Take Me Down To NARN City

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  I’ll have GOP Gubernatorial candidate Rob Farnsworth on the show in the second hour.
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is on “The Closer”!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

NARN Tomorrow!

Tomorrow on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, I’ll be talking with special guest GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Farnsworth. 

Also – the perils of purism in the Senate race.

That’s tomorrow on the “Headliner” edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, on AM1280 The Patriot!

So I’m Gonna Guess…

…that the rump Ron Paul crowd in the GOP is done stumping for Harold Shudlick right about…now?

So let’s see – for the second major state race in a row, the “Independence” Party fields a candidate who is calibrated to suck away a volatile constituency in the GOP.

And I’m going to guess that if anyone dug long enough (perish the thought) they’d find a few Alida Messinger bucks socked away in the kitty.

Not to sound cynical or anything.

Caucasus Tonight

It’s Caucasus night throughout Minnesota tonight.

Mount Ushbra, Georgia

Throughout the state, people will be joining their favorite tribe, dancing traditional their traditional folk dances, getting drunk on fermented goat milk, arranging marriages, and firing guns randomly into the air.

At the end of the evening, all the tribes will declare war on each other, duke it out, and adjourn til next year.

A Caucasus event in Chaska, 1994.

Hope to see you there.

UPDATE:  Ooops.  My bad.  Tonight is Caucus night.  Not Caucasus night.  I regret the error.

Tonight’s the night the the four major parties in Minnesota (the GOP, the Independence, and the DFL/Take Action Minnesota) pick the delegates that will lead to the endorsements to run for the major offices – Governor, Senate, and the various Congressional and State Legislative seats.  If you don’t like the way your party is working, tonight’s the night to try to do something about it.

I’ve never been to a DFL caucus, but I know Republican caucuses are usually not a huge time investment, especially if you duck out before the endless debates over the meaningless resolutions. Which I usually do.

DFL and Take Action Minnesota canvassers at caucus night, South Minneapolis, 2012.

If you’re new to caucuses, here’s the deal:  the point is not to write resolutions about issues that matter to you.  It’s to get people who support your candidates for the various offices – Governor, Senate, Congress, the Legislature – elected as delegates to the various rounds of conventions.

  • If you get selected as a delegate tonight, you’ll go to your “BPOU Convention” – that usually means your legislative House or Senate district, although in outstate Minnesota it might mean your county party convention – in March.  Those usually happen on a weekday evening, an hour or two.  No big deal.  There, you’ll endorse legislative candidates, and elect delegates to go to your…
  • …Congressional District convention, in (I think) April.  They usually eat up a Saturday morning.  There, you’ll endorse people to run for Congress, and elect delegates to the…
  • State Convention, in May, in Rochester.  This eats up a couple days.  There, the delegates that are at the end of the chain will endorse candidates for Governor and Senator.

It seems convoluted – but it makes sense, more or less.  To the extent the “Ron Paul” faction took over the GOP two years ago, or the Tea Party four years ago, or Michele Bachmann did it in the 6th CD eight years ago, they did it by getting their people out to caucuses and electing delegates that moved up the chain and elected more delegates. That’s pretty much it.

(On the DFL side, the conventions are run according to a system designed for utmost political correctness, so they are long and grueling, and lead to a series of conventions that end in the endorsement of candidates who will then lose in the primaries to whomever Alida Messinger and Take Action Minnesota support).

For further information on where and when your party’s caucuses are:

Hope to see you there!

Seven Arguments

This year may be one of the greatest opportunities for the conservative movement in recent memory.  Greater than 2010?  The polling says “why not?”.  Greater than 1994, in terms of reversing an unstoppable liberal juggernaut?  Maybe.

And maybe not.  Because the GOP – meaning the party, but including some of the parts of the conservative movement that speak from within the platform of the Grand Old Party, continue to show a complete inability to portray conservatism in a form that could attract the unaligned middle class.

And while the insurgent parts of the party – the Tea Party, mainly – can do better, no single Tea Party contender seems to be able to articulate a vision on more than a few issues, consistently and clearly, that resonates with middle class voters.  Now, a few may be enough – Obamacare is a deal-breaker for many people, gun-grabbing for others, and a few Americans even have the foresight to be terrified about long-term entitlement debt.

