC. We all might still be singing God Save the Queen.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
I was told the four showed up together, not one at a time or randomly, for taping of candidate statements at QCTV. UPDATE: Excuse me. Three of the four, were seen at QCTV together. Wayne Buccholz was not with Ramsey, McGlone and Field. So, for the image, name the sled captain Matt, and move on.


______________FURTHER UPDATE_____________

Note how the auto in the driveway leans to the right. This link.

With the drought fire danger is high, and early reporting gets prompt response, minimizing chances of fire spreading.

An example or recent reporting and a warning about drought entailing greater danger, ABC Newspapers, online here.

Absentee voting detail reported by ABC Newspapers.

Absentee opportunity is now open, with a Nov. 5 deadline noted in this report.

Friday, September 21, 2012

LWV to host Anoka County Candidate Forum. UPDATED.

This link for the full story, this opening screen capture:

click the image to enlarge and read

Let us hope each candidate in each race has the courage and basic decency to show up for the session and to not torpedo any particular board seat forum opportunity. If you pay attention, and your board district is not featured, (aside from the seat not in play), the likelihood is an incumbent spikes things, not wanting to lose an advantage incumbency provides. Not always, however. Years ago when Todd Cook was a Ramsey council incumbent, it was challenger Matt Look who spiked things then. Cook showed up and was unhappy over being deprived of an opportunity to speak.

____________UPDATE____________
Matt debated well, and after the debate we talked a bit, ranging from sewer pipe sizing history in Ramsey, to differing opinions of the cost/benefit effectiveness of Darren Lazan, and to a possible McDonalds outlet in Town Center, (which to me is no big step toward nice shops and restaurants).

There's a McDonalds down next to Culvers in Anoka along the service road paralleling Highway 10. If you might drive to Town Center driving a mile and a half further to the fast-food strip in Anoka along Highway 10 by the Kmart is no bigger thing.

I suppose on foot walking the 3-1/2 miles from home to Town Center's west side and back for an Egg-McMuffin would trump the extra on-foot mileage to the Anoka fast-food-strip, but I believe the better expectation of people in Ramsey is for a restaurant selection a cut above what's nationwide franchise, and also already conveniently down the Highway.

Franchise fast food outlets, actual or tentative, are not cause to say the million plus paid Landform was soundly spent town cash.

The problem with swift embrace of fast-food is that while it is an easy Landform kill, for today's commission now, it seems it would be hard to undo and upgrade, once done.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
What was distressing is that the LWV candidate forum was too disrespected by too many candidates, and that's a pathological thing that deserves disapprobation.

Matt Look and Allison Lister showed up and had a helpful range of discussion for Board District 1 voters. Julie Braastad and Andy Westerberg were contesting over which of them was the truer conservative, which bodes ill for the district either way, yet their discussion was interesting even with my not having a vote in that contest.

Dan Erhart and Scott Schulte provided the final discussion and the final act met expectations. Both were relaxed and well spoken. But saying different things. Erhart expressed a need for a wider vision beyond tax cuts of the moment with consequences later coming home to roost; i.e., having a perspective beyond the lowest common denominator, that nobody (outside of Ramsey politicians) would willingly waste taxpayer money chasing inefficiency.

Schulte in response to a question of what would you do to enhance jobs in Anoka County said "focus on medical and biotech." Come on. That's not a plan but a blind and largely unrealistic hope. The man either is clueless or had to know it was reaching, but went that way anyway. Communities nationwide would welcome high-paying high-prestige medtech and biotech business; and some communities, such as Cambridge, Mass., around Harvard and MIT, and Palo Alto with Stanford, and Berkeley with Cal-Berkley, and Baltimore, with Hopkins and its widely respected hospital - being communities having just a bit of an edge.

Yes, Medtronic as a mature firm has arranged to be headquartered in Anoka County, under terms and conditions unknown to me, but doubtlessly fiscally favorable to Medtronic.

That does not mean start-up incubation will sprout in Anoka County, and Schulte seemed to have no specifics of any kind in mind, or if so, he declined to share that aspect of his thought processes. Simply put, the "howto" part of the Schulte response was glaringly omitted. But, aside from such detail, Schulte had his response ready.

 Yes, any fool on the street can say "biotech;" but venture capitalists know where to bet and I expect it is not Anoka County.

Nobody had (or expressed) any idea of how to gain attention and interest of venture capitalists for the community, and all likely could not identify venture capital sources if their lives depended on it. Perhaps Erhart could, from his having been in industry before politics, and from his wide-ranging contacts in and beyond St. Paul.

There were the obligatory "North Dakota stealing our jobs" references from a conservative speaker or two, whose only answer to the jobs crisis was cut taxes and they will come.

Some have. Not enough.

