consultants are sandburs

Friday, February 28, 2014

Siefert goes ALEC, not all over, but - big if - if Siefert is elected, ALEC a heartbeat away.

And ALEC should never be allowed that close to holding the chief executive position in Minnesota. It would be disaster.

Sorensen with details here. Read it and go figure.

Corporate owned? Anyone embracing ALEC raises that question.

As ALEC goes, so go too many. ALEC goods are damaged goods.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Contrasting views among Republicans of David Fitzsimmons' caucus ouster over whether to keep gay marriage opposition a front-burner GOP election issue, or bailing on it as a loser to run instead on traditional seldom kept GOP tax promises to "the middle class" and on MN Sure bashing.

Gilmore, here, the sky did not fall, despite some belief that way.

Convenience of embracing when in fashion, turning away and compromising as fashion changes [witness the last election ballot question on "marriage"] was not a highlight in Gilmore's view. Gilmore went at it from other angles.

Worth reading, to me, although I see things differently.

Was it a "political lynching?" This link. That view was written online by a Walter Hudson [not by Fitzsimmons]. This somewhat extended mid-item excerpt:

Fitzsimmons opposes gay marriage. He has not moved from that position. When he saw the bill which would recognize same-sex unions as marriage in Minnesota placed on the 2013 legislative calendar, he realized the Democrats in complete control of state government had the votes they needed to pass it. At that point, he perceived a choice. He could keep his head down and vote no on final passage, performing as expected and winning accolades for conservative resilience while accomplishing precisely nothing. Or, he could act to protect religious liberty to the extent possible under the law. He chose the latter.

In consultation with Republican legal experts, Fitzsimmons crafted an amendment which limited the state’s domain to civil marriage and protected religious institutions and clergy from being forced to perform same-sex weddings or recognize same-sex unions as sacred. Democrats consented to the amendment. However, Fitzsimmons knew that his amendment could be stripped out of the final bill unless he sat on the conference committee which would reconcile the House and Senate versions. To ensure his place on that committee, he would have to vote for final passage.

Surely, he understood the political fallout which would occur in Wright County – likely the most conservative political district in the state – if he voted yes on final passage. He also understood that voting yes was the only way to ensure some protection of his constituents’ religious liberty.

As the vote for final passage took place, Fitzsimmons watched the vote totals to make sure his would not decide the question. Only once it was certain that the bill would pass did Fitzsimmons cast his vote for final passage, securing his place on the conference committee to preserve his amendment.

Since then, the foremost challenger seeking to wrest the GOP endorsement from Fitzsimmons – Eric Lucero – has engaged in a scorched earth campaign to drag Fitzsimmons’ name through the mud. Speaking to caucus attendees earlier this month, Lucero implied that Fitzsimmons lied about his position on gay marriage and worked covertly to ensure its passage. Parroting rhetoric from policy organizations which cling to fleeting relevance after losing two back-to-back campaigns on the marriage issue, Lucero has claimed that Fitzsimmons’ amendment “provided cover for conservative Democrats,” as if there were not otherwise enough votes to pass the bill.

To believe that, we must believe that the Democrats would place a landmark piece of legislation on the House calendar without knowing they could pass it. [...]

Interestingly, Gilmore's analysis is largely that Fitzsimmons did lie, and the fact that he did is important in caucus consideration of reendorsement.

Let a little reality into things, please.

The guy put his finger to the wind, and saw opposition to gay marriage, as a continued GOP strategy, to be less than powerful in terms of influencing voters and getting his friends elected. The issue was an anchor around some necks, and needed to be defused/dustbinned.

It was a pure tactical/strategic decision of Fitzsimmons to soften on that issue. He did not say there were gay people in the family or in his friendship circle who felt demonized and that tugged at his heartstrings. He jiggered a part of a bill to favor the fundie folks, and traded his vote for that concession from the other side.

In short - He played politics. He's a politician, not much else, and to me, this is detracting from any respect he might be given, (from Hudson's item):

Yet Lucero retains the audacity to suggest that Fitzsimmons has “demoralized” Republicans. Lucero claims that Fitzsimmons’ vote will keep Republicans home if he remains on the ballot in November. Home seems to be where Lucero has been while Fitzsimmons has been working to elect Tom Emmer to Congress, mentor activists throughout the party, and fund campaigns in swing districts. Indeed, Lucero has only ever been seen by the Republican Party of Wright County committee on which I sit while campaigning on his own behalf against Fitzsimmons, not attending fundraisers, not marching in parades, and not contributing dollars or time to other campaigns.

Emmer is a jackass, but the Republicans' jackass, hence fine with Fitzsimmons as the party loyalist he is (above much else apparently). Viewing Emmer as I do, it sits less fine with me.

You support Emmer, I have to have my doubts about your judgment. Fitzsimmons is/was/will be an Emmer person, so no tears from me over how idiots treated him. Moreover, reports of his political death are premature. There will be more kick coming than from a corpse.

No view at all: Arguably of general interest, within my two GOP barometer blogs, Residual Forces and Let Freedom Ring Blog, by Andy Aplikowski and and Gary Gross respectively, (each in Minnesota's CD6), there was zero mention of Fitzsimmons/Lucero much less any handwringing and keening either way. The situation was either viewed as unimportant and no watershed event; or there was issue ducking, with my guess being the latter.

Political expediency would be to abandon losing issues and favor ones hoped to be winning issues; and it appears both blogs are giving hints of what GOP politicians may be expected to be running on this fall, to the extent issues matter at all [per contra there IS Mike McFadden, happy being a hollow issue challenged scarecrow of a candidate, so far].

McFadden has his tons of cash to later buy advertising and propagandize, but in hiding entirely, so far.

What will we see when that egg hatches, chicken or reptile?

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Has anyone else noticed, Bachmann's being silent about "the gay agenda" and other such horseshit she's embraced as doctrine in the past. Always with a finger to the wind, there is the Bachmann barometer, of what she can huckster to the believers who send her money; and this no longer is in fashion, for publicly proselytizing, with Michele.

It is "Obamacare" with her, these days. And in the most recent past.

[And, per earlier UPDATE, my guess is reptile]

My friend Gary Gross has published something of a unique understanding of the Fifth Amendment prohibition against taking private property without due process.

This link. This opening excerpt, including two quotes within the quote below, and with the link in the original:

After reading this article, I’m wondering if I’m living the United States or in the former Soviet Union. Seriously, does anyone think that governments should be able to use eminent domain to take private property from a family to build biking hiking trails? That’s what Dakota County is attempting to do:

The county is seeking a “quick-take” condemnation, effectively a compelled sale, of four parcels of land in the park reserve, offering a total of about $2 million.

County commissioners voted in November to take the land, saying the properties are a key part of a planned trail and other features.

What’s more important: private property rights or giving government to take any piece of land to do with it whatever it wants to do? This is stealing. What’s especially appalling is the taking of the land to build biking and hiking trails. What’s worse is that Dakota County is attempting to steal this private property for a questionable project while offering the property owners settlements at far less than fair market value:

Aho said the county hasn’t shown enough progress on other planned improvements besides the trail to demonstrate a need for condemnation.

She also said the county’s offer for the land, $370,000, “drastically undervalued” assets like a marina and 1,000-plus feet of lakeshore.

Respect for tradition entails understanding it.

Valuation is a fact question where procedures exist for resolving disagreement in the judiciary.

Power to take, Gary, Gary, Gary.

It's not for you to say what's a public purpose. Representative [aka constitutional] government puts that power elsewhere. If I don't like road expansion, or the Northstar, yes I can criticize judgment, but I cannot sanely deny the power of government to meet its purpose, which, obviously, is to govern.

Wisdom and power are separate, and if one wants to argue wisdom of particular expenditure/particular purpose, please be precise - while if wanting powers changed and realigned, join like minded persons in a campaign to change existing law, including Constitutional norms.

But avoid mish-moshing stuff, as that might mislead the gullible, and I am certain Gary has absolutely no intent of influencing and inflaming passions among the gullible. Continued reading over time of his blogging will give any reader a sense of the honorableness in his position-taking. Of the strength of his effort to avoid sophistry.

