How Can You Tell “Moms Want Action” Is Lying?

Oh, please.  Like I even need to finish the punch line.

But some of you have been under rocks for a while (vide Governor Messinger’s Flint Smith’s Dayton’s re-election).  So for your benefit:

“Their lips are moving, and/or their fingers are typing something”. 

To wit:  Moms Want Action sent out a post-election thank-you to their supporters (and quite a few Real Americans who get their updates as well):

Many thanks to those of you who made hundreds of phone calls in support of Sen Al Franken. His re-election means that both of our US senators are lawmakers who support gun-sense legislation. Gun violence prevention was not a major campaign theme for any federal candidate, [And why do you suppose that is? - Ed.] although a few did mention it. Notably, US. Rep. Betty McCollum’s campaign materials called it out, and state attorney general candidate Andy Dawkins of the Green Party did, too (McCollum won re-election; Dawkins failed to unseat Lori Swanson)

Side note:  Betty McCollum runs in a district that would elect a wheelbarrow full of manure to Congress, if the DFL endorsed it. 

And what Moms Want Action failed to tell you is that while Lori Swanson may be an interventionist, activist who’s continued her predecessor and mentor Mike Hatch’s policies on nattering away at private business, she is one of the better state AGs in the country on gun rights.  So the Moms would be more honest to say that the pro-gun candidate utterly destroyed the only AG candidate who explicitly mentioned support for gun control and the Bloomberg Oompa-Loompas. 

But here’s the big one.  I’m bolding it for emphasis:

All of Everytown’s endorsed candidates in Minnesota won re-election. Yay!

Oh, did they? 

Follow the link to Everytown’s extraordinarily badly-designed site.  Look for “Filter by State”, and select “Minnesota”. 

Scroll down. 

Do you see Will Morgan?   “Moms Want Action”/”Everytown” offered him endorsement; the then-incumbent was arrogant enough to figure he didn’t need the votes of pro-2nd-Amendment Real Americans to win in District 56B. 

And Roz Peterson absolutely brutalized him with an eight point upset win.

So what is it we say, again?

“If a gun-grabber group says it, it’s probably a lie”. 

Pass the word.

Open Letter To The MNGOP Judicial Elections Committee

To:  The MNGOP Judicial Elections Committee
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant Who Resents The Time He’s Wasted Listening To You People Over The Years
Re:  Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Dear JEC,

Quick – without looking at a ballot, tell us – who was running for the other Supreme Court  of Minnesota (SCOM) seat on Tuesday?

We’ll come back to that. 

Some of you are giggling like schoolgirls that Michelle MacDonald, after all of the back-and-forth over her endorsement and legal issues, got 46% of the vote for Supreme Court against Darth Lillehaug (who came in at 53%). . 

Hold the giggling.  Did you remember who was running for the other SCOM seat that was up for grabs?

It was Mimi Wright against John Hancock; Wright won 56/42.  And Hancock didn’t have the benefit of five months of media attention to his (non-existent) endorsement fiasco, party wrangling and legal travails. 

And perhaps more importantly, he wasn’t running against Darth Lillehaug

Look at every other judicial race in the state.  The challengers in the (very few) races that weren’t opposed generally netted 35-40% of the vote.  And why?  Because they weren’t incumbents. Random noise. 

So 35-40% of Michelle McDonald’s 46% were votes the GOP could have gotten by nominating Sharon Anderson or Leslie Davis or Clu Berg, my golden retriever. 

So don’t go claiming any credit for outperforming the GOP as a whole.

Now, this blog has already spent plenty of time castigating the JEC for the sleazy way you got McDonald endorsed – trotting her across the stage as a convention hall full of delegates with numb asses from 20 hours of wrangling over the Senate endorsement were getting ready for another half day of untangling a 5-way Governor race, and – unforgiveably – voting to not disclose to the delegates that Ms. McDonald had a pending court case for driving while intoxicated, rushing her through an acclamation endorsement without bothering to mention that the woman had “Media Poo-Storm” written all over her. 

We apparently didn’t need to know that. 

She spent the next five months, camera diliigently thrust in front of her, roaming the state, trashing the GOP, getting headlines from a media whose mission is also trashing the GOP, mostly winning her legal case…

A camera. Michelle MacDonald is standing behind it.

…and making people who follow these sorts of things wonder what was going on in there?

So let’s recap:

  • The JEC performs a dishonest sleight of hand, and gets Michelle MacDonald endorsed.
  • MacDonald spends months getting the kind of media attention no SCOM candidate ever, ever gets.
  • She runs against David Lillehaug – one of the few other SCOM candidates this side of Alan Page with a media profile.
  • She gets 4% better than a complete unknown running in an unknown race against an unknown opponent. 

This tells us a couple of things:

  • A good 30-40% of the vote in any contested judge race will be anti-incumbent, no matter who it is. 
  • Apparently that 30-40% doesn’t care if someone was charged with DUI, or wouldn’t know if they did. 
  • Either people liked Michelle McDonald, or they hated David Lillehaug. 

So – how could things have gone differently? 

What if you, the JEC, had tried just a skosh of honesty?  What would have happened?

Maybe you’d have lost the nomination.  And then again, maybe a straightforward minority report, coupled with an honest explanation of the exigencies from Ms. McDonald, would have won the delegates over.

Of course, the media would have have bellowed “GOP ENDORSES ACCUSED DRUNK DRIVER”. 

Which they did anyway! Only this time the GOP would have been at her back (although that would have taken some cojones).  And then it would have been off to the general election, Where 30-40% would have voted for her or Sharon Anderson or Paula Overby or Clu Berg. 

And 4-6% would have voted for her because they’d heard of her. 

And then Minnesota’s Second Amendment lobby, convinced they were backing a viable candidate instead of a skittery liabililty, could have called in the tribes and fired off some of their carefully-hoarded political capital against David Lillehaug, their sworn enemy.  If there’s anyone who wants Lillehaug to go into retirement, it’s Minnesota’s shooters.  Most of their races won; their support turned out the tribes in support of not just a few longshots.  To take down Darth Lillehaug? 

It could have been a match made in heaven.

Instead, you – the JEC – tried to manipulate the convention, and did it very badly. 

And I haven’t the words to express my contempt for what you all did.

That is all.

Democracia Ahora!

¡Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When I went outside this morning to put up my American flag, a pickup full of illegal immigrants stopped to ask if this is where they vote Democrat For Immigration Amnesty. No dude, that’s the Rec Center down the street. And they don’t open til 8. Yes, ocho. Yeah you have a good day, too.

