consultants are sandburs

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The SD35 DFL met yesterday evening, Dec. 16, and endorsed Roger Johnson for the special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term left via the resignation of Branden Petersen. The matching fund opportunity is on an accelerated time frame so Roger Johnson needs contributions, now. [UPDATED] [and a CORRECTION "Go to Ballotpedia for truth about who Jim Abeler is as a GOP SD35 candidate"] [and ongoing updating, into February ...]

LWV CANDIDATE FORUM - ANOKA CITY HALL, WED. JAN 6, 7:OO PM - Details online ABC Newspapers . . . 
also ABC Newspapers: GOP primary coverage 
. . .

While writing much recently about the GOP having a primary upcoming in January, the DFL side of the district will not have a primary, but will be represented by Roger Johnson, an excellent man and an excellent candidate for voters to select in the February general election where DFL turnout will be critical.

Before that, Roger needs funds to allow him to run a winning or at least strong campaign. Mailings cost. Yard signs cost. Roger is strong on worker and union issues, and offers hope for the young who seem too little involved in knowing politics as a participatory thing. Roger has a view of a cohesive working approach to running the public sector of the economy. He is not a divisive, corrosive personality wanting to tear down everything to sacrifice at the Taxpayer League's behest, nor has he any burning interest at all to intrude into people's bedroom and family decisions or who they partner with, in comparison to where the very term pro-life have been co-opted for a form of bigotry by the extreme right which is generally unpopular with most Minnesotans.

And Minnesotans voted that the voting pool should be broad and not constrained to favor extremists. The right wing GOP bloc had their proposed constitutional alterations put to the people for a vote and they lost. The public voted clearly. It was a decisive vote. Yet the worse of the zealots will not take no for an answer.  Roger stands for one bite at the apple being enough to show it is time to move on to other issues of how the people are to govern themselves, including reaching a better balance between workers and wealth.

Jim Abeler is also a good man. In better times, when we were a better nation, Jim would have represented - in fact did represent the right wing of political approaches. Now the GOP has moved so far in the Aplikowski direction that we find ourselves having to call Jim a "Republican moderate."

Unions have historically fought hard. They need to fight hard now; at least as much, perhaps more, than ever.

That starts with educating the rank and file about what really is at stake, that there is one candidate supported by Freedom Club wealth wanting to gut all that has been helpful in the past. And rank and file membership needs to know their best interests need their best efforts - doing volunteer work, getting out the vote on election day, and putting money into the campaign to win where your interests stand. It is a simple work-and-pay to play or lose the election even if Aplikowski wins his GOP extremist vs. GOP "moderate" contest January 12.

It is sad some union thought is about having to fight the Scott Walker slash-and-burn and the right-to-work euphemism for fucking workers by divide and conquor. And by propaganda - using words to tell them they will enjoy it, while saying unions offer little beyond collecting dues. The anti-union approach really is that simple.

And the fight should, as Governor Dayton realized, advanced toward expanding the benefits of union collective strength in bargaining against greed, with the most recent effort aimed so that day care workers could better their lot. Unions should be aggressive in moving to unionize UBER and LYFT drivers - and not have any distracting internal jurisdictional debate on whether they are Teamsters or service workers. They are workers, suffering at the whim of those owning the dispatch apparatus. They should have rights fought for by organized labor because they only want what union workers want - to earn enough for a decent living or at least to make it through the next week, the next month, often with dependent families and little else facing them as employment opportunity. Exploitation of workers in that situation, or via temp work manipulated by managements not allowing a full working week's worth of opportunity and without benefits most full time union workers have, is an evil nobody should suffer and unions can and should always be ready to fight for that dream. Either be busy growing, judgment being a lifetime learning thing not ending with any level of diploma, or be busy dying.

The reality of SD35 demographics. Clearly, neither Aplikowski nor Abeler offer best answers for workers. Equally clear, Aplikowski would be much the worse enemy of the general working public than Abeler; with Abeler less promising than Johnson. But a voting history in the district exists, and teaches that the DFL can lose even when offering excellent candidates such as Peter Perovich.

The underlying truth in SD35 politics is the Republican zealots have already picked Aplikowski. He has won that battle and the long-time Republican legislator is now the insurgent, against an insane but rabid insurgency that ousted him.

Gary Laidig should be everyone's learning example. He was a good man and a good legislator. While being also a Republican. The insurgency ousted him via Michele Bachmann, and the harshness and stupidity that resounded from that is still resonating in the Aplikowski endorsement by like minded zealots.

Those radicals are doing to Jim Abeler now what they did a few years back to Gary Laidig, and fighting that means support of Abeler against craziness and then helping and hoping for Roger Johnson to get the most votes in February, where union GOTV can prove that the rank and file can be trusted to lift their share and do their dead of winter best to see Johnson win.

And if it does not turn out that way, Jim Abeler is as sound a fall-back hope as can exist with the Republican far right fringe folks holding their party's control and having made their wrong-headed commitment to crass extremism.

Some may think, well, Aplikowski as the GOP candidate would be weaker in a general election against Johnson, so that Johnson's overall chance of winning would be enhanced by the lesser man than Abeler moving on January 12.

Why that is short-sighted is that the lesser man might win in February. It is that simple. Aplikowski, on a GOP ticket in a bitter cold winter general election where the zealots will brave the elements and vote - could win by a low turnout; and then, folks, we'd all be screwed. Screwed big time.

Abeler should be thought of as a sane security blanket, an insurance policy. Insurance against the worse possible scenario for Minnesota happening mid-February. A contest in February between Roger Johnson and Jim Abeler CLEARLY WILL NOT result in an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Tea Party outcome. And to be most certain that the Mad Hatters lose, Aplikowski must be opposed at the first step and onward. Abeler and his GOP supporters if fact did that. They opposed Aplikowski in an Inner Party GOP session where they lost on a fourth ballot. But they fought.

Crossover voting is a fine tradition where Minnesota in wisdom has open primaries. You can go out in the cold of winter in January because of an open primary, and get the Abeler "insurance policy" against ignorance possibly prevailing a month later when you then give it the best fight you can for your best interests as represented by the best choice you believe you have, in a choice between Johnson and Abeler, two sane but differing men.