An "I like highways, I don't like public decisions for bikeways," attitude can be held, but that's judgmental about decision making by elected representatives, within the clearly lawful bounds of their governmental powers.

Due process means a fairness in compensation and following procedures, not impotence to set public purposes and policy.

Gary goes on to state:

After WWII, eminent domain was used to buy the land needed to build the interstate highway or other high priority pieces of infrastructure that led to great increases of wealth and prosperity to the masses. Since Kelo v. New London, eminent domain has been used to take property from private property owners and give it to government so it can create parks or bike trails.

That statement misunderstands Kelo, wholly so; as well as misunderstanding prior "taking" law, and Gary should reread the case.

Finally, Jeff Wise has proven at least in an individual situation, that there are other avenues to deal with eminent domain besides litigation in the judiciary. In short, Jeff was wise, in protecting his personal interests. In getting his best price.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Gary might also benefit from reading Lucas. Simplistic statement of simple beliefs while not correctly recognizing precedent can often overlook nuances. It can lead to ill-reasoned conclusions more expressive of a prejudiced viewpoint at the outset of an analysis rather than evidencing an analysis grounded on study and appreciation of argument recognizing precedent - as it is.

Does "conservatism" mean much, truly, besides appreciation of precedent?

Elsewise, what's to conserve?

Kurt Zellers' announcement juxtaposed against Jim Abeler's foot-in-each-camp stance, regarding a currently held legislative seat, while a candidate for higher office.

Zellers' press statement, posted here, and reported here by Brodkorb - the press release beginning:

ST. PAUL – State Representative Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) announced today he will not seek re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Zellers, first elected in 2003, represents House District 34B – covering the cities of Maple Grove and Osseo.

“It has been an honor to serve the good people of Maple Grove and Osseo over the past 11 years,” said Zellers. “I’m proud of the important legislation I passed over the past six terms benefitting the residents of Maple Grove and Osseo, as well as the state of Minnesota.”

During Zellers’ six terms in the legislature, he enacted sweeping legislation to impose life in prison sentences for violent offenders after the murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin; secured legislation to build a new hospital in Maple Grove; passed legislation to address the growing need for adolescent mental health treatment; and led the effort to stop Governor Mark Dayton from imposing job killing tax increases on hard working, middle class Minnesotans in 2011-12.

Zellers served as Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions. Zellers is only the third Republican to serve as House Speaker since party designation. In his role as Speaker of the House, Zellers led the effort to balance the state budget without raising taxes, turning around the state budget from a $5 billion deficit to an over $3 billion surplus within two years.

How about that politicking next to last paragraph above? Hates dangerous criminals, loves pork, did something worthwhile, and whines a lot about taxation (while loving pork for his district).

Abeler has been and remains silent about the district he currently represents, and his having or not having a fallback intent, given the weakness of his campaign in generating traction, so far, in seeking higher office.

Is it time for Abeler to "release" the seat, or dump the higher aimed campaign and move to secure his legislative seniority position? Is it taking the high road, to leave things hanging in uncertainty as time passes?

The question is posed as a hypothetical. The GOP, it's not my party, it's Abeler's - hence, if those people are happy with Abeler as things stand, so am I. In comparison to other Republicans, Zellers for example, Abeler stands out as less dogmatic and less confrontational, qualities all too rare these days in Republican politicians. Rarer too, among "the Republican base," a phrase used at the Residual Forces blog where I quasi-understand what Andy implies in using that term. Folks who generally agree with Andy, is how I read it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Met Council’s density requirements raise hackles in west metro - Article by: TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune - Updated: February 23, 2014 - 12:48 AM"

This link. The politics of Met Council selling flushes to pay its bond debt for its Pigs Eye STP. Forced density. And my, how Met Council helped those folks in East Bethel with their sewer/water bonanza. What a force for planner well being and employment opportunity, there and in regulated towns. And helpful to Ramsey's getting a Northstar stop along with a $300,000 new annual tax for the common good, with Matt Look heading transit planning matters for the Anoka County Board; as Northstar liaison. A silent "Watchdog" watches. That new town tax must fit the dog's temperament.

RAMSEY - Highway 10, a political/technical MnDOT session, Wednesday, Feb 26.

Strib, this brief notice:

MnDOT looks at Hwy. 10 upgrades in Anoka, Ramsey
Updated: February 22, 2014 - 3:52 PM

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Anoka County are exploring lower-cost alternatives to a full freeway conversion of Hwy. 10 through the cities of Ramsey and Anoka. Changes are needed to address safety and traffic issues,

The public can learn about some of the options and how they might affect private property at an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Greenhaven Golf Course, 2800 Greenhaven Road, Anoka.

Some of the possible alternatives include frontage road connections, intersection modifications, overpasses and pedestrian accommodation.

A brief presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m., with small-group discussions and opportunity to comment at 7 p.m.

For more information, go to

Shannon Prather

Link in original.

The matter has been posted for some time on City of Ramsey's website, "In The News," this link; linking here.

Presumably the session will include more content beyond engineering thoughts and options for the planned Armstrong Blvd. interchange.

It is billed as focused upon the stretch of Highway 10 through west Anoka and Ramsey, aka "Stoplight Alley."

Or is that "Stoplight Bottleneck?" "Alley" rings a bit less awkward.

Freedom From Religion Foundation. And, the evil practice of deluded or intentionally obtrusive ones, Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

FIRST: Just links. Start with Forbes, here. Linking here. There are those busy-bodies who want to impose upon the freedom and civil rights of others, and often the worse of the bunch is found in pulpits.

FFRP links, here, and

An LTE to the LA Times.

NEXT EDITORIALIZING: As to Pulpit Freedom Sunday, the First Amendment clearly allows the proselytizing of secular election advice from the pulpit, so let them do it and only the easily misled will listen and act accordingly since it is not an area where spiritul advisors have any expertise, but then TAX THE BASTARDS for who they really are. That being politicians, societal advocates with a political agenda, (but often dressed otherwise than in well tailored and expensive Kazeminy suits).

An even more basic question, why are churches NOT taxed fully already?

Politics is the obvious answer. But should politics of that sort, taking the easy way out, be permitted to not apply the law fully and fairly to political huckesterism from pulpits? Once the line to secular advice on how to vote is crossed, counseling spirits has been trashbinned in favor of other entirely secular aims.

Souls simply are not saved by preaching on voting choices. It's highly offensive, but allowable as a freedom, as long as it is taxed properly.

LAST: A screen capture:

This link, followed, from here. Bigots anonymous. Professionals at it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Those firing the flames of ignorance, superstition, bigotry, intolerance, and indecent regard for the freedoms of others can end up consumed by their own pyrotechnic inclinations.

Said simply, play with fire, get burned.

Is that "News?"

An ultra rightwing Republican in ultra, ultra, ultra stupid land, aka Wright County, experienced exactly that at the hands of his own carefully cultivated band of overzealous acolytes; Strib reporting:

GOP state Rep. David FitzSimmons of Albertville failed to win party endorsement for a second term Saturday, an outcome seen as a victory for those who deplored his vote to legalize same-sex marriage.

Delegates to the Wright County GOP convention instead backed Eric Lucero, a Dayton City Council member and technology manager who had hammered the first-term legislator on his support for same-sex marriage.

According to Lucero’s website, the challenger won endorsement on the first ballot with 74 percent of the vote.

FitzSimmons, who could not be reached for comment Saturday, has said that he stood by his marriage vote but that he would abide by the party’s endorsement.

“Losing is a distinct possibility,” he said last week.

The Minnesota Family Council hailed FitzSimmons’ defeat, saying that he had betrayed his constituents by running on a platform supporting traditional marriage and then voting to change the law.

In a statement to the Star Tribune last week, Lucero said that residents “do not trust David FitzSimmons to accurately represent them.”

But the contest divided Republicans between Lucero and FitzSimmons, considered a budget hawk who had the backing of former legislator and gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. FitzSimmons has consistently opposed abortion, taxes and new spending.

FitzSimmons also won endorsement from the political arm of Voices of Conservative Women, the first time the group backed a man.