In Saint Paul, the line between satire and truth is so gray and blurry, it hardly exists.

100 Reasons I’m Voting Almost Straight-Ticket GOP

I do this every election.  I’ve got 100 reasons I’m voting a straight Republican ticket.

And Mitch ain’t one.

  1. Minnesota House District 65A:  I’m voting Anthony Meschke for US House because he’s the most aggressively pro-liberty candidate I’ve met in recent years.
  2. And yet he didn’t take the intellectually-onanistic path of joining the Libertarian Party.  More on them below.
  3. He’s got a lot of great ideas on how to scale back government’s dominance over your life.
  4. Because while I’d never smoke pot (I’m not a mellow, laid-back, hallucinogenic person; I’d be more a cocaine kinda guy, if it didn’t destroy your health and your finances), Anthony will push to legalize it – which is not the panacæa some of the more obnoxious pot activists say it’ll be, but it’ll certainly end a lot of inner-city crime.
  5. And even though I don’t smoke cigarettes, Anthony’s platform also advocates eliminating the state’s latest round of cigarette taxes.
  6. And Rena Moran is a reliable rubber-stamp for whatever the Metrocrat DFL wants.  That, indeed, is why she’s in office.  She was recruited and installed entirely to be a passive “yea” vote for all of the DFL’s dumbest ideas.
  7. And any vote against Rena Moran is a vote against the entire Saint Paul DFL machine – and as such, a little spark of hope.
  8. Because that DFL machine is in the process of turning Saint Paul into a cold Flint.
  9. And if I didn’t live in 65A, I’d be out there voting for any of the other excellent GOP candidates in the 4th CD - especially Stacey Stout, Heidi Gunderson, Randy Jessup, John Heyer, John Quinn, and Lukas Czech.
  10. And if I lived across the river in the 2nd CD, I’d vote for Andrea Todd-Harlin and Jen Wilson in Eagan, and Roz Peterson in Burnsville, as many times as the law would permit.
  11. Oh, hell – statewide.  Vote GOP for House. All of them.
  12. In the 4th Congressional District, I’m voting for Sharna Walgren because Betty McCollum is and remains a reliable rubber stamp for Barack Obama.  Or Nancy Pelosi.  Or a stuffed bear, if someone tells her it’s her boss.
  13. And because while Betty McCollum is mainly focused on pleasing her masters at a national level, Sharna will actually represent the district. 
  14. Because after six decades in office, the biggest thing Betty McCollum can point to as an “accomplishment” is nattering about the National Guard advertising at NASCAR races.
  15. And because Sharna has actually accomplished things in the private sector.
  16. And Betty hasn’t been in the private sector since before she started at Saint Kate’s.
  17. And because the Independence Party candidate’s campaign seemed to be entirely based on unicorn dust.
  18. No, seriously – in a world where ISIS is slaughtering people, the economy is in the toilet, our debt is booming, our entitlement bubble is about to explode, and our healthcare system is a self-inflicted shambles, one of the IP candidate’s top priorities is…legalizing marijuana.  While i’m fine voting for un-serious candidates, too much is too much.
  19. Because Betty McCollum is the very definition of “Washington Status Quo”…
  20. …and I think Sharna can help change that.
  21. And needless to say, if you’re a Republican living outside the Fourth – well, lucky you.  Please vote early and often for Doug Dagget if you live in CD5.  He’s worked 10 times harder than Keith Ellison in this race; in a just world, he’s have the same vote margin.
  22. …or Torrey Westrom if you’re up in the 7th CD; Torrey could score one of the great upsets ever tomorrow, with a little luck and a tailwind.
  23. …or  Stewart Millsif you live in CD8; officially putting “The Range Is Blue” to bed forever would be sweet.
  24. I have little doubt that John Kline, Erik Paulsen and Tom Emmer will win; Emmer, perhaps, by three digits.
  25. Or Jim Hagedorn if you’re in CD1
  26. Because if Mills, Westrom and Emmer win – all of them eminently possibly – Minnesota’s congressional delegation will be 5-5, as it should be.  For now.
  27. For Supreme Court of Minnesota, I’m going to vote for Denny Crane.
  28. That’s right.  William Shatner’s character from Boston Legal.
  29. Darth Lillehaug is one of the most wretchedly biased liberal lawyers you can imagine.  He was a terrible US attorney, he’s been a relentless DFL upsucker.
  30. Oh, yeah – and he put the “own” in “crony“.
  31. And if they ever hold Nuremberg tribunals for enemies of the Second Amendment (and I do not advocate any such thing!), Lillehaug’ll be sitting in the Von Ribbentrop seat.  Nobody who values the Second Amendment should vote for Darth Lillehaug.
  32. But wait!  There’s a GOP candidate!  Why aren’t I voting for Michelle MacDonald?  It’s not so much that I have anything against Michelle McDonald as a lawyer – although her attempt to sue the Minnesota GOP was summarily dismissed because no matters of law were actually found in the petition, which isn’t necessarily the mark of a crackerjack lawyer, or so I’m told.  I’m no lawyer.  What do I know?
  33. I do have my concerns, I should say just between the two of us, about someone who walks around holding a video camera in front of her everywhere she goes.  That’s a personal thing, but I’d be lying if I say it didn’t effect my impression of the woman.
  34. My biggest problem, however, is with how she was nominated to run.  The GOP Judicial Elections Committee (JEC) – a group of people who were elected by I have no idea who, and who met I have no idea where – endorsed her, knowing that she had an upcoming DUI trial.  They opted not to inform the delegates at the convention that this was the case.  They just marched her onstage, demanded an acclamation vote from a crowd of delegates many of whom (like me) really resent the hours of our lives we’ve spent listening to the ineffectual, cronyistic Judicial Elections Committee babbling on and on and on and on, , and that had just spent a day and a half resolving an intensely fractious Senate endorsement, and was looking ahead to sorting out a five-way donnybrook for Governor.  So about 3/4 of the delegates cheered on cue, and about 1/4 abstained, and there we were!
  35. And in the days after the news came out about MacDonald’s upcoming case spilled in – inevitably – the media, the behavior of the JEC’s members filled me with contempt.
  36. Which only got worse come State Fair time.  When Michelle MacDonald tried to bum-rush the booth at the state fair, surrounded by a phalanx of codgers from the JEC who stonewalled requests for basic information from fellow Republicans. 
  37. I’ll sum it up; the JEC people that slipped MacDonald’s nomination past a group of ass-numbed delegates are worthy only of contempt – and the GOP should do its best to eliminate the JEC and handle all nominations through the Nominations Committee.
  38. And so rather than vote for the loathsome Lillehaug or the skittery MacDonald (and thus rewarding the duplicitous committee that rammed her past the convention), I’m going to vote for a fictional lawyer.  And I hope everyone in Minnesota does too.
  39. For Secretary of State, I’m voting for Dan Severson.
  40. In fact, I’m going to do so, ironically, as many times as Mark Ritchie will let me get away with it.
  41. Severson is a sharp guy with much better ideas for the office than his opponent.
  42. Because Minnesota is rife with voter fraud, and Severson is the guy to fix it.
  43. Because elections are only half the job.  Minnesota’s Secretary of State’s office also handles business incorporations.
  44. And under DFL control, that’s turned into a Romanian Cluster-Cuddle.
  45. In short, someone is going to need to put on a hazmat suit when they go into that office.  Dan is the guy to fix things.
  46. I’m voting Scott Newman for Attorney General, because the AGO should not be a vehicle for cheap political points.
  47. And that’s exactly how Lori Swanson, and her mentor Mike Hatch, have treated that office for almost a generation now.
  48. And there are actual jobs that need to be done out there.
  49. For State Auditor, I’m voting for Randy Gilbert.  He’s an actual accountant…
  50. …and not a political hack like Rebecca Otto.
  51. Minnesota needs a watchdog for its state government.  Rebecca Otto is the DFL’s partisan lapdog.
  52. Why Not Third Parties?:  I’ve had people throw this out there.  Why won’t I vote for a third party?    Partly because I believe it’s a waste of my vote.
  53. “But a vote for the major parties is also a waste!”.  Well, I disagree, but even if it’s true, I’m no worse off than you are, am I?
  54. Fact is, I did the third-party thing, from 1994-1998.  It made me feel good, compromising none of my principles in my political life.  Then I realized – sitting resplendently above it all not only affected no policy whatsoever (no Libertarian is ever going to  hold any significant public office).  I realized that the path to make the GOP jibe with my principles and thence go forward to make people free (or more free) would be easier than the one to get the Libertarian Party into a position to affect actual policy – to make people more free.
  55. “But what about Jesse Ventura!”  Proves my point.  He was elected in Minnesota’s great prank on itself – and then had to run to Roger Moe and the DFL majorityi in the Senate to get anything done.  The “Independence Party” because “DFL Lite”.
  56. Don’t get me wrong – in a perfect world, I could see voting for Hannah Nicollet, the IP’s candidate.  I probably agree with her on 80% of issues, and probably 100% of issues that matter to me (shaddap about marijuana).
  57. But the world’s not perfect, and my vote for Hannah Nicollet would be one less vote that Jeff Johnson – with whom I also agree well in excess of 80% of the time – is going to need to shock the world tomorrow.
  58. Oh, yeah – Nicollet seems pretty sharp.  But I’ve been distinctly unimpressed by the rest of the IP slate when I’ve heard them.
  59. And don’t get me started on the Libertarians.  They’ve added a veneer of annoying slickness that the LPM never had when I was in the party – but they’re still preaching pure principle, which is another way of saying “simple answers to complex questions that will never ever be tested in real life”.  And I say that as a sympathizer and former party member and candidate!
  60. For US Senate, then, I’m voting for Mike McFadden.
  61. Al Franken has been a reliable hyperpartisan.
  62. While I was an Ortman supporter until the convention (quietly so, as it is prudent for me to be), that was no swipe at Mike.  He’s clearly an accomplished guy.
  63. And the Democrats’ swipes at McFadden have been as groaningly disingenuous as ever; they’ve tried to paint him as a Wall Street bankster, while trying to ignore the Franken Family’s ties to Lazard.
  64. McFadden’s a businessman.  Franken is an entertainer – or was, I guess.  Who belongs more in Washington?
  65. Think of all the establishments that’ll wet themselves if Franken loses?
  66. The Twin Cities and Beltway DFL elites?
  67. Hollywood liberals?
  68. The coastal “intelligentsia?”
  69. The mainstream media?  They’ll all be completely outraged.  And that alone will be worth it.
  70. Because the only thing standing between us and “Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder”, or worse, is a Republican-controlled Senate.   Seriously – even Susan Collins is a useful firebreak against that madness.
  71. Indeed, harshing Obama’s mellow is an utterly justifiable end
  72. While McFadden flubbed on the “gun show loophole” issue early in the campaign – result, I’m sure, of K-Street focus group testing that showed suburban soccer moms were uneasy about “gun violence” – I think he’s made up for it.
  73. And even if he hasn’t completely?  An imperfect conservative is a more receptive audience, and a better prospect for conversion, than any Democrat.
  74. A conservative Senate is a good start toward saving this nation’s foreign policy.  Not as good as a conservative President…
  75. …but that’s what the next four years is for.
  76. And For Governor?:  There is no doubt I’ll be supporting Jeff Johnson. He is the best guy for the job.
  77. Indeed, he may be the best Gubernatorial candidate I’ve ever seen.  I was an Emmer fan – but Johnson is even better.
  78. For all of you sick of “compromising” – Johnson is not.  He’s as conservative a fiscal rep as you can find.
  79. How conservative?  He ran the “Hennepin County Taxpayer Watchdog” blog for years – and in it, he was exactly that; a ferocious watchdog for fiscal sanity.
  80. Seriously – if the Henco Commission had had more of him, the Twins might have paid for their own damn stadium.
  81. I think he’s done an excellent job of tying together the different strands of the GOP; liberty people, socialcons, business conservatives, all can get behind the guy.
  82. Because while Mark Dayton may be a decent human being, I do not believe he’s capable of governing.
  83. And I don’t think the DFL thinks so, either.  That’s why Tina “The Butcher” Flint Smith has replaced Yvonna whatsherface as Lieutenant Governor.  She’s going to be in place to take over.
  84. And let’s be honest; Dayton has never really been governor.  He is a talking sock puppet for the Alliance for a Better Minnesota and its main constituents; the government unions, the environmental lobby, and the teachers union.  He is a marionette, not a governor.  Replacing him with Tina Flint Smith would really only be a formality.
  85. Because the Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota deserves a sound electoral rebuke.
  86. As do some of the pundits that’ve been trying to drum up a pro-DFL, anti-GOP “bandwagon effect”.
  87. Indeed – “upsetting the narrative” alone is enough reason for me to vote for Johnson.
  88. Because Jeff Johnson gets economic growth.
  89. And to Mark Dayton, it’s just an academic concept.
  90. And Mark Dayton (and his supporters) think “economic growth” includes “government dependence”.
  91. Because Jeff Johnson crushed Dayton in every single debate without breaking a sweat.
  92. Because Mark Dayton went to Yale, but you’d never know it by his accomplishments.
  93. Because Jeff Johnson went to Georgetown, and his accomplishments show it, but you’d never know it by talking to him; he doesn’t jam it down your throat.
  94. Because Mark Dayton’s behavior could be called “passing the buck” if you’re feeling charitable, and “not knowing what he’s doing” if you’re not.
  95. And I don’t see Jeff Johnson ever trying to pull that.
  96. Because it’ll put the Strib Editorial Board and MPR’s management on suicide watch.
  97. Because Mark Dayton routinely evades all media access (scrutiny is obviously not in the cards)…
  98. …while Jeff Johnson has no reason to.
  99. And I’ve thought so for a long time. I remember interviewing him when he ran for Attorney General in 2006, and thinking “this guy could be governor”. I love being proven right.
  100. And Minnesota could use a break for some competent government, all up and down the line.

See you at the polls.

Open Letter To All Conservative Candidates

To:  Conservatives (usually Republicans) running for office
From:  Mitch Berg
Re:  Tomorrow

All,

A few words of dispassionate wisdom:

(With a hat tip to Swiftee)

This is also fitting:

And after this past two years, this seems appropriate:

And after 2005 nationwide, and 2011 in Minnesota, this seems even more appropriate:

But that starts tomorrow.  If you win.

Before that, of course, there’s a huge challenge tonight.

And what do they say about huge challenges?

Tomorrow, we’ll work on the whole “staying true to principle” thing. Tonight, we need to win.

News Flash! Women Aren’t Idiots!

The thing that always bothered me about the Democrat “War on Women” meme wasn’t so much that it was BS (there is no “rape culture”, women with the same credentials and experience are not paid less than men, there is no shortage of contraceptives and Republicans are actually the ones trying to get The Pill sold over the counter – a move Planned Parenthood opposes, since it’d cut into part of their, ahem, gravy train). 

No - it’s the fact that it assumes women are stupid.

The whole campaign springs from the same place as Thomas Franks’ idiotic “What’s The Matter With Kansas“, a book based around the ideal that people should vote for “their interests”, meaning “the party that gives you the most goodies”.  Which is, itself, a noxious but inevitable end-result of the fact that while conservatives see people as assets – individuals of boundless worth who via their existence are capable of creating things that are human, moral or financially good additions to our world and lives; liberals, on the other hand, see humans as liabilities.  And liabilities should seek to have their liability mitigated.   Kansans should vote for more subsidies.  Women should vote for someone who keeps spreading the salve on the sense of victimization they’re suppose to feel. 

It’s why the Obama Administration close to depict its prototype American woman in the form of “Julia“, the pathetic lifelong consumer, blowing hither and yon through her life from one government program to another:

To a liberal, people are liabilities.  Stupid incompetent liabilities whose existence without government is of no meaning.

Women, more so; to the left, women are liabilities those sole worth is measured in their “lady parts”. 

That’s why the news that women are turning on the Democrat Party’s  “poor victimized widdle wimmin” schtick is so un-farging-gardly sweet.

Of course, it’s pretty obvious when you compare the two sides’ women; prominent liberal women seem to have gotten to where they are as a result of their spouses (Hillary! Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Wendy Davis, John Kerry), or by pretending to be someone they’re not (Elizabeth Warren).   (The one exception I can think of is Jennifer Granholm – and she was a terrible governor, who left Rick Snyder a Bulgarian goat-rodeo to clean up). 

Conservative women?  I’m at a loss to think of a prominent conservative women who got to where they’re at for any reason other than being very smart, tough and capable (and moreso, having thicker skin than an M1 Abrams given the “conservative-shaming” that seems to so enthrall the American media; I’m at an even bigger loss to think of the name of the spouse of any prominent conservative woman, other than Todd Palin and Marcus Bachmann – and neither Sarah Palin nor Michele Bachmann depended on either of their spouses to get where they are today.  Nikki Haley?  Susanna Martinez?  Shall I keep going? 

As we slog through the final week of the campaign, the Obama Administration and Democrat candidates around the country are doubling and tripling down on the “war on women” meme.

And if the Democrats lose, and lose even bigger because the female vote deserted them (or should I say the unmarried female vote, since married women are more likely to vote Republican anyway), it’ll be a great sign for gender relations in this country…

…and a signal that only a gender-identity feminist, a U of M women’s studies major (but I repeat myself) or a Jezebel staff writer would be stupuid enough to miss.

So Let’s Say The GOP Wins Big On Tuesday

So what?

The driving conceit of most third party approaches is that there is no real difference between Republicans and Democrats.  And they have a point.

Half the point is “duh”, of course; politics, especially in legislatures, is all about reaching one degree or another of compromise with the other side.  The closer one’s legislature is divided, the more compromising is going to happen, provided anything happens at all.  If you mix a cup of orange juice and a cup of grape juice, there’s little way around the fact that you’re going to get orange-y grape juice, or grape-y orange juice. 

I get it.  Some compromise is inevitable.

But some of it has added insult to injury.  The GOP got a great start toward standing for conservative principle with the “Contract with America” – but by 2000 the party had largely gone beltway. 

Here in Minnesota?  The GOP legislative majority in 2011 opened weak and conciliatory on Governor Dayton’s budget hikes, and settled for “decreasing the increase”, seemingly almost without a fight.  And then they went on to collaborate with the DFL in capitulating to Helga Braid Nation, and giving Zygi Wilf hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to improve the Wilf investment portfolio. 

Pure principles do, inevitably, get sullied by contact with the opposition – at least if you want to effect policy; Ron Paul and Paul Wellstone both were sole principled dissenters on many fractious votes; neither ever really had much legislative effect on policy.

So negotiation – compromise – is an inevitable part of politcs

But at least make it a freaking fight. 

And I’ll be fair, here; the Tea Party class of 2010 has done a generally good job of making it an actual battle; they’re hobbled by the seniority system; most Tea Partiers don’t have much of it, and had less in 2011.  But they’ve largely stuck to doing what they were elected for.

And it has mattered.  Because who have the Democrats been running against this cycle?  How many GOP candidates has the Democrat noise machine labeled “Tea Party”?  Demonizing the Tea Party has been Democrat Job 1 since 2010.

And the Tea Party are effective conservatives because they know that the larger Tea Party movement is still out there, still motivated, still paying attention.

The entire GOP class that may be going to Washington and to Saint Paul needs to know this.

20141031-110156-39716777.jpg

Just saying – the real job, making sure a GOP majority actually acts like a conservative, limited-government, liberty-restoring majority –  will actually begin on November 5.

