“There is no history of someone like that being a meaningful deterrent or being able to stop an attack,” she said. Seriously?
Someone should inform Abby Simons, the Star Tribune journalist who wrote the article, of some facts about permitted carry holders stopping crime, just for the variety of citing actual truth for a change.
It strikes me: Rep. Paymar says the presence of armed citizens in the legislative chamber intimidates legislators. Pistols carried openly are intimidating. Really? All of them? How about when cops testify while in uniform, openly carrying their firearms, is that intimidating? If so, then you should disarm everybody in the hearing room, which you’re not going to do because there’d be nobody to provide protection.
If openly carried pistols don’t intimidate you on a policeman’s belt, why not? Cops shoot far more innocent people every year than permitted carry holders. Why are pistols carried openly on cops’ belts not intimidating? Because you trust cops implicitly but not citizens? Why is that . . . and what does it say about your attitude toward the people you’re supposed to be representing?
If intellectual honesty and logical consistency were gasoline, Heather Martens couldn’t drive around the inside of a Cheerio.
Minnesota is one of only a few states that allows private firearms to be carried at the state Capitol without screening. In addition, committee chairs don’t have the authority to keep people from carrying guns into hearings — no matter how volatile the topic of discussion.
At the Nov. 5 committee meeting, a public safety official described and example of a concealed carry permit holder expressing anti-government sentiment and a plan to bring a gun to the Capitol. Members of the committee who support gun carrying expressed their disapproval of such behavior. But sitting right in the hearing room was a group aligned with the gun lobby wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Nobody on the committee appeared to realize that Guy Fawkes was known for his attempt to blow up the English Parliament, and a recent movie glorified Fawkes’ effort.
The safety risk of loaded firearms is known – but the use of guns for political intimidation is becoming more brazen every year. This is unacceptable in a democracy. Our public safety officials and legislators should be allowed to know when individuals are coming in with guns and keep guns out of all or part of the Capitol complex.
It would be irresponsible to wait for a tragedy to happen in Minnesota before making our Capitol safer. Please give law enforcement and legislators who run hearings the ability to protect our free speech and our safety at the Capitol.
I have to wonder – has Representative Martens actually been to an “Occupy” rally (back when the were still happening)? The places were crawling with those creepy masks.
But let’s take Heather Martens at her stated word. The legislature has to guard against “Anti-Government Sentiment?”
So now Rep. Martens is trying to gut the First Amendment, too!
Here’s the letter I sent back through their little email spam-bot widget:
This, like everything “Protect Minnesota” has ever written or said, is a lie.
Capitol Security staff are pretty clear about it; carry permittees are the most polite, least bothersome groups of protesters that ever show up at the Capitol.
By the way – the “anti-government sentiments” Ms. Martens is referring to was a guy in a Guy Fawkes mask. Ms. Martens is filling in the details about “blowing up the Capitol” – because, as usual, she’s lying. And, apparently, she’s no more comfortable with the First Amendment than the Second.
Please stop wasting taxpayer time participating in Heather Martens’ Joyce-Foundation-funded charades.
Not sure it’ll get through, but it was fun to write.
This email came out from Rep Heather Martens (DFLiar, HD66A) earlier this week:
Tomorrow at 10:30 am, the legislature’s committee on Capitol security will decide whether to continue to let people carry loaded guns in the Capitol.
At a meeting earlier this month, it became clear that some concealed carry permit holders have used their loaded guns for political intimidation.
And there’s your lie.
There was no “intimidation”.
Go check for yourself. Call the folks at Capitol Security. They’ll tell you the Second Amendment Rights crowd, guns or no, is the very best-behaved group of protesters that ever comes to the capitol. Friendly, polite to a fault, never even the faintest shred of a problem. Which is an amazing feat with group that always numbers in the hundreds every time they show up.
Not a single problem. Ever.
Martens – as always – is lying.
It’s The Bigotry, Stupid: Martens points out that there’s some fear, classism and bigotry at work here:
A legislator on the committee expressed disapproval of such behavior.
I don’t doubt that “a legislator” might have said something like this. Some DFL Metrocrat no doubt does have an aversion to guns, and people carrying them.
But why do we pay them any more attention than we would a legislator who was afraid of black people?
It’s entirely possible some ninny is afraid of people exercising their law-abiding rights. People get intimidated by free speech, too. Do we dignify it with a response? Or do we call it what it is?
(Fact: the only “intimidation” carried out by an unelected official during the gun hearings was the loathsome gun-grabber who walked up to the daughter of a GOCRA organizer and told her “you’ll be a better person than your father when you grow up”).
But he then said nothing should be done because nobody has been killed yet at the Capitol.
Nor will they ever be – by a carry permittee, anyway. Statistically, you are at greater danger of being shot by a Democrat legislator than by a legal carry permit holder.
I Gotcher Call To Action Right Here: Martens puts out a call to her anemic, arthritic, utterly white little legion:
Please contact committee members to urge them to take decisive action. They should allow security officials and legislators to limit where guns can be carried at the Capitol.
We can’t wait for something to happen in the Minnesota Capitol building in order to make the Capitol safe. And political intimidation should be unacceptable at our state Capitol.
Once more unto the breach, Real Americans. It’s time to light up the switchboards.
Which ones? For some reason, the members of the select committee on Capitol Security aren’t published (or at least five minutes of googling didn’t turn up a list). Start with the Public Safety Committee. You know the drill.
The Joyce Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, was founded by Iowa lumber heiress Beatrice Joyce Kean. This $760 million foundation has been involved with TakeAction since near the beginning of the Minnesota non-profit’s existence. Joyce’s 2006 Annual Report (p. 25) shows a grant of $350,000 to be paid out to TakeAction over two years, “To develop and promote a political reform agenda focused on campaign finance, judicial, and voting rights reforms.”
Joyce’s 2009 IRS Form 990 reveals that the $350,000 grant to the 501(c)(3) TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund was renewed in 2008 for two additional years, “for ongoing efforts to reform and strengthen democracy in Minnesota.”
Joyce’s 2011 IRS Form 990 reveals that, yet again, the $350,000 grant to the TakeAction Education Fund was renewed in 2010 for two additional years, “For advancing a political reform agenda that encompasses election administration, voting rights, campaign finance, redistricting, and judicial independence.”
The Joyce Foundation’s website indicates that the TakeAction Education Fund received an additional $150,000 in 2012 for one year, “For advancing a democracy reform agenda using legislation, community organizing, movement building, coalition work, and unexpected alliances.”
Unexpected alliances? In any event, the seven-year total of grants from the Joyce Foundation to TakeAction equals $1,200,000.
So let’s break this down: The Joyce Foundation heavily sponsors “Progressive” non-profits, including “Take Action MN”, “Protect MN”, and (I strongly suspect) “Common Cause MN”.