And firms do want infrastructure as part of a cause to relocate, and infrastructure costs money. So it is either borrow or exhaust reserves - eat the seed corn - or else you tax to build infrastructure, and even young children can understand that. After wars on the credit card, and seeing Ramsey reserves being "borrowed" from for Town Center speculative socialism - competition with private sector land speculators - each of us can have ideas about the wisdom of borrow-and-spend, or eat the seed corn.

A specific question, "what would you cut next as a county expense" was met by vague verbal dancing, the word "efficiency' and "efficient" being substituted for any true answer. I confess, I cannot say for certain where that came up, but I think it was in the battle for truer conservative status where it came up. The response was so trite that it made no lasting impression who said it, so let it rest.

BOTTOM LINE: The session was quite worthwhile - as far as it went. And that's halfway.

ABC Newspapers, before the event reported:

There will be elections in all but one of the seven county commissioner districts as a result of this year’s redistricting for population shifts that followed the 2010 U.S. Census.

Only the District 4 seat, which comprises, Columbia Heights, Hilltop, most of Fridley and the portion of Spring Lake Park east of Highway 65, is not on the ballot this year.

All candidates have been invited to take part in the forum.

In keeping with LWV policy, both candidates for a county commissioner seat must be present to ensure that a side-by-side comparison is available for responses to questions from voters, according to Geri Nelson, LWV ABC voter service co-chairperson.

“League of Women Voters ABC has been active in the area for over 70 years,” Nelson said.

“This forum continues a strong tradition of helping voters obtain information about candidates’ stands on issues.”

If you figure out that of six races, three were featured, you earn a gold star. Go figure what happened in the other three. Where all candidates were invited. I will name absentee names. Names earning shame.

Rhonda Sivarajah and her opponent each ducked out. Board chair no-show looks questionable, as if running on one's record is a delicate thing.

Dan Sanders was there and introduced, but Robin West, (again with a record to run on), stood him up so that Sanders could not share ideas with the group. Voters were denied the opportunity to know more about him.

Ditto for Carol LeDoux being present and introduced. Similar to Sanders, LeDoux lost the chance to share ideas and discuss her record, via her opponent's no-show.

GROUP BOYCOTT: I believe it is or has almost universally become de rigueur among some number of "true conservatives" here and elsewhere to earn their stripes by giving a single finger salute to LWV forums - a proof of stature or legitimacy, something like Indian youths as a rite of passage having to go into the wilderness and return with an eagle feather. Braastad and Westerberg together bucked that trend and are congratulated, as are Schulte and Look, known conservatives who were up to accepting an invitation to mix with voters and to speak their minds. Conservatives who did not duck out. That of course also means Erhart and Lister deserve absolutely equal praise. LWV rules are: Nobody could dance without a partner.

(Our town, Ramsey, has had its share of group boycott disrespect for LWV forums . But that's a separate story from any post updating here.)

What role should foreign heads of state have in trying to influence US election outcomes?

Links, Salon here; also, here, here, here, here, here, here. UPDATE: Vanity Fair_1, Vanity Fair_2, Haaretz, Guardian, InfoWars_1, InfoWars_2, Atlantic, 60 Minutes, HuffPo_1, HuffPo_2.


This cartoon:


Romney should be forced to answer, should Jonathan Pollard be kept imprisoned for betraying the U.S., or released to move to Israel as a free man?

Romney should be forced to answer, would he turn a totally blind eye to the ongoing Israeli settlement expansions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, an ongoing encroacment despite the Camp David accords and the two state view being ostensibly unchanged U.S. policy for decades?

If elected, what would Romney feel he owes Netanyahu, and how might that entangle us into some outrageous and costly ground war in Iran? One that would greatly heighten exposure to terrorist retaliation than a more restrained policy of diplomatic and economic disincentives aimed to convince Iran not to go nuclear. As the one Salon item noted:

The ad, setting Bibi’s apocalyptic predictions against ominous music, makes no reference to Mitt Romney, for whom the Israeli P.M. showed support earlier this year but “distanced himself a bit from” during U.S. television appearances last weekend, noted [Politico’s Maggie] Haberman.

As Salon mentioned earlier this week, Netanyahu has been claiming that time is running out on nuclear Iran since 1992.

That linked Salon item cites the Monitor, [a detailed account, per original link context below] in noting:

The hawkish premier undergirded his calls for action with the claim that by mid-2013 Iran would have 90 percent of the material it needed for an atomic weapon. However, as the Christian Science Monitor’s Scott Peterson pointed out late last year, warnings about imminent nuclear threats from Iran date back “more than a quarter of a century … And yet, those predictions have time and time again come and gone.”

Most interestingly, in 1992, Netanhyahu himself — an Israeli parliament member at the time — told colleagues that Iran was three to five years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S.”

Other historical moments of imminent nuclear threats from Iran include:

1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres predicts an Iranian nuclear warhead by 1999 to French TV.

1995: The New York Times quotes U.S. and Israeli officials saying that Iran would have the bomb by 2000.

