consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A gentleman named Bob Helland is seeking the DFL endorsement for the CD6 seat currently held by Tom Emmer. At present he appears to be the only declared DFL candidate for the seat

Bob Helland. Image from here.

Helland's campaign website - try either:

In the alternative, simply: or

The several links should work, content appears identical, and readers are urged to explore the Helland site.

With an IP background from while the IP was a "major party" with Helland having almost been the little engine that could, he now clearly has chosen the DFL as a vehicle for his candidacy.

This will be a narrowed post, touching a few points. First, serendipity. A friend living in Nowthen emailed:

Head slap needed?

I think so cuz none of dah swedes here are gonna talk about it

I replied:

Thanks. After taking a look, I don't think so. I know what Ferguson was like in the 1950's and 1960's and what it is now is different. It was like Elk River, back then. Boring narrow people, predominantly white. A good school system, a place to leave once one had grown up. Those that stayed ... comfortable with it.

The Twin Cities, some leave, some move in, but not a total backwater.

The response:

Ya but I knew [when in high school] the only two black kids in Cambridge and the only gay kid [...] praise god hallelujah. There is hate in MN severe hate Eric.

No one wants to take responsibility for it. That's what i take from that article

There was more back and forth, but the upshot:

Me: That shooting death and what actually happened is going to play out on a different stage than the blogs. Some things you have to try to change incrementally.

Some flags you grab and wave. Some you leave for others. You cannot wave too many flags, and income inequality is at the heart of sooooo much suffering that it is my main target; despite prospects of change being as bad as they are. Diversity has a broader coalition, and I let them carry that weight. Single payer is my other major aim, and again prospects are not favorable.

Friend: Will let this one go at a difference of a opinion and 20 yr generation gap.

Don't worry Eric I'm done waving flags for anyone because regardless we were all born like squeezing a watermelon thru a nylon.

The serendipity is, of course, I end up posting about it after having declined - for context, I am posting because Helland has posted here and a lazy quote will suffice since he's thought about it more than I have, so full item without excerpting:

Press Release 11/24/2015

Contact: Bob Helland

(651) 402-5864


No one asks to be shot. There will be foolish suggestions that protesters asked for it. Those suggestions are as bad as each bullet that drew blood tonight. We expect swift justice on the part of law enforcement to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of this reported crime. I trust an investigation will be concluded that not only unravels the details of the prior evening's events but also any related network of criminal actors and hate groups. I trust the public, too, to hold investigators accountable to the truth while allowing them the space to conduct it properly. I trust the community of Minneapolis to heal and restore the victims, and further, I applaud their efforts to draw attention to lapses in justice or errors in judgment. I appeal to safety at this time: be safe, everyone.

Let me be real: We cannot legislate thought. We cannot enforce our own desire to change a bigot's mind. People think stupid things and they are free to do it and say it. But, we can be the alternative, teach the alternative, and we can evolve our society to remove hate as an undesired trait we pass on in our generations. It starts today and everyday when we confront bigotry and racism, condemn violence and hate, act with respect and concern for others, and demand justice as we work for peace. As a community and nation, we will be stronger as one when we start seeing others as we see ourselves.

Sadly, if the multiple reports speak to truth, the perpetrators - those who went to the scene of the crime with a criminal motive to agitate, instigate, and perpetrate a false self-defense killing - will likely look just like me. A thirty-something white male about six feet tall. That's me, and to many people who see me on the street they won't see me. They will see a person who could hurt them and that is sad. It is sad because it is the truth even though I would want them to feel safe around me.

How can I close this gap that someone has opened in the name of the color of my skin? Fools be damned.

~Bob Helland

Beyond that post by Helland (which has little to nothing in it to disagree with), he also posted:

The Power of Social Media
Posted by Bob Helland 12.80sc on November 23, 2015

I believe we know what Representative Tom Emmer does not know. He does not know the power of social media in the 21st century. He underestimates the power of social media when it comes to ISIS or other cyberthreats, and he underestimates it when it comes to political campaigns. Where he relies on an old-hat political strategy of buying out airwaves and print - we can effectively use social media to organize on the ground and on the free net to blindside their campaign and the GOP political machinery.

Recently, the St. Cloud Times covered a story about a website, Their goal is to increase civic engagement by creating a forum for candidates and voters to interact online.

Problem? No one is willing to go ON RECORD with any of these things or answer people’s questions.

(Website co-founder Jim) Brownson said he thought Emmer would have wanted to be a part of, but the Republican representing the 6th District has not agreed to participate.

In an interview in St. Cloud, Emmer and his communications director said the representative prefers town hall meetings, roundtables and face-to-face conversations over digital interactions. co-founder Lynn Kull questioned why politicians still conduct town hall meetings “with as much technology as we’ve got.”