He represents District 30B, which covers parts of Wright and Sherburne counties. In 2012, 53 percent of voters in the district supported the failed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Fitzsimmons has been as inner party as the inner party gets; Strib's report noting that. If not a GOP coalition-building trendsetter in questionable directions, then he at least faithfully was marching for years vocally in the forefront of the trends he embraces. And now, unhorsed by some Dayton city councilmember who is/was/will be more a clown than the incumbent; Jesus weeping in all likelihood while those professing Jesus-love are overjoyed; with the secretive bigots at this website likely gloating:

Ditto, the band of bigots here:

Separation of church and state haters that they are, family liberty of choice haters that they are/will forever be, those poor souls; misled by the Old Deluder. (What other explanation fits better; and the Deluder, himself, must be laughing up a storm in Hell over this instance of His deluded disciples' misdirection.)

Does The Deluder keep those folks who turned on Fitzsimmons ignorant, misinformed, and hateful toward others who are not deluded to an equal degree? Go figure that one. As to possibilities, consider how the Massachutsetts Old Deluder Satan Act passed in 1647, at its opening paragraph statement of legislative purpose

It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times by keeping them in an unknown tongue, so in these latter times by persuading from the use of tongues, that so that [sic] at least the true sense and meaning of the original might be clouded and corrupted with false glosses of saint-seeming deceivers; and to the end that learning may not be buried in the grave of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors.

might fit this cabal of operatives:

This link, followed, from here. Bigots anonymous. Professionals at it.

The wording, "... false glosses of saint-seeming deceivers ...", what exactly does that mean? To you.

click the thumbnail image to read it
UPDATE: Brodkorb wept.

Fitzsimmons accepts the will of caucus delegates.

Sacremento Bee carries AP coverage stating:

Delegates to the Wright County convention chose Lucero because they knew the city councilman from the town of Dayton would work to promote the values of religious freedom, Council CEO John Helmberger said in a statement.

Lucero and the Council had accused FitzSimmons of betraying his constituents by running on a platform of defending traditional marriage and then voting to support same-sex marriage.

Stinging analysis. I thank that Helmberger guy for his clarification, since I always thought "religious freedom" meant not only freedom of religion, but for those so inclined, freedom from religion. Now, Helmberger and Lucero, illuminaries of great distinction, on the Dayton City Council no less, explain me wrong.

Oh my. How many bigots can dance on the head of a pin?

______________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Brodkorb perhaps overreaced, but the Wright County crazies were out in a hunting pack, and Brodkorb did call them out on that. Moreover, of general Minnesota bipartisan interest, re secular taxes and not anyone's beliefs/superstitions, Brodkorb wrote this:

Eric Lureco, who is worried about the “assault against the family unit” by “gay marriage and the homosexual lifestyle”, received the endorsement of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

David received a 100 percent score on the 2013 scorecard from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota. But 100 percent support wasn’t good enough for Phil Krinkie. Without authorization from Ted Lillie, the President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, Krinkie released a letter from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, claiming Lucero signed the Taxpayer’s Protection Pledge and David had not. Only 13 of 201 legislators received a 100 percent score from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota and only two of the 13 signed the pledge.

David’s picture appears on the front of the scorecard and the Taxpayers League of Minnesota claims “they deserve special recognition for their efforts to limit the growth and reach of state government.” The “special recognition” David received from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota today was a letter of support for his opponent. 100 percent wasn’t good enough today for Krinkie, the former head of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.

Well, Michael, it looks to be who the GOP is made up of, these days. But - that Krinkie stuff. Has Krinkie committed political suicide in hopes of appealing to the clear least common denominator in the Sixth District GOP that he can upset Emmer's lead and Sivarajah's relative reasonableness?

Folks, it is time for the Chairman of the Taxpayer League to face this Krinkie thing.

Where does the dog plant his four legs, two in the Jesus-jockey camp, two in the hate-taxes camp, or is he a true four footed tax hater and only that? We await indications.

Enlarge and read the text on that last image. It ends, "You can help by: [...]"

So, does the Chairman woof that you help by being a dumbass bigot, or does the Chairman show courage?

Some of the Chairman's friends say one thing, some the other, and my bet, the Chairman agrees with his friends.

____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Sorensen opines that the Fitzsimmons ouster is absent of GOP death rattles; an event, but one less than high on any political Richter scale. Also, she disses Brodkorb's writing style. I thought Brodkorb's presentation okay, although weepy over a political ambush not unlike Bachmann's ambush of Laidig. Similar fingerprints, fundamental fingerprints, all over each ambush/ouster.

Sorensen's money paragraph:

The notion that Fitzsimmons' retirement represents a party-wide elephant barn cleaning over the marriage issue is dubious at a best; rather, marriage equality opponents at the Minnesota Family Council out-organized Fitzsimmons' supporters. Former Taxpayers League president and faltering congressional candidate Phil Krinkie took one parting shot at CD6 frontrunner Tom Emmer by helping to knockout his rival's close associate. Though crass, it's one way to announce his own retirement from politics.

It is hard to guess what Krinkie expected to gain from the conduct Brodkorb reported. It appears to narrow the CD6 contest to Sivarajah and Emmer, with the hockey player in front.

The question remains - Will Harold Hamilton duck making any public commentary on the Lucero ouster process and dynamics, and its likely success in that particular House district while insulting the intelligence of most of the rest of Minnesota.

As to Krinkie and gay Liberty hating, Brodkorb earlier reported Krinkie's bringing in Matt Salmon, for expected traction. Credit Krinkie with consistency, if not sound judgment.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Adults? Or what? In a spat, as only right-wingers contesting greater puriy can do things.

Or is it some kind of contest as if legal filings were subject to copyright?

Here, and here. Do they debase themselves as much as each other, or is it just humorous hijinks?

With Ken Cuccinelli on one side and Larry Klayman on the other, a duel, pistols from two feet, sounds about right for the good of the world. Uzi pistols, set on full automatic.

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Nowhere man Mike McFadden." Not my original thought, instead a Republican conservative calls him out that way. Niska spouses, are my barometer. Last cycle, close to Emmer, this cycle close to McFadden. Not mere bad choices but red flag instances to note and follow.

John Hugh Gilmore, here, in a long analysis, beginning:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Nowhere Man: Mike McFadden's Empty Candidacy

Political neophyte Mike McFadden, selected by Norm Coleman, Vin Weber and the inside the beltway group of usual suspects, [and the Niska spouses,] is running for the Minnesota republican nomination to contest against incumbent Sen. Al Franken this fall. McFadden has no particular qualifications to bring to the Senate but, then, neither did Franken so the point can't fairly be held against him. Congress, most of us could agree, is not filled with luminaries.

What can be held against him, and why I cannot and will not support him for Senate, is the fact that he is a wholly contrived candidate who says and does precisely what his patrons and handlers want him to say and do. He gives astroturf a bad name.

His candidacy is simply being forced upon republicans in the state who are expected to fall in line [and some right here in Ramsey surely have]. Far more of them than is healthy are eager to do so, apparently in the belief that anyone with money will be our best candidate against Franken. This is a lazy analysis, on one level, and a perfectly understandable one on another. What it isn't, on balance, is acceptable.

It's not acceptable for two political has-beens with lobbying clients to pre-select and then impose a cipher candidate who will parrot the policy issue positions most in line with those paying clients. McFadden has no connection with the republican base and has gone out of his way not to develop one. He's well known now for avoiding debates with the other republican candidates or even engaging with the base in a meaningful way. Lately the campaign has tweeted him out and about with hapless republicans badly staged around him, unable to wipe an indifferent look off of their faces. One thinks of those "Kim Jong Il looking at things" Tumblr accounts only here it's "Mike McFadden meets the unwashed activists." His consultants have told him all he needs to know about those types. Who can blame him? The hoi polloi can scrape about in support of Julianne Ortman, Chris Dalhberg or others for the endorsement (quaint) but he and his wallet are going to bigfoot the primary and buy the nomination outright. It worked for Dayton, didn't it?

His initial rollout to "the troops" was particularly painful. Invented reasons for a guy who was very successful in the private sector were put in his unconvincing mouth as to why he suddenly felt the pull of "public service." His videos were better produced than, say, Scott Honour's, but at least with the latter you could get some sense of a personality; you really could see yourself having a beer with him. With McFadden's videos, you have to get past his daughter "introducing" us to someone who leaves us cold; you could see yourself as the subject of his next vivisection. McFadden's essential quality thus far is Robo Candidate.