On the opportunity to qualify for matching funds Roger Johnson needs contributions, sooner rather than later. If you'd like to contribute a couple hundred dollars for the cause, but can only afford twenty-five, think to perhaps give fifty. [UPDATE: At the Jan. 6 LWV SD35 candidate forum Johnson in remarks mentioned having met matching fund criteria, for which many donors may take credit. That was for the primary cycle, and by mid-February 2016 another contribution cycle will begin. Fifty dollars per person, then, would yet again be helpful to Johnson's candidacy.]

There are other races, other candidates, but fifty now for Johnson most surely will be money well spent to forestall offensive extremism, with that being what our Republican friends endorsed and as a party offer as their endorsed alternative.

Pay to play, or accept responsibility if there are the rather grave consequences. It's not rocket science. It's politics. A campaign to educate the undecided costs money, and the Freedom Clubsters from the west metro have piles of it to spend against worker interest. Is in really unclear what workers must do in turn, with their funds and their votes? And their time to volunteer.

With it being Christmas season, if cash is really tight now, donors can give checks now, with a restrictive endorsement requirement on the back endorsement area of the check, "not to be cashed until [... a specified date certain]" such-as mid-January. Under accrual accounting the promise has been made - now - and the contribution accrues on the date the promise of payment is made. Delaying the cashing of a check via a clear restrictive endorsement gives notice to the candidate AND to the banks that the promise was made on the date of the check, while the person issuing that check, handing it over to candidate Johnson, has every right to condition it being converted to cash into the campaign account on a moderately delayed basis. Banks, at their own risk, have to honor a restrictive endorsement to not be at fault. And it really matters because of matching fund laws that the promise is soon, as immediate as feasible, even if the follow-up process of negotiating a check is required by he person cutting the check to be moderately postponed.

Last, in saying the Minnesota matching funds structure makes "the time is now" important, if you do not understand exactly how that is so, give Roger Johnson a call and he can explain it better than I ever could, in that he is the candidate with the need and the knowledge. You can give Roger a promissory note, if you'd rather that. If you do contact Roger, ask about yard or highway signs.

And if you do not understand your own restrictive endorsement rights and how that can help both you and Roger, if you now are in a Christmas cash pinch, then take the time to go to your bank and have one of the platform officers explain to you how you have such rights and how you show the bank your intentions on the back of a check. Your bank owes you that explanation not as a courtesy but as a right. And if you do not feel they respect that, you always can change banks. They know that.

BOTTOM LINE: Regular readers will know I favor the DFL as more moderate than the GOP. Roger Johnson is particularly impressive for his intelligence, a factor to not be dismissed lightly, and for his dedication to fighting against the right-to-work [for less] bloc efforts that are continually afoot. He has a strong labor background and beliefs, and while Jim Abeler has not been an avid right-to-work advocate nor strongly anti-union; it is clear that Aplikowski, the residual forces blogger, is different from Abeler. That fact is shown by the love and effort Aplikowski indirectly receives from Freedom Club and the Bob Cummins allies there, who stand as extreme "right-to-work" insurgents against historic union rights within our state.

So: Freedom Club. Know their history. It's not a mystery. Freedom Club is organized opposition to organized labor, and those Freedom Club folks have solidarity. They have wealth to spend sending out negative messages and form a tight club which must be met with a stronger solidarity, or they end up winners at workers' expense.

So: Is Jim Abeler perfect? No. Is Roger Johnson perfect? No. Are both more deserving of worker support than Aplikowski? Yes, with Roger Johnson appearing to be the better choice of the two. But the truth is better choices must be proven at the ballot box. It is not a hypothetical for debate. It is your best interests at stake, so work to know what your best interests are, and then turn out to vote them. Anything less is willingly putting yourself and family behind the eight ball.

Typos were found and fixed and a thought or two clarified: At this point I have written about all I care to write, until the second half of February. Readers should note that a Zach Phelps may be on the February ballot. His key issue is recreational marijuana legalization. Readers should know I strongly favor that position. No reader should infer that because of that I in any way would favor the Phelps candidacy. I do not. Unfortunately, his issue may prove a distraction from bread and butter considerations where I support and will vote for Roger Johnson. Without hesitation of any kind I will do so in the February election. There is only one parting thing to say after saying. "See y'all in writing after mid-Febuary," and that is


UPDATE: ABC Newspapers has indicated it will do later Q. & A. posting on candidates, so look for that, pre-primary and pre-general. Possibly they may endorse. MinnPost has an excellent bio post on Roger Johnson (from before the Republicans endorsed Aplikowski).

FURTHER: While suspending posting, links without commentary may from time to time appear; lower sidebar area under heading:

Changing links.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
While the notion of DFLers considering a crossover vote in the GOP primary in favor of Abeler, as insurance policy against idiocy has been mentioned; there is more to say about the Abeler vs. Aplikowski contest. The Ghost, not of Christmas past, but of Dead Lee Atwater and his slime style is alive and well and supporting Andy Aplikowski.

To explain that, first, a key notice to readers of important online content (which provides a segue into the Atwater allusion):

ABC Newspapers, this link, Christmas edition, has a range of letters online about the Abeler vs. Aplikowski contest.

From it, last item, Freedom Club, the Bob Cummins and fellow traveler cabal in the affluent west metro, bonded in their wish to disarm unionism in our State via the right-to-work euphimism for union busting via old-time divide and conquor religion, is where you can get a link to the Lee Atwater would-be-proud output of that Freedom Club batch. It is shameful. See earlier Crabgrass posts about Freedom Club, see sidebar top item.

After urging all Crabgrass readers to follow that ABC Newspapers link to review and think over each and every letter and the suggestions each makes, I focus on the letter submitted by Jason Tossey because I have come to know him as a Ron Paul - Rand Paul Liberty Republican with whom I can talk sensibly, while having a different perspective, and from his term of service on Ramsey's council I know Tossey as a level-headed and prudent person who does not march in lockstep with any town group in Ramsey but instead independently follows the voice of his conscience. Obviously, I say that with respect for the man and for his term of service in Ramsey.

