consultants are sandburs

Monday, December 14, 2015

Who is Freedom Club State PAC out of Champlin. It seems they put out a mudslinging ad against Jim Abeler showing a reckless disregard for the truth.

The thing was in the mailbox Monday, Dec. 14, at 3:41 pm when the mail was brought in, i.e., prepared and mailed before the end of the filing period for the SD35 open seat special election. Before the guy from NORML filed as a candidate. Did they know something about the NORML candidate's position on gas taxation? If so, how?

Who are these bozo [UPDATE: Champlin-based] operators? Reader help needed.

click thumbnail to read

Zach Phelps filed on the 14th. No earlier. Not a candidate until then, only a wannabe before filing. But a candidate on the day the Champlin folks' mailer hit the mailboxes.

The term "Sooner" comes to mind. Jumping the gun to claim territory. Never mind propriety.

How is that Champlin mailer offensive? Let me count the ways.

First, people who are independents or progressive favor Abeler in the GOP primary contest because he is not a bleeding extremist who makes a big point of having kissed the Taxpayer League Chairman's ring.

Of four candidates who are running, it appears only one has constrained his choices if elected in such an unnatural way. That being the extremist, Aplikowski.

I may be wrong about that, but I doubt it.

What offends most, by its parochialism of presuming only GOP candidacies matter, is the mailer's apparently incorrect statement:

Now he [Abeler] is the only candidate who refuses to rule out a new gas tax this year.

That seems a hasty representation of fact at best, certainly when published by the Champlin outlet in a political mailing printed and sent off before the cutoff date for candidate filings.

So, the fact is only Aplikowski has constrained his options from the beginning by courting favor with Harold Hamilton in their mutual anti-tax obsession, at any cost and without regard to facts which may arise in the future.

Finally, I am informed and believe that Abeler had, in fact, written to GOP Inner Party convening folks (before they barely endorsed Aplikowski after multiple ballots) that he would not be voting for a gas tax this year, were one to be proposed. Moreover, the point seems moot, since Dayton appears to have taken a gas tax increase off the table for the upcoming session.

How many ways can one attempt to channel voter thinking without voter blowback once learning the mudslinging thing out of Champlin (NOT in SD35 anyway) is wrong-headed? That we find out, Jan. 12.

Remember the mailer's main factual content and its implications for the rest of us - Aplikowski has indentured his possible legislative voting options, if elected, in a major, unneeded, and unwise way. Likely such a move will appeal to extremists. Likely many extremists will be motivated toward participation on the GOP ballot side Jan. 12. The meaning of that is a large turnout of non-extremists for that GOP primary election is needed to give voters in February the best candidate choice feasible. The better the January turnout, the better the process since large turnouts quell the possibility of zealotry bias carrying the day. Moderates and crossover progressives can help assure in January that February offers best options.

Two closing things. First, who is Smokedale Tobacco, mentioned in the above screen capture? What political history have the key people there shown in the past? Are they a political factor beyond assistance to the NORML candidacy? Reader help on that question is requested, via comments.

Second, this from the Aplikowski camp:

Andy knows that government should NOT always get what it wants, and that our National motto is “In God we trust”, not “In government we trust”.

He was the first candidate to sign the No New Taxes pledge, and has pledged to not raise the Gas Tax with the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.

We do not need a theocratic intent in state government contrary to Constitutional principles of separation between church and state. We need experience and judgment whether a GOP or DFL person ends up elected in February; and we do not need a SD35 Senator indentured at the outset to Harold Hamilton's strait-jacketed anti-tax outlook and advocacy. We surely deserve better than that on a February ballot and we can vote in January to assure it.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Absentee ballots for the Jan. 12 primary will be available before the new year, starting


and onward, and can be voted by mail or in person at the County Elections Office. Previously absentee voting at Ramsey's City Hall was an option. With this as a special election, City Hall in-person absentee voting may or may not be available. Expect an update on that possibility.

_________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Should Minnesota risk yet another Constitutional know-nothing in the legislature, per this tail-should-wag-the-dog post? There are serious issues, where fantasy and groundless distraction should not waste time.

________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Aplikowski opposes a fair minimum wage and reforms favorable to working people. Where Abeler is on such issues is a fine question, one that should be posed and answered, but where Aplikowski is on them is well defined, and deplorable.

Aplikowski has posted:


I believe that life begins at conception, period. Why can we charge someone with a double homicide if they kill a pregnant woman, but if the pregnancy is terminated, that baby’s organs and tissues are harvested and sold for research, while everyone turns a blind eye? I will fight against every penny of taxpayer’s money that goes to fund abortion. I would support the inspection of abortion clinics and an investigation into any abortion provider that has broken state or federal law.


I believe the redefinition of marriage in the legislature was a poor decision. If I was in office at the time, I would have not voted in support of that bill. My focus if elected would be to work to protect religious institutions and leaders as well as private business’ individual liberties and First Amendment rights to defend sincerely held religious beliefs.

Sane crossover given such extremism is justified, in order to protect the February election against choice haters and those who decline to understand what the First Amendment is all about.

So, where do Abeler and Aplokowski each stand on marijuana legalization, and on reforming the Citizens United affront to individuals and families in favor of anonymous big money influencing elections. Those are valid questions, as is the question of tax reform to level the playing field and keep the rich from looting all of the rest of us. Each should be held to answer such questions. Aplokowski is happy with the status quo and sees no justification for reforming taxation of the rich. He's on record. What about Abeler? Over time he has seemed to understand working with others when elections are over and the need is to govern wisely. While Roger Johnson poses the best likelihood of reform on many fronts, his chance will be in February voting. Before that, will the Republican primary yield an extremist candidate, or a more restrained one? We will know by Jan. 13.

__________FINAL UPDATE___________
Extremism in the questions asked, extremism in the Aplikowski response. That questionnaire looks as if authored by the focus group from hell.


Wes Volkenant said...

The Freedom Club PAC is also doing a misleading survey, though if they were intending to contact Republicans, their calling lists must be in pretty poor shape...

I'm editing a bit from a note I put this out on the SD 35 DFL Facebook page this afternoon...

"Look who's trying to buy another Republican State Senator in Minnesota:

This Freedom Club PAC is independently paying to distribute literature that is pro-Aplikowski, while tearing down Jim Abeler. Today, while working from home, I took a call labeled "FOS Global CID" on my Caller ID from phone number 424-235-5881 - an out-of-state "polling" outfit asking who I was going to vote for in the January 12th primary - Republican endorsed Andy Aplikowski or big spending lobbyist Jim Abeler (pronounced by her as Abbler). I identified myself as a DFLer who wasn't supporting either one, and then she had to state for legal reasons that the call was paid for by Freedom Club of Minnesota. Looking it up, I found it is based at PO Box 416, Champlin, MN.

The "Who They Are" is fascinating:

'The Freedom Club aims to restore just and limited government, while preserving economic prosperity for all. Our membership consists of CEO’s, business owners, attorneys, accountants, entrepreneurs, bankers, civic leaders and more. We all share the common desire to make Minnesota and the United States the best place to live, work and raise a family for our generation and many more to come.

Our members understand the negative impact of out-of-control wasteful government spending, high taxes, burdensome regulations and big government. That is why we support the following principles:
•Smaller Government
•Lower Taxes
•Less Spending
•Freedom of Employment
•Election Integrity'

So, a bunch of rich guys don't want to give up any of the pie they already have... so of course they want less government, lower taxes, etc."

eric zaetsch said...

Thank you Wes.

Do they name names? Is it just Harold Hamilton acting through a bunch of cut-out stooges, or more, or less?

Are they the ones that put out that questionaire for which Aplikowski posts his boot-licking responses on the web?

It screams anti-tax, and to me that screams Harold Hamilton.

Unless/until one of them comes out into the sunshine and names names, presuming Hamilton afoot is as good a theory as any, from the outside looking in.

That push polling, it is not merely Karl Rovian, it is Lee Atwaterian. Seven cuts worse than Rovian. Aplikowski keeps strange company, if this batch is the company he keeps.

eric zaetsch said...

After taking the time to do some web searching an update post on the "who 'dat" of Freedom Club, the folks behind the PAC that did the anti-Abeler hit piece; so see the later post titled "Freedom Club." It is not Harold Hamilton. They appear quit intent on projecting a genteel image, an affectation in which Harold, to his benefit, declines to indulge.