Victor Davis Hanson – the smartest person in any room he’s in – articulates middle-class approaches to not one, not two, but seven vital issues.   If I pulled one quote, I’d have to pull the whole thing.  I’m just going to commend it to  you for your attention.

And I humbly suggest certain GOP candidates read them, internalize them, and use them on the trail.  Stat.

Benson

Senator Dave Thompson has jumped about four months ahead of the usual pace and picked Senator Michelle Benson as his running mate.

The pick makes a lot of sense; Benson has been out front opposing Minnesota’s gathering healthcare debacle since before it was cool.

The only downside?   If Thompson wins, we’ll lose Benson in the Senate.

Next Salvo In The “War On (Dishonest, Gold-Digging) Women”

Via Instapundit:

Also, from Taranto:

It’s not that hard to categorize Wendy Davis: She was among the category of “single mothers” who are married to rich dudes.

Heck, if you don’t have to be single to be a single mother, it stands to reason, or whatever [WaPo columnist and Davis apologist Liza] Mundy is substituting for it, that you don’t have to be a mother either. That would make your humble columnist a single mother. So don’t judge us.

I think piling on is utterly appropriate.

Debate

Last Saturday, Brad Carlson and I had the great pleasure of hosting the first ever North Ramsey County Republicans Gubernatorial debate.  The event was put on by the three BPOUs in northern Ramsey county – House districts 42A, 42B and 66A.

We had five of the GOP governor candidates on stage with us; Marty Seifert, Jeff Johnson, Rob Farnsworth, Dave Thompson and Scott Honour.

We had about 100 people in the house at Concordia Academy – which, for a first-time GOP event deep in Blue Ramsey County on a day with greasy roads was excellent turnout.  A lot of people also tuned in via the live stream and, of course, on AM1280 (the debate was during my show’s regular time slot).

Bill Salisbury of the Pioneer Press was there, and wrote about the event in a piece titled “Debate reveals similar messages from GOP’s five candidates for governor” – which was a perfectly valid first impression of the event.  Candidates are being cautious now, playing largely to the party base (for caucus purposes) while trying to woo uncommitted and non-activist Republicans (for the primaries, which look pretty inevitable at this point).

Salisbury:

But the audience of about 100 partisans and students at Concordia Academy wanted to know: Who is the most electable?

That’s the biggest difference between this year’s Republican contest and the party’s 2010 nomination battle.

“No one asked that question four years ago,” former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said after the 90-minute debate. In 2010, Seifert lost the GOP gubernatorial endorsement to conservative firebrand Tom Emmer, who then was defeated by Democrat Mark Dayton despite a wave that swept Republicans into control of both houses of the Legislature for the first time in four decades.

This year, Seifert said, grassroots Republicans are hungry for a win and less concerned about ideological purity.

It’s a different race than it was four years ago; bidding to replace Mark Dayton is different than trying to follow-up Tim Pawlenty.

The audience questions were sharp and incisive, and I think they accurately reflected the concerns of real Minnesotans pretty clearly; the economy, the disintegration of health insurance under Obamacare and MNSure, and – most poignantly – a lot of high school kids wondering what kind of economy they were going to be graduating into.

From my perspective as a co-moderator?  The candidates were pretty similar; all various shades of “conservative enough”.  Farnsworth was pragmatic, and a bit of a homespun technocrat, with fairly detailed ideas for solutions to problems raised.  Seifert was sharp – like someone who’s spent four years working through the questions, having a brisk, calibrated answer to everything.

m.twincities.com/twincities/db_295955/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=604T07tB

Debate Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, AM1280 will be joining with the North Ramsey County Republicans in putting on the first really good gubernatorial candidates’ debate of the season!

Brad Carlson and I will host the event, at the Concordia Academy in Roseville (just north of Highway 36 on Dale Street).  The debate will start promptly at 1PM, and will be heavily audience-participation focused. 

As this is written candidates (in alpabetical order) Rob Farnsworth, Scott Honour, Jeff Johnson, Marty Seifert and  Dave Thompson are all on the line-up.  This may be the best debate you’ll hear before the caucuses. 

It’s a fund-raiser for the North Ramsey County Republicans (House districts 42A, 42B and 66A).  Admission is $10 if you register in advance.  Refreshments will be provided, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume some of us are going to adjourn to a local watering hole afteward for a post-debate wrapup. 

So sign up and come on out!  It’s going to be a fun event!