If you read nothing else, read his letter. Again, this link, for all the letters, Tossey's included.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Aplikowski wishes to write a personal history touting effort, on his part, on behalf of previous Republican candidates - yes, those he likes. Ask Kurt Bills. On record, here and here. Presumably Liberty Republicans will recognize dimensions in the Abeler vs. Aplikowski contest beyond Abeler's ongoing record of personal integrity and independence of judgment, being nobody's tool, as factors. As to the west metro union-hating Freedom Club's meddling in the SD35 GOP side of things, well off their turf, those liking irony will love this, from here:

I believe in spirited debates and vetting of candidates during endorsements, and I will challenge anyone who says I don’t believe in holding Republicans accountable. (Just ask Norm Coleman or Tim Pawlenty about Andy Aplikowski from Residual Forces)

But if you think its more important to go tell other people who they can have represent them in Congress rather then try to tell your neighbors, well I question your motives.

[italics added, not in original]. As a general rule, any general rule, there will be convenient exceptions. See top sidebar item. Questionable motives are temporally variable things, in the eye of the beholder? Consistency is a daily thing, that day feeling consistent? Freedom Club is not goring Andy's ox, clearly so, but is that where analysis of things should begin and end?

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
A great footer to the Freedom Club hit-site against Abeler, "Paid for by Freedom Club State PAC, PO Box 416, Champlin, MN. 55316 -- This ad is not approved by any candidate and no candidate is responsible for it".

I know that picture of Andy and Rachel at the end the Freedom Club site (just above that footer) is not from Andy's Residual Forces website header. Reader help needed, was the pic lifted from some obscure Facebook or Pinterest page, or did Aplikowski or somebody in his campaign supply it to the Freedom Club, despite the footer about the Chinese Wall? [UPDATE: Pinned down: The image Freedom Club uses at the end of its attack website post is a honeymoon pic published by Aplikowski on a campaign website page; either there is serendipitous parallelism, or more; outsiders can only guess.]

Another question of interest, while Freedom Club, for its private reasons, touts Aplikowski and dumps on Abeler; do you suppose either Jim or Andy ever has been an honored guest at their annual Interlachen Country Club confab - of YouTube video fame? [UPDATE NOTE: Last link was in error and is now corrected] It appears to be an annual thing, so any year, Abeler or Aplikowski mixing with that self-identified elite? Does any reader have an answer, either way, and if so a comment giving us all that knowledge would be appreciated. One can get the impression Freedom Clubsters like who they like, when they like them, but it need not be at the country club.

Back to that ABC Newspapers Christmas Day LTE page, with the ending item linking to the Freedom Club anti-Abeler hit-piece website. It was authored by a "Steve Lamott."

Is that a person living in SD35, or an outsider, looking in?

There is a LinkedIn, and it links over to a precision machining enterprise of a suggested reasonably large scope. Not providing jobs directly within SD35, however, since it is located outside the district. In Minneapolis.

A Facebook page, Pawlenty, Paul Ryan among "likes," as well as golf. Plus this seemingly Inner Party GOP thing, see here. An operation having more a GOP establishment appearance than looking to be a groundswell grassroots phenomenon.

Lamott ties, if any, for that person/enterprise to the district are unclear after an admittedly limited websearch. If there is a Lamott tie to Freedom Club, none were found. Yet, one can wonder, is the precision machining operation a union shop?

Any reader help on such questions, via comments providing clarity and detail on exactly who submitted that anti-Abeler link to ABC Newspapers, and what his fiscal biases may be, would be appreciated.

The sidebar image of Emmer/Aplikowski suggests a kinship of purpose; e.g., Emmer primary bill authorship while he was in the legislature; especially here and here, but also here, here, here, here and here.

That's only a sampling, but who wants more of the same? Not working people dependent upon their unions to help advance their fate and the fate of all workers, union or not, minimum wage or higher.

Savage thinking should be limited to savages, and those treasuring every citizen's autonomy and right to vote, (a majority given the Republicans' amendment being decisively voted down when attempting to constrain access to the polls), each in his/her own mind, have the right to define savagery of purpose as and when they see what to them is savagery. Clearly, opinions differ. Some would prefer Aplikowski over Abeler - and odds on their ginning up a big GOTV zealotry turnout among like-minded people are high.

Again, voter turnout for the Jan 12 Republican SD35 special election primary will be a major factor. Freedom Clubsters, in the course of attacking Abeler, suggest it will be so. Those not favoring the outside west metro anti-union intervention need to be sure to vote their preference or lose any right to complain about outcomes.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
[NOTE: This UPDATE section presumes things subject to the ending update "CORRECTION" so bear such notice in mind when reading - Crabgrass thinking is not Abeler thinking, according to online information - thinking here was misled by the Freedom Club's implying Abeler is opposed to school vouchers which may likely not be the truth, so read on with that caution in mind. If confused after reading the entire post, ask Abeler directly.] Connect the dots. Cummins (along with Bill Cooper) was instrumental in founding a Catholic schooling venture in Plymouth, Providence Academy.

MPR published a good analysis, this link.

Part of the attack against Abeler is he did not get in line supporting vouchers, where such a faith-schooling venture, fine as a private thing for parents wanting it and willing to pay for it, would instead bleed taxpayer money from non-denominational pubic schools to reroute tax revenue into religious effort many in the community would not want to fund with their paid tax dollars.

[UPDATE] Aplikowski's campaign website notes Andy "was born and raised in Arden Hills. He attended grade school at St. John the Baptist in New Brighton, graduated from Mounds View High School, and some college at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is the youngest of 6 brothers and sisters." As a Catholic school alumnus, his position on vouchers for non-public schools should be similar to Tom Emmer's, with Emmer also a Catholic school alum. [END UPDATE]

Those believing public education is the bedrock of next generation civil society do not want to fund the religious biases of others, and separation of church and state are fundamental where conservatives who are honest and firm in their constitutional beliefs, right or wrong, do not want public funding of any specific religious indoctrination. (Kersten may overstate some things, but she surely would not dump on a Muslim oriented private school dipping into taxpayer money, and then blind-eye Catholics wanting to do likewise. To do that would be intellectual and moral dishonesty.)