- St. Cloud Times, 10/8/15

I am willing to answer voters’ questions and share that conversation with public social media. Here's the thing: We cannot be afraid of our pasts and our online presences. Someone has to test that hypothesis for a generation of millennials who have embraced a movement of "antiprivacy" and exposed most aspects of their lives for the past decade. If we let that prevent us from joining the next ranks of elected leaders, what can we expect from our leadership?

The answer? We can't afford that possibility. We have to use the power of social media.

I think we can do something wonderful in 2016 by showing that the old ways of doing things in politics and in government are simply falling by the wayside, lapped by an emerging evolutionary idea that the solutions of the past are not the solutions of the future and we have to constantly innovate and collaborate through the power of social media.

“Everybody (in politics) thinks they can just use social media (to reach constituents). I think that’s one of the greatest mistakes of our time,” Emmer said. “If I don’t do my job, show up and answer people face to face, then I’ve made my own bed. (Conversely), if you aren’t willing to come and see me, and you get segmented information from whatever source, you are not going to know what I’m doing.”

- Rep. Tom Emmer, (ECM Publishers, 11/22/15)

I won’t pretend that I can talk face to face with 700,000 people. Meaningful conversations that lead to transformative movements can, do, and will happen in the digital world. I will be there right beside you.

~Bob Helland

[links and formatting in original] Well, think it over, agree or disagree, in whole or in part. Crabgrass sympathy with wanting a better way to reach voters than highway signs and costly mailings is real, but Crabgrass belief is Facebook and tweets don't cut it. Avoiding the shallow and superficial as well as avoiding narcissistic cheerleading, might raise the bar, but such avoidance is yet to be seen.

Also on Helland's site:


Seeking DFL Nomination

Reject Call to War

From any of the links readers can navigate around the entire website to see what they think about what Helland thinks, and how he differs from Tom Emmer.

Readers who have not followed the bottom sidebar item are invited to.

Strib - don't worry, be happy.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
MPP on the Helland candidacy, online here.


~BobH said...

Thank you for your generous and voluminous review of my website, Eric, as well as the courtesy notice of its publication on your blog. I hope we can rally the DFL early in 2016 - we have to do something different to succeed. I know I can make a difference, but I need hundreds of supporters, thousands of donors, and hundreds of thousands of voters.

Without a swell of activism from the ground up, or without a primary challenger to grab media attention, Rep. Emmer will continue seemingly unopposed (though he will likely be challenged in the GOP primary) and would all but ignore a DFL challenger until August. I can't let that happen. Thanks again. ~Bob Helland

eric zaetsch said...

Bob H. - The Republicans, each among the several blocs, may possibly be experiencing buyer's remorse; not something Stan Hubbard can be expected to experience. Nor the Pawlenty led Banker's Roundtable. That part of the party doubtlessly enjoyed seeing Emmer follow Bachmann's trend - say what you say, then get onto the Financial Services Committee, with it a known fact that Wall Street money enters the election processes many ways, with self-serving purpose.

The buyer's remorse will be from other segments of "the base" which hence is told to fear Muslims among us and war in Syria is needed, and abortionist are evil; this from the pulpit pundits ignoring Christ's "Blessed are the peacemakers," and Christ's caution about throwing the first stone. The false pulpit prophet preachers lead the hate against gay people, Muslims, and women wanting a choice beyond barefoot, pregnant, and on regular onerous monthly payments. Go figure why the student debt situation is stacked the way it is against the young.

These pulpit presences have a vested interest in a status quo supporting their lives and families, and little interest in suggesting income inequality and jiggering of the system to favor the rich is un-Christian, or ungodly, or wrong.

Mac Hammond and his prosperity gospel is the poster child there. Hammond seems to see it as the congregation can have the gospel, and he'll have the prosperity.

As a non-believer in consciousness beyond death, I see secular humanism as a better basis to view some of the sensible things Christ taught, among them "Don't hate, don't cast the first stone." Non-believers are not respected by the preachers of doom and gloom and conformance to the status quo including war where we can gin up the will for it - non-believers are non-attendees at their cash flow sessions and do not add a jot to their cash flows. Or so it seems.

Bob H. at some point the issues of income inequality and policy ways of countering it should show up on your website.

eric zaetsch said...

Sometimes some things are easy to leave out, and then you remember a moment or two later.

Where are these pulpit presences on the question of bullying? While a non-believer, it is clear that the Christian faith, truly viewed, would not favor bullying. It is casting of stones absent any real cause for it. It is wrong. So where are these people when the question arises? MIA seems the answer, from all I have seen.

Go figure. Coherence within a group can be strengthened, by ginning up a fear of or dislike for "The Other." That's why I keep the red tee shirt thing on the sidebar.

Christ's sermon on the mount did not seem to touch upon judging others before judging oneself and one's own faults; or perhaps I misunderstand.