1998: Donald Rumsfeld tells Congress that Iran could have an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the U.S. by 2003.

Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler notes that Bibi’s most recent point — about Iran amassing the material for a nuclear bomb — is technically correct. “The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency suggests that Iran already has more than enough uranium enriched to 20 percent that could converted into weapons-grade (90 percent) uranium for at least one nuclear weapon,” Kessler notes. However, he goes on to say that although Iran might be “ninety percent of the way there” — as Bibi emphasizes — ”ninety percent is not one hundred percent, and close only counts in horseshoes” (although in some respects close does count when it comes to nuclear weapons). Kessler highlights that Iran has been 90 percent of the way there before and will be again in terms of uranium enrichment, which is not the same thing as having a bomb.

The always "imminent" sky-is-falling-claim history suggests Bibi and Romney properly are old chums with like habits toward overstatement.

___________UPDATE__________

From Strib online opinion, this LTE (left margin, click it to enlarge and read).

One day later, this reader response.

When his lips move he's lying.

This link. I hope somebody at the AARP event asks him about his marathon time too, in the context of do you really disrespect us so much as to think we are a bunch of dumb old folks who'd swallow any of that stuff?

For those not married to Apple status symbol lust, a chuckle. Also for those feeling Apple lawsuits are far too much for sensible commerce to bear.

This link.

Mitt Romney is Scrooge, and he told a crowd of like minded people that hell will freeze over before he ever embraces poor little Tiny Tim Cratchit out of guilt and ghost hauntings.

Stripped to its essentials, and taken with all the implications he and his fifty grand a plate audience shared with him, he said this 47% is uppity and needs a lesson, the lesson being if the rules had been different from his adolescence onward he might be worth $450 million but these bastards were in his way, and cheated him out of the extra two hundred million, taking away half of HIS actual entitlement. HIS. Not some vague entitlement claimed by poor folks, HIS ENTITLEMENT TO A NET WORTH TWICE WHAT IT IS. And his speech implied we privileged to be at this table are at war against that burden on US, having started that war while whining publicly to the contrary and now we are appearing to be winning that war; and we have no intention nor cause to stop. That is the entirety of what the secret recording captured. He's a bastard, Ryan is too, and anyone not already a multi-millionaire infused with uncontrolled greed who votes for them is a town dunce in a league with Mary Franson. Romney is the new plutocrat, born on third base and thinking HE is entitled to it having been a home run. At least he has not been caught on any yet released video advocating putting "them" in work camps with electrified fences and troops with German Shepherd dogs to maintain fitting order while finding an Albert Speer to manage that, for US. Whether he might have gone there in other fifty grand a plate events would be speculation.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

While some saw him on the short list for a Romney cabinet post, depending on outcomes and day-to-day likelihoods, it appears Vin Webber may have found the guy a more promising opportunity.

Photo from Atlantic, this link. NPR, here.

An unrelated image, and I have heard it live and on several recordings, clearly each time they sang "him."


Voucher Man has his close personal solution to the unemployment problem. As a 47%er, dependent on the governnment for an income stream ... watch what he does and says, and where. Bain Man probably knows hedge funds. Voucher Man knows hedging a bet.


Trust the national ticked, but, be prepared.

...............................

Huckstering: Often there is a story behind a story. I enjoy the story behind the packaging of Voucher Man's hedge images, his keeping one foot in the House district so as to not lose his government handout paycheck, his hedge from within the forty-seven percent wanting an ongoing and secure government handout just in case - you know - gotta be prudent - there possibly could be a GOTV among those surplus eaters Bain Man disdains when among his own, at fifty grand a plate, with each plate buyer waiting for Bain Man to say something showing his real self - the intimate Willard, without public pretenses or facade; Willard's nitty-gritty.

Ideal, homepage. Wow.
Is that Ann Colter?

If you follow the footer info on Voucher Man's Congressional reelection website you would see that is the screen capture of the marketing guru team that did the highly unique and original Voucher Man website; unique from all their other efforts as touted within their sideband portfolio images.

Even, they have a testimonials page, here, where I especially enjoy the testimonial of "Talk Radio Personality Jessica McBride" complete with a "break through the clutter," "opposite of cookie-cutter" rhyme. Rhymes with "gutter," and so, back to Bain Man, Voucher Man ... fifty grand a plate gutter talk, trash talk, macho stuff. How those born to privilege talk among themselves when kicking back at the country club, chatting up a Koch brother one-on-one,  being in a luxury box with peers, watching a sporting event where participants wear a jock-strap to get their millions ...