But shortcomings as an actual candidate are one thing, a thing most republicans can, and do, get past. McFadden's positions on the issues, however, are an abomination; that is, when you can pin him down on one.

Gilmore writes much more, all worth reading, again, this link.

Norm Coleman, Vin Weber and with that said, you know mediocrity of a staggering proportion comes with it.

And McFadden, whatever - banker, banker to bankers, friend of Charlie Weaver possibly, liked by the Niska spouses, but why even think to send a nonentity politically to the Senate?

Worse, Franken is the best thing there since Wellstone, from Minnesota - a counterweight to mad Michele and Col. Klink, who must make people wonder whatever happened to the state that produced Hubert Humphrey, and Wellstone.

Well, what happened is Norm Coleman, campus rebel turned suit acceptor to Nasser Kazeminy, and all he represents, in contrast to mad Michele and all she represents; and neither very palatable.

Dayton will be reelected. Franken will be reelected. The Republican pleblian base will react in shock and horror to McFadden's forced presence at their party, and despite DFL majorities in both houses and heading the executive branch single payer will not prevail against the lobbying wall against it.

In closing, one wonders, is Ms. Coleman still with the Hays insurance operation that Kazeminy liked? Who knows, who really cares. Besides Norm, with his closetfull of expensive and well-tailored Kazenimy suits. Made of teflon, or kevlar, some synthetic, as synthetic as McFadden is.

Gilmore mentions Vin Weber, not disdainfully, but not to praise him either. Vinny is a McFadden man.

Vinny is bad in the revolving door lobbyist sense, for possibly - even likely - dark forces in Ukraine.

Sorensen has detail, do read it since Weber is a behind scenes mover/shaker, one to be accorded scrutiny if not direct disrespect. Put that fellow into the sunshine, a wish, and Sorensen has done just that.

Good work.

FURTHER UPDATE: Not entirely on the same end of anyone's political spectrum, Sorensen and Gilmore, unlike some, think.

Sorensen hat tips Gilmore at the end of her post. Good work by each. Minnesotans should be happy that people who think also take the time to write, with Gilmore and Sorensen each worth a browser bookmark, regardless of where a reader may be politically.

Now, when both agree, McFadden is a shadow puppet of Rove/Weber/Coleman, what's to like about the man with no issues section on his campaign website? The Niska spouses are bright people, Harry impresses that way with each publicly committed to the McFadden candidacy, and I would welcome a guest editorial from him which I would post in its entirety on why he supports the Vin Weber - Norm Coleman choice for the grassroots.

Something Gilmore wrote that deserves special mention:

Last month the campaign announced a hilarious "steering committee" of republicans from whom the future in this state will never, nor should, come. An unimpressive lot, these people do what they are told. They would have been tickled to be on any candidate's meaningless steering committee if offered or ordered. Hypocritically, many of them demand that the endorsement be followed when it comes to the race in CD 6 because they support Tom Emmer but are perfectly happy with McFadden "not respecting the will of the delegates," as the phrase goes, and going to a primary. Integrity.

Yesterday Eric Black, formerly of the Star Tribune, now of MinnPost (like so many others there), held forth in somewhat inflated terms and declared that "expectations" have been "altered" in the Senate race because of McFadden. This is laughable. Short of Franken drowning a woman, people have written off McFadden beating him. The motions, though, must be gone through. Right. Black's analysis is conventional although consistent with the scripted nature of the empty McFadden campaign. Black focuses on the chimera of competition given a well funded candidate versus an underfunded one.

With Gilmore saying that, one expects the Niskas, each on that steering committee, might wish to speak up.

Either can write a guest editorial, I would not edit it, I would post it in its entirety; even if little but an attack piece against Franken while declining, as McFadden does, to say anything of any kind, as to policy.

___________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Yikes. The more about Vin Weber I read, the more disdain I feel. This, from Politico:

Mr. Weber was elected to Congress in 1980 and represented Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District from 1981 until retiring in 1993. During his tenure, he served on the Appropriations Committee and House Republican Leadership.

In 1993 Mr. Weber founded Empower America, a non-profit public policy think-tank, with Jack Kemp, Bill Bennett and the late Jeane Kirkpatrick and served as Founding President and CEO from 1993 to 1994. In the fall of 1994 he opened the D.C. office of Clark & Weinstock and has since served as Managing Partner. The firm’s clients have included a broad range of corporations, trade associations, and non-profit groups.

Mr. Weber is one of the most prominent strategists in the Republican Party and has been a top advisor on numerous presidential campaigns. He served as Co-Chairman for Domestic Policy for Dole for President in 1996, was Co-Chairman of the Bush reelection campaign in 2004, and Co-Chair for Policy Development for Romney for President in 2008.

Mr. Weber currently sits on the board of directors of ITT Educational Services, Inc., and previously was a board member of Chris-Craft, Alliantech Systems, and The Lenox Group, Inc. He additionally serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. He served as the Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy for 2001 – 2009, is on the Board of Directors Membership Committee and Programs Committee for the Council on Foreign Relations, is Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Executive Committee for the Aspen Institute and sits on the board of the George Washington University Institute of Political Management.

War monger - mischief maker ties of the first kind: Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp.

Proudly in the CFR crowd. That link gives publications, much as if a rap sheet.

U. Chicago policy ties reported here,

Vin has also worked with several Presidential administrations. He served as a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee for former U.S. Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Gates. Vin also served on the U.S. Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion for former Secretary Condoleezza Rice.

Vin is one of the most prominent and successful strategists in the Republican Party, most recently serving as a Senior Adviser on Foreign Relations to the 2012 Romney campaign. He enjoys strong bipartisan relationships across the legislative and executive branches of government, and think tanks throughout Washington. Vin has counseled numerous Presidential campaigns, including his tenure as the Plains States Regional Chairman for the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-elect campaign.

As a Partner of Mercury, Vin provides strategic advice to institutions with matters before the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government. He has successfully advised numerous clients on matters pertaining to mergers & acquisitions, crisis management, and strategic communications. Vin is a highly sought-after political and public policy analyst, featured in several leading national publications and appearing frequently on network and cable news programs. In 2007, Washingtonian magazine named Vin #5 in their list of Washington's 50 Top lobbyists.

Yikes, again. It does read like a rap sheet, to Tea Party sentiments I expect, certainly to me. Neocon, and then some (pal to Gingrich). War, what is it good for?

Rupar, at CityPages, on Weber.

Like Norm, possibly with redone teeth, more hair-challenged than Norm, but basically a connected-clone type.

This Orlando Sentinel link, on the Ukrainian lobbying situation, Weber appearing to be on the side, big surprise, of established autocracy.

Well good. Now I know where McFadden is on the issues, and why he hides from saying such on his campaign website. Nothing there but "trust me."

"Trust me," the joke goes, ...

This is the Bushco establishment candidate to run against Franken?

Make Al look even better than he's been, that is what the grassroots GOP Tea Party sorts really want?

Or is it that Father Knows Best, Ron/Rand is not good medicine, and would those bothersome brats saying "Liberty" simply shut up and behave as told? A house divided? No, legend has it as "big tent" so go with legend, and watch.

AS A FURTHER AND FINAL UPDATE, while having already said revolving door lobbyist and neocon, and already given the link, this presents an interesting summary/study, with references.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

GOP has many faces, seeking the governor's seat. Or did I say that right? In any event, MN Sure as a campaign political football among that cadre.

Strib, carrying a Brian Baskt AP feed, here.

Brodkorb, editorializing over the same thing, here.

Scott Honour and the seven dwarfs? Or did I count wrong?

David Fitzsimmons: Is he getting payback from the same sorry set he willingly welcomed as allied souls in the past, and does that mean he deserves whatever he may now get for having had such appalingly low standards before?

You decide. Brodkorb likes the guy. Not my party, not my alliances, but interesting in the way a pathologist examines tissue.

To me, it is prostituting to the lowest common denominator in the past to have courted votes of that Jesus-jockey batch of malcontents bent upon obliteration of the separation of church and state. Even the Gipper acknowledged that such a separation was a proper one. Disaster that he was, at least the Gip saw right on that situation.

Strib on Fitzsimmons' dilemma, here.

Talk about whoring, and lo, Lucero, the opposition GOP candidate to DF, posts proof of Fitzsimmons' use earlier of the tactic:

click image to enlarge and read

Lay down with dogs such as Tom Pritchard, you get fleas.

If this Lucero character unhorses Fitzsimmons, it could not happen to a more deserving individual.

When it fits party fashion, wear it. When it falls out of fashion, discard it.

Fitzsimmons. Man of conscience.

Not bending to the expediency of the moment. How exemplary of the GOP we know and love.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

PassMHP fundraiser has been postponed. Check the website (top sidebar link) for notice of rescheduling.

Due to the weather forecast, PassMHP has canceled tomorrow's fundraising happy hour and will reschedule at a later date. Please inform anyone else you know who was planning to attend. Look for the makeup date soon.

"... to put it another way, spend six Nienows of money to get kids through the lunchline with their self-worth un-squashed ..."

MN Progressive Project, here. Dissecting opinions of Sean "The Entrepreneur" on school lunch assistance measures.

(Nienow is overdue for full-time private sector status, isn't he?)

Remember from high school, the quote, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears, ...".

From Nienow, nobody'd get their ears back.

Mother Jones disrespects Rhonda Sivarajah. I have learned the spelling of her name, no vowels in error, out of suitable respect for her CD6 candicacy and county board service.

Sivarajah's campaign webstie, at its homepage

indirectly discusses her two opponents in terms of sending either to DC representing less change then she represents. In its entirety:

A Message From Rhonda
Washington is full of people who talk and talk and talk. We need to send people there who will actually deliver real results.

With the growing debt and the erosion of our freedoms, unfortunately, our kids are not going to have the same bright future that previous generations have had if we don’t act now. Instead of giving us real solutions and a new direction, Washington continues to give us more and more of the same big government, top down solutions.

As Chairwoman of the Anoka County Board, I’ve been able to make positive changes and reign in government excess and I will bring the same sort of positive change to Washington. Washington is broken, but it’s not enough to just talk about it. It’s time to do something about it, and I am uniquely qualified to get the job done

"... full of people who talk and talk and talk" vs those "who will actually deliver real results." Rhonda says that.

In terms of that website quote, here's the image MoJo uses:

"... who talk, and talk, and talk ..." MoJo's item, here.

Heaping insult upon that image, MoJo postulates a tug-of-war between Krinkie and Emmer, as surrogates each, for Grover Norquist and Michele Bachmann. Cute? Too cute, since the most viable of the three, as a reliable non-hothead to send to Congress gets zero, nada, zippo mention.

Can you insult a politician more than by non-mention, as if an inconsequential complication to a cutesy theme?

Shame on MoJo.

Still-a-jock-at-heart gets coverage. Sivarajah, no.

Monday, February 17, 2014

An MHP reminder.

From an email:

Please join us this Thursday, February 20th and help us kick off the 2014 election cycle and support single payer candidates!

February 20th at 5:30pm
PassMHP Happy Hour Fundraiser at Cowboy Jacks
126 5th St N. Minneapolis, MN 55401

See you Thursday!

If unfamiliar with MHP, click the top sidebar item for detail.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fifty million spent, and the crabgrass has yet to grow,

East Bethel, this link.

It was December 2010, and the East Bethel City Council had just approved a controversial plan to build two plants in the largely undeveloped city that doesn’t even have a grocery store. City leaders saw an opportunity to be the “next big burb.”

The project wouldn’t serve any of East Bethel’s existing 11,000 residents; it was built for the future, for the growth it would spur and handle.

Three years later, the plants are up and running, but the growth that was expected to bankroll the project hasn’t materialized. Only three businesses are connected.

Residents are absorbing a 15 percent jump in their 2014 city property taxes to meet the first round of payments on $18 million in bonds sold for the project. City leaders — who have all turned over since the project was approved — are desperately trying to keep the project from sinking East Bethel.

Ramsey had Landform, James Norman's dream of grandure, building of the Norman Castle, the last muni well DNR let our town punch, and talk of river water and a multimillion dollar treatment plant. For targeted growth beyond when the wells will run insufficient at full capacity, sucking up the aquifer water all the private single-family wells in town rely upon for steady supply.


Matt Look and purchase of Nedegaard's Folly for way too high a price, making Landform spending -money for nothing - possible.

All chasing growth as if a virtue the private market stood ready to bestow, needing only a tiny goose to reach boundless cost-free tax base expansion - yielding posterity prosperity.

And then some!

Idiocy, how-can-we-lose idiocy. By and for idiots.

A new $300,000 annual Northstar tax, per having a trainstop nobody uses, fingerprints all over it of Look and friends (all the while professing a dislike for taxes and waste). With that as a resume/track record, he left Ramsey to seek a County Board bigger paycheck, and what manner of people voted for him?

Go ahead. Guess.

Hint, the word begins idio...

Note: some content revision above, cleaning up because input was by a portable tablet - no substantial change.


This link.

The dirty "A" word.



If you get any campaign propaganda from this astroturf operation, realize, it is from ALEC. Pure ALEC. Simple ALEC. Weigh that fact, read the stuff, and have a good laugh at the pretenses.


Brod is the one with ALEC in her closet. Not this organization. Further study of their site, advocating nationwide election by popular vote count and not by electoral college precedures as presently used, shows bipartisan support:

Editorial Support
New York Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Los Angeles Times
Sacramento Bee
The Columbian
Wichita Falls Times
Anderson Herald Bulletin
Fayetteville Observer
Boston Globe
Hartford Courant
The Tennessean
Daily Astorian
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Miami Herald
Connecticut Post
Redding Searchlight
MetroWest Daily News
San Jose Mercury News
Philadelphia Inquirer
York Daily Record

Detail of the proposal, online here

Advisory Board
John Anderson (R-I–IL)
Birch Bayh (D–IN)
John Buchanan (R–AL)
Tom Campbell (R–CA)
Tom Downey (D–NY)
D. Durenberger (R–MN)
Jake Garn (R–UT)
Fred Thompson (R–TN)
Jim Edgar (R–IL)
Chet Culver (D–IA)

Endorsing Organizations
Common Cause
League of Women Voters
Conservative Party of NY
more endorsements

Big time wrong! I have no problem admitting I am wrong, when clearly so, hence readers are encouraged to challenge things posted here. It helps winnow out troubling error. At first glance, I saw that Laura Brod blurb, mention of ALEC, and reached too hasty a conclusion from such off-putting evidence. Brod deserves credit for this tie, not the well-earned scorn attaching to her PAC ties to Norm (aka "Minnesota Action Network" which is egregious); and her embracing ALEC.

(We already all know how egregious ALEC is, Koch brothers, Mary Kiffmeyer, all that.)

I admit, I should know better than to judge an entire effort by one among the company they keep.

Error corrected.

Marty Siefert's policy and issue stance? Take Scott Honour out in a primary. [with bonus updating - re Dave Thompson's head honcho]

Andy has detail, at Residual Forces, this link.

Read it from the perspective that Andy is a Dave Thompson advocate, you cannot miss that. But Siefert seems small, the people he chooses as his henchmen small too, hence, it seems Andy has hit the nail dead square on the head.

UPDATE: A quote, from a quote, of a quote - Crabgrass quoting Andy posting from what St. Cloud Times posted. [Andy gives links more often than not.]

“There’s state reps that have more money than [... Thompson's campaign raised], and I don’t know how you’re going to take Scott Honour out in a primary,” Seifert said. “As people want their endorsed candidate to be successful, they have to look at certain things, like name ID, resources and a statewide organization. And we have all three.”

One would hope that Siefert soon expands on the theme of why it's good for Minnesota to take Scott Honour out in a primary, and Andy, you could help on that score. The message will not resound without you endorsing it.

I think taking Scott Honour out in a primary is a "just fine" idea, even more, verrrrrry fine, but those voting that side of the primary ballot do not listen to me as much as to Andy. (A fact, whatever you make of it.)

As to Siefert's trifecta qualities in the SC Times quote, name recognition - but which way given what people like Andy remember to say; resources - other folks' money since Siefert is not particularly wealthy, and what are the other folks believing they are buying; and last, organization - sleazy folks, or upstanding good long-time Minnesota citizens? (You tell me, on point 3, comments on point always being welcome.)

Jon Seaton [photo credit here]
Now, the people you have in front on the campaign - Andy likes Thompson - well, there is Jon Seaton, putting out Thompson flak, and do your web search on that individual. Pawlenty in the resume, traveling man, As Minnesotan as Alexandria, VA. An out-of-town hired gun, some might say.

Toxic waste, some might say, but those would be ones not liking Tim Pawlenty [doesn't he look like a Pawlenty person, in political arena affairs, at that banker coalition job, the kind of thing that attracts Pawlenty and vice versa].

Then, there is this, from Andy's perspective:

Before this blog I was a talk show junkie and would listen to them all, but Dave was my favorite. I remember listening to Dave on the old – good – AM 1500 talk station where he conveyed the very same conservative principles that I held dear no matter the party affiliation. Believe it or not he and I had a few battles on email about the merits of the Iraq war. He wasn’t sold on the idea. He railed on politicians of both parties for betraying the trust of the people that they will consider the Constitution as the governing document of the country. Some say that is a negative, I say that proves he is a real conservative.

Faith in talk radio, it's so great it yielded Emmer as well as Thompson. What can you say against that? Shouldn't there then be a host of GOP candidates with such credentials? Too few, for some minds, some viewpoints. Jason Lewis for Pres? It makes one so qualified for holding office.

Last, go back to that early Siefert quote from St. Cloud Times coverage, the ending "we." He is the candidate, and he is singular, not plural. Mark Twain said that the only people correctly using the editorial "we" are true royalty, pregnant women, and people with tape worms. Say goodnight, Marty.

FURTHER UPDATE: It would be interesting if Andy were to post about candidates relying on grassroots vs candidates who hire outside "political operative for a livelihood, will travel" campaign honchos. It would be an illuminating thing to see Andy write his ideas on that consideration. Endorsing use of key Bush-Rove teammates, all that. I wonder how Thompson found Seaton, or was it vice versa? Someone Michelle Benson knew, in her past life? Reader help via comments is welcome, on that question.

___________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Judging Seaton by the company he keeps, the clients he takes and touts as best and outstanding, this. Okay, a natural follow-up question to that report, has our state's GOPolitician Dave Thompson made his tax returns public? With Brunner being like Romney, Caribbean tax haven presence and all, and Seaton's ties to Bush-Rove campaigns, question the money. Always question the money transmutes to here, be sure to question, follow, and double check the money. That, aside from being swayed by talk radio.

Another question, with his legislative history and ties, how close is he to his employer's lobbyists?

You know, Andy, not me, should be the one keen to pin down such facts. Unless follow the money is irrelevant to him or the money trail there is keen-okay with Andy.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Off point, wholly, but of interest nonetheless, given Seaton's track record with McCain and Pawlenty sequentially, with Bush-Rove work in between, do you expect he had a hand in the Palin choice, instead of it being our dear TP for second spot on the McCain election effort? Kevin Diaz' Strib reporting from April 2011 explained:

With Iowa apparently on his mind, Pawlenty announced today the addition of ex-John McCain advisor Jon Seaton as national political director for his presidential exploratory committee.

The move followed Monday’s debut of campaign manager Nick Ayers, former executive director of the Republican Governors Association.

Seaton, a veteran of the last two Republican presidential campaigns, currently runs East Meridian Strategies, a political consulting firm based in Alexandria, VA.

Most important for Pawlenty, who’s chances depend on a good showing in neighboring Iowa, Seaton ran McCain’s Iowa operation in 2007, managing staff, coalitions, surrogate activity and candidate travel while also serving as the state’s campaign spokesman.

In 2006, Seaton worked for President Bush as Associate Director for Political Affairs. In that position, he was the primary White House liaison to Pawlenty's re-election campaign, as well as to Republican campaigns and organizations in 10 other states, including Iowa.

The Pawlenty camp notes that Seaton’s White House job is not his only experience in Iowa, home of the nation's first caucuses. In October of 2004, the Bush re-election campaign transferred him to Iowa, where he spent the last three weeks of the campaign overseeing Election Day strategy and GOTV activities. Earlier in his career, he managed a Congressional campaign in western Iowa.

Given such a background, is working on Thompson's campaign a step down, slumming, for Seaton, and if so, why has no higher profile campaign latched onto him? Too expensive, or what?

Neither the McCain nor Pawlenty presidential hopes turned out all that well. Yet, other side of the coin, Pawlenty's got the banking cabal paycheck and McCain's stayed in the Senate with minority party seniority accumulating and accumulating, so each landed on his feet.

Presumably Thompson, unless elected, will be doing okay for himself too on the energy trading firm's payroll.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Board of Aldermen Request A Deeper Study on Flaherty Collins Proposal At the December 17 Board of Aldermen Study Session, Tom Cole, Economic Development Administrator was asked to meet with the Flaherty Collins firm and put together a deeper study on the proposal they presented for the green space in downtown Raytown." THAT BEING: Raytown MO, in the Kansas City - Google Fiber part of the nation. Epidemiology of development? Ryan Cronk the vector?

And that City of Raytown website,

continues: "You can view their proposal here."

A nice green town square, pictured here. Going to do a number to it, betcha, with Ryan Cronk afoot.

Ramsey did have an election, and the Landform/Lazan/Flaherty/Cronk facilitators then on the ballot were voted out. Not to say anything, either way, as what town officials in Raytown should think or do. Just, I hope they did not seek references from Matt Look, Bob Ramsey, or either of the McGlone spouses.

They should contact Randy Backous or Jason Tossey, still on council, who did vote against being the bank of last resort, not even a second position lien against the property, behind something like twenty-six million lent by the Pittsburgh bank.

Cronk, like Time, marches on.

In an, "open letter to the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen, Economic Development Administrator Tom Cole, CEcD discusses the downtown redevelopment," which is online, meaning we in Ramsey can read it here, something of the situation in Raytown is disclosed. Does this "brand du jour" sound in any way familiar?

The development process is lengthy, but I believe Flaherty & Collins will deliver a full/final proposal demonstrating all of the development costs (construction, design, engineering, etc) near the end of the first quarter of 2014. Once those numbers have been established, I also anticipate having a full understanding of the finances they bring to the table in addition to the remaining gap that they would request the City to assist in filling. This is typical of most large development projects.

"Remaining gap" means the targeted town bankrolling the final few million of the adventurers' adventure? Behind daunting millions of secured bank money - but with promises of repayment, multi-page contract detail, repayment in some fashion, down the line? It was like that in Ramsey. And now the Northstar trains are not running on time ...

I wonder if there was a "trains have to be on time" escape clause ... I admit, I hold copies of the final paperwork in Ramsey which I have not had cause to study, yet it is public data, and the folks in Raytown can request a CD with all the final paperwork, to possibly whet their own expectations.

(Ramsey's City Clerk handles public data disclosure requests.)

How much, what kind of diligence is due? That would be a matter of Missouri law, for Raytown officials to consider.

Folks in Raytown might be wise to talk to folks on council in Ramsey, on how things are working out. Due diligence, all that. Not that they would hear much. An old saying, "If you cannot say something good, don't say anything," could rule the day. Other side of things, everyone in city government in Ramsey might universally sing hosannas of pure satisfaction and accord. I cannot speak for opinions of others.

__________FURTHER UPDATE_________
It might behoove Raytown officials to click the Developers are Crabgrass sidebar image of David Flaherty, and read of Orland Park, and North Carolina where the "apartment guys" "dabbled in condos" with two shell bankruptcies as part of the track record of a firm that uses LLC intermediaries and likes highly leveraged deals. They leveraged things in Ramsey, with a fraction of the risk money put into the adventure being owner capital.

Those Raytown officials should, however, check out how things are going in Orland Park, by contacting officials there, since the last I read about the project there - luxury apartments - was that officials were happy with how things were working out. It is only fair to state that. And Flaherty's folks appear to be prospering, so that success of particular projects in Carolina aside, their basic record of bringing in profitable real estate deals cannot be ignored or challenged.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tom Emmer? The man did write "Tom Emmer" in that list.