And they pour money into at least two “non-profit” Minnesota media outlets that have pretensions to respectability; Minnesota Public Radio and the MinnPost.
I’ve sought comment from both organizations in the past, without success. I’ll try again.
All of this carefully obfuscated money going to support “campaign finance…reforms” is one thing.
Going to buy friendly media coverage?
And finding willing takers, in an industry whose “code of ethics” tells journalists who avoid financial entanglements in their “journalism?”
Bill Glahn has been doing the work the Twin Cities media hasn’t won’t in covering the big, unseen unreported-on force in Minnesota politics: Take Action Minnesota.
Even among people who know that TAM exists, I think few know exactly what they’re into, and how the organization works:
Charity Status—whether legal or not, I object to TakeAction’s abuse of its tax-exempt non-profit charity status. Unlike the traditional political party—whose role the group is increasingly displacing —TakeAction can accept tax-deductible contributions from anonymous donors. Despite my best efforts at discovery, we really do not know who contributes the millions of dollars that fund TakeAction’s operations.
Quasi-Party Status—although TakeAction operates much like a political party—recruiting and financing candidates, conducting campaigns, and getting out the vote—it does not have to abide by the same laws on transparency and accountability. It acts as a closed political machine—answering to its (unknown) donors, but not to voters and taxpayers in the same way that the Democrats and Republicans must answer.
They also sit among a warren of offices for similar “progressive” “non-profits” – “ProtectMN”, “Wellstone Action” and others – in the Griggs Building, in the St. Paul Midway. This isn’t just a happy accident, or entirely the product of the Griggs’ very low rent. The network shares much more than just an address; phone banks, lists, staff, know-how.
You should read Glahn’s entire series on the subject:
[S]imply from a journalistic viewpoint, the rise of TakeAction as a political force is a major story—one that has received almost no coverage from Minnesota’s legacy media. In contrast, oceans of ink have been spilled over the Tea Party and its relationship to the Republican Party. There is a man-bites-dog story waiting for an enterprising reporter to pick it up.
This past Friday, I talked with Susie Jones, a reporter from WCCO Radio, about the Gun Grab Summit in North Minneapolis.
Now, I’m stuck in a bit of a conundrum, myself. On the one hand, I do seek a civil, grown-up dialog. As a gun owner, I have a vested interest in making sure my “tribe” – the law-abiding gun owner – acts in a way that credits the responsibility that God gave us and that our Founding Fathers recognized in the Constitution (a responsibility that the record shows we’re really, really good at meeting).
I also have kids. And a granddaughter. Violence is an awful thing. Protecting against violence is one of the reasons I would be a gun owner, hypothetically.
So curbing violence – with guns, knives, axes, fists, cars, sex organs and every other kind – is Job 1 for me, and for every law-abding gun owner I know.
On the other hand? It’s hard to stay adult and civil when dealing with “ProtectMN”, the Joyce-Foundation supported astroturf group that has been campaigning against guns – as opposed to violence – under several names for a couple decades now.
Part of it is that the group – its’ leader, Representative Heather Martens (DFL HD 67A), speaking as a leader and as an individual – has never, ever uttered a solitary substantive word of truth on the gun issue. Ever. Seriously – you can tell Ms. Martens is lying when you see her lips move. She is the most disingenuous person anywhere in Minnesota public life.
Yes, worse than Carrie Lucking.
We are constantly reminded that we need to have a “Dialog” about gun violence.
And “Dialog” requires honesty. So I’m going to be honest.
Monologue And Backstory: The key to “Dialog” is, of course, discussion between two divergent-to-dissenting points of view. Otherwise, all you have is a monologue.
Now, this is what ProtectMN put up on their Facebook page the other day. Read it and tell me…:
“It’s time to stop letting our critical national debates be handled by lunatics, and by corporate lobbyists. It’s time for us to take up the mantle of civics and citizenship again, beyond our narrow self-interest.
We need to have a real discussion about the civic duty of gun ownership sooner, rather than later. It’s time for the grownups to start talking, and more importantly, to take action.”
The MN Gun Violence Summit will consist of “grown-ups” talking about how to make our communities safer and reframe the debate about gun policy.
…if all of that Alinskyite framing (“lunatics”, “grown-ups”) sounds like someone looking for a dialog?
Class Warfare: Jones noted in her conversation with me that some of the people at the “summit” had complained that the issue was a matter of the plucky, put-upon inner city versus the smug, complacent suburbs – and that shooters just don’t understand life in the inner city.
I refuted them thusly; me. I live in the Midway. I’ve had a drive-by shooting in front of my house. I had a break-in when I was in my house, once upon a time; the sound of my own firearm ended the incident. Senseless violence? A four-year-old girl was murdered half a mile from my house, right about the time I had two kids in her age bracket.
Gun violence affects my city. My quality of life. My property value. Just as much as it does yours, and more than it does those of any of the leadership of “ProtectMN” and “Moms Want Action”.
And – this is the important part -not a single proposal they’re making, or have ever made, would affect gun violence in the least.
So, Mr. Duncan, please spare us the BS and never, ever play that crap with me.
And the fact is, many shooters live in the suburbs because decades of DFL mismanagement have left the cities much more dangerous than the subs, the exurbs or Greater Minnesota.
Indeed, given that Minneapolis and Saint Paul have the lowest incidence of civilian gun ownership in the State and the highest crime rates, perhaps it’s time we considered whether owning guns is a better deterrent to violence than banning them.
The Potemkin Mission: But “ProtectMN” isn’t about curbing violence. Not even a little bit.
Proof: In the legislative session just passed, most of the Legislature got behind a bill, HF1325, sponsored by Rep. Hilstrom (DFL, some godforsaken Western suburb). The bill would have added mandatory penalties for using a gun to commit a crime, and improved the state’s reporting to the national background check database (a ball the DFL has been dropping for over a decade now)…
…y’know – things that have a record in curbing violence.
That’s the mission – right?
Not for “ProtectMN”. They – Martens and the Metrocrat DFLers who controlled the Legislature – fought like hell against the bill that would address violence with measures that have actually worked around the country, claiming it was “The NRA’s Bill” (which was written by a rep with an “F” rating from the NRA, but whatever). Instead, they fought for useless fripperies like magazine size restrictions, and yapping about cosmetic features of different guns – things that don’t and have never had the faintest impact on violence at the very most.
So I ask you – who is actually “dealing with violence”? And who is acting out a fetish over metal objects?
The Takeaways From The “Summit”: I’d like to address this to my brothers and sisters, my fellow human beings in places like North Minneapolis and the lower East Side.