I signed up for the Ideal email-promo offer, you can too by navigating the website, and my hope is that even as a non-purchaser of Ideal-Patriot campaign-engine services, I will be shown product features and news on a regular emailing basis:




___________UPDATE___________
Rob Zerban, here and here, running for the Wisconsin District 1 seat Ryan now holds.

I sent my fifty buck contribution check. And you can too:

Rob Zerban for Congress
P.O. Box 2286 Kenosha, WI 53141-2286

Or give online. I prefer mailing a check, and not being wealthy I pick and choose where. (As a memo line, "retired, US citizen," gives notice for FEC and federal campaign law purposes.)

ActBlue is assisting Zerban's online campaign funding effort. You may disagree, but ActBlue just seems more substantial and legitimate and not super sleazy, as Ryan's Ideal-Patriot campaign-engine vendor seems.

http://www.robzerban.com/


____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Congressman Paul Ryan's be-prepared website for reelection to Congress interestingly has subpages on Medicare and on Social Security, each of which, for reasons I can only guess at, is free of the word usage, "voucher." For that you must Google; with intracies of the Ryan voucher system explained, here.

A most recent "Ed Show" video, featuring a Zerban interview.

____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
A sampling from Zerban's campaign site; not hollow generalities or worn platitudes, but something to show readers; here and here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You want voter fraud proof? Well ...

Brad Blog, here.

GOTV = Get out the 47% Vote - to scuttle plutocracy.

This link to Bloomberg, linking over to Mother Jones about Mother Willard's speech.

So all you 47%ers, veterans looking for that VA handout; old folks, wanting the Medicare handout, the Social Security handout, you old farts with both hands out, sack the vulture and the voucher, because while it has not been good, it surely can be worse, as W is always in the background to remind you of Septermber 2008, the Leahman waltz, down Wall Street Lane.

Needing food stamps to make it, well, you are entitled - that is what "entitlement" means. It is yours for being born in the USA. Unless you give it away by not voting this November. It IS yours, to give away. Mary Franson will call you animals if you need those stamps, but feed the kids and remember about Franson, she's up for reelection too, so GOTV -- and may Franson be a spectator for the next legislature.

Show up and vote.

You do NOT need a Kiffmeyer Photo ID. Just be there or be square.

So --

Can you say TARP?

Can you say NOPE?

Say NOPE to vulture and voucher, the R and R boys, one without a brain the other without a heart.

Let Toto chew their legs, scarecrow and tin man.

__________UPDATE__________
Before you think otherwise, MoJo is NOT Breitbart-O'Keefe of the snip-snip tapings style.

Hey, David Flaherty. Some news for you. You and yours, locally.

Long term expectations should not be based on short-term trends, such as rental moving, today. This link.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

This link.

IMMIGRATION - the good sense of a STEM focus.

The Monitor, this link; with STEM being an acronym for granting 55,000 visas a year to foreign-born graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (hence, "STEM"). It is in our best interest to brain-drain the foreign born non-citizen PhD recipients here, where corporations often cannot find enough suitably trained citizens to fit needs, and have them draw salaries stateside with the multiplier effect in our economy, vs. sending them home to where the multinational firms pay the salaries in, say India or China, with the benefit of the multiplier effect shipped overseas.

But with that as but one aspect of immigration policy, the Monitor frames a debate. Read it if interested.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The pernicious PAC exposes itself.

Yes, buried deep within the "M" list, here, is a PAC to disdain.

And among so many others, all filing with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, and having PAC names beginning with "M" how was it smoked out into the sunshine?

Well, Andy is how. And he links to the PAC website - we can see the hangers-on that fit with Andy's orientation - but who is the true puppetmaster behind things? That, we find from the CFB page, this screen capture:



Yes, that power wizard behind the curtain, is Peter Hegseth.

The one who disingenuously put his name forward as if truly a challenger to Amy Klobuchar, and more than willingly stepped aside when Bills was endorsed so Bills could take the hit instead of Hegseth, i.e., no primary challenge from this PACman Pete. He's got his sights set on the next cycle, and a shot at Franken, and is building party gravitas by backing those who later can back him.

Pete scratches your back, you scratch his.

And Andy, why not identify this connection. Presumably you had a hand in it and know exactly who is who in the scheme of things, with the birthing of the thing days earlier to where there is no single financial disclosure document on file with the CFB. We don't know where the money to start this comes from, or who will show up as big-time donors. It is postured as if aiming at little people donors, twelve bucks to get onto Pete's mailing list for next cycle, but, in a spirit of bipartisanship, let's wish Andy and his puppeteer Pete, good luck.


______________________
Now, if the substance of that post above seems to you to be a pile of rubbish, it is. It is mocking the garbage mongers who are trying to suggest Citizens for Responsible Government is not for responsible government, because it is not for them as candidates. And to mock the Watchdog with both eyes on one side of his face to only see things from one direction. This is not a serious post. I don't care a rat's anatomical part whether Hegseth and Aplikowski exercise a right to form a PAC and sprinkle good will among chosen Republican politicians. It's their right. The point, the entire point, is there's junk being propagandized around Ramsey, Harold Hamilton taking part, that some way the Erhart brothers or either of them, and/or Jim Deal, somehow poison the well for a bunch of fine people, running for office, who are lucky to have somebody organizing who cares about and wants responsible government of a higher degree and quality than incumbents represent; a responsible government surpassing the status quo in our town. 

The point, again is to mock those propagandizing you as if there were evil afoot.

To donate to help good candidates send a check for whatever you can afford to:

 Citizens for Responsible Government
1207 Constance Blvd. NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304
Phone (763) 434-5929

The nonpartisan candidates still in the running whom CRG has indicated in its county disclosure as those it favors are:

Dan Sanders, Allison Lister, Sarah Strommen, Mark Kuzma, Chris Riley, and John LeTourneau.

Excellent people.


Again, I applaud the CRG effort for not paying any person any part of CRG funds for management. I believe this is not the case with either of the PACs that pursued procuring an anti-sunshine judicial opinion

I hope and expect that Peter Hegseth's "get on the mailing list for twelve bucks" PAC also does not eat up donor funds to pay "management." That the money goes wholly toward the election process and not for a major paid lobbyist, as Harold Hamilton's PAC spends.



No going negative: CRG reported expenditures, so far, have been in the very low four figures, not a big money thing as outlandishly falsified in the publications of others, with the money going so far primarily for signs touting candidate names and noting the office being sought. 


This is giving voters notice of who seeks which office. There is nothing in that at all negative toward others, nor any advocacy about ballot issues; i.e., there have been no "negative ad blitzs" from CRG.



Who IS going negative: You receive community candidate lit drops. 

Look at them.

See who says what.
You can recognize negativity when you read it.

And yes, this post is negative, in the sense it is critical of one thing, while making the major point that Peter Hegseth and Andy Aplikowski can form a committee to express political opinion, just as others can, and the negativity is aimed solely at those who wish to undermine specific lawful enterprise of that sort because it sits against their own incumbency and who will do "what it takes" to try to be reelected.

___________UPDATE___________
Noteworthy, Andy's Minnesota PAC identifies specific candidates, via the menu bar at the top, "CANDIDATES" button, and it even links over to each candidate's website, via a "DONATE" link. This is going several steps further into the process of coordinating with specific candidate efforts than anything the Citizens for Responsible Government have done. I do not even know if CRG actively solicits donations for its own efforts. I encourage sending checks, as it is my First Amendment right as a citizen of the US of A to be doing that. I can encourage you giving money even to CAPE PAC, a story unto itself. Here. Here.

Wow. If you take the story for its headline impact, David Flaherty must be an Obama supporter.

This NationalJournal link.

Or is it that Romney might think that of Flaherty, given recent Ramsey history?

-----------------------------

Okay, I know the logical fallacy. Romney proposes this Venn diagram:

If this is the Romney worldview, Flaherty
could be at either "x" position, with the view
being more want handouts than support the
Commander in Chief

Oops, forgot a word on the Venn diagram. "Want Government Handouts" is what made me think of Flaherty.

Exemplar links of interest, here, here, here, here, here, and that last item with slight rewording, at Kos.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The household today got a campaign lit drop in the ADS box. GOP flavor. Branden Petersen, Look, mayor, McGlone and Joe Field.

Leaving Petersen aside as having other things at stake, the Ramsey contingent had their secondary message:


And I call that a secondary message because their primary message was:

This is Jim Deal.    PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC,
PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC,
PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC,
and give US credit for everything Jim Deal's done, yes, yes, yes.

In case some think I overstate the lit drop's primary argument, for veterans, there is Clinic praise in Strib, and yet veterans need to know the truth about who's done what for them:

Truth is truer than Fiction.

Jim Deal's PSD, LLC, villian to some,
built the $3.5 million building,
using Jim Deal's money and credit,
not seeking or taking any public handout,
renting it to the VA as the VA preferred
over the Agent Smiths' bid, AND
paying the property taxes every year
on this addition to Ramsey tax base.

[click that image to enlarge and read - it is educational & true]

Yet, that truth is simply missing from the Agent Smiths' lit drop. Also surprisingly missing in action, from Agents Smith:

Truth is truer than Fiction.

____________UPDATE___________
That was the group's Ward 2 lit drop. I expect Ward 4 got a comparable one, with Buccholz lit in place of the McGlone stuff. In fairness to the others who participated in this group lit drop, it was McGlone who most adamantly pushed the villainy, PAC, PAC, PAC brand, but they were all together in the lit drop, and interestingly, none of the items had the little "union shop" printing bug.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
One of the biggest falsehoods in the lit drop, courtesy of the mayor, was the claim:

They [previous councils] handpicked a developer that had less than a million dollars of his own money to develop a billion dollar downtown.

The truth is John Feges as agent for the land owner/speculator folks, reeled in Nedegaard to buy the land at an outrageous price using loan proceeds he could not cover, and when you want to assign liability or fault, you have to look at the truth, which includes who the Thomaswood favorites today are:

click to enlarge and see the five signs
There was only one past council member owning a part of that land speculation, one the mayor declines to name or confront. He'd rather tell a story, than that truth. And the myth that "we had to buy this white elephant" because of sunk costs shows the lack of experience among those who should know you never make a spending decision based on already sunk costs. Carnagie closed steel mills, GM closed plants, and Rockefeller never tried to keep drilling on dry oil leased land; as in, we leased it, paid the money, so keep drilling, more test wells, deeper, deeper, deeper ... Only the inexperienced make sunk cost arguments.

Moreover, with tax liens on the land and the ability to assess against the land, the city had preserved rights against the land in the event any private sector buyer decided to make an offer to the foreclosing banks. Which for months, and months, sale notice after sale notice, never happened - no private sector entrepreneur was dumb enough to touch it, except Jim Deal might have if he could buy at a reasonable price. However, the only actual chumps to show up and blow a multimillion dollar wad of cash --- well for the names, let's go back to the post's beginning, the headline, we got this lit drop in the household ...

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
The current pack contends others before them made bad decisions. I cannot defend some past bad decision making, except to say it was done during boom times when expectations could be defended; while this pack is spending now well over a million dollars on Darren who has only produced Flaherty with his hand out for a not one but an entire series of subsidies. And that spending is being pushed during the worse depression we had experienced since the Great Depression, with real estate markets in particular set to take many years to rebound.

The incumbents' approach has been spend, spend, spend. I cannot believe it would be that if the spending were of their own money, rather than public dollars.

I remember well that I supported the others besides McGlone (I had expectations there, and opted to back Andre Champagne while then in Ward 1 with no Ward 2 vote). I supported Elvig over Niska, and am glad of it and would do it again.

The others I supported because they presented themselves as fiscal conservatives, and that is what I thought was needed given the financial realities of the day and how true fiscal conservatives would be expected to react.

This batch then went on to disdain the private sector and all I expected from the fiscal conservative posturing, blowing a bundle of other peoples money on playing land speculators with land that was not going to go anywhere but stay in foreclosure for years, and they threw good money after bad, without the excuse of an exuberant market to color their judgment. They just went and did it.

Call it socialism, which is what entering into public sector land speculation against private sector speculators elsewhere is, in essence. Fiscal conservatives who socialized what had been a private sector adventure, to me, were hence masquerading under false pretenses.

All the other stuff, gutting staff to the point of having no engineering department and contracting for engineering, it would have fit the promises but for no accompanying real conservatism in avoiding waste on land meanderings. Meanwhile Jim Deal was building projects on his own, using his own money, within the same boundary area as the public wastefullness on Landform commenced and continued.

The gross wastefulness is appalling. Over a million dollars spent on Landform and chasing bad ideas with money that belonged to taxpayers before it was surrendered in the hope it would be spent wisely (and instead was spent on Darren).

Giving Flaherty grotesque and unprecedented handouts. That is indefensible.

Now, having a track record over the years, is it better to hope on the incumbents, still; or on others willing to step up and govern?

We know the status quo, and my total heartfelt and reasoned answer, is vote this cabal of bad judgment upon bad judgment ad infinitum out of office ASAP, and try somebody else.

I do not know what others once elected may do, but this band now holding sway, those I can read and anticipate, and enough is enough.

Indeed, too much already is too much. The election, then January, cannot come soon enough, in hope of voters having the good sense to vote for reform of the status quo.

____________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Bob Ramsey, if my understanding is correct, was not around here when the unfortunate step of the Town Center land being sold to Nedegaard happened, and has no basis to make his "handpicked" claim.

Bob should talk to Tammy Sakry, who talked to James Norman shortly after his relationship with Ramsey was severed, when he admitted Nedegaard was "chosen" because he was the only chump to step forward, they knew he was likely too thin to have success, and once the hook was set and the land speculators bought out the "finalization" of the Northstar stops was done where the "transit oriented" experiment was set to proceed, without the transit. It was a shell game.

James Norman along with Feges and the Feges folks were the first to advance the "catalyst" spiel.

Build the above-need city hall, and it will anchor and catalyze Nirvana. Not so, obviously.

Nedegaard was strung out, and failed, and did so a bit before the housing collapse, although it was not admitted during the incumbents running in the 2006 election. After that election, within weeks, Nedegaard was served bankruptcy papers and croaked.

Now the hand picking, that was this group, with Lazan/Landform. It is incorrect to accuse others of what you yourself do.

The idea shifted from encourage the private sector to do it, to build dense housing satisfying Met Council quotas and to attract "nice shoppes and restaurants," a colossal lie from the start, with a little Ramsey Crossings across Armstrong mixed in for laughs. The developers laughed, none biting to where a hook was set on the Crossroads. So this batch, the NEXT BIG THING idea, we bribe people to come in site by site, compromise and subsidize, SAC and WAC that are humongous charges for single family detached homes get compromised, and if not "bribing" people to come and build stuff, call it "enticing" and "public, private parthership," the ubiquitous P3, in Darren-Nelson-speak. BS3, in my book. It is good that Nelson has left, and we wish her well. It would be the same with Darren.

So, the first failed thing - Nedegaard undercapitalized, a small fish but all that would bite.

The second thing - buy the junk, hire a consultant and "believe" as if it is your new religion, and it will happen much as in the Field of Dreams film. Just as dumb. The catalyst is the vastly subsidized Flaherty mistake, and Darren gets a commission there so it's not all bad.

Stupid on the first go. Stupid on the second. The mop-up question remains. Where do we go from here?

Sticking with Darren is what Darren recommends. Who else? Those who have taken on the belief. Darren says there is vast money that can be made, he has an understanding, and a dashboard.

Somebody says, "Well, Jim Deal is getting stuff built." He then, by succeeding, becomes an enemy of the belief system that Darren's way is THE WAY, and he is demonized and those suggesting he's simply smarter and more experienced than Darren are blasphemers, and what, we citizens are supposed to scale walls and defend the Prophet of Landform from those who would undermine the tight belief system?

McGlone's brewed and drank the lion's share of that koolaid, and Look, and together they have convinced Bob Ramsey to partake. It's failed, big time. Flaherty would likely deny that, but what's a few hundred hutch rentals by the busy tracks, night trains and all, going to do for me, in a single family detached home on a street of the same, on septic tanks and wells, miles from Clown Center, and happily so. It is going to produce more traffic. More lights. What else? Zippo.

So who do you vote for when those are truth? You decide. I think I have suitably debunked the "Jim Deal is a devil, PAC, PAC, PAC" stupidity, probably spending more time and effort on that than it, as an idea, deserves. As propaganda, it ain't bad, and McGlone, Look, and Bob Ramsey have done a better propaganda job than I expected of them.

Bob Ramsey, his lit drop item propagates the McGlone fear/loath the PAC, PAC, PAC, PAC, garbage; along with showing a genetic DNA with Look's item; where both use the same blue background where if you look closely you can see images of what must be intended to be patriots in powdered wigs; suggesting some tie to traditions and cherished icons, if you vote Look, if you vote Ramsey. It's where first you see the shade of blue is identical, then it looks like a textured background, then you have to look really closely to see the founding father array of images, something like closely examining a bill to assure it's not counterfeit.

Joe Field, he's a Republican party officer at the senate district level and at the CD6 level, as a county liaison, so you expect a stable mate to the remainder of the lit drop participants. Then, Joe, tell me. Why does every Anoka County political wannabe, especially of the Republican vaiety, feel compelled to present a photo of himself holding a fish?

I credit Harry Niska, of the Niska spouses of the chairmanship of Senate District Republicans, and the chairpersonship of the CD6 Republicans. Harry actually ran without presenting citizens a photo of him holding a fish. Also, he lost by 47 votes including the three from this household, but I doubt presence or absence of a fish mattered. Not at all to this household, not, apparently, to the other 44. That election Elvig did not use a fish photo either, although earlier he paid pisces dues, with big Muskies. First time he ran for council. Pisces must be the patron constellation of Anoka County, or some such. I suppose you cannot hold a moose up to the camera for a photograph, while a fish is scaled better. Something like that.

And folks, we have a prizewinner ----



I always see that, and think, I'd rather vote for the fish. Less mischief to it. All these fish-photo folks probably fit the joke. Their worse haunting nightmare is they die and the wife sells their fishing equipment for what they told her they paid for it.

UPDATE: Allison Lister, no fish. As close to Dennis Berg as Matt to his Muskellunge. Berg did well during his years on the County Board. Many respect his judgment.

In contrast - Can you respect any fish dumb enough to be caught? By a politician? I respect the ones that spit the hook and get away.

LAST UPDATE: The DNR website has this to say about a  Muskellunge -

A muskie will eat fish and sometimes ducklings and even small muskrats. It waits in weed beds and then lunges forward, clamping its large, tooth-lined jaws onto the prey. The muskie then gulps down the stunned or dead victim head first.

Help me -- Why does that make me think of a Bain Capital corporate takeover?

Previously nonexistant and presently unnecessary levels of bureaucracy will be thrust upon us if the "why in the world add this extra stuff and cost" Amendment passes.

Say you are Mr. Limmer, a legislator. A man of unimpeachable integrity, as a voting record, say on the Howe Amendment, shows. Yes, sure, say you are for shrinking costs of delivery of government services. Mr. Limmer has said that, you know, going so far as wanting to more than decimate the state's workforce.

Sure, then say you are for having a voter ID.

Then say you don't see any of that being at all contradictory despite talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Previously nonexistant levels of bureaucracy will be thrust upon us, have no doubt.

The Bluestem Prairie site has looked at media analysis.

Sure, Mr. Limmer, you are doubtful about the city media, the Red Star, all that stuff you've said for years.

However, this is small town opinion from all over the state, and the links are there at Bluestem Prairie, so see for yourself.

And how do those agreeing with Mr. Limmer defend their will toward bureaucratic requirements and added costs of expansions of bureaucracy at every level of government in the state down to the local ballot box?

Try this.

The "we don't know the added cost" stuff ignores the basic truth, you add bureaucracy, you add cost, and how in the world can you say you oppose either more bureaucracy and adding to government cost, if you say this is a needed step to prevent nonexistant voter fraud - becuase as a hypothetical it might happen.

One voter fraud, a violation of federal law, is buying votes. If you require voter ID, it makes the vote buyer more comfortable - being able to check out a voter ID in advance of the person going to the poll to stuff the ballot box, and to not have to pay one who would be rejected or sent to the provisional ballot line in voting.

So, what voter fraud is being contested - none, but rather the target is same day registration, which is an aim not to protect the integrity of voting but for the opposite, to disenfranchise persons wholly entitled to be voting as citizens of the state, the local venue, and the nation. Why disenfranchise those who might want to vote for the first time - well Republicans don't want those who'd vote Democratic to vote, and while that's an understandable tactic to bias an election, it is hardly cause to tamper with something as endurable as the Minnesota Constitution, which Mr. Limmer has pledged to respect and uphold as part of his taking office.

Now, again, back to this. Now, if you feel unable to distinguish sophistry from reasoning, don't read further.

That item Gary Gross authored claims that the voter amendment Mr. Limmer supports is apart from the bill Mr. Limmer sponsored, (and that in the other house of the legislature Ms. Kiffmeyer and Ms. Franson sponsored, the companion bill to Mr. Limmer's) and that if this bureaucracy creating amendment passes, Mr. Limmer and his hench-persons (we cannot say henchmen) might even propose a different bill version than the one he, ALEC, and like-minded - make that similarly inclined - persons advocate. This is fantasy.

Leopards do not change spots. Because we were lucky enough to have Gov. Dayton to veto the Limmer-Kiffmeyer-Franson mischief, the same pack of ALEC affiliates decided that disrespect for the Constitution and its legacy is okay, if it means fewer Democratic votes - and ALEC is cheering them on. If you doubt, read this, this, this; and this from that bastion of local liberal elites, Hubbard County, where the point is not ALEC, but cost and disruption of a presently orderly and smooth way of holding elections in Minnesota.

The simple truth is ALEC and allies are participating in and advocating a coordinated nationwide hoax. The aim is to bias voting, not to protect it. And that aim is nefarious. Pure and simple. One person, one unimpeded vote; IS the American way, isn't it? So why paper that truism with bureaucracy and cost, but to have one party and its advocates rig elections against the other? Is THAT the American way? And if you cynically say "yes," then should it be? If you cannot win elections on the merits of your positions on issues, you do what - sling mud and try to rig the election? Well, Mr. Limmer, Ms. Kiffmeyer, and Ms. Franson, how would that earn you any respect? Or do you care? Is winning the ONLY thing? Capture of the spoils?

So, back to Bluestem Prairie. Read the analysis there and in the linked items. Think whether it makes sense, or whether you prefer the sophistic "argument" about if it passes we don't know what bill the people who have already written and proposed a bill would then write and propose.

If you want an unneeded complication thrust upon officials charged with conducting elections, then you can only want it if your wish is to disenfranchise voters more likely to vote Democratic. That is all this is about and the lying on the other side is obnoxious as well as unconvincing, and should stop.

Friday, September 14, 2012

McGlone's Campaign website highlight.

Do you find this effective?

Sack the PAC?

It seems puerile to me. Semi-paranoic allusions to Jim Deal.

Without naming Deal. Suspense? A guessing game?

He whose name we shall not mention?

Strange.

Moreover, besides "Jim" and "Deal," three other words wholly absent from the McGlone campaign website:

"Darren"

"Lazan"

"Landform"

A missing image:

Pack my $ack. Make it a million, plus.
photo credit

A second missing image:

Pack my $ack. As project clerk.

What else?

Pack my $ack. Make it seven million, more or less.

--and---

Those downloadable "Sack the PAC" designs, did Colin do them himself, have Darren do them as an in kind contribution for the McGlone and Buchholz websites; or did Emily design them during slack time in the trailer? My bet, Darren, but - ask McGlone. He declines to answer my emails, so all I can do is guess.

FINALLY, with all those packed sacks, McGlone's highlight poses the question:

"Is the biggest subsidy of all time still to come?"

I hope not. I think three packed sacks are enough.

Just Say No, to four more years. Send him packing.

Where?