Illinois Democrats Enforce Fugitive Slave Act

Black Chicago preacher endorses the GOP candidate for governor of Illinois over the loathsome Pat Quinn…

…and gets robbed, along with death threats:

Corey Brooks, a South Side pastor featured in an ad endorsing Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, says he’s moved his family from his home while police investigate an overnight burglary of his church, as well as threatening derogatory phone calls he received which claim he’ll be beaten for being Rauner’s “puppet.”

On Saturday, Brooks rushed to the New Beginnings Church of Chicago after a maintenance employee found the church’s back doors shattered and an estimated $8,000 stolen from a glass charity box, meant to build a community center across from the church.

Democrat apologists will no doubt say that it was just typical street crime. 

How many common thug burglars operate from a political/racial agenda?   Emphasis added below:

“The death threats seem to be related to [GOP candidate] Bruce Rauner,” Brooks said at the church Saturday. “They say his name as well as mine and most of the references were in response to me in support of him. So it’s really derogatory, real racial, a lot of homophobic words. It’s real life threatening.”

Brooks said he received the five phone calls on Friday. He recorded one of them, and provided it to police. In that call, which was played for the Sun-Times, a man’s voice is disguised via a high-pitched filter. He is heard calling Brooks a “token n—–.”

How many common burglars in Chicago would you think even know the GOP endorsed a candidate, much less take the time to pitch-shift their voice on the phone?

Their message sounds a little like Minnesota Progressive Project reads:

“We on you boy, we on you. And you ain’t got nobody that can stop us, nobody. Who you go [to] the deacons? They can’t stop us. We going to beat your fat a– in front of your mama congregation Sunday. Yeah we going to steal the sheep of the hypocrite. You’s a hypocrite we going to beat your fat a– in front of your own congregation. Who you got that…f— we going to beat their a– too. They can’t protect you. You sell out you Uncle Tom a– n—–. You token. You a puppet for Bruce Rauner you puppet n—– a–. P—- a– n—–,” the voice says on the recording.

Read the whole, disgusting thing.

And imagine if it would be different here in Minnesota if a black pastor in North Minneapolis or Frogtown broke from the DFL. 

I’d bet $20 on “no”, but I’ll forgive you for not taking the bet.

Unicorns Vote 100% Third Party!

SCENE:   Mitch BERG is biking in the southwest suburbs.  He pulls over into a coffee shop.

As he sits down, he notices Stephanie Marie ANNAN, Community Organizer for the Minnesota 5th CD Libertarian party.   She is wearing capri pants and a t-shirt with “He Gave His Only Begotten Son”, and a picture of Ron Paul walking across the water toward the camera.

ANNAN:  Hey, Mitch.

BERG:  Hey, Stephanie Marie.  Ready for the election.

ANNAN:  Yep.  I’m voting Libertarian. 

BERG:  Kinda figured.  So – why? 

ANNAN:  Because big changes need to happen.

BERG:  Yeah, that’s true.  That’s why I’m voting for Jeff Johnson as many times as Mark Richie will let me get away with it. 

ANNAN:  He won’t bring any changes.  The GOP is just as big a part of the problem as the DFL is. 

BERG:  Er…why do you say that?

ANNAN:  When people put the GOP in power, they were just as bad as the Democrats.  There is no difference between the parties. 

BERG:  Yeah, the GOP can be frustrating.  Although you’re oversimplifying.  Bobby Jindal has made a huge difference in Louisiana; under his leadership, the New Orleans Public Schools went all charter.  Other GOP governors – Pence, Haley, Walker, Martinez – have made inroads in reducing the size and power of government.  The GOP – and GOP candidates – have made a difference at limiting government and its impact over the years.   Reagan’s tax cuts were a huge help…

ANNAN:  Reagan grew the deficit!  He raised taxes!

BERG:   Bingo.  You’re making my point for me.  Reagan, being a Republican president dealing with a Democrat Congress run by a big-government ward heeler like Tip O’Neill, had to make compromises.  One of those compromises was that he had to trust O’Neill to keep up his end of the bargain on cutting spending – which, of course, he didn’t.  And for all of that, his “tax hikes” were a fraction of his tax cuts, and they happened at a time when the economy was humming along.  If you don’t think Reagan’s tax cuts in the early eighties helped immensely with the recession, you’re dreaming. 

Anyway – the GOP in 1994 made a huge difference in paring back Bill Clinton’s megalomania.  Remember “Hillary Care?”  Either does anyone else.  And the Tea Party class of the GOP, the people elected in 2010, have largely kept their promises. 

ANNAN:  But the Minnesota GOP had the governor’s office from 2002 to 2010, and the House until 2008, and both chambers in 2011 and 2011, and nothing changed. 

BERG:  Plenty changed.  “Republican” used to mean Arne Carlson.  It used to mean “go along with the DFL in turning surpluses into more permanent spending”. 

ANNAN:  The GOP raised the budget in 2011, and built the stadium. 

BERG:  Yep.  And both were wrong.  And in neither case did the Tea Party class of 2010 go along, at least without a fight. 

ANNAN:  Bla bla bla.  The GOP always compromises.

BERG:  Parts of the GOP – the older, “Moderate” wing of the party, especially, which still exerts way too much control over the party at the Capitol – certainly does.  Parties don’t change overnight.   The GOP still caves in on way too much.  It’s improving, as conservatives slowly replace moderates. 

And let’s be honest; Minnesota is a blueish purple state at best.   Minnesota is split between various shades of red and hard, deep blue.   When a conservative goes to Saint Paul, and wants to get anything done, compromise is inevitable.  There is no way anyone who gets elected to office as a conservative in Minnesota doesn’t have to defile the purity of their principles at some point or another. 

ANNAN: Yeah, well, I’m sick of voting for the lesser of two evils all the time.  I’m going to vote my absolute, pure principles and vote Libertarian. 

BERG:   And that way, you’ll promote liberty.

ANNAN:  Yep.  

BERG:  So let me get this straight; you won’t vote for Republicans because previous generations of Republicans have had to compromise the purity of their principles when they actually got into a room with the other side and had to actually try to get things done, to say nothing of having to stop the other side from getting worse things, like daycare unionization and gun control, done. 

ANNAN:   Yep. 

BERG:  And you’ll vote for someone who’s never had to test the purity of his precious principles by trying to enact any kind of policy at all, much less over the votes of a legislature that is at least 50% completely hostile to everything your candidate says. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I could see myself supporting Rand Paul for President.   

ANNAN:  Ew.  He’s abandoned his principles.  Not like Doctor Paul.

BERG:  You’re proving my point.  “Doctor” Paul never got elected to anything outside of a House district in Texas.  And for all his big talk about policy – auditing the fed, disengaging abroad, yadda yadda – he admits, albeit quietly, that he never could have done it.  He had no support in Congress. 

ANNAN:  Why do you hate liberty?

BERG:  Actually, I clearly respect liberty more than you do. 

ANNAN:  Hah!  How can you say that? 

BERG:  Because the only way you’re going to get your agenda passed is to elect a libertarian monarch who takes office, sweeps away a century of noxious policy by decree, and then steps down.  Hopefully.  And that’s fine, if “magical thinking” is good enough for you.   But that’s really all voting for a third party gets you.  A third party vote is a wasted vote.

ANNAN:  It wasn’t with Jesse Ventura!  He had principles and he stuck with them!

BERG:  No, he didn’t.  He ran on a promise of returning the entire plus to the people. And once he got elected, he had to deal with the fact that was a governor with no caucus in the legislature – two Democrats flipped over to the Independence Party over the next year, and that was it. So we had to run with his hat in hand to Roger Moe, the DFLSenate majority leader, and cut deals like a madman. Meaning that about a third of the surplus got paid back. And the rest of it got turned into permanent spending, the way the DFL wanted.

So where was the principal?

ANNAN:  He sent a message!

BERG: Yep. And that message was “voting for a third-party candidate is of nothing but symbolic value”.

ANNAN:  (Plugs ears, turns, starts running).  Bla bla blaaaaa can’t year youuuuuuu bla bla bla bla bla).

[And SCENE]

The Young Ones

Harvard poll shows that – despite all the fuzzy assurances of magical-thinkers with agendas, especially in “libertarian” circles – Millennials who are “definitely votint” are picking the GOP over the Dems this cycle:

A new and massive poll of 2,029 18-29-year-olds from Harvard’s Institute of Politics just released found that of those who say they will “definitely be voting,” 51 percent want the GOP in charge, 47 percent favoring Democratic control.

Because the numbers are close, however, Harvard said the kid vote is “up for grabs.”

Still, it is a huge shift from the last IOP midterm poll. In 2010, younger voters kept to their historic trend with 55 percent favoring Democrats, 43 percent Republicans. That is an eight-point change, very good news for the Republicans who had feared that the Obama generation would show up at the polls and in knee-jerk fashion simply pull the Democratic levers.

On the one hand, it’s young voters.  They are the most driven by self-interest; they almost always vote Democrat; polls that show Millennials tend to have more libertarian beliefs also show they tend to have more socialistic beliefs.  In other words, they’re adolescents and post-adolescents who, often as not, haven’t the foggiest idea what they really think. 

But if the Harvard trend follows through next Tuesday, it’ll be the second time in recent memory, after 1980-84, that young voters have predominantly voted Republican. 

The real challenge?  If there is a GOP wave on Tuesday, it’ll be making sure that GOP majority stays conservative.  Keeping the Karl Rove faction out of the way.  Focusing on why people actually vote conservative (as opposed to Republican). 

As all of that “Jeb Bush 2016″ talk shows us, there’s a big part of the GOP that’s stuck on stupid.

As the Tea Party shows us, there’s a big part that’s not. 

Who will win?

I’ve picked my side.

Rep. Savick: The Past Has Ears

Representative Shannon Savick is a first-term Democrat from House District 27, the Albert Lea area, south of the Metro.  She’s a member of the Democrat Farmer Labor party. She’s blessed with a fairly well-off rural community for whom the consequences of DFL control aren’t yet life-or-death, and the presence of the Albert Lea Tribune, a newspaper that gives the City Pages and Star Tribune a run for their big-city money as mouthpieces for the DFL.   The paper has, of course, endorsed Savick. 

Everything seems hunky-dory for Ms. Savick, who is running for a second term. 

Everything but one; an especially noxious vote against Minnesotans’ human rights and civil liberties during her freshman session in 2013.  It was a bill by Rep. Paymar that would have:

  • Banned “Ugly Guns”: The bill would have banned firearms with scary military-looking cosmetic features
  • Banned Large-Capacity Magazines: Paymar wanted to force law-abiding homeowners and citizens to be forced to reload 2-3 times as often if they are beset by determined, dissociative or chemically motivated attackers. 
  • Private Transfers: While even some Second Amendment people think this – requiring all purchases to go through a federally-licensed firearms dealer (FFL), to close the non-existant “gun show loophole” – doesn’t sound too noxious on the surface, its byproduct -a paper trail for all guns – makes the next step, universal registration, trivially easy.

Savick was one of four outstate DFLers – including John Ward, Erik Simonson and Paul Rosenthal – who voted for this atrocity of a bill. 

At the risk of sounding crass, I’ll tell the truth; the bill was an attempt to kick in the teeth of every law-abiding gun owner in Minnesota. 

Even worse?  During the public hearings on these bills – where pro-Human-Rights activists outnumbered Victim Disarmament activists by close to 30-1 – Savick joined her Metrocrat colleagues in walking out of the hearings when it came time for opponents to testify against the bills.

Despite this deeply misguided vote, and deeply stupid bit of theatrics, the conventional wisdom had Savick as a pretty sure bet for re-election.

The calculus must have changed.  Savick is pulling an Ann Wynia – protesting her history with firearms:

I remember when my dad gave me my first gun when I was 16. It was a Marlin .22 bolt-action rifle. I have many fond memories of carrying that gun as I went hunting with my cousins. Over the next 30 years or so, I acquired another five guns, some for shooting and some for collecting.

I share this because I have recently been asked about how I feel about guns. People are concerned that I might be a gun-hating politician who wants to take away their guns.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I own and shoot guns. I have a permit to carry. A few months ago I hosted a permit to carry class in my basement so others could get their permit. And actually, I am a pretty good shot.

Just thought I should set the record straight.

If you have questions about this, please don’t hesitate to call me.

Oh, I’ll call. 

Because owning guns is easy (thanks to us Second Amendment activists, anyway).  Mark Dayton says he owns guns.  Carl Rowan owned guns.  A rabidly anti-gun Missouri state Senator was arrested with a gun in Ferguson a few weeks back. 

But the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting. 

Representative Savick:  Can you name a single vote you took in the past two years that supported the rights of the law-abiding Minnesotan to keep and bear arms for self-defense? 

Can you find some action on your part to atone for your votes for Paymar’s agenda?

Have your people call my people.  But just in case my people are calling your people anyway.

Savick’s opponent, Peggy Bennett, is having a forum at the Hayfield American Legion tonight at 7PM.

It Could Happen To Anyone

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a piece about Tina Flint Smith, Minnesota’s first whore. Having someone like that in the office of lieutenant governor would serve to concentrate all of the power of the executive office…

… wait – did I just call Tina Flint Smith a whore?

Dang.  That’s bizarre.

Anyway – I was talking with a Republican friend about “Take Action Minnesota”, the community organizing group run by that door-to-door, bore-on-the-floor whore Greta Bergstrom.  The group has been working overtime…

…What?  Really?  I did?  I called her a “whore?” Not only that, but concocted a cutesy rhyme to set it all off?  Oh, not again.  How could that possibly happen?

Well, I guess it just goes to show you it could happen to anyone.

Accidents!  Who knew?

Or at least that’s what the media wants you to think about – I’m sure it’s just a coincidence – a Democrat saying it about South Carolina governor Nikki Haley (emphasis added):

FLORENCE, S.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincet Sheheen is coming under fire for accidentally calling Gov. Nikki Haley a “whore” at a campaign event.

Sheheen was caught on video at an appearance in Florence last week stating “we are going to escort whore out the door” referring to Haley. His gaffe appeared to be a slip from the tongue and he quickly corrected himself stating “we’re going to escort her out the door.”

So Shaheen “accidentally” used a rhyming couplet, for which he corrected himself, before yukking it up with his peckerwood supporters?

But immediately after correcting himself, Sheheen has an almost gleeful interaction with the crowd and laughed at his gaffe. Video of the event has gone viral.

Who hasn’t had that happen, honestly?   

I’m imagining a world where the Democrat Party didn’t have a media “accidentally” serving as their Praetorian Guard.

Mills: Didn’t See That Coming

The Strib endorses…

Stewart Mills in CD8.

I must confess, I didn’t see it coming – and reading the Strib ‘s piece, I’m going to guess they didn’t either:

Among the district’s immediate challenges is a choice between two imperfect candidates for Congress. On balance, we conclude that this changing district would be best served by a fresh voice, and we give the endorsement edge to retail executive Stewart Mills.

One wonders how often the Star Tribune specifically notes candidates are “imperfect”. I imagine it’s less of a surprise to most readers than the Star Tribune may believe.

One charge relentlessly leveled at Mills is that he is the beneficiary of inherited wealth through his family’s Fleet Farm empire. But we doubt that many Minnesotans really consider such a background a disqualification from public office.

While it would be a bit much to expect the Star Tribune to attack the DFL for making Mills’s wealth – for which he worked – an issue while endorsing a trust fund baby for governor, one could always hope.

Still, the endorsement does go on to tell Mills’ story fairly:

Having begun his Fleet Farm career scrubbing toilets and emptying trash, Mills today is vice president in charge of the chain’s health care plan, covering 6,000 employees and their dependents. He has developed a hands-on understanding of the intricacies of the health care marketplace, coming to see wellness and prevention as keys to controlling costs.

Mills says his objections to the Affordable Care Act are central to inspiring his run for Congress. His candidacy follows what he calls the “Hunting Camp Rule”: If you complain about something, you get the job of fixing it. His condemnation of the ACA is too sweeping, given that he backs the law’s key goals. But the market-based approaches he prefers — including more price transparency and tort reform — could contribute to needed improvements in the law.

I know, I know – I shouldn’t complain too hard; the Star Tribune just endorsed a relatively free-market conservative.

But would a little honesty, or at least economic literacy, kill the “newspaper of record”? (Emphasis added):

Mills is challenging Rep. Rick Nolan, who returned to Congress in 2012 after a 32-year hiatus. Nolan lists several accomplishments, including working with Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar in securing $10 million in federal funds for improvements for the Port of Duluth-Superior.

Nolan has been a leader in efforts to clamp down on foreign-made steel dumping in this country. He has also worked to expand invasive species protection in the Great Lakes. And he says he’s committed to campaign finance reform and efforts to improve the legislative process.

Nolan’s “accomplishments”, in other words, involve coughing up taxpayer. goodies for the special interests in his district.

Speaking of special interests:

We differ with Mills on a number of issues — not least on his unyielding stance against firearm regulation.

Running in the Eighth Congressional District? That’s a feature, not a bug.  So, by the way, is supporting the Constitution.

But here’s how we know it’s really, really a Star Tribune endorsement (emphasis added):

But we’re also persuaded that Mills has the intelligence and pragmatic instincts to learn, grow and adapt in office.

Mr. Mills – I hope you get elected. And that you then resist “growing in office” with every fiber of your being.

If elected, Mills will face a learning curve in Washington. But he has the energy, the zest for ideas and the deep commitment to northern Minnesota to make a success of it.

Yeah, it’ll take a lot of learning to get up to the level of a Nancy Pelosi or a Sheila Jackson Lee.

But those are the marginalia. It’s an endorsement. It’s only a newspaper endorsement, but it’s the last thing I ever expected.

Despicable Steve

It hasn’t been a good campaign for DFL Secretary of State candidate Steve Simon. 

For starters, he barely got over 40% in the primary - against a perennial candidate and a nobody.  Which might not have been a showstopper for the DFL machine to overcome, except that they were up against Dan Severson, who has statewide name recognition from a 2010 SOS run and a Senate bid (that came up short in the convention in 2012). 

Then, last week, the polls showed that Severson was ahead of Simon; he was the only GOP statewide candidate to lead in the polls at that time.  

At the very least – given the polling that, we are told, shows Mark Dayton supposedly cruising to victory – it’s a sign that the DFL/Big Money Democrat onslaught has a chink in the armor. 

At the most?  It shows that the DFL’s “We’re Inevitable!” vibe may not be entirely factual. 

Severson’s press conference last week - in which he showed smoking guns tying the SOS office to a policy of tossing veterans’ votes, and Rep. Simon’s signature on legislation that exempted the military from absentee voter reforms – went badly for Simon, and worse for the DFL’s Ken Martin, who tried and failed to take a chunk out of Severson in a comical morning of duelling press conferences. 

Simon is apparently desperate; he’s now telling his base that Severson proposes “forcing rape victims to pay for rape kits”. 

It’s BS, of course.  Not just the usual, comical, inept BS the DFL tosses around at this point in campaigns, all juvenile photoshopped heads and racist japes

No.  This is a sleazy, toxic, intentional, cowardly lie.  Severson responds (and I’ll add emphasis):

I moved it forward with the understanding that the bill would propose sharing the cost of all expenses associated with sexual assault between the counties of the victim and the perpetrator.

I specifically killed the bill before it EVER got a hearing because of the language specific to victims having to pay for anything.

In a just world, whatever DFL messaging genius that came up with this attack would get some sense groin-kicked into him.

As it stands?  Since a lie will make it around the world before the truth has finished checking Facebook in the morning, it’s back to the long, slow slog of telling people the one central truth of Minnesota politics.

If a DFLer says it, it’s a lie. 

If a DFLer who’s losing says it, it’s probably defamation.

Evidence In The Affirmative

Last week, we reported that a KSTP/Survey USA poll shows Stewart Mills leading Rick Nolan by eight points.

As we’ve noted for years and years, polls are deeply imperfect (sorry, Nate Silver), and there’s only one poll that matters, and it’s coming up two weeks from tomorrow.

But if there were any evidence needed that Rick Nolan is nervous about his prospects, it’s yesterday’s interview with Esme Murphy on WCCO

…which he spent sniveling like a four-year-old who didn’t get ice cream about outside money’s effect on politics.

Apparently he’s feeling cut out of the DCCC’s flood of Franken money…

(Courtesty @JohnHockey on Twitter)

Hamline Debate Highlights

I watched and live-tweeted yesterday’s gubernatorial debate from Hamline University, which was telecast on Fox9.

For starters, it wasn’t the worst debate format I’ve ever seen.  Fox 9′s crew of hairdos (I have long since stopped paying attention to Twin Cities anchor teams) largely stayed out of the way of the three reporters – Rachel Stassen-Berger, Tom Scheck and Bill Salisbury – who did most of the questioning.  And most of the questions – the ones that didn’t get into personal lifestyle issues (do we really care if either candidate ever smoked pot?), anyway – were pretty good. 

Oh, yeah – Johnson shredded Dayton.   I know, I’m partisan – but I’m pretty clinical about public speaking.  Johnson is cool, calm, collected, an on top of his facts.  Dayton – as Johnson quipped, at one point – pretty much ran through his ex-wife’s chanting points. 

The three highlights, in my book?

Number 3: The Aisle:  When asked if they were capable of working across the aisle, Dayton’s response amounted to “I could – if it weren’t for that stupid opposition!”.  It’s the GOP’s fault he can’t work across party lines!

Number 2: Pot Calling The Kettle A Pot:  At one point, in one of his few spontaneous moments of the debate, Dayton scolded Johnson about a perceived (and false) inconsistency in his record, ending it by telling Johnson to “pick a side and stick with it”.  I laughed so hard, I nearly soiled myself. 

That’s Governor Dayton; the guy who’se argued both sides of medical marijuana, the minimum wage hike and tip credits, the Vikings stadium subdidy, Gift, B2B, gas and Warehouse taxes, cigarette taxes, fixing MNSure, sex-offender releases, expanded notification of mental health issues to the NICS database (the list of people who can’t legally buy guns), and even on the availability of his daily calendar.  

Number 1: That Definition Of Insanity:  Questioned by the panel and Johnson about the MNSure debacle, Dayton let slip that he thought the real solution was single-payer healthcare.

That’s right – when the government makes a collossal botch of centralizing most of healthcare, let’s let them centralize it all!

The one thing the DFL was able to salvage from the debate was an “oops” from Johnson; asked to define “middle class” in terms of a dollar threshold, after Dayton waffled and proved he didn’t have a clue, Johnson said “I haven’t a clue”. 

Of course, there is no hard-and-fast dollar figure as to where the “middle class” begins and ends; it’s more a matter of circumstances; the middle class are those who don’t live off of investments and spare Renoirs,oroff of charity and subsidies.

Three Shockers

Three new polls indicate that the “good year for the GOP’ might not stop at the Saint Croix:

The first two are, of course, internal polls.  It’s possible they’re self-serving – although generally the parties are paying good money for the internal polls, and want them to be accurate.  They are, of course, intended to start a “bandwagon effect”, convincing voters who are inclined to be friendly that their support can be rewarded, and likely opponents to stay home and avoid the futility. 

Sort of like the DFL, ABM and mainstream media (ptr) have been doing to make DFL wins feel inevitable. 

Three weeks ’til the election?  This is huge. 

Also – with the Democrats pulling their money out of Kentucky and Colorado, look for Al Franken to get a wad of cash, as Democrats around the country start to realize Senator Smalley is a lot more vulnerable than the local media let on.

Is Anything The DFL Does Actually Real?

And I ask that question in a context that goes above and beyond the typical “The Alliance For A Better Minnesota Is Lying” sense of the term.

As we noted a few weeks back, the DFL is making TV ads with fake middle class families.  It’s nothing new for them, of course.

And now, as both Bill Glahn and the lesser talk station’s Jack and Ben have pointed out, the DFL is going hog wild with the Photoshops, as with this hamfisted whack at Stacey Stout:

Glahn:

The face of the man in the bottom photograph (captioned “Stout works for extreme Republicans) belongs to the state House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.

The body belongs to Conor McFadden, the son of U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden, as illustrated in the Star Tribune’s side-by-side comparison.

Fake people.  Fake photography.  Fake insurance exchange that gives results with a shelf life, if you can get to that point.  Fake “economic health”.

Is anything real about these people?

The Unthinkable

It was about this time four years ago that a small group of bloggers and activists got a call from the Chip Cravaack campaign; the challenger was within the margin of error against 200-term congressman Jim Oberstar.

It was unthinkable.

And was one of the headiest days in my life as a political activist; the Tea Party wave was flipping the unflippable. 

I didn’t think I’d see another day like it. 

I’m going to lead with all the usual disclaimers; it’s an internal poll, which can make it both more and less trustworthy. 

But an internal poll shows Torrey Westrom leading 12-term DFL Rep. Colin Peterson, 44-43, as the race turns into the home stretch:

A new survey released today by the Westrom for Congress campaign reports Republican challenger Torrey Westrom pulling ahead of 12-term incumbent Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson. Westrom now enjoys a lead among likely voters in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District (44%-43%), while thirteen percent (13%) are undecided

Of course, that’s a lot of undecideds – but then, that’s the point of releasing the polling news; to create the “bandwagon effect” that drives campaigns over the finish line in style.  Fact is, even if it’s close, Peterson has got to be sweating bricks right now;  rarely do challengers get within a three-digit margin of northwestern Minnesota’s ag pork king.

If this poll is even within 3-4 points of accurate, it’s bad news for the DFL.

My November 5 dream:  Torrey Westrom, Stewart Mills and Tom Emmer not only start measuring their drapes in Washington, but flip Minnesota’s congressional delegation not only red, but solidly right-of-center.