In effect, the Freedom Club attack on Abeler is grounded in large measure, apart from anti-unionism, on an unconstitutional belief that separation of church and state in education should be undermined, via voucher encroachment upon the public duty and privilege of funding universal non-denominational K-12 schooling. As expected, this west metro "thought leader" elite disguises its purposes in ways to be expected of a skilled propagandist:

While the hit piece can be characterized as hack propaganda, i.e., largely unskilled and ham handed, it nonetheless is propaganda. Because of its lack of nuance, any thinking voter can immediately see through it, but this west metro country club mob is not banking on convincing thinking voters.

Instead, the tenor of their items show a seeking out of a lower grade of voting effort within our diverse SD35 public. Simply stated, they are courting bozos, while clearly not a pack of bozos themselves.

The easily misled are their fodder and that is very offensive, especially if they succeed. And this moneyed group thinking Anoka County is peopled predominantly by a kind of folk that P.T. Barnum scorned but exploited, that outlook, is an extreme insult to the majority of us. It evidences a disdain for the common man that seems in a way cyniclly disdainful of all actual bedrock democratic principles of representative governing of a people by an elected body of above average capability, decency, and sagacity.

We are not all drooling fools, nor willing tools. Some ... Not all.

Apart from any discussion of willing tools, where is Aplikowski on the question of school vouchers? His backers in Freedom Club have thrown the gauntlet. Abeler is on record thinking voucher-free public education is the wise way, so is Aplikowski a voucher advocate or against them? Or is it some of his friends favor them, some are opposed, and he agrees with his friends?


Andy's backers have raised their voucher flag, which means we voters have a right to know: does Andy salute that flag or does he not? Surely he should have the courage to hold a belief one way or the other. If lacking that, willing to bend with a wind, is he a sound choice to be sending on our behalf to the legislature?

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Tom Emmer, a Catholic, is a voucher supporter, suggesting others should pay for religious schooling decisions of those unsatisfied with bedrock public K-12 schooling.

Having a sister and brother-in-law married for fifty years who decided not to have children, but who willingly paid school taxes and considered it a privilege - feelings against vouchers in my family is strong.

 My family members had public educations preparing them to go on to advanced degrees and felt it proper to pay back for that. Moreover, as I do, they embrace the societal goal of having less than savage adults in a generation or two - via education being a universal requirement.

But there is absolutely no justice to imposing their having to pay money for any Jesus, Allah, Papal, Protestant, Moroni or other training beyond secular skill development and civics awareness as best as the public education system provides, which is actually in general very good and with the job being onerous and largely thankless, these days.

Nor would it be proper for others, having kids, to elect to send them to pagan school and ask others to pay the freight. Ditto for some Harry Potter witchcraft training regimen; it all is beyond what is properly taxed and spent on public education of a kind all of society regards as necessary.

Religious icing on anyone's cake can be paid by the icing fanciers, but as a secular humanist, I deem people who spend their Sunday or Saturday mornings differently than me or prostrate themselves six times a day facing Mecca as doing as they like, freely so and with my blessing, but don't try to force me to take any step along any such same trip.

BOTTOM LINE: Church and State have been and should remain separate, including no public money diverted to church-schooling. Public money is the state's money, rendered to Caesar if you will, and if anybody else wishes to render other cash to non-secular belief sets, bless them as long as it is out of their after-tax pockets. "Separate" is not too hard a word to understand, despite any and all carping from Kiffmeyer types.

Kersten's anti-TIZA editorial nailed it - public money for Muslim schooling violates the separation clause, and is wrong. Just as wrong as if the question is tax money diverted to the Roman Church's schooling.

Whether Aplikowski would be in lockstep with Emmer those ways is for Aplikowski to answer. Presumably he is more level headed than to want any such imposition; although he would impose the full power and weight of the government against those wanting reproductive liberty, so, perhaps he's a voucher maven too.

Abeler has the respect for others and for the norms of public education that would not have him diverting tax money to anybody's favored church stuff. He is a man of faith, none can doubt that, but he is not a man of unconstitutional impositions. He is better than that.

Go to Ballotpedia for truth about who Jim Abeler is as a GOP SD35 candidate

That seemingly reliable web page says Jim Abeler strongly favors school vouchers:

So, the Freedom Club hit-piece flat out misrepresented an Abeler position. And as a lesson for everyone, it fooled me. In my case it fooled me into thinking better of Jim Abeler than a particular position he holds merits.

So I was wrong. Big surprise? 
 I admit it and correct my error. Okay?

Text above the "CORRECTION" bar (BOTTOM LINE: Andy's backers have raised their voucher flag, which means we voters have a right to know: does Andy salute that flag or does he not? [etc. ...]) had me agreeing with what I thought was an enlightened Abeler position.

Not so, if one trusts Balotpedia more than Freedom Club.

(Who besides a total fool would not?)

And, Jim Abeler is accessible, so readers wanting to take the time should find out from him anything they'd want to know before voting. Ditto, for asking Andy.

That segues back to the main theme of this post - Roger Johnson is the best ballot choice once the special election moves from the January GOP primary to the February final ballot. The Johnson campaign homepage is

Anyone who is more cogent than being an ultra far right zealot, should nonetheless still hope that the February final ballot offers a choice between Abeler and Johnson - with extremism relegated to the scrap heap.

In closing, many in SD35 have policy opinions differing from mine and closer by far to policy beliefs held by Jim Abeler. However, a lesson I have learned, believe a reliable source about who Jim Abeler IS. Do not accept the characterization of the man found in the egregious Freedom Club hatchet mailing.

(also - decide for yourselves which noun the adjective "egregious" modifies)

Johnson's qualities as a best choice subtracts nothing from the truth of Abeler being a more credible choice than Aplikowski to all but the most entrenched of the worst part of today's GOP.

__________CORRECTION ADDENDUM_________
Another trustworthy site, at least surely more so than anything out of the Freedom Club mudsling-machine, is:

That site has the appearance of being dated from the Abeler 2014 U.S. Senate campaign, but expecting consistency from Abeler is always a good bet. For better or worse, Jim Abeler is nobody's finger-to-the-wind politician.

To the many Republican friends of Crabgrass, in particular: While subjective as a source depiction, but not tainted as being anybody's mud-machine type of a source, such GOP friends are invited to compare illustrative characterizations from here and here respectively, to gain insight into who Freedom Club, for whatever its reasons are, is knifing in the back. [seek out the originals for active links]

And, GOP friends, do not blame me if you have buyer's remorse with Emmer. I voted for the quite conservative populist Sartell DFL marathon runner. The one running for quality jobs here in America. The above website authors unfortunately appear to not have a block-illustration "Wall Street - TPP Camp Follower" label, for Emmer.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Know who you are dealing with - guess who may be calling shots: Has any reader received a mailing saying it was Prepared and Paid for by the Aplikowski campaign? Please leave a comment if you have.

Can any reader say whether the Aplikowski family has spent one single dime on mailings in support of the Aplikowski candidacy? If you have actual evidence, either way, please leave a comment.

[Update: ANSWER FOUND: It appears a mailing was prepared by "Andy for Minnesota," per a flickr image Aplikowski has posted online. That appears to be funded by the Aplikowski campaign, not directly by Freedom Club.]

Such questions are a prelude to noting the household received a second - that's right a SECOND - mailing from the out-of-district money manger, Freedom Club.

This one offends less because it does not try to trash or tarnish Jim Abeler.

A different propagandist hand at play, perhaps. Perhaps not. At any rate it never mentions Abeler, this time.

Instead it shows on the back side what I guess is a picture of Aplikowski as a baby, as chubby faced as ever, with a caption saying, "Vote For the candidate that represents your values."


It nowhere gets to my values, especially to the question of finally and fairly taxing the rich, and yet those west metro Interlachan Country Club Freedom Clubster elitists, they should know about and like how now the wealthy, perhaps themselves, are unfairly taxed so very little and allowed to seize way too big a share of the pie.

So, in fact, not near to my values at all. Despite the caption. Moreover, in terms of political values:

I value independent politicians not bought, not beholden to anybody. Especially not beholden to the rich 1%, and I expect most in the district, including Crabgrass' Republican friends in district, are set apart from, and not set up so well as to pop five grand, ever, to rub elbows with that noteworthy doyenne of the common folk, (believe it she says so), The Sarah Palin; but outside of the district, another story of Freedom Club at its grandest spendingest:

box highlighting added
click to enlarge and read, click here for Strib's story
from that earlier election cycle

If I had five grand of discretionary money, there is always Alexandra House, or other deserving stuff outside of buying political clout. Planned Parenthood for example, advancing womens health issues despite the prejudices being ginned up against its valiant effort. But Palin? Freedom Club interventionism? No way. I am not that dumb; nor dumb enough to let Freedom Club buy or influence my vote. Others march to their own drummers, but really ---

Can you envision a post-GOP-primary where two educated gentlemen of quality, differing in viewpoints, go to an election where one or the other, independent of outside influence, will go on to the legislature to represent us with no ties to any moneyed powers outside of the district? Isn't that a refreshing idea?

A hypothetical - do you suppose that the man taking out the wallet and buying a Cadillac would expect the luxury of driving it? I would guess that to be the case. How do you answer that hypothetical? [UPDATE: Aplikowski is on record saying he has not received money from Freedom Club. It is believed true. To the extent it is directly true the analogy fails; but the fundamental question is whether there has been ANY improper communication/coordination between Freedom Club and the Aplikowski campaign. Give the benefit of doubt and presume none. Aplikowski raised campaign money via a fundraiser at Harry and Jen Niska's home where Downey, Dave Thompson and Michelle Benson attended and encouraged pledges and or checks tendered at the time, all of which is legit fundraising. (At one time Jen Niska worked on Emmer campaigning and Harry worked on Mike Jungbauer campaigning. They are CD6 GOP regulars.)]

_____________Jan 3, 2016 UPDATE______________
Yesterday, a THIRD Freedom Club mailing into the district. They do have money.

Honesty? A sticker put onto a corner of the latest Freedom Club mailing, upper right corner: "Liberal Jim Abeler IS ENDORSED BY BIG UNIONS"

Can they name one?

And "Liberal?"

Jim Abeler?

The Freedom Clubsters really can get caught up in their own Bullshit.

Abeler, Emmer, Aplikowski, the three of them are little different in policy belief. Two differences, two of the three have hair and one, Abeler, is trusted across the aisle to not be a bomb throwing insurrectionist while another is trusted in DC to be on the House Financial Services Committee to "govern" Wall Street. Appointed by entrenced DC GOP leadership for that assignment.  Presumably with trust he will govern Wall Street as Wall Street wants to be governed; no Glass-Steagall rebirth on the Emmer watch. (Any such rebirth would be aborted by the House majority, as it now stands. It's a key GOP pro-abortion position you don't hear enough about, abort any rebirth of Glass-Steagall, but it surely is real.)

Jim Abeler is not an opportunist. Were he to have the opportunity of having Freedom Club send out mailings backing him in the manner they back Aplikowski, would he condone it? I doubt it, but ask him, not me. The evidence we have is Freedom Club money and Aplikowski are close, even with Freedom Club's main locus on the other side of town notwithstanding a Champlin P.O. Box mailing address being used; and in terms of a tail wagging the dog, who's tail, who's dog?

Aside from that, if you are dumb enough to be told to believe Jim Abeler is a "Liberal" and then to believe it, you are not reading Crabgrass. Few Republicans likely are, aside from an opposition research person or two.

Freedom Club repeats the Big Lie, and the hope has to be that said often enough it will be believed.

The simple truth is, like it that way or not, Jim Abeler is not a liberal and he has over a decade in elected office proving he is not a liberal and proving that Freedom Club is lying to the district, from outside the district, in saying he is a liberal.

Troubling to me - Alikowski is not on record saying boo about that lying going on in support of his candidacy qualities.

Who designed that logo?

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
The City of Ramsey website, elections page, has been updated to note the special election and the primary ballot.

Noteworthy, the primary ballot I voted conforms to the description there: You can either vote GOP or DFL, one or the other, whichever you choose. However, candidate Zach Phelps' name is not on the primary ballot. Nor is his mj legalization party named on the ballot.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
ABC Newspapers has published its Jan. 1, 2016 final pre-primary edition having primary-related Letters to the Editor online, here.

Some people comment about a distaste for outside agitators. Have a look, and in fairness, please read each letter. Someone in the community has taken time to author and submit an item, in each instance, and we owe them courtesy for that.

It has been ABC Newspapers policy to have an LTE "cooling off" period before an actual election day, to avoid bombardment probably, and this Jan. 1 series will be their last LTE segment open to letter commentary about the upcoming special primary election.

If any letter angers you enough to want to write a stern rebuttal or encourages you toward submitting a me-too salute in the next edition - on the eve of the election to most influence voters - that train's left the station. If you hold that aim, go buy a mailing, like Freedom Club likely will do. A FOURTH mailing. They sure care about us in SD35, don't they?

What has been lacking thus far in our community newspaper's publications to date, ABC Newspapers' editors publishing of an endorsement editorial, (unless I missed one). Reader help is requested; if they endorse please submit a heads-up comment so that Crabgrass can publish a link.

____________FUTHER UPDATE____________
He wrote what, when?

Posted on

excerped 8:56 AM Tuesday, January 05, 2016 -- original (but not the contiguous block excerpting choice), by Andy:

[...] Some come around only when a seat comes open or it suits their needs, not ours. Some are saying one thing today despite in contradicting their previous views and votes. Some are clearly politicians who will work for the highest bidder.

Some in this race don’t respect you and I who attend Caucus and volunteer for BPOUs and MNGOP call centers do and care about or what makes us do all this – seriously. They think their high paid strategists and glitzy insider and 5 figure only donor tactics is all we need to do to win or care about. Like we should just surrender our Constitutional Government because a few rich guys from Minnetonka are tired of social issues or that the Vikings are threatening to leave, or if we don’t move that highway for Best Buy, their gone….. etc.

They think the problem with this party, and why we have been losing these last few years is people like you and I and what we believe in. That somehow people who stand for the convictions and principles that this country was founded on is what’s wrong with this party. Not for me.

There is a movement to kill not just our endorsement but also the grassroots. Lobbyists, high level strategists who get 5 figure a month salaries, and career politicians who care more about winning than our principles are working against us all.

Would those complained-of dastardly interfering "Minnetonka" moneyed outside agitators include Mr. Cummins, Mr. Cooper, and those meeting annually to hob nob in genteel grace at the Interlachen County Club?

YouTube Video:
"Why the Freedom Club?"
Published on May 29, 2013
Every year the Freedom Club holds a Spring Dinner at Interlachen Country Club. In 2013 the special guest with Mr. Steve Forbes. Learn more about the Freedom Club at

Watch and learn, from informative online video. Or not, your choice.

____________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Well before Freedom Club's FOUR mailings into the SD35 by west metro's Freedom Club imagined elite, it was written on the web:

Its easy to send out a cookie cutter post card or champion some obscure rule change, its another to make a living putting your livelihood on the line being an unapologetic conservative no matter the consequences.

Yes, "a cookie cutter post card;" bad enough; but four? That's FOUR (4) each cut cookie having same taste, different cookie outline. Who was the bold opponent of such stuff, favoring instead core principles? Can a reader find that online statement and submit a comment with the link?

__________FURTHER UPDATE_________
YouTube here. A frame cut at about 1:33 min into the item,
shifting to a talking head segment getting to the heart of the Gestalt.

A hint - watch both videos to taste the full Gestalt of identified Club movers and shakers, explaining their collective gravitas and kindred spirit. Then translate that into their aims in planning to influence SD35 outcomes.

The one talking head, "... not because they have a nickle in the game like the unions, ..."

Surely not. Not low stakes players ... like that ...

Michael Moore might have done up that crowd Gestalt a bit better, but they did a fine job all by themselves telling us who to believe and follow, in our best interests.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Right-to-work [for less] Union Enemy No. 1 and former talk radio voice Dave Thompson to move on. If Drazkowski would only follow. And Aplikowski (and questionable polls he and like-minded extremists would like us to believe in) be ignored and kept out.

If those further outcomes happen the sun will shine brighter and birds will sing more happily.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Reader help needed. Why did Freedom Club's fellow traveler "Liberty Minnesota PAC" give Kurt Daudt an "F"? (see sidebar - Brodkorb item) Daudt! Come on. Who are these people and should we fear their agenda when they give Daudt an "F"? Also, does any reader know what grade these "thought leaders" gave Dave Thompson?

And where do they get to calling themselves "Liberty" as if they support freedom of choice in individual and family decision making? Do they? Have I missed something? Don't think so, but readers, comments are open if you've something worthwhile to say, and moderated because too many submitted comments did not.

ANSWER FOUND ONLINE: Per that operation's "scorecard" Thompson rang up a 79% while they rated John Marty at 30%. They're idiots.

They gave Tom Bakk a 19% rating. That means they are not total idiots. But I bet Bakk got that high a score for all the wrong reasons.

FURTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION: When it comes to Freedom Club's putsch beyond their west metro homebase clubiness, the Aplikowski thing is not their first excursion into north metro politics, e.g., Emmer. And lo, he got to DC and went for the House Financial Services Committee.

Wall Street. Not Main Street. Do you catch a drift?

Of course he had Freedom to choose, right? And he chose Wall Street.

Lesson learned?

Further, that Emmer site, if you like dots to connect to suggest influence as a goal, after doing your FREEDOM CLUB word search of the site, search HAYDEN. Why that? See this. Let the circle be unbroken. Genteel, and unbroken; since that's what "thought leaders" do, isn't it? Be they ex-talk show mouths, such as THOMPSON and EMMER, or a landlord like Aplikowski.

Again, who are these people and what is their real agenda? Is it freedom for laborers? Or something else? I admit to some confusion as to what that bunch is about; but then they've never invited me to any of their Interlachen County Club grand events, so how could I know the inner workings, how all the gears mesh, when only seeing the face of the watch?

If all this suggests Daudt perhaps marches to a different drummer, good for him.

Further, what do you make of that earlier cited/excerpted "Posted on " Residual Forces link about Minnetonka decision makers vs Dave Thompson, in light of this?

What? We can see a forest while Andy sees trees? We feel the rain ...

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Or does Andy see the forest and trees, cynically? In any event images of "thought leaders" for readers - time to rhyme - with "thought leaders" Downey's term for them, not mine:

George Carlin, this link.

Big Club, Carlin says. Carlin does not call them "thought leaders."

Tea Partiers: The Big Club, you ain't in it so wake up, smarten up. If labor pushing to organize against incredible allied opposition is not your friend, you have none. Find your common ground.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Little surprise, yesterday, Jan 6, 2016, Strib endorsed Abeler for the SD35 Republican primary, this excerpt:

Aplikowski says that winning more funding for highway projects in his district would be his top priority as a state senator. But by signing a pledge not to increase gas taxes this year and a no-new-taxes pledge that he says would govern his entire legislative career, he has already limited the deal-making flexibility that he would need to secure that funding while DFLers control any part of state government.

By contrast, Abeler was one of six House Republicans in 2008 who voted to override a veto by his party’s governor to authorize a $600-million-per-year increase in transportation funding, financed in part with an 8.5-cents-per-gallon increase in the gas tax. That one vote is likely what has cost Abeler the blessing of his party.

As to other endorsements, ABC Newspapers is yet to move. Freedom Club in the past officially endorsed Emmer. Emmer in turn endorsed Aplikowski (per the above screen capture). If Aplikowski has been formally endorsed by Freedom Club such an endorsement blurb was not found on the Aplikowski campaign website. They mail, FOUR times into our district including a most distasteful mudslinging item, but have they taken a formal endorsement stand? If so, Aplikowski appears reluctant to make much of any such step. Aplikowski, apart from Freedom Club, has produced an 11 x 17 glossy mailer, "PREPARED AND PAID FOR BY ANDY FOR MINNESOTA." That would be an item prepared by his official campaign, not others outside of it. It is welcome to see the campaign preparing its own materials. Andy supported the still-born Thompson-Benson ticket for governor last cycle, and in turn the Aplikowski 11 x 17 glossy item features endorsement blurbs from Michelle Benson and Dave Thompson. (Compare, the second of the two above Aplikowski screen captures.)

Thompson is a dedicated enemy of union labor; e.g., in his very first term in the legislature he was CHIEF AUTHOR of (in numerical bill order) this, this, and this; i.e., an assault respectively against prevailing wage, public employee carryover contract orderliness, and a most offensive right-to-work [for less] direct frontal assault at the very foundation of union effectiveness. With Thompson as one of the fiercest enemies of organized labor, Aplikowski has vigorously supported Thompson and Thompson supports Aplikowski; so commonality of purpose appears evident. In short, a vote for Aplikowski would most likely stand as a vote against labor union aims and effectiveness. It is hard to believe otherwise. Supporting Thompson means support of the Thompson legislative agenda, which speaks clearly for itself via Thompson bill authorship.

While some might try debating the assertion, Roger Johnson has repeatedly emphasized that organized union effectiveness is largely why this nation has had a middle class and is key to keeping the middle class from slipping further while making the lot of all workers better - a fair wage for a week's work being a bedrock principle Roger espouses in seeking theSD35 seat. By that, Roger commits to bread and butter issues apart from marginal or divisive distractions. Roger is smart enough to be effective in the Senate, while reasonable enough to not needlessly make enemies (i.e., he runs with no dogmatic social issue baggage and does not represent any threatening of sportsmen or their gun rights).

LAST: Reader help via a comment one way or the other about whether there is a formal Freedom Club endorsement of Aplikowski, ideally with a link, would be appreciated.

___________FURTHER UPDATE_________
cyclops awakens,
here and here
[Update of an update: When this was posted the Reflections in Ramsey links were in "to-be-completed" form, and one of them deserves a partial agreement. The anonymous author posts a mailing received that is a classic bad negative ad about Andy Aplikowski. Saying "too extreme" about Aplikowski, without content to back it up. Crabgrass posting has been critical of Aplikowski's anti-union "right-to-work" inclinations, linking to his blog posting and Facebook posts concerning Dave Thompson, for example. At the LWV candidate forum he said he supports right-to-work, a position in line with his gloming onto the Dave Thompson agenda. Crabgrass criticism for anti-Abeler mud slinging was aimed at the source, Freedom Club, with Aplikowski saying at the forum that he'd received no money from them and "tried to run a positive campaign." Presuming no improper coordination between Aplikowski, his campaign, and Freedom Club, he is not responsible for Freedom Club conduct. If any reader took away that impression, it was unintended and wrong, with Aplikowski direct ties, if any, to Freedom Club being an unknown. Aplikowski is extreme, his right-to-work anti-union position being an example, but that is an opinion, based on cited facts. Different from the offensive mailing.]

[original posting]
Well, don't hyperventilate, over the sort-of awakening, but expect the PAC critic to rail over Freedom Club State PAC; since with only that one myopic eye, all PACs must be evil. Right?

[Gee. Wrong! Freedom Club goes unreflected. Well . . . there is a saying about leopards and spots. Below is the image Ramsey's reflector posted, exactly as posted there, the objection being it implies Aplikowski is responsible for what Freedom Club mailed. Apparently, not so. Apparently, Abeler and Aplikowski sorted things out between themselves, to their mutual satisfaction about non-responsibility of each to the other. (click the thumbnail image to enlarge and read - left side redaction by the Reflector)]

[remainder as originally posted]
Probably got awakened from his northern lights torpor by getting a Durenburger phone call in support of Abeler.

Or just happenstance.

Or - no, perhaps a stalking horse for Freedom Club. We wait. We see. Or - we ignore and move on to relevant things.

Zach Phelps was an interesting presence at the LWV candidate forum. Presuming Zach as well as everyone else believes he will not gain a substantial vote mid-February, Zach should really consider a County Board District 1 candidacy. The seat is in need of an upgrade, getting young politically motivated people into office rather than pouring discouragement on them is good, and the County Board controls the budget of the County Sheriff and the County Attorney, so that from the Board, in the process working as it might, something like Domestic Violence, a real problem, could be prioritized instead of potheads, which Zach would prefer. Being on that particular County Board would experience Zach, if he's ever been experienced as to ways and means of politics and pushing a big rock up a seemingly endless hill.

Aside from that, another bright light around north metro burbs would be if the woof dog and his counterproductive pledge mania were to be like an old soldier, not anyone wishing death, but woofer, please "just fade away." And take your apple with you, pledge and all. Also, good morning readers, wake up and smell the coffee.

(FURTHER: For younger readers unfamiliar with the "old soldiers" speech, it was deployed by a pompous but arguably far-sighted general sacked by Harry Truman for insubordination, one also remembered for his leadership in routing the Bonus Army. That general was treasured by some Republicans, having given a convention keynote address, but a different general subsequently won a presidential election.

That same general should be remembered as having advised early-on against the Vietnam quagmire, indicating a later life perspective that proved prescient.)

FURTHER: An Aplikowski financial report filing showing over five thousand dollars in contributions by late September, meager expenditures at that point; online here. It is good to see attention paid to that end of things.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
It is unclear how relevant this is. A firm, "Gilliard, Blanning & Associates (GBA). A leader in their industry, GBA Inc. serves clients across the nation from their offices in Sacramento, CA and Minneapolis, MN." website:

lists with pride a clientele including:

Businesses and Associations
Freedom Club State PAC — Minnesota

and here is a sampling of their fare:

You can go to their direct-mail portfolio with pride page, and see such subtitles of gentle persuasion as here, here, here, here, and they do product in Minnesota, e.g., here and here.

While not a forensic illustration expert, there seems a commonality of product virtue with the Abeler hundred-dollar-bill abomination we in SD35 have suffered finding in our mail boxes; the sole hope being Freedom Club uses them but has the grace to not invite them to the Interlachen Country Club annual events, as that might be a style misfit among the genteel "thought leaders" of Freedom Club. (The cyclops might admire their style.)

This one looks to be a fold-'em special, probably costing more to print. A spectrum of services, for the money.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Aplikowski -- Role model?

Here and here, in the background left,
a printer, a useful tool.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
And the truth shall set you free?

John Hinderaker is a Freedom Clubster, a keen exemplar of the breed, being the smug sch person early on in one of the Freedom Club's self congratulatory "Gee it's great to be an elitist" videos; this one, with the following screen cut image from 21 sec into the arguably very illuminating thing:

Beyond smugly patting himself and cohorts on the back for being such jolly good fellows, the man has written - really, here is the link trashing renewable energy because of love or money ties to fossil fuel interests, he's not clarified that entirely while serving as the fossil fuel barons' propagandist:

Posted on August 26, 2015 by John Hinderaker in Barack Obama, Energy Policy, The War on the Koch Brothers

President Obama Is Rebuked By a Better Man

The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama is a nice guy but an incompetent president. I think this gives him too much credit. [...]

[... ending paragraph] Charles Koch is far smarter than Barack Obama, and much more successful. More important, he is an infinitely better man. Obama should be ashamed of himself, but on that score he is downright Clintonian: shame, implying a conscience, is an emotion to which he is not subject.

Well. At least he kept race out of his conjecture. John Hinderaker should know how great each of the Koch brothers is, being as how he is their propogandist, while also (per the video) associated with the hate campaign against unions traceable back to Bob Cummins [If any reader can link to an image of Cummins online that would be the gold standard. The puppeteer only shows the puppets and discerning eyes can see the strings, but ...].

And Cummins - anti-union? You decide, per links here, here, here, here, here, and more telling still, here, here and here. If you have any trouble whatsoever with that question try, Is the Pope Catholic?

It puzzles me greatly, if Cummins and his confederates are intent on their foray into instigation of class warfare, why have our good Minnesota union friends only defended and not reciprocated in kind and sought to unionize Primera Technology, Inc., or to suggest a political boycott of their product. Leadership asleep at the switch?

Class warfare, started by whoever, is, after all, class warfare, so why show grace to Primera or for that matter, to Micro Control? That last link from over a decade ago stating:

Posted on June 20, 2003 by Scott Johnson
Meet Harold Hamilton

When President Bush visited Minnesota yesterday, as Rocket Man [Hinderaker] noted, he chose to make his appearance at Micro Control in suburban Minneapolis. Micro is a company owned and operated by Harold Hamilton, a 73-year-old entrepreneur whom Rocket Man [Hinderaker] and I have gotten to know as fellow board members of the Center of the American Experiment, of which Rocket Man [Hinderaker] is the immediate past chairman. Harold is a genuinely admirable man.

Center of the American Experiment? This very current link, Annette Meeks being the author. Oh, look who else shows up, American experimenting his little heart away.

Philosophically incestuous these union haters and their monied influence seeking PACs and propaganda front operations.

And so, again, a thought for our Minnesota union friends, they need to expand the size of the unionized base in the nation and accordingly should be in no uncertain terms vociferiously in favor of a livable minimum wage and against those who'd have the least fortunate workers in the state working for - insert the name of Harold Hamilton's childhood pony.

Also, in terms of goals, secondary boycotts were useful in the past and should be made fully legal again as a tool to fight oppression. Last, if you are in a union, look for that "union printed bug" somewhere on any political mailings coming into the household. It shows commitment in every pro-worker dimension, large or small. It is a talisman of good faith.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Hinderaker. Mentioned back in 2008, here - wearing his Freedom Club hat, where the writer confuses a P.O. Box with the true west metro locus of the heart of darkness but otherwise rings a familiar bell. I did say, "Philosophically incestuous these union haters and their monied influence seeking PACs and propaganda front operations." Yeah. So say it again!

LAST UPDATE PARTING THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Of the three Freedom Club YouTube videos, two spiel over their special degree of self greatness, one does actual union bashing, but you can sense where hearts are, throughout.

Have a nice week.

_____FINAL UPDATE_____
As noted in the newest top sidebar item, the LTV forum is online at YouTube courtesy of QCTV.

This link. If you do not watch the entire thing, start at 48.0 min, or so, the questions from the audience, first on PAC influence and disclosure; and then on right-to-work where only Roger Johnson gives a cogent non-dissembling understanding of the issue. Aplikowski says he's for it, Phelps seems to misunderstand the issue but says he's pro-union, and for Abeler, I defy anyone to discern from his minute of speaking whether he's for or against right-to-work. Johnson nails both questions; tight as a drum. Then Polymet as an issue, Johnson and Aplikowski disagree, based on what's presently known.

No comments: