consultants are sandburs

Monday, March 31, 2014

Latest Ramsey news; per ABC Newspapers; with one item highlighted. That item relates to the Minnesota House District 35A candidacies of Whalen, Boals, and Perovich.

Ramsey specific ABC news, online, here.

Most items are stand-alone reports, so Crabgrass readers can seek them out at the source.

There is this:

Boals announces run in 35A
By Community Contributor
March 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

Justin Boals has announced his candidacy for Minnesota House seat 35A in Anoka and Ramsey. Boals ran for the seat in 2012 as the endorsed candidate of the Independence Party of Minnesota, but this year he will run as a Republican.

“My principals, values and commitments are unchanged, however, my undying support and defense of our Constitution, our state’s rights and republic have steered my ship onto a new course,” Boals said.

He currently serves on Anoka’s Economic Development Commission where he is also a member of the riverboat study committee. He also serves on the State of Minnesota’s Drug Utilization Review Board, is president of Manorcrest Home Owner’s Association and is a registered pharmacy technician.

[...] A devout Jeffersonian, Boals believes that government should be run at the most local of levels possible and that concentrated power in a central government can only lead to oppression and corruption.

Boals is the second Republican candidate to surface, per earlier ABC reporting, here; this excerpt:

Whelan wins Republican endorsement
By Community Contributor
March 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Republicans of Senate District 35A March 1 endorsed Abigail Whelan for the Minnesota House seat currently held by Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), who is seeking his own nomination to the U.S. Senate. Whelan received the required 60 percent for endorsement after only one ballot.

Don Huizenga challenged Whelan for the endorsement.

Several legislators endorsed Whelan’s candidacy, including Mike Jungbauer, a previous senator to the district for 12 years, and Sen. John Pederson of St. Cloud. Whelan had previously worked as a campaign manager for Jungbauer and as a legislative assistant to Pederson.

[...] “I am humbled and I’m honored for this opportunity to represent my hometown,” Whelan said. “I believe that together we can return to the morals that founded this nation. We can remain one nation, under God.”

More bio on Whelan, ABC Newspapers again, here, this excerpt:

A life-long resident of Anoka, Whelan graduated from Anoka High School. She studied public policy, political science and economics at University of Minnesota, where she graduated with honors. Whelan also studied abroad in England.

Her parents instilled in her a love of policy and learning at the kitchen table that has served her well, for during her tenure at the University she was a presidential scholar, dean’s scholar and later received the dean’s tuition scholar to go to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, according to Whelan.

Whelan’s work as a legislative assistant for Sen. John Pederson and as a campaign manager for Sen. Mike Jungbauer gave her real work experience in the legislative process and campaign management, she said.

[...] She is currently doing an internship with a Christian Campus Ministry that she helped lead as a student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

[...] “My generation must take on the responsibility of providing a healthy, productive and safe Minnesota for our families, as our parents have provided for us. We should not be asking ‘how much can we get from government,’ but what can we do to build and maintain our own communities for the future.

“It is about creating a place where education thrives and jobs flourish. It is about local control. It is about getting the deficit under control while living within our constitutional obligations, which will be one of the largest problems for our generation.”

Well, Whelan with Jungbauer ties, and a "Christian Campus Ministry" day job. Not great shakes.

Her "resume" suggests lots of school, little real world experience, and caucus packing of the kind that launched Bachmann's political ambitions. Presuming Boals goes to a primary, which seems likely from timing, any DFL cross-over voters should see Boals as the better choice (the candidate most favorably disposed should the Republicans in November continue to hold the seat Abeler's sat in fourteen years).

Does any reader know Whalen's position on global warming; i.e., is she the extremist skeptic her mentor, Mike Jungbauer, has been? Any comment on her policy positions, (none of which were found online via cursory search), would be welcome.

Will Ms. Whelan be the McFadden enigma of legislative District 35A?

Is "Christian Campus Ministry" a clue to who, fundamentally, Whelan is?

The DFL last Friday, March 28, endorsed Peter Perovich as its candidate for Minnesota House District 35A.

The accompanying photo of the Perovich family is from his campaign website,

Andy Hillebregt, the other declared DFL candidate for the Dist. 35A seat promised at Senate District Caucus to abide by the endorsement process, so it appears the DFL, unlike Republicans, will not have a primary contest for the seat.

Whelan, so far, is running her campaign on Facebook. She has a LinkedIn page.

Perovich also has a LinkedIn page, and one wonders whether he will graduate to kissing babies during the campaign (this link for photo source).

Boals is on LinkedIn, and his campaign page is yet to be updated/changed.

Relevant Perovich online links, here, here, here, here, and here.

Relevant Boals online links, here, and here.

Republican house district activities should prove defining of who Ms. Whalen is, politically, so that we all may be better informed in November.

Whelan has neither a votesmart nor ballotpedia history, and beyond Jungbauer campaign management and Christian ties, she has yet to define a political persona.

Again, with Boals' ABC Newspapers' March 22 candidacy reporting, (i.e., following Whelan's endorsement earlier in March), it appears there will be a Republican primary we all should watch, as each of the two attempts to present himself/herself as the more traditional GOP person; (conservative to a fault, Christian to that bloc's litmis tests); while perhaps trying a fence straddle to not appear too extreme for the general election if prevailing in a primary vote.

Friday, March 28, 2014

“[Ortman] is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin wrote in a veiled reference to McFadden. Responding to Palin’s endorsement, Ortman wrote: “I’ve long admired Sarah Palin’s courage, composure and conviction. So you can imagine how thrilled and grateful I was when she answered my request and decided to endorse me.”

Yes, Ortman got support from the inimitable leave-the-term-early former Alaskan politician.

Big deal? Ortman says it is. Is that a surprise to you?

Full Strib report (the source of the headline), here.

A Palin endorsement is a "kiss" of sorts; Brodkorb, here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Finally - an issue where Mike McFadden easily can take a stand one way or the other (all that is lacking is courage).

This link.

Give the idiots notice.

This link. Crime and Punishment catalogs thoughts of a murderer. Perhaps it's next. Kafka's Metamorphosis; is it likely to bug some parents?

UPDATE: I find "Core of Conviction, My Story," patently offensive. And I have not read it. Courage to Stand, Going Rogue, and dressing in the color red - I am offended.

Shocked. SHOCKED!

FURTHER UPDATE: There seems no end to texts which might offend.

Jim Read, candidate for the DFL Sixth Congressional District caucus endorsement gets a personal endorsement from a local legislator.

Jerry Newton

Newton is someone whose judgment I trust and he trusts Jim Read.

NOTE: This was provided via an email, so no link is to be given:

March 20, 2014

Dear Eric,

As a Minnesota legislator whose district includes part of the 6th Congressional District, I am pleased to support Jim Read for DFL endorsement in the race to replace Michele Bachmann, who is retiring.

I am honored to represent District 37A, including Blaine and parts of Anoka County, in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I teach at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, so Jim and I are both educators. In my classes I have used Jim's book, Doorstep Democracy: Face to Face Politics in the Heartland, which describes his earlier door knocking campaign for the Minnesota Legislature.

Jim and I both believe in the value of face to face politics. Jim understands that in this important election year, our DFL candidates and volunteers must campaign door to door and neighbor to neighbor, talking with voters and listening to their concerns. Jim plans to put together a large-scale doorknocking campaign for the Minnesota 6th, with your help.

Jim also realizes how essential it is to bring new voters and volunteers, including younger voters, into our campaigns and our party. He has already demonstrated this in his campaign for DFL endorsement.

Jim believes that our DFL candidates and volunteers should work together and support one another at all levels -- Legislature, Governor, U.S. House and U.S. Senate. For this reason he will ask for DFL endorsement, and he will honor the party's endorsement. I too will give my full support to the candidate endorsed at the 6th District DFL Convention on May 3.

I believe that Jim Read is the best candidate contending for this seat and I encourage you to give him your support.

Rep. Jerry Newton, House District 37A

Read is not the only DFL candidate seeking caucus endorsement for CD6, but he is the one I believe to be best. Should another candidate end up representing the DFL, with Tom Emmer likely being the Republican clone of Bachmann; no matter who, the DFL person will be best. Sivarajah represents the most sound of the GOP candidates, hence she likely will not end up the general election candidate from those folks. She could make things a closer choice than if Emmer reaches the general election. It is for them to choose, certainly; but for everyone to consider when it comes time to fill out a ballot.

Tom Emmer? Seriously? That has to be a joke, yes?

Drummer Pastor's lawyer, Larry - fealtured.

Drummer Pastor, this link.

Feature item re Drummer Pastor's lawyer Larry, here. Flakes or charletans? It is a matter of opinion, so decide for yourself. Has Klayman gone off the map, or does he make sense to you?

UPDATE: Look at this. "Liberty" is being bandied about by strange-agenda factions. Do these folks and their mission suggest your notion of "liberty" to you? Liberty?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

While disagreeing with Andy A. about the quality Mark Dayton has shown while serving as Minnesota's Governor, Andy's other point is interesting.

Posted by Andy at Residual Forces, here:

Truth v. Honour ?????

I’m not so sure MNGOP Delegates are so receptive to the idea of the RGA handpicking our Governor candidate.

[...] There is no better poster child for an incompetent Democrat Governor then Mark Dayton, to imply that the Republican Governor’s Association is only going to take advantage of that if Scott Honour is the Republican candidate is just plain silly.

Who, again, is the top dog at Republican Governor's Association? Help me readers, on that question. And, if having that answer, what's in the top dog's favor beyond traffic management (with repercussions)?

Minnesota's Republican women, viewed through a conservative's editorial lens.

The online item here begins:

One doesn't have to buy into the ridiculous, but at times effective, invented progressive narrative that republicans have, or are waging, a war on women in order to be troubled by how the Republican Party of Minnesota treats it own republican women. For a change, instead of women being their own worst enemy (Anatole France: "friendship among women is only the suspension of hostilities"), the locus of the problem can be laid squarely at the feet of republican men and a few but sufficient quisling women. And by the Republican Party, I mean republicans in Minnesota in general.

From the beginning of my involvement in local politics, I could sense some sort of problem with respect to republican women but could never quite put my finger on it. I'm not sure I can now, precisely, but I know the problem, far from being solved, has only gotten worse. Why is this?

I have no single, comprehensive answer; I don't think there is one. I do know republicans pretty much fail to admit to ourselves that the problem exists.

We currently have no women in party leadership, pretending for the moment that it's still relevant. Republicans had an amazing Senate Majority Leader when we held the majority for two fleeting years (had not men taken her out as collateral damage to their real (and male) target, we'd be running her for governor now). We also had women in key legislative positions for the first time in the state's history and that's not nothing, especially for the box checkers on the Left and their handmaidens in the press.

Now, however, the republican political environment seems to be about ignoring or, at times, trashing, qualified republican women candidates in ways that would never be done to male candidates. This is being played out before our eyes but goes largely unremarked upon.

The women who are currently experiencing the worst of this are Sen. Julianne Ortman, state senator running for the US Senate, Rhonda Sivarajah, Anoka County Commissioner, running for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District and Rep. Mary Franson, representing House District 8B and currently being challenged for the endorsement.

Each has life stories and a history of public accomplishment which, if possessed by men, would cause them to be lauded and promoted at every turn. Instead, they are treated, at best, as if they don't exist. At worst, they're subjected to what strikes me as garden variety sexism.

Conventional wisdom views Ortman as an inconvenience en route to a McFadden primary win. [...]

Regarding Sivarajah, and hence relevant to Anoka County folks and towns:

Nowhere, however, has the egregious differential treatment between men and women in the republican party been more shamefully showcased than in Rhonda Sivarajah's race to replace Michele Bachmann. Sivarajah's record of conservative accomplishment is unmatched by anyone in the state; this sounds like hyperbole but it is not. Some things really are true.

Her support is thin to moderate generally and almost non-existent in the establishment. Again, she doesn't deserve support solely because she's a woman. But when a republican woman this accomplished isn't supported more widely and deeply, something is objectively amiss. Most activists don't want to face this because they are complicit in it: they need a job, a come back, a rung up the ladder, the approval of their peers. It's all rather transparent and the more pitiful for it.

Let's try this: would Sivarajah be supported if she ran a disastrous campaign and lost to Mark Dayton, depriving Minnesota of an all-republican led state? Would she be taken seriously if she had two DUIs and introduced legislation that would have had the effect of making such a history less discoverable? [...]

Later, this:

So where are all the sanctimonious FitzSimmons Republicans™? They put on ostentatious displays of feelings! and outrage! when delegates to house district 30B denied him the endorsement over same sex marriage. Why haven't they flocked to support Mary Franson who is under different but similar attack?

Because more than self-absorption and cost-free moral preening is required here. FitzSimmons Republicans™ are really Twin Cities Metro Republicans.™

If the sentiment underlying FitzSimmons' endorsement loss was anything but self-indulgence, it would have already transferred to Mary Franson's race. But it hasn't. Draw your own conclusions. I have.

Leave aside the individual examples of these three different women; I can anticipate particular criticisms made about each of them in order to discredit the general point made here. That's fine, but the situation for republican women only gets worse at the group level.

For those wanting the continuity of the entire argument, beyond extended excerpts; again: this link.

Franken in the crosshairs of a PAC. No surprise, but is it the same Heartland people that had Jungbauer as an anti-global warming skeptic-speaker? Or is it independent, suffering a different kind of credibility problem?

Stassen-Berger of Strib, here, reporting:

This week, the Federal Elections Commissioner posted the registration of the Heartland Campaign Fund, a Super PAC, registered in St. Paul.

Greg Johnson, of St. Paul's Weber Johnson Public Affairs and the PAC's treasurer, said in an email that: “Minnesota voters have an important decision to make on the re-election of Al Franken. The Heartland Campaign Fund intends to engage in a dialogue with voters over the course of the election year.”

Does "dialogue" mean polling, or single sided mud slinging, termed "dialogue?" My bet, the latter.

Heartland Institute, and its Jungbauer ties in the past? See: here, here and then compare here vs. here for a point/counterpoint.

It's all old stuff to regular Crabgrass readers, but if you want to see more:

That's a "Big If," if you value your time.

MPR reports PAC action on both sides of the Senate race's fence. Greg Johnson is the only signatory to the Heartland FEC registration, listing a PO Box as its address.

Everybody has a different Heartland I suppose. Mine is not cheerful toward the blank wall known as "Mike McFadden." He who hides from issues, while Franken's been working hard for the betterment of Minnesota and the nation. McFadden, [...] with nothing of substance to fill in the ellipsis. Doubtlessly he will promise lower taxes.

____________FURTHER UPDATE___________
McFadden's people, and their competence gap. Get them hearing aids, please, ASAP. Or are they up to willful misrepresentation, (of all possible things), in order to gin up money for the Big Mc?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

An editorial with a compelling headline - lead image choice, and worth reading too.


Shōuldn't we be complaining more, and more effectively? And isn't the problem that the Democratic Party has had its politicians hijacked by those holding the wealth while, (and in part because), the Republicans are in disarray over Tea Party and fundie nonsense?

The Economist, here, is the source of this mid-item quote:

Locally provided public goods are not the only problem. Much of the harm of inequality, I argue, is due to the disproportionate influence that wealthier people have over public policy at all levels of government. This is most evident in the financial sector, which has been both a principal beneficiary of rising inequality and a main source of pressure for regulations that have increased the share of income at the top. State actions, such as the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which exempted derivatives from regulation, and the SEC’s relaxation of leverage limits in 2004, played key roles not only in enriching the richest but also in enabling the financial crisis. The sluggish recovery, driven by austerity policies reflecting the policy preferences of the wealthy, continues to harm millions. The financial sector is hardly alone. Expansion of health insurance has long been held hostage to the protection of the better-off. Medicare was won only by buying off physicians’ opposition with a state-supported cartel to fix the prices of doctors’ services, helping to drive health-care inflation ever since. Obamacare was won only by buying off pharmaceutical companies’ opposition through a ban on state bargaining to reduce drug costs. The list of inequality-increasing, competition-limiting policies undertaken at the behest of the wealthy goes on and on.

Note that the quoted paragraph, while entirely true in all ways, omits substantiating links in the original, while being but a part of the Economist item. Read the entire item for full detail, including links. Also, have you noticed how Klobuchar represents mining's concentrated wealth, against the worry of a poisoned environment five hundred years into the future - that being roughly the time frame from Columbus' voyages to the present (a long time for certain)?

Think that over, in terms of Democrat politicians having been co-opted, or however else you'd care to rationalize the Senator's policy proclivities. She is not being part of the correct viewpoint any more than she was in embracing the big bridge to nowhere (make that to Hudson Wis, a relative nowhere in terms of whether that thing was wise to do or a problematic and unneeded affront to the environment with no sane cause behind building it).

UPDATE: Also, with regard to Klobuchar's willingness to serve mining interests vs other views of the public interest, Polymet is but Step One in mining's move, with Twin Metals' proposal a greater and more direct a threat to our Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. This google. And if Minnesota's senior Senator supports Step One, what's the likelihood she'd not traverse the entire slippery slope? To what possible environmental detriment?


Ramsey-specific online reporting, at ABC Newspapers.

This link. Bookmark it.

Especially interesting, comp plan rumblings.

Eric Hagen authored the item, linking to:

Last, it was the 2030 comp plan, now the 2040 comp plan.

Otherwise known as welfare for planners.

Hagen gives meeting time/place info, be there or be square. If garbage in/garbage out rules, fight garbage by attending. The last comp plan authorized more development [more crabgrass] than the Met Council's quota - being, for that reason, garbage out in my view. Viewpoints, clearly, differ.

As an update, any citizen can submit written comments for the record, even if unable to attend a session or only able to attend with family circumstances cutting against dedicating the time. Written comments, if thought out and carefully prepared, may be of more value than being at what may turn out to be a propaganda or a Kumbaya session. Hopefully not.

The Saudis, and their treatment of women.

Two links, here and here.

No Woman, No Drive.

In the Twenty-first Century. They have their ways.

UPDATE: NYT reports the YouTube satirical video was removed per claims of copyright violation. Sad. Whoever holds the Bob Marley copyright these days overreacted. It seemed clear fair use to me.

If it still is online somewhere known to readers, a comment with a link would be appreciated.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Flaherty has two high-rise irons in the fire; one in Cincy, one in Indianapolis.

Cincy, this earlier Crabgrass post.

Indy, here.

Both projects have been highlighted in earlier posts last year; also, earlier this year, here.

Has any reader info to share via a comment on how well, presently, the big Town Center project in Ramsey is renting out? It is of general community interest, so any help on details would be appreciated.

The FC website describes projects - this link; including a Missouri effort in that listing. Also, here (back home in Indiana).

Ramsey is not their only Minnesota adventure. Many dominoes queued up, with the hope none tumble to bring down the rest.

Minnesota small towns, and broadband availability. Are these things related, going further into the Twenty-First Century?

Strib, two items; small towns, here; broadband, here.

Whose ox would get gored if municipal/governmental broadband were to rule the day? What do you expect the private sector for-profit "service" providers to say, this?

Impediments to progress need to be eliminated.

This link. And this. We, consumers, are getting taken for a ride because vested interests own politicians. If you own the car you want to drive it. Ditto, for politicians.

And with the public a pool of passive sheep, what's not to like about having a fleecing?

We need broadband activists. Today, tomorrow, into the next decade and beyond. Communication capability will only grow in importance.

With City of Ramsey contemplating dedication of the old city hall site on Nowthen, across from the school, to data center use; what about a rider to any such contract about provision of citizen fast broadband access as a co-sited service provided by the data center operator? It would be using the same fiber and servers to be helpful to citizens beyond adding something to the tax base, soon or more likely eventually. And there would be no downside to it, unless it's really not that keen a site for a data center anyway, and it's only blind hope that has taken thinking as far that direction, as things now stand?

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Not a small town, LA understands, and plans, better than others plan, ya betcha.

Friday, March 14, 2014

More reason to think Chris Christie is dirt. If more is needed. Judge by the interests he serves. NOT consumer interests, rather greatly vested take-the-public-for-a-ride interests. While providing a ride.

This Ars Technica link, with the story reported elsewhere, if you do a web search. Progress stymied, so what's new? Chris Christie is a Republican after all, and they serve well-heeled vested desires and interests. It's in their DNA.

Musk defends his firm, and calls Chris Christie out for who/what he is and for who he serves. Here, reported here. Best auto in the world per Consumer Reports, but that's zippo against entrenched anti-consumer interests in New Jersey. Tesla, and Musk, simply are superior to New Jersey and Christie. Higher in quality, more defect-free.

FURTHER UPDATE: Musk/Tesla pose a greater threat to traditional dealer cash flow - keeping "them" on payments despite a paid off purchase price:

At Tesla’s most recent annual meeting, one shareholder asked founder and CEO Elon Musk about whether challenges to the company from traditional auto dealers hurt the company’s business outlook. Musk argued that consumer desire for a better way of buying and owning cars would win out. He said the traditional franchise model that dominates auto-selling in the U.S. wouldn’t work for Tesla for several reasons, including its reliance on maintenance to make money. “Our philosophy with respect to service is not to make a profit on service,” Musk said. “I think it’s terrible to make a profit on service.”

The shareholders applauded — the same shareholders that have sent Tesla’s stock price up nearly 650 percent over the past year. Yes, for now, Tesla only makes luxury cars, and its approach to service might seem like a luxury. But if it starts making cars regular people can afford, that applause for car dealers could be the sound of money spiraling down the drain.

A cash-cow in peril is more cause to enlist Chris Christie and his money management skills, where friends and supporters prosper. And foes face unique traffic consequences, in Tesla autos in Fort Lee.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The EFF on TPP. With links for further reading.

This link.

Polymet backlash.

Ham-handed drum beating ads during the televising of the high school hockey tournament television coverage, ads touting the firm's wanting to institute sulfide mining in Minnesota's north. Tevlin, via this Strib item:

Mike Zipko, a spokesman for PolyMet, said the issue was “much ado about nothing.” He correctly pointed out that the teachers union, a highly political entity and “the biggest lobbyist in the state,” has sponsored the tournament for years.

“This wouldn’t be an issue if the Sierra Club had sponsored it,” said Zipko.

Frankly, I think it would. The fact that the high school hockey tournament can be politicized shows how hot the topic is.

Joe Johnston, marketing director for KSTC45, the station that aired the tournament, said he knew of only a couple of complaints about the advertising but that most feedback was positive. He said PolyMet was one of several sponsors, and the station doesn’t refuse advertising from any company.

“We sell advertising, that’s what we do, just like the Star Tribune,” said Johnston.

Aaron Klemz, communications director for Friends of Boundary Waters Wilderness, was struck by the company’s presence at this time.

“It’s not a new thing, but this year they were aggressively visible,” said Klemz. “PolyMet, as a company, has never operated a mine. And Minnesota is in the middle of a contentious discussion about what they propose to do. [...]"

Again, the entire report is online here.

In a closing quote in Tevlin's report, from Klemz of Friends of the BWCA, this:

“PolyMet is a Canadian company. Their largest investor is a Swiss commodities trading firm [Glencore], with a poor environmental and human rights record, and who has an agreement to sell copper concentrate to China. The choice to wrap PolyMet in a Minnesota tradition is a PR move to conceal those facts.”

Glencore and Marc Rich [per Bill Clinton lame-duck pardon fame] are inextricably interconnected; Rich appearing to be less than a model citizen, before his demise.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No kidding. Really. Flaherty and Collins offer to take LESS city money. Just a little catch, well, big as Catch 22.

Just let the "apartment guys" spit a tiny hook.

An inconsequential detail. Simply bag the grocery idea ... Or do a hand-off.

Write a memo. Wag the dog. This link.

Promise retail, amenities. Deliver schlock.

It's fundamental. Profit and loss.

They profit. Promises of worthwhile stuff get lost. Compromised. Amended.

Handed off to municipalities - taxpayers. Get a grant ...

Saturday, March 01, 2014

"Obama frames populist message for 2014 races, warns Democrats must show up to vote"

The headline is from an AP feed carried in Strib, this link. An except, from a more comprehensive item. Read the entire original, please:

Rallying the party faithful at a Democratic National Committee summit, Obama rattled off a list of issues where he said Republicans were stuck in the past: gay rights, women's equality, wages and health care, to name a few. Driving the midterm election campaigns across the country this year, he said, is a fundamental disagreement between the parties about the best way to secure America's future.

"What they are offering is not a new theory," Obama said, asserting that Republicans had advocated the same policies in the run-up to the Great Depression, the recent recession and the 2012 election. "And the American people said, "No, thanks.'"

[... P]artisan rhetoric from the president had the desired effect of revving up members of his party, some of whom are openly fretting that the unpopular health law, Obama's low approval ratings and historical trends could all work in Republicans' favor this year.

But it also served as a clear reminder that the encroaching election, with all the political posturing it will bring, augers poorly for anything Obama wants to accomplish with Congress this year. After all, 2014 offers Obama potentially the last opportunity to secure legislative achievements before attention turns to the 2016 presidential election and Obama's successor.

"Obviously, this is an election year. But an election that's eight months away shouldn't stop us from making progress right now," Obama said, echoing his State of the Union refrain that he'll work with Congress whenever possible but will act unilaterally to expand economic opportunity however he can.

In an effort to show the president was fully committed to bolstering his party's cause, the White House said Obama was actively looking for ways to help.

[...] In a twist from previous midterms, Obama will even headline fundraisers for super PACs, which he once disparaged but has more recently embraced, arguing Democrats mustn't be steamrolled by GOP outside groups even if the flood of largely unregulated donations leaves a bitter taste for those who hunger for cleaner American elections.

And as Democratic incumbents seek to position themselves for the election, Obama's aides are working with Democratic leaders in the Senate and House to coordinate votes that will bolster the themes they'll be pressing during the campaign, said a White House official, who would speak only on condition of anonymity to discuss internal Democratic deliberations. Obama also plans to do what he can to boost Democratic turnout, while his campaign's vaunted voter data and technology will be made available to all 2014 candidates, the official said.

Italics emphasis added, since GOTV in an off-year election is always an important but sometimes difficult goal to achieve. And the Republicans will be doing their jiggering of things to try to inflame the passions of their base; with GOTV being a rule of the game for both parties. It appears the IP candidacies will be a non-factor this time.

With Dayton doing well in general, and with a new Lt. Guv candidate on the ticket, DFL voters owe it to themselves, to their own best interests, to attend and vote to counter what is expected to be a heated [inflamed] GOP GOTV drive. And there are GOP candidates with money and SuperPACs behind them, one with Norm at the helm, another with Rove, and always there is ALEC a-slush with Koch anti-environment cash in the till.

The DFL GOTV theme likely will be a subject of future Crabgrass posts, leading up to the November showdown.

More on "Ramsey" the owl, believed to be an immigrant born in Quebec.

Paul Levy, Strib, with the story online, here.