There is a “dialog” to be had about gun violence. And we, your fellow Americans and Minnesotans of the Second Amendment community, are more than ready to have exactly that. We, like you, want to make your streets, neighborhoods and homes safer – because they’re our streets, neighborhoods and homes, too.
“ProtectMN” doesn’t care about “violence”. They froth and fume about guys in Lakeville with AR15s – and you know as well as I do (and Heather Martens does not) that they and their guns aren’t the problem.
It’s the criminals. The people who couldn’t pass a background check when they were 18, and sure as hell can’t pass one now.
And let the record show that Protect MN fought against the legislation that would attack them, in favor of attacking the law-abiding, in the past session.
And starting in January, they’re going to ramp up that attack.
Today at 10AM, “Protect Minnesota” and a coalition of mostly white, mostly upper-middle-class, entirely left-of-center groups will meet, as we discussed yesterday, to try to figure out how to suppress the Second Amendment for the law-abiding Minnesotan.
The invite – from “Protect Minnesota” The Brady Factory – says:
Find out what’s next in this important work and what your role can be. Sessions include:
– Changing the narrative around gun violence prevention
– Developing effective media strategy
– A deep dive on gun policy in Minnesota
– Grassroots lobbying
– Creating change with personal stories
What are they talking about?
Let’s turn this into real English:
Changing the narrative around gun violence prevention: Whose narrative are we talking about, here? The one in the media? That one is certainly gun-grabber friendly. Or are you talking about the one out there in the larger society – the one that keeps answering “guns in the hands of the law-abiding are a good thing” at the ballot box?
A deep dive on gun policy in Minnesota: ”Deep Dive?” You don’t need no stinkin’ deep dive. I’ll tell you what you need to know; for the past 40 years, our self-appointed “elites” have been trying to set gun policy. From 1974 through 1994, it worked. Then Minnesota’s gun owners got organized. Since then, the “elites” have been shut down, and haven’t won a battle that wasn’t handed to them by a judge.
Take that time you were going to spend in your “deep dive” and do something useful. Maybe take a walk.
Grassroots lobbying: This should be a fun session. The gun-grabbers have no “grass roots”
White, upper-middle-class, NPR-listening, Volvo-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing, white-liberal-guilt-stricken perma-scowling Saint Olaf alums from Linden Hills, Crocus Hill and Saint Louis Park. These are the closest the gun-grabber movement gets to “grass roots”.
They have astroturf. They have a few activists (see photo above) and a lot of money from liberals with deep pockets.
And that’s it.
Creating change with personal stories: Go ahead. Bring your personal stories. We’ll bring ours.
The meeting should be fun. And by “fun”, I mean “clogged with self-righteous but badly-informed bobbleheads”.
If any of you Real Americans attend as ringers, please send me your report.
In the previous piece about tomorrow’s “Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities summit “, I said “You’re invited”, sort of.
It’s not actually true. A number of members of the Twin Cities’ human rights community responded to the invitation on Facebook – because the meeting invitation noted that “We all have to step up”, and nobody, but nobody, wants to curb gun violence more than the law-abiding, responsible gun owner , and so a number of Second Amendment human rights activists did step up, and RSVPed to the invite.
And some of them have been getting responses:
I am writing to inform y ou that the meeting on Friday, for which we received your RSVP, is not open to you. If you come, you will be asked to leave.
Presumably that’s Heather Martens, “Executive Director” and sole member of “Protect Minnesota’.
So apparently when they say everyone needs to “step up” to prevent “gun violence”, they only mean “people who want to ban guns in the hands of the law-abiding citizen”.
I wonder if theMinnPost,or Minnesota Public Radio, both of whom are sponsored by Joyce Foundation, the group of liberals with deep pockets who are “ProtectMN’s” only real source of money, will note that in what will no doubt be their embarassingly effusive coverage of the “event?”
 As evidenced by the fact that it’s us law-abiding, responsible gun owners that actually point out that the bulk of the gun carnage is being carried out by criminals, and most of the innocent victims are black children in places like Chicago. The Twin Cities gun-grabber movement, being almost exclusively upper-middle-class white liberals (and, in terms of positions of power, white as the driven snow), seems only to concern itself with the deaths of children who look like their parents are NPR executives. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.
The Twin Cities’ assembly of gun grabbers is having a meeting tomorrow. And you’re invited!
Sort of. More on that in a bit.
Anyway – if you’re out and about tomorrow (Friday) morning (and it always seems these anti-gunners are unemployed, work for non-profits or retired, and have ample weekdaytime to devote to attacking other peoples’ civil rights), it might be fun to drop by.
Here’s the invite, and the agenda, more or less:
It’s happened again. In Nevada, a 13-year-old brought a semiautomatic handgun to school, killed a teacher and wounded two students, and then killed himself.
This can’t keep happening — and it won’t stop on its own. We all have to step up.
On Friday, Oct. 25, Protect Minnesota is hosting a Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities summit for all who want to create safe, peaceful communities free of gun violence. Can you be there? Click here to RSVP**
Where: Shiloh Temple International Ministries, 1201 W. Broadway, Minneapolis
When: Friday, Oct. 25 from 10 am – 3:45 p.m., with lunch provided.
Find out what’s next in this important work and what your role can be. Sessions include:
– Changing the narrative around gun violence prevention
– Developing effective media strategy
– A deep dive on gun policy in Minnesota
– Grassroots lobbying
– Creating change with personal stories
Together, we can change the conversation around gun violence at this critical time in the history of gun violence prevention. Click here to RSVP.
Thank you for all you do,
If you happen to show up? Excellent. If this is like most “Protect MN” meetings, there’ll be several Real Americans (defined as “people who support all ten amendments of the Bill of Rights) for every orc.
If you happen to show up and get video of someone telling a real howler? Send me the vid or the YouTube link. If it’s good, I’ll buy you the beverage of your choice the next time we get together. Heck, even a great quote. Send it on in.
By the way – to show you what a potemkin front “ProtectMN” is? They didn’t even send out the email with the invite by themselves. It was sent by the Brady Factory – which, like the MinnPost, MPR News and ProtectMN itself, is sponsored by the Joyce Foundation.
More on their agenda tomorrow.
And if you’re planning to attend, let me know. Off-line, ideally. I’ll explain that later.
We’ve written before about “Moms Demand Action”, the gun-grabber astroturf group financed entirely by liberals with deep pockets, and “run” (and, I suspect, almost solely inhabited) by Jane Kay, a woman whose hatred of the law-abiding firearms owner is so toxic as to frankly make me worry about her well-being.
Jane Kay (l) with Rep. Heather Martens (DFL – 67A) and Rep. Michael Paymar, at last spring’s gun grab hearings.
Mama Jane has a website, now. And through the miracle of Web 1.0 technology, it gives the Moms and the group’s “member” their sympathizer or two the ability to put lies, long-debunked research and bobbleheaded long-discredited scare stories out in front of Congresspeople via Twitter in bulk loads. Sort of the “Ugly Black Gun” of Twitter interfaces, designed to spit out untruths as fast as a group of orcs can click.
They’re using the #gunsense, #Savethe9 and of course #momsdemandaction tags.
If #MomsDemandAction had more than a few members, it’d be fun to jack the hashtags.
But of course, the point of groups like Moms Demand Action and “Protect Minnesota” isn’t getting members, or even producing social media. It’s getting the compliant media (like the MinnPost, which is sponsored by the same groups that sponsor both of the gun grab groups) to present them as if they’re real groups, to gull the gullible into believing that there is an organized, organic gun-grab movement.
There isn’t. But you’ll never hear it from Doug Grow.
Part of my job is signing cover sheets attached to batches of documents submitted for recording. This morning I’m busy. I have to write my name on, like, ten separate sheets of paper.
If I were a pro ball player, my autographs would be worth $100 each. Of course, our office charges $100 each for approvals. But do I see any of that money? NO! It goes to the County Treasurer.
Oh sure, they claim it’s used to pay my salary and insurance and benefits but I’m not buying it. I think management is getting rich off the backs of labor and stealing the fruits of my toils for their own greed, just like it says in this Public Employee’s Union Poster.
I need a union to protect me from being ground under the iron heel of management making me work indoors, in air conditioning, risking paper cuts every moment of an entire 40-hour week with only a few breaks for lunch, coffee and cigarettes. I’m a slave, that’s all I am, just an indentured servant. I am being cheated, I deserve a raise, I demand a raise and a bigger pension and better insurance, if I don’t get them, I’m going on strike and bring the entire system to its . . . . . .
Last year, the hard left in Minnesota put together an immense coalition of groups to defeat the marriage amendment…
…and then to push a reluctant DFL to support and pass a gay marriage bill.
And the problem with coalitions is they’re pretty much all made up of unlikely bedfellows, or at the very least people who can only stand each other so long.
As the Twin Cities best feminist, I’m naturally on the National Organization of Women’s Minnesota Chapter’s mailing list.
Minnesota NOW and the Pro-Choice community as a whole contributed significant resources to the fight for marriage equality here in Minnesota. That is why we at Minnesota NOW were very disappointed to hear that the Minnesotans United PAC screens their candidates focused singularly on the issue of marriage for same-sex couples and that they will be providing funding to several legislators who have a history of voting for anti-choice legislation. We were told the Minnesotans United PAC will raise and spend resources to support legislators who voted for same-sex marriage – they have no other screens and are aware this model won’t work for all donors. We are truly saddened that the Minnesotans United PAC does not have our back when we need them. We are not equal until we are ALL equal.
Because infanticide is a civil right, dammit.
We encourage you to direct your financial support to the Minnesota NOW PAC which screens candidates on all of our six core issues: LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, economic justice, racial equality, constitutional equality and freedom from violence. This will ensure your money is supporting a candidate that acts on all of your values, not just one.
All you DFL gay marriage supporters – are you going to take this sitting down? Did you hear what they call you?
They listed 11 legislators – eight outstate DFLers and three Republicans (Kieffer, Peterson and Garofalo) who voted for the gay marriage bill – as being insufficiently pro-infanticide for their taste.
I may – in my capacity as the Twin Cities best feminist – start a new group: ”Minnesotans United For Womynandtheirchildren, Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Questioning And Others” (MUFWLGBTQAO) to campaign to resolve the battle between NOW and MUAF once and for all!
I wish reporters would ask more questions. Notice the language of the signs being held by the workers. Some are English, some are Spanish, but all are in the same colors and type font. Plainly, they were professionally printed specifically for this event.
By whom? Who put up the money to rouse this rabble? And where did THEY get the money?
It would be annoying to learn some non-profit community outreach group is being funded by my tax dollars to promote this nonsense. Or worse, if this were just a union tactic to increase their own wages by legislating an increase in the floor wages since they can’t negotiate a raise in this economy.
But looking at the production quality of the signage, I’m not betting against it.
The headline sounds like it was written by Eric Pusey. The rest of the editorial isn’t much better. And the fact that the Strib runs it – ergo folds it under their own editorial umbrella – is something we need to highlight.
The “Senator” involved is Dick Durbin – the guy who wants to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine”, among his many other atrocities.
And it shows the Democrats, and the Strib’s, hypocrisy on many levels. Pardon, as always, the redundancy.
Selective Indignation – Yet Again. The “scrutiny of ALEC”, as we’ve noted in the past, is itself intensely hypocritical – but we’ll come back to that.
On Aug. 6, Durbin sent a letter to about 300 current or former corporate members of ALEC to ask a couple of simple questions. The assistant minority leader wanted to know whether the organization or corporation was still a supporter of ALEC and whether they backed “stand your ground” laws (“For Minnesota think tank, ALEC haters’ witch hunt hits home,” Aug. 14).
Now, just think for a moment what’d happen if, say, Mitch McConnell sent letters to companies asking if they supported Planned Parenthood?
Think about it for a minute.
The Strib editorial board would lose bowel control from the sheer anger. Keri Miller would devote a week of her “Daily Buzz” or whatever they’re calling “Mid-Morning” these days. It’d be one of those “Chilling Effects on Democracy” that seems to accompany any conservative activity in the minds of the media, only worse.
Dance, Boogeyman! Dance! – And why is Durbin so concerned about ALEC?
In September, Durbin plans to convene a subcommittee hearing to study ["Stand Your Ground"] laws in light of the Florida verdict acquitting George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Inasmuch as ALEC’s support was critical to Florida’s 2005 decision to pass the nation’s first stand-your-ground law, it seems reasonable to ask ALEC’s members and funders whether the Trayvon Martin case changed their minds.
The bad publicity ALEC received after an unarmed Martin was shot dead by Zimmerman led many corporations to withdraw their support for ALEC.
I’m not sure – and I can’t find the data at the moment – but I’m going to say this is likely BS; I doubt they lost any significant revenue, at least not for long Maybe I’ll find out more soon.
But what Durbin is doing is trying to is…:
do his bit to keep waving the bloody shirt of the Trayvon Martin case around, to keep the base riled up, and…
ALEC and the groups are right to tell Durbin to stick his request from whence he got his “Fairness Doctrine” proposal.
Proof That the Strib knows DFL Voters are Incurious Lemmings Who Are Content To Let Others Do Their Thinking For them – The Pospatch, via the Strib, does the “Wizard of Oz” schtik for the low-information NPR-listening voter:
The group creates cookie-cutter legislation with the primary goal of enriching the corporate bottom line.
As opposed to the National Education Association, or the Teamsters or SEIU or AFSCME, which create cookie-cutter legislation to enrich their leadership. Or the “Violence Policy Center”, which creates cookie-cutter gun grab legisaltion for state legislators – like the bills Representatives Paymar, Martens and Hausman wasted four months introducing in this past session, all of which were to one degree or another copied and pasted from laws in New York and California. Or the Joyce Foundation, which not only supports gun control groups like the VPC and “Protect Minnesota” (which provide cookie-cutter legislation on Second Amendment issues to ignorami like the Metrocrat Caucus) but also partisan media outlets masquerading as “objective” media, like the MinnPost, to carry Joyce’s proxies’ water in the public information sphere.
“They May Be An Untransparent Hack Pressure Group, But They’re Our Untransparent Hack Pressure Group!” – This next part is comedy gold, provided you have the capacity to laugh at the bald-faced disingenuity of the media. I’ll be adding emphasis:
This is what makes this war of words so interesting. The real purpose of ALEC is to allow corporations and wealthy benefactors to avoid state ethics disclosure laws. As the nonprofit group Common Cause has meticulously noted in its complaint to the Internal Revenue Service, ALEC pretends it’s a nonprofit charity when really it’s a highly sophisticated lobbying organization that allows corporations to launder their donations without showing taxpayers which lawmakers they are buying and selling.
As opposed to “Common Cause”, which – in deep contrast – pretends it’s a nonprofit charity when in fact it is a highly sophisticated lobbying organization that allows liberal plutocrats and “progressive” advocates and groups to launder their donations without showing taxpayers which lawmakers they are buying and selling.
That’s how the corporations want it, and that has nothing to do with freedom of speech or other constitutional protections. It’s deceit, plain and simple, and it has a negative effect on the legislative process.
Catch that? The media – it’s the Pospatch, officially, but this editorial is no less cookie-cutter than a Lori Sturdevant article or an AFSCME-sponsored bill, let alone the ALEC bills it yaps about – is leaning on the purported “deceit” of “ALEC”, which acts, in every way, exactly like every group like it anywhere in American politics, but has been selected as the boogeyman by the Big Left, to draw media attention away from groups like…
…Common Cause, for one, which actually is everything that this editorial claims ALEC is, with comprehensive dishonesty about its own motivations thrown in for good meaure.
“Corporate America has the right to express its opinion,” Durbin said in an interview. “The difference here is this is a secret operation and they’ve become a major political force.”
Unlike those plucky outsiders at Media Matters. Or the Joyce Foundation. Or AFSCME.
Or the “Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota”.
The sooner the Strib goes out of business, the sooner Minnesota has a chance – slight though it may be – of learning the truth about what’s going on around them.
I got this letter from “Protect Minnesota” recently. “Protect Minnesota” was what Rep. Heather Martens (DFLiar – HD66A) had to rename “Citizens for a “Safer” Supine Minnesota” when it turned out her constant lying had damaged whatever credibility the old brand had.
For those who’ve missed earlier installments of my coverage of Ms. Martens, here’s what you need to know; every single substantive thing she had said about gun issues, ever, throughout her career, has been a lie. Every. Last. Word.
Here’s her letter:
Dear Heinrich ,
It’s been several weeks since the Minnesota legislature went home. Despite passing one bill to fund improvements in Federal gun background check data, the legislature left gaping loopholes in the law that still allow people who shouldn’t have guns to get them easily.
Well, no. A bipartisan majority of the legislature realized that Martens’ various bills – copied and pasted as they were from New York and California – wouldn’t change criminals’ ability to find guns; they’d just register the guns of the law-abiding, for further targeting by law-enforcement when and if the political winds swing that way.
We’d never tolerate that sort of treatment of the First Amendment. Why the Second?
We can’t afford to wait for another mass shooting, so we are not letting up in the push for change. We need your help to have one-to-one conversations with voters about what is at stake, and how they can push common sense state and Federal laws. Can you join a phone bank tomorrow? Click here to help phone on Wednesday, July 10, at TakeAction in St. Paul. (Pizza and air conditioning provided!)
Not that there was any doubt that “Protect MN” was part of the ultra-left hive, but the fact that TakeAction – which, like “Protect MN” is an astroturf group funded by unions and liberal plutocrats – just happened to lend “Protect” a phone bank should tell you something.
With more than 75 percent of Minnesotans supporting universal background checks for gun sales,
…according to a push poll whose results have been reported with flagrant disregard for the context of the original survey question; tomayto tomahto, I know…
we had great success engaging voters all over the state, generating thousands of phone calls and emails to legislators.
Martens has been showing an interesting pattern since her bills got tubed by solid bipartisan majorities (which included a bipartisan majority of all House members signing on to co-author a bill that was a direct repudiation of Martens’ bills (channeled via the likes of Michael Paymar and Alice “The Phantom” Hausman); she’s been reduced to trying to turn defeats into victories, at least in the minds of her utterly uninformed followers.
“Thousands” of calls? By all accounts, calls ran 50:1 against Martens’ bills. Even the MinnPost’s Doug Grow, who gets at least part of his paycheck from the same place Martens does (the anti-gun Joyce Foundation contributes at least five figures to both “Protect” MN and the MinnPost, which I suspect is in major part behind the MinnPost’s atrociously ignorant and ludicrously slanted coverage of Second Amendment issues this past year), said it was more like a thousand, as if that was a major accomplishment.
In 2013, we didn’t have time to build the power it takes to reverse the long-term effects of gun-rights extremist propaganda. But we have the public on our side, and we can make the change we need, as long as we keep at it!
Click here to join us and our friends at Mayors Against Illegal Guns for the first in a series of summer phone banks!
And there you go. Two astroturf groups sponsored by liberal plutocrats and government unions (fluffed by a “news” outlet sponsored by those same plutocrats and their plutocrat-supported foundation) are joining with a group of liberal politicians in another astroturf group funded by another liberal plutocrat to try to keep all us unruly peasants in line.
I’ve said it for twenty years, now; the extreme left has always led with the class-warfare rhetoric – and yet on this, the most populist issue of them all, it’s the left who are the patricians, and the gun rights movement in all its bipartisan and non-partisan millions who are the uppity peasants demanding real freedom.
There is a new astroturf group calling themselves “American Rifle + Pistol Association.” (Here’s the URL — I recommend against giving them PageRank by posting it, though: http://amriflepistol.com/ )
And I won’t post it as a link, for precisely that reason.
They are Obama-cheering, gun-control-supporting, MSNBC-watching, Moms-Demand-Action-loving, MAIG-parroting gun banners.
Don’t be fooled. DO spread the word.
Every few years, the left tries to float one potemkin “gun group” or another. I can remember at least three over the years – and the ARPA is no exception.
Here are the screenshots that show [Peter Vogt] the Connecticut converted to Texan Chairman of American Rifle & Pistol Association who is an Obama supporter who is pushing Bloomberg/MAIG’s gun control campaigns while helping to promote Moms Demand Action, a group trying to pressure companies to ban lawful concealed carry so gun owners can’t carry in public anymore and convince gun retailers to stop selling the most popular guns in the country.
They can’t beat us, so they’re going to try to co-opt us.
And they think this is the first time we’ve seen them try it.
On the one hand, acknowledging it is a sign that the Minnesota Left’s campaign – relying as it does on relentless name-calling and smearing – works.
On the other hand – it does work. You don’t need to be a pollster to know that the “Emmer Had Two DUIs” jape likely cost Tom Emmer the 2010 gubernatorial election all by itself.
And on the third hand, not acknowledging it won’t make it go away.
And there’s a fourth hand. We’ll come back to that.
Demonizing personal insults flow far too easily from Minnesota Democrats these days. The latest: Rep. Ryan Winkler calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “Uncle Thomas.” Offensive enough on its own, worse, Winkler’s attack is but a symptom.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin and Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s Executive Director Carrie Lucking have perfected a systematic program in Minnesota that takes political name calling to a new level.
This strategy is straight out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” Alinsky’s Rule #5 states: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Rule #12 says: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Ken Martin at a meeting with Alida Messinger
And the two – Martin, who’s spent a career as Alida Messinger’s cringing lapdog and bag man, and Lucking, a woman who gives off that “my life peaked in high school” vibe, a former junioir high social studies teacher who was a spectacular two-time failure as a campaign manager (oh, crapt, now I’m doing it. I’m sorry) – have certainly raised name-calling to a low, profane art.
The Democrats’ implementation in Minnesota is intentional and well-developed:
Step one: Attach a negative personal label to an opponent that appeals to emotion and has nothing to do with governing.
Step two: Spend a few million dollars to make the label stick.
Step three: Have your candidates pretend to take the high road.
Although Ryan Winkler never got that memo.
DAMMIT! I’m doing it again! The slope of civility sure is slippery!
Of course, neither Lucking nor Martin can do anything else; Conservatives on Twitter know that neither of them has the brains or the information to debate at a level higher than name-calling…
…sorry. I slipped again.
Unfortunately, this formula has proven effective for Democrats. It is now a rapid-response machine. As any Republican candidate steps forward to run for public office in 2014, within hours, usually minutes, Martin and Lucking flood the online and traditional media. Here is a recent sampling: “just another rich guy who likes to fire people”; “just another hypocritical, Gingrich politician”; “vulture capitalist and Minnesota Romney wannabe #2″; “anti-government government official”; “isn’t quite ready for the bright lights”; “failed businessman, failed gubernatorial candidate and right-wing talker”; “a voice for the hard-core right-wing, not hard-working families”; “an extreme choice for Minnesota.”
As I noted a few weeks back, it’s having a noxious effect on politics in Minnesota; I know personally of one potential candidate for significant office for which the specter of the ABM smear machine is a serious consideration; they seriously wonder if it’s worth the damage their families will take at the hands of the droogs that take ABM’s lies seriously.
Minnesota voters deserve better, and even in politics the truth matters. Public officials and candidates put their lives and careers on hold to step forward and serve the people of Minnesota. Attack their ideas, fair enough; but build a messaging machine to insult them personally?
Now, let’s depart for a moment from Lucking and Martin who, let’s be honest, are just sled dogs pulling the way their musher tells them to.
Who lets them get away with it?
The media brahmins in the editorial suites at 425 Porland, 5th and Cedar and 7th and Cedar like to wax rhapsodic about the need for civility, an informed electorate, and a better brand of politics – usually intoned while looking down their aquiline noses at (conservative) talk radio.
And conservatives – most of talk radio and their alternative media included – almost invariably take the high road. And the closer you get to the seats of conservative power, the less likely you are to see anyone getting their hands dirty.
Ken Martin, Carrie Lucking and “Governor” Dayton getting ready for a meeting with Alida Messinger.
But ABM’s toxic sleaze campaign is paid for by Mark Dayton’s ex-wife and the group lavishly funded by his biggest supporters – the unions and liberal plutocrats – and run by the significant other (girlfriend or wife – Lucking is cagey on her domestic specifics) of “Governor” Dayton’s Chief of Staff.
And you will find not a f****ng word about it in the Twin Cities media.
Not one word.
Rachel Stassen-Berger at the Strib, Bill Salisbury at the PiPress, the entire “Capitol Stenography Press Corps”, everyone is hands-off ABM. TheMinnPost? Hell, that’s turned into another DFL PR firm.
Nobody prodded the coziness of the relationship – one might call it “chain of command” – between Dayton’s office and the attack-PR firm his ex-wife pays his chief of staff’s girlfriend/wife/whatever to run.
It’s another example of the media abdicating what some used to call its “responsibility”.
Kurt Zellers announced his candidacy for Governor yesterday, entering an increasingly crowded field.
And seconds after his announcement, the “Alliance For A Better Minnesota” – Alida Messinger’s union-and-plutocrat-funded attack-PR firm, henceforth “ABM” - was out with the party line on Twitter:
@ABetterMN: Failed Speaker Kurt Zellers led a historic era of partisan politics. WATCH: http://bit.ly/16ukH99 #wrong4mn #mn2014 #mnleg #stribpol
(I wonder how “forcing daycare providers and personal care attendants into a union against their will so the DFL can get another $2M a year in “donations” will be spun as “non-partisan” by ABM and the media that parrots their chanting points without question?)
ABM, of course, is run by “Executive Director” Carrie Lucking. She’s a former junior high social studies teacher who now runs Messinger’s little message shop; she ran the epic, toxic sleaze campaign that barely squeedged Mark Dayton over the top against Tom Emmer’s flawed campaign in 2010, and packed the polls with the uninformed in 2012.
But what about in between?
Dave Thul was the first with the story:
@davethul: The irony of @ABetterMN’s ‘failed candidate’ mantra? Their Exec @CarrieLucking left teaching to become a Failed Campaign Manager. #stribpol
She was a “failed” campaign manager, working for a woman who had a failed marriage to a failed Senator.
Oh, the video about Zellers that Lucking links to?
You be the judge. But I’d call it an epic failure.
Carrie Lucking: Remember – the greatest president of either of our lifetimes, Ronald Reagan, was a “failure” running for president. Once.
It was one of those “Mission Accomplished” moments. But not in a good way.
A week or so I was talking with someone who was considering running for a fairly important political office.
This person would be anidealcandidate for this office – by which I mean both “as a candidate” and “as a conservative policymaker”. I’m not going to go into specifics – I don’t want to give anyone the faintest whiff of a thread by which to identify them.
So what’s holding them back?
Nope – not the fundraising.
It’s the trashing they’d expect to get from the Alliance for a Better Minnesota (with the willing connivance of a media that carries ABM’s water).
And I have to think; that has got to be one of Alida Messinger’s goals – to make running for office as a conservative such an intimately-brutal, self-abnegating torture test that good people can’t justify putting themselves and their families through it.
The MInnPost is an organization I’d very much like to respect. It includes a raft of people I’ve considered good reporters.
But over the course of Minnesota’s gun debate over this past session – brought on by Minnesota DFL legislators launching a raft of authoritarian gun bills, including at least one that called for confiscation of certain firearms – the MInnPost has shown a very crafty bias toward the anti-Second-Amendment crowd. From Erik Black’s series suggesting that the Second Amendment was just too complicated for modern people, to the fawning coverage the entire publication gives Heather Martens (“Executive Director” and one of very, very few actual members of “Protect Minnesota”), down to Doug Grow’s apparently pre-written slime job on Representative Hilstrom’s compromise “good gun bill” during the past session, the MinnPost has supported the orthodox anti-gun line to a fault.
No, correlation doesn’t equal causation. The fact that the MinnPost threw all sense of objectivity and journalistic detachment to the wind this past session on the gun issue and getting a nice-sized grant from a group that has bankrolled anti-gun groups around the country for over a decade could be purely a coincidence. And it’s not like opposing the Second Amendment doesn’t come along with the left-of-center beliefs most of the staff hold.
Given the outcome of the legislative session, the tone of Tuesday night’s meeting sponsored by Protect Minnesota was surprising.
Heather Martens, who leads the organization that long has been a force for advocating for stricter gun-control laws, urged the 23 people who attended the North Minneapolis meeting to think about the “successes” that came out of the session.
On first blush, that may seem like a hard thing to do, given that gun-rights organizations got all they wanted: No universal background checks, no limits on magazine capacities, no assault rifle bans.
But “Protect Minnesota” doesn’t exist to convince people. It exists to manipulate the media – and, via them, the people.
Confederates! With Guns! Defending Slavery!
Which may be what led to this next statement by Grow (with emphasis added):
And by the end of session, cowed legislators refused to even have a floor vote on anything resembling major gun-law change.
That’s just wrong.
The legislators weren’t so much “cowed” as organizing behind Deb Hilstrom’s Good Gun Bill (Ortmann’s in the Senate). Half of the House, comprising reps on both sides of the aisle, co-authored her compromise bill. And when the backroom “negotiations” between the metro DFLers (who were carrying Heather Martens’ water to the point that one, Rep. Alice Hausman, let Heather Martens do her job for her) broke down, the bills were scuppered from the floor by a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and responsible outstate DFLers.
But that doesn’t fit the “big bad NRA!” narrative, does it?
History Is Written By Those With The Printing Presses
Grow carries on his stenography for Martens (emphasis added):
Martens told the group there was victory in the bipartisan support for $1 million to fund a law that requires the state to file data with the feds on those who should be prohibited from owning firearms.
The law requiring the state to file the data was passed in 2009 but was never funded, essentially making it useless.
Will Grow mention that it was a DFL legislature that scuppered that funding? The metrocrat Democrats didn’t want a bipartisan-backed background check to give the impression that it worked better than actual harassment of the law-abiding citizen.
“But Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln…”
Grow feels obliged to list the outcome of the tiny group’s self-therapy session:
Phone-banking (more than 1,000 calls to legislators sitting on the fence).
Legislators reported that constituent calls ran at least 50:1 against the DFL’s bills.
Media coverage was complete.
Yeah, the suspense was killing us on that one.
That’s what Heather Martens does – get friendly media coverage. She’s the Larry Jacobs of the gun issue – the one, single, sole person that every Twin Cities “journalist” calls for the left’s take on guns in Minnesota.
We’ll come back to that.
“Wait – That Was Your “Intellectual” Argument?”
One of the other “Successes”, according to Grow:
Finding a “visceral” message, one that appeals to the emotions as well as the intellect.
I got a laugh there.
Emotion is the only message Heather Martens’ group has! Talk with any of her group’s “members”, I dare you. You’ll get a broadside of anger and grief over Sandy Hook (but never, ever Chicago, or any other crime scene where the kids don’t look like the children of NPR executives) – and not even the faintest whiff of an “intellectual” message.
Although, as always, I do invite Heather Martens on the NARN to make that “intellectual” case. I’ve been asking for nine years, now.
You Don’t Do Business Against The Family
As Martens via Grow noted above, one of their “successes” was “complete” media coverage.
Now, there’s no surprise there. Most of the media editors and producers in the Twin Cities support gun control. Other reporters, I suspect, haven’t the depth of knowledge on the issue to know that pretty much everything Heather Martens has ever said on the issue is a lie.
But Doug Grow’s piece – really, his entire history covering Martens for the MinnPost – has been at a level of obsequious fawning that outstrips the rest of the media.
Well, I’ve got a theory. And remember – it’s just a theory. I’ve got nothing but circumstantial evidence to back it up.
But do you remember way up above, where we pointed out that the MInnPost gets big bucks from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation?
This might not be “conflict of interest” for Grow, in any actionable sense of the term. But I’d think that identifying the fact that both Doug Grow’s and Rep. Martens’ jobs are paid for, in whole or part, by a non-profit supported by liberal plutocrats that is the single major funder of anti-gun organizations might have been worth a mention.
Again, correlation doesn’t equal causation.
But given the complete abandonment of any sense of balance or concern for fact on the part of the MinnPost in covering the Second Amendment issue – not to mention Grow’s obsequious. fawning, toenail-painting coverage of Martens and her “group” this session - ”causation” doesn’t seem like a big stretch.
Jane Kay is the leader of “Moms Demand Action”, which is what they renamed the “Million Mom March” after they realized they actually had about two members in Minnesota. While more objectively accurate – it might be better still to call it “Mom Demands Action” – I’m not sure if they considered that the name sounds a little like a made-for-Cinemax movie.
I’m sure she’s a perfectly lovely human being and all. But the contempt she feels for those who disagree with her is emblematic of the intellectual entitlement the anti-gun crowd brings to the table.
She tweeted this (from a protected account, naturally) last night:
She seems to be of the opinion that you can either care about the Constitution or children, but not both.
Of course, Ms. Kay, I own guns precisely because I care about my children – enough to defend them in some meaningful way. And because protecting them – and eventually, teaching them to defend themselves and, God willing and yet heaven forfend, my grandchildren, is one of the paramount duties a parent has.
I’d love to discuss this with Ms. Kay. But it’s hard to get past the air of invincible condescension.
So what did all of that money from DFL plutocrats buy in the 2012 elections?
Maybe a seat in the legislature, on the relative cheap?
Guest writer Bill Walsh found a correlation – not a link, mind you, but a correlation – that might bear some looking into.
DFL Receives Tremendous Return on Investment from Election Day Stipends
The definition of correlation is “the mutual relation of two or more things.” For today’s discussion of the 2012 campaign finance reports, let’s focus on the correlation of two things:
Just days before the general election, the Minnesota DFL Party paid “canvasser stipends” to 40 individuals who live on or near Minnesota Indian reservations, especially the Red Lake Reservation.
The vote for president in the four precincts that make up the Red Lake Indian Reservation was 2,165 for Obama to 39 for Romney.
There’s nothing illegal about these two sets of facts, but they do make an interesting correlation.
The canvasser stipends totaled $13,400 and ranged from $200 to $500. They were all paid on November 5th and 6th, the day before and the day of the general election. They included a $3,500 payment to Jamie Edwards of Brooklyn Center for “canvassing coordination.”
Sixteen of the stipends were paid to people living in Bagley, Ponehah, Red Lake, and Redby, all precincts in and around the Red Lake Reservation. Six of the stipends went to the same street in Bagley: Wild Rice Loop. Four of the stipends went to the same house: 26681 Wild Rice Loop.
Five of the stipends were paid to addresses in Naytahwaush near the White Earth Reservation. The rest of the stipends are divided between the White Earth Reservation and the Mille Lacs Reservation.
So what did the DFL get for their money?
The easiest way to analyze the effectiveness of this program is to look at the precincts in the Red Lake Reservation, where we know the vote is 100% Native American.
Red Lake Agency
In the four precincts that make up the reservation, the total vote for president was 2,165 for President Obama and just 39 votes for Mitt Romney. That’s 98% for the Democrats. The overwhelming DFL vote pattern continued down the partisan ballot. In the Ponemah precinct, the vote was 385 to 1. Just one vote for Romney? You would think ten or fifteen voters would have voted for Romney by accident.
These lopsided results can be seen on the other reservations but it’s not as obvious. For example, the precinct that includes the town of Naytahwaush on the White Earth Reservation (Twin Lakes Township) voted 185 for Obama to 29 for Romney.
The Native American vote only added to the victory margin for President Obama and Senator Klobuchar in Minnesota, but it had a more profound effect on the makeup of the state legislature. In House District 2A for example, DFLer Roger Erickson defeated Rep. Dave Hancock by 1,829 votes. His margin on the Red Lake Reservation was 1,916 votes. It’s hard to win a legislative district when you lose four precincts by almost 2,000 votes.
Again, I am not alleging anything illegal happened here. On its face, it is just a correlation. Historically, there is no reason to expect that Native American voters in Minnesota would vote in favor of the Republican ticket. But the 98% vote total should at least raise some questions.
The $13,400 spent on this canvasser program is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions spent on the 2012 election by both sides. Certainly the tribes in Minnesota give more campaign money to Democrats than Republicans, but their advantage is not as lopsided as it is with the unions. And the political interests of the tribes down south with successful gaming operations don’t always line up with the tribes up north.
There are two approaches to this problem for the Minnesota Republican Party heading into the 2014 election.
One approach would be to make sure we have poll watchers in all of these precincts next year to make sure the election is free from intimidation and voter fraud.
But a better and more long-term approach would be to directly reach out to Native American voters and convince them our plans for economic opportunity, entrepreneurship, job creation and especially education reform deserve a stronger look. This outreach needs to be sincere and should include a two-way conversation that results in real proposals put forward by our leaders at the legislature. We can easily show the policies of the DFL have not benefited Native American families and they are taking their votes for granted.
This outreach needs to start now, not just days before the election. And it needs to involve a commitment to make life better, not just $13,400 in election day stipends.
I was down at the State Capitol yesterday for a press conference, as Representative Deb Hilstrom (DFL Brooklyn Park) introduced the gun bill/s we talked about yesterday.
The bills, as we noted yesterday, would exert the state to solve actual problems – close gaps in the background check system, add mandatory penalties for using guns in crimes or possessing them illegally…
…y’know. Controversial stuff.
At the presser, I saw a big group of legislators from both chambers and both parties lining up to support Hilstrom’s proposal. Reps, Senators, Democrats, Republicans – it was probably the most bipartisan assembly I’ve seen that wasn’t in the lounge at the Kelly Inn after hours.
Not just legislators; guys in uniform. They weren’t just there for the fun of it – guys in uniform never are. No, they were from the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association.
And I saw media. Oh, lord, did I see media.
And Heather Martens was there, naturally; where there is truth about the Second Amendment, Martens will be there. To lie. And lie and lie and lie (note to the media who bothered to speak to her; she has uttered not one substantial word of truth in her years at the capitol. Ask me).
And the “groups” she represents put out a call for their “membership” to turn out in force to oppose this bill – probably remembering the hundreds of Second Amendment supporters who turned out daily to oppose the DFL’s gun grab bills a few weeks ago.
We’ll come back to them.
One person who was not there was Doug Grow, from the MInnPost.
To be fair, I haven’t seen Grow in person in over 20 years; I might not recognize him.
Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, has discovered again that there is no comfortable middle ground when the subject is guns.
At noon at the Capitol, Hilstrom, standing with Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek and Rep. Tony Cornish, the gun-toting legislator from Good Thunder, introduced a gun bill that she said “can bring people together’’ on the volatile subject of guns.
No, no bias here.
The Astroturf Consensus
Grow, like most of the Twin Cities mainstream media, labors under the delusion that there’s a large, organized mass of people supporting gun control, and that they were out in force yesterday.
Her words were still echoing in the Capitol when critics, who had hoped for much stronger actions from the Minnesota Legislature, lambasted the effort of Hilstrom and a bipartisan group of 69 other legislators to “close gaps’’ in current state gun law.
“This is just a band-aid over a huge problem,’’ said Jane Kay of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, an organization formed in the days following the mass shooting of school children in Newtown, Conn.
Only in America can a two-month old pressure group with fewer members than there were legislators standing behind Hilstrom get the breathless adoration of the media. Which is what “Moms Demand Action” and “Protect Minnesota” both are; astroturf checkbook advocacy groups funded by liberal plutocrats with deep pockets – with “membership” numbers in the single digits.
Provided they share the goal of fluffing the left’s withering narrative on gun control.
Of course, Grow wasn’t the only offender; Pat Kessler of Channel 4 asked Hilstrom why the bill included no universal background check which, he asserted, “70% of Minnesotans oppose”.
The correct answer – the polls ask people about background checks without explaining the consequences of those checks as the DFL and Governor Messinger Dayton currently propose them; they will result in a de facto gun registry, which is a necessary first step to universal confiscation.
More on gun-related media polls