I had occasion earlier to reread a Watchdog post, stating in part:

[Regarding one successful GOP local candidate last election ...] it's a joke to see some of these anti-gay marriage groups jump on Petersen and use his him [sic] to raise money to fight what they themselves brought on with their hare brained constitutional amendment last year.

Remember their claims?

Let's put a gay marriage ban on the ballot in 2012! It will drive conservatives to the polls! It will drain money away from the DFL! People will love it!

How did that all work out?

Liberals outvoted us, we got outspent all around, and we lost our historic majorities in the legislature.

We got killed in some suburban districts because of the marriage amendment.

Frankly, the majority of conservatives in this state are sick and tired of hearing from the same group of incompetent self-described GOP "strategists" who keep giving us losing propositions.

The marriage amendment, Tom Emmer, Kurt Bills, Allen Quist.

Goodness, this crowd managed to lose photo ID! It was an 80% positive issue going into the election.

We've had enough of your bad advice and we're paying the price.

We haven't turned our back on conservative ideals. We've just grown tired of your amazing ability to turn those universal ideals into losing campaigns.

Unlike Midas, everything you people touch turns into...

[ellipsis in original] Yeah. Emmer. No Midas touch there.

And those crackerjack sure-to GOTV ideas, the two amendments. Sometimes some folks' ideas of what might be good for GOTV Republican aims might backfire. May it happen, this cycle. Nothing particular to mention, but just, may it happen, this cycle.

Somebody cares about the 47 87 percent of us Romney wrote off.

photo credit here - Read It

Strib reports:

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison will be at the White House today when President Obama signs an executive order increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors.

The Minnesota Democrat led the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ effort to push Obama to sign the order.

Ellison spearheaded a letter writing campaign to the president, urging him to circumvent Congress on the issue, to “provide labor stability for the low-wage workers on whom these federal agencies rely to fulfill their mission.” Ellison personally handled one of those letters to the president.

Obama announced plans for the executive order during his State of the Union address. He has cast the move as a way to spur Congress to increase the hourly minimum wage for all workers from $7.25 to $10.10.

The rule will boost wages for a few hundred thousand workers, a small percentage of the more than 2 million federal contractors, White House officials said.

We can be thankful. And we can hope for more. However, the 87%, those needing minimum relief included, represent citizens of the nation that cannot depend on the dividend earnings of held wealth for a living. Working wage earners.

Remember how the Anoka County Board - as presently constituted - struck down prevailing wages? You should. All the way to the November ballot box, remember that.

Wage earners are not preeminent in the hearts and minds of too many politicians. That's how it is, but not how it should be. We, in Minnesota, at least have Ellison. Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann aside, somebody is in DC who truly cares about wage earners, up and down the scale from minimum wage to union prevailing wage. Some do care.

Reader help requested - does any reader know whether Micro Control has both government contracts and workers paid at minimum wage? Please leave a comment if you know whether this is so or not. The "Prevailing wage requires a contractor to pay certain wages on a construction project, not what the market will bear" Watchdog is on record against prevailing wage.

Any bets against a compatibly disdainful bark, that the minimum wage requires an employer to pay certain minimally conscionable wages in exchange for wage earner hours worked, "not what the market will bear?"

The old dog learns? Or will it be that the Obama executive order is hounded as yet more "thuggery" against the privileged few among whom the Watchdog's wealth places him, while barking up discord and dissent as best he can among the 87% - in hope of turning their hearts and minds against their own wage earner kind, and their own best wage earner interests. Capital lecturing labor, about what's good for capital being good for labor, with some labor receptive to such a message.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
That "Down With Tyranny" website from which the photo was taken, again read the accompanying post there, has a site sub-headline with a Sinclair Lewis quote that now, decades after Lewis wrote it, might arguably be shifted from future tense to past tense. That possibility is something about which the more honest and intelligent Ron Paul supporters might have something to say, yet apart from that, the site has another hands down excellent lead image to a post on the debt limit circus leaving town. Read it. And do not stop at the Paul Ryan image, since the item goes on to mention one of Minnesota's mistakes, Col. Kline, with the post using the word "extort" to describe Kline's carrying on leading up to the House vote to end the unpopular Republican adventurism and opportunism that backfired, big time, during earlier debt limit "negotiations."

Kline's and Boehner's corner threw in the towel on that humbug. So, give them a gold star, or expect it a purely transitory thing leading solely to resumption of more of the same? A hope would be for greater civility, but, after all, they are Republicans at the gate.

If one looks online hard enough, one can find the Republican House quietly passed legislation killing their debt limit circus.

Do a web search. Boehner got religion. A kick start to reasonableness. Blowback from Republican shutdown brinkmanship created the kick.

Even Boehner could read those tealeaves. Stop monkeying around and govern sensibly was the message.

Wisdom might trickle down to local levels, boards and commissions. While conceivable, that is unlikely, since some appear to prefer confrontation over things those who faced an electorate and hold office propose.

Aside from that, I wonder who is planning a run for the at large seat on Ramsey's council, and what that means in terms of franchise fees where Randy Backous holds the seat, and has spoken favorably for franchise fees. Backous has expressed uncertainty over whether he will seek reelection.

Boehner and crew. They are Republicans.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Project Snow Storm. Who?

A reader forwarded an email about a telemetrically tracked snowy owl, around the Town Center open spaces. The email generally said:

Who? Ramsey, the owl.
One of the snowy owls in the Ramsey Town Center area is being tracked with a telemetry transmitter by ProjectSnowStorm (website: The owl sightings - of more than the single bird that was tagged, two at least - were reported as early as Jan. 3, 2014, per a Minnesota birding website. I was unaware of this project until today. Frank Nicoletti from Duluth is a project team member who equipped this owl with the telemetry device. They currently have 11 snowy owls across the nation equipped with transmitters including the local bird, named by the trackers, "Ramsey." (That link is to an interactive map of the bird's meanderings since being telemetrically tagged Jan 26, of this year.) Meandering of the project's other tagged birds, elsewhere outside of Minnesota, are also mapped, for those interested in comparing ranging habits within the set of birds. The Ramsey bird is pretty much staying where it's at since it was fitted with a transmitter on January 26.

The project has a press page, hosting their press release and linking to press coverage, e.g., here.

UPDATE: It probably does not need to be said to readers here, but nonetheless, there are proper ways to unobtrusively observe the owl activity that do not intrude on its natural use of habitat and does not bias ongoing scientific study by scaring the bird off to some other hunting ground. Baiting the bird, things of that sort are plain stupid and should be avoided in the first person, and complained of to peace officers if seen as a third person activity. Recall, these are animals accustomed to wilderness, not to close intrusive human contact.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

RAMSEY - FRANCHISE FEES -- Can a Charter modification have ex post facto reach; i.e., could a franchise fee charter amendment hypothetically passed by ballot at election time, negate an earlier passed council-legislated multi-year franchise fee arrangement?

A bloc on the Charter Commission appears to want, for reasons important to them, to force something to a ballot decision - which could serve GOTV purposes of one political party over another.

Not to say such a thing motivates, but it is a possibility given that those most inclined in the direction of the Niska Amendment as a potential ballot issue, include activist GOP inner party present or past recent functionaries. (E.g., here, here and here.)

Presumably, in the absence of clear evidence and in the best of worlds, the motivation of every charter commission member is simply an unbiased matter of judgment of what is in the city's best interest, with the roads being in need of upkeep being a given.

As a hypothetical, presume that pre-election Ramsey's elected council members by a required simple majority pass a multi-year franchise fee ordinance, so moving in light of Charter Commission indecision and or delay. (The last charter commission meeting passed no charter language in accord with or contrary to a draft the staff via the City Attorney had prepared, thus passing back to the council nothing new - nothing aimed at breaking the franchise fee question logjam without resort to manufacture of a ballot issue.)

So, what might the council do in light of such deliberate inaction?

It would be an interesting situation if the council loses patience over meanderings of the Charter Commission and tests the waters by acting.

Were the council to pass a multi-year ordinance on franchise fee usage, it could raise a question of first impression the resolution of which could write new precedence. It would be so if there exists no decided law on charter amendment prospective reach against the prospective reach of an ongoing budget ordinance.

As always, if there is no precedent and it is a question of first impression, who knows what a judge might say? On first hearing that judge can say whatever seems right, and reviewing judges can adopt or modify what basically would be a question of law - the facts being clear and not in dispute, under the hypothetical.

Litigating the question, if there is no existing precedent, would be a dice roll in the first instance and likely something going up on appeal to again be a dice roll there, (if and as long as a challenging party would willingly fund a challenge to elected leadership action, by multi-year ordinance, as not able to have a binding prospective reach, with such reach able instead to be forestalled by decision of independently appointed and not elected municipal functionaries and/or by an intervening ballot outcome).

It would be an interesting question of municipal charter law. (Of course, the legislature this session can amend charter legislation to resolve such a question in advance.)

Please note, the hypothetical question is posed without any study of Charter-city vs statutory-city nuances of decided law. I.e, if there is precedent, which may be, it would be the stuff that City Attorneys might research and review, if ever the will and the patience of our council were to be inclined toward movement given ambiguities the most recent charter commission meeting left standing.

BOTTOM LINE: Ramsey's aging roads need upkeep, and that should be funded with the elected city officials clearly having the legislative function of saying how the funding is best arranged, in accord with existing proscriptions of law, of course.

Charter Commission members who are appointed by a judge arguably should recognize the difference of their mandate, in not facing any electorate to remain in office, and hence should show deference to that fact and its implications.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Larry Klayman is the sort of person who can make one want to mix metaphors.

This link. While the sky may not be falling as immediately or precipitously as Klayman is warning, he at least is barking up the right tree.

There, I proved my headline true. Chicken Little hound dog.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Two actual newspapers, merging into one.

This link, the item concluding:

We will continue with the uniquely local coverage that matters to the readers who live in the boundaries of this newly expanded newspaper.

To help us achieve that, we appreciate your feedback. What do you like? What do you dislike? How can we be an even more valuable resource for your every day life?

What do I like? ABC Newspapers -- ECM Publishing puts out a real newspaper not a website thing, ostensibly headquartered in an Anoka County GOP-leaning woof woof widget plant.

Mumble, fumble.

This link. Abeler new favored tree of choice.

Sorensen has an item online in Daily Planet on Franson v. Nelson, and industrial hemp.

This link. Hemp as a fiber crop has been used to make paper, and the internet has a literature on William Randolph Hearst as a factor in the early 20th century criminalization of hemp, the allegation being Hearst owned not only newspapers, but timber interests, and it is asserted it was a pocketbook decision on his part to favor wood pulp paper over hemp. That gets to a renewable crop issue, one being an annual crop, the other [with the Forest Service being in the Agriculture Department and not the Interior Department] a crop having a far longer renewal cycle. Now with paper recycling it is less stress on the forests, and lumber is a better use if you are going to go to the woods to leave slash and stumps.

Read the Sorensen item. See if your reading it is like mine, that Sue Nelson is a troublesome demagogue who should stick to the family gun business and not intrude herself into politics. On the husband's side, a Nelson multi-generational family history of being narcs for paychecks, so expect cause and effect at play in the quote Sorensen presents from Nelson's facebooking against Franson. It's a hard trick to make Mary Franson look good by comparison, yet Sue Nelson manages it, that likely exhausting her skill set.

Atlas must be shrugging.

This Strib Feb 6 item. We need Dagny Taggart back at work, John Galt to the rescue, with Warren Buffet stepping aside since he cannot keep the trains on time.

But wait. A cynic would say it's just a Big Oil pipeline ploy, which, of course, it is.

Or blame the weather, or the government, or Atlas taking a break, if not shrugging long term.

John Henry not beating the steam drill, and then the steam drill failing to operate properly.

The unions. That must be it. Featherbedding.

Atlas formed a union? Movers and Shakers United. And we now face it playing out, in 10,327 pages, as in that dreadfully awful book by the Russian fascist lady with the funny hairdo.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Why would GOP members of the House Financial Services Committee NOT want this?

A press release, sent per an email mailing list, this quote:

Democratic Lawmakers Call for Hearing on Export-Import Bank

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the face of a Republican agenda that seeks to erode consumer protection and undermine Wall Street reform, Democratic members of the Financial Services Committee have called for a renewed focus on a legislative goal that is proven to preserve and create U.S. jobs by helping American businesses compete internationally for opportunities to export goods and services.

In a letter to Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Subcommittee Chair John Campbell (R-CA), 26 Democratic members of the Committee have called for a hearing to examine the issues surrounding the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a financially self-sustaining agency that has helped maintain or create 1.2 million U.S. jobs over the past five years.

Led by Representatives Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Denny Heck (D-WA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA), the letter touts the Bank’s importance in leveling the playing field for U.S. businesses that compete in the global economy. It also underscores the Export-Import Bank’s profitability, sustaining itself while returning billions to the Treasury. Rep. Waters is the top Democrat on the Committee and Rep. Clay is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade.

“The reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank is vital to growing our economy, generating good jobs for American workers, and expanding business opportunities for our best companies,” said Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay. “I urge the Chairman to schedule a hearing on its reauthorization at the earliest possible opportunity.”

“The bottom line is that the Export-Import Bank supports American jobs. I urge my Republican colleagues to act swiftly to reauthorize this proven jobs engine,” said Rep. Gwen Moore.

Unless Congress acts, the charter of the Export-Import Bank will expire on September 30, 2014.

“Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank will reduce the deficit and create good-paying jobs right here in America,” Rep. Denny Heck said. “Last year the Ex-Im Bank helped American businesses in all 50 states sell American-made products to overseas buyers. It is urgent that Congress reaches a bipartisan reauthorization agreement so U.S. companies can continue competing in the global marketplace.”

The lawmakers also point out that failing to reauthorize the Bank’s charter will hurt the competitiveness of U.S. businesses in the global marketplace in favor of foreign firms.

Rep. Waters said, “The Export-Import Bank sustains hundreds of thousands of jobs and levels the playing field so that American businesses, large and small, can compete successfully in global markets. Its reauthorization should be quick and without controversy.”

The House is under control of a GOP majority, meaning the FSC is under GOP control, so the Dems on the committee have to request an agenda item. Does any reader know of any reason the Republicans on committee would oppose renewal of the ExIm Bank's charter?

The signed letter of the Dems to the Repubs is online, here.

What's up?

Why in the world do the Republicans want/need to have the Dems ask?

Is this simply a matter that would have arisen in any event, or is there a GOP opposition bloc? Or is GOP leadership, Boehner and Cantor, in some way obstructing this measure? Reader help via a comment would be helpful.

Strib reports on a defective product lawsuit involving big, big, BIG bucks. And posts the 30-page Amended Complaint online. Xcel suing GE, over a 22 month power shut-down at the Sherco coal fired plant in Becker.

This link for the report. This link to read the complaint.

Briggs and Morgan, two other law firms, multiple plaintiffs.

One failed turbine blade, one big consequential mess.

"Harry Reid Knows Opposing Fast Track Is Smart Policy and Smart Politics"

Give the man a halo, for this worker-friendly, environment-friendly step.

The Crabgrass headline IS The Nation's headline, here.

That item notes:

There are a lot of reasons Senate majority leader Harry Reid shot down President Obama’s State of the Union request for a congressional grant of fast-track trade promotion authority to negotiate new free-trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Reid has a history of skepticism when it comes to trade deals. He opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, permanent normalization of trade relations with China and a host of other arrangements that were favored by Wall Street interests.

Reid has a skeptical caucus. Only one Senate Democrat is on record in favor of granting fast-track authority, which would allow the administration to negotiate the TPP deal without meaningful congressional oversight or amendments. And that senator, Montana’s Max Baucus, is preparing to exit the chamber to become US ambassador to China. Senators who are sticking around, like Ohio’s Sherrod Brown and Massachusetts’s Elizabeth Warren, are ardently opposed.

Yet Reid’s rejection of Obama’s request was not a show of skepticism. It was an expression of outspoken opposition.

The majority leader took his own stand, announcing, “I am against fast track.”

Readers need to know, there are four major links in the original item, not kept in that quote; so GO TO THE ORIGINAL AND PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINKS.

Here is but one linked item. Read it.

Readers need to know what "TPP" and "fast-track" mean, and why readers should care.