Two Days ‘Til The Debate!

This Saturday, AM1280 will be joining with the North Ramsey County Republicans in putting on the first really good gubernatorial candidates’ debate of the season!

Brad Carlson and I will host the event, at the Concordia Academy in Roseville (just north of Highway 36 on Dale Street).  The debate will start promptly at 1PM, and will be heavily audience-participation focused. 

As this is written candidates (in alpabetical order) Rob Farnsworth, Scott Honour, Jeff Johnson, Marty Seifert and  Dave Thompson are all on the line-up.  This may be the best debate you’ll hear before the caucuses. 

It’s a fund-raiser for the North Ramsey County Republicans (House districts 42A, 42B and 66A).  Admission is $10 if you register in advance.  Refreshments will be provided, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume some of us are going to adjourn to a local watering hole afteward for a post-debate wrapup. 

So sign up and come on out!  It’s going to be a fun event!

Bad Lieutenant

Can you fog a mirror? Then you too can be a lieutenant governor!

As Yvonne Prettner Solon bids farewell to the office of Lieutenant Governor, should Minnesota do so as well?

When it comes to political shockwaves, the announcement that Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon would not seek a second-term as Mark Dayton’s running-mate barely constitutes a ripple in the political waters.  And why not?  Over the past four years, Prettner Solon joined a long and undistinguished list of Minnesota lieutenant governors who served their time largely under the radar of the media and electorate.  Even Prettner Solon’s own webpage touts her “actions” as a small collection of out-of-state/out-of-country travels, with a dash of in-state touring on behalf of federal initiatives (helpfully spelling as a typo as well).

Prettner Solon’s (in)actions say less about her tenure than about the limitations of the office of lieutenant governor itself.

John Nance Garner’s infamous quote about the Vice-Presidency as “not worth a bucket of warm piss” (often sanitized as “warm spit”) might as well apply to Minnesota’s lieutenant governors.  With perhaps the exception of Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, who served as the commission of Transportation in the Pawlenty administration, Minnesota’s lieutenant governors have served almost no active role in policy direction or political leadership.

Indeed, the trend-lines for the state’s lieutenant governors have seemingly further minimized an insignificant position.  Whereas past lieutenant governors had gone on to serve in higher office, such as Rudy Perpich, Sandy Keith, Karl Rolvaag, C. Elmer Anderson and Edward Thye, the past several decades haven’t even seen lieutenant governors make a post-office political impact.  Joanne Benson, Joanell Dyrstad, and Marlene Johnson all made bids for higher office in the 1990s (Governor, U.S. Senate and St. Paul Mayor, respectfully) and lost – badly.  None of them even made to the general election.

All of this begs the question – does Minnesota require a Lieutenant Governor?

Seven states forgo the position, with two of those states, Tennessee and West Virginia, having the office of lieutenant governor be only an honorary title on the Speaker or President of the State Senate.  The line of succession, often the only value to the office, goes either to the Senate President or the Secretary of State.  In Minnesota, about the only other value to the office is as a gender counterweight to the top of the ticket.  Lou Wangberg was the last male lieutenant governor of the state – a fact useful only as trivia for political nerds.  Otherwise, every winning ticket (and most of the losing tickets) have had a female running-mate since 1982.

Closing the office of lieutenant governor won’t save Minnesota much.  The combined office budgets of the Governor and his lieutenant are only $3.3 million.  But if Minnesota could willingly end a constitutional office like State Treasurer, which had at least some active management in state affairs, then why not do the same for a office that has strayed far from any meaningful policy or political moorings?  Every candidate for governor claims they will reinvent the office of lieutenant governor with their selection.  Dayton himself promised that Prettner Solon would become a “strong partner” if elected.  If travelling to Canada and opening a Duluth office were parts of Dayton’s idea of partnership, he didn’t say in 2010.

Outside of the endorsement process for both parties, the role of lieutenant governor serves absolutely no purpose.  And in an era where it appears both parties are drifting away from placing much value on being the endorsed candidate for governor, whatever justifications remain for the office are quickly disappearing.

ADDENDUM: Even Prettner Solon seems to have expected more out of her office, if her comments at her press conference were accurate:

She has said she and the governor have a distant relationship. She said she anticipated being more involved in more policy initiatives as lieutenant governor, but she carved out a niche of her own working on initiatives for seniors and Minnesotans with disabilities.

With Enemies Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

Chris Christie – who has stared down mobsters and the New Jersey teachers union, pardon the redundancy, and who issued a denial of knowledge last week of his staff’s alleged shenanigans that is tailor-made to backfire if he does happen to be lying – has come under attack by…

…Gail Collins of the NYTimes.

A woman who recently argued against her colleagues’ sending their good-for-nothing kids who’d been camping in their parents’ basements since graduating from Bard College with degrees in Victimization Studies to North Dakota to earn their keep in the oil fields because of the forty minute lines at McDonalds.

I’m not actually going to ask you to read Gail Collins.

Merely to note that the fact that Gail Collins has written about Chris Christie should be treated as a point for the defense.

Sort of like Nick Coleman.  Only at least Nick Coleman isn’t at the Times.

Don’t Stop, And NARN Will Soon Be Here

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  We’ll start with Brian Strawser and Mark Okern from Minnsota Gun Owners PAC, talking about the look ahead to the session and their endorsement of Julianne Ortman for US Senate.  Then – Stewart Mills, candidate for the US House seat in the 8th Congressional District!
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is on “The Closer” from 1-3PM!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

MN-GOPAC Endorses Ortman

The gun-grabber movement is going to make a particularly insidious push to attack your second-amendment rights in the upcoming session.

The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC is launching an opening salvo, getting on the endorsement board for the upcoming Senate race and backing Senator Julianne Ortman:

 “Throughout her time in the Minnesota Senate, Julianne Ortman has been an energetic and consistent advocate for Minnesota’s gun owners, “ said Mark Okern, Chairman, Minnesota Gun Owners PAC.  “She has demonstrated a strong commitment to policies that protect the rights of Minnesotans to hunt, enjoy the shooting sports, and protect their families from violent criminals.”

The gun-grabbers are going to be doing a lot of talk about “common sense”. Ortman gets it – there is no “common sense” to the idea of the gun-show background check:

As a Minnesota State Senator, Julianne Ortman consistently opposed gun control measures that would have impacted the rights of law-abiding Minnesotans while having no impact on violent criminals.  Senator Ortman supported the Minnesota Citizen’s Personal Protection Act in 2003 and 2005.  She also supported Stand Your Ground legislation in 2012 that was later vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton.  Most recently, she was a strong and vocal advocate for gun owners as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during several days of hearings.

 “As United States Senator, we are confident Julianne Ortman will continue her strong support for Minnesota’s gun owners and be a leader on this issue not only for Minnesota but also for the nation, “ said Okern.

Ortman has gotten a mixed rap – but, I maintain, has done a good job of earning conservatives’ support, especially that of the communities that support the Second Amendment. She was vital in pushing the “Good Gun Bill” last session – a finger in the eye of the “Let’s Just Ban Something!” crowd.

I think it’s a good call .

Pol Position Deux – Frankensense

We return to look at the nascent Minnesota GOP race for U.S. Senate.  We broke down the GOP governor’s battle royale here.

____

While the Minnesota GOP governor’s race has attracted most of the attention from the state’s punditry and conservative activists, the race for U.S. Senate has been at best a political red-headed stepchild – an electoral Clint Howard.  A bevy of unheralded candidates and little money raised hasn’t fundamentally altered the state of the race since July.  This despite the increasingly polling weakness of Sen. Al Franken.

Much like the man who he’ll likely be sharing the top of the DFL ticket with, Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Al Franken has seen his approval rating collapse, with the last six months essentially undo six years of polling gains following his contested 312-vote margin of victory.  Franken’s approval rating has dipped to 39%, with a bare majority of 51% disapproving.  Ideologically sympathetic pollsters have pegged Franken’s percentages much higher, but his 10-12% early head-to-head numbers against a mostly unknown GOP field suggests Minnesota’s junior senator hasn’t found the political elixir that Sen. Amy Klobuchar rode to victory just a scant 12+ months ago.  The question remains whether Republicans can take advantage. Continue reading

Pol Position Deux – The Race to Summit (Ave)

We breakdown the state of the GOP race for governor.  We offer a similar analysis of the GOP Senate contest here.

___

The seasons have changed significantly since our last detailed analysis of the GOP governor’s race – and so has the political climate.

Last July, Minnesota’s political commentariat had all but official declared Gov. Mark Dayton the winner in his 2014 re-election effort.  Sporting a 57% approval rating, despite a legislative session that saw no shortage of controversial bills (including a warehouse tax even the Star Tribune editorial board begged Dayton to reconsider), Dayton looked in good position to cruise through the fall and winter political doldrums.

Fast-forward six months and Mark Dayton’s numbers are dropping as quickly as the temperature.  Dragging a 52% disapproval rating into the 2014 session, Dayton has been eager to recast his imagine as a traditional tax-and-spend liberal, suggesting he’d return the bulk of Minnesota’s projected $1.1 billion surplus (minus erasing the shift in education dollars) as tax cuts.  The reception to the concept has only been slightly warmer than absolute zero in the DFL caucus, framing a potential conflict between Dayton’s yearning for re-election aid and the legislative desires for more spending.

Tax cuts or not, Dayton’s greatest potential saving grace may simply be his opposition. Continue reading

Rescued From Pre-Thanksgiving Doc Dump

It’s only the SCSU Poll – a poll we’ve pretty well shredded in the past for its systematic bias toward the DFL.

But even that can’t varnish the fact that it’s a whole new campaign for the DFL in Minnesota.  Approval ratings of everyone but Amy Klobuchar are in the toilet.  How in the toilet?:

Minnesotans came down in the middle on Franken and Dayton, two Democrats who will stand for re-election next year. Franken got a 51-degree rating, while Dayton was at 49.

Respondents are feeling cooler toward Obama, rating him at 46 this year, down from 54 in SCSU’s 2012 survey.

And that’s just the warm-fuzzy poll.  When you get into job approval, it’s even dodgier for the DFL incumbents:

Reflecting national polls, the president’s job performance ratings also dropped from last year and returned to 2010 levels. This year, 38 percent of Minnesotans rated him positively, compared to 47 percent in 2012.

For Dayton, less than half the respondents (44 percent) gave him positive marks this year, while a slight majority (52 percent) rated him negatively.

Franken had a low approval score of 39 percent, while 57 percent approved of Klobuchar’s performance.

The media will, of course, do their best to rehabilitate the DFL, Dayton and Franken over the next 11 months.  But they’ve got their work cut out for them.

Tramps Like Us, Baby We Were Born To NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  I’ll be talking with former House minority leader and gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert about the race for the GOP nomination.  Then, former Representative Jim Knoblauch will join me to talk about his lawsuit against the new Senate Palace Office Building.
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is  back!  Brad’ll have Marty Seifert on the show.  “The Closer” airs from 1-3 Sundays!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

Who Told You This?

Obamacare will have “death panels”, just like Sarah Palin said.

This according to Ted Nugent:

“It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,” Halperin told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV. 

Oh, they’re not called “Death Panels” – but, as we discussed in the past, HMOs are built around the idea of “Case Management”, which means “make sure the cost of the care is commensurate with the benefit received”.  Don’t don’t transplant the liver of a 21 year old into a 70 year old alcoholic diabetic who’s already past their life expectancy if there’s  a 30 year old who’d benefit more, for an extreme example.

And no, it wasn’t Ted Nugent.  It was that noted conservative tool Mark Halperin.

The Max

Today is “Give to the Max” day.

It’s basically a fundraising event for non-profits.

“Someone” (a plutocrat with deep pockets) is matching the first $10k donated to “Protect MN” today. This is notable – if they get anything, it’ll be the first donations they’ve gotten from inside Minnesota. *

But the good guys are in the game. MNGOPAC – the MN Gun Owners PAC – is in action, raising funding for good, pro-2nd Amendment candidates.

And it’d sure be cool if the good guys beat the tar out of the orcs today.

Anyway, here’s where you can help out.

Advertisement

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Waiting for these campaign commercials to begin:

Hi, I’m Al Franken. I was behind on votes until my lawyers outmaneuvered Norm Coleman’s lawyers and the courts made me the 60th Democrat in the Senate. Not one single Republican voted for Obama-care but I’m proud to say I cast the last vote needed to make Obama-care the law of the land. Without me, it never would have happened. I’m Al Franken, I’m responsible for Obama-care, and I approve this message.

“I’m good enough by a standard that includes Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer.  I’m not sure what I’m smart-enough for, and doggonnit, people are nuts to like me because for the first five-year period of my life, I’ve been able to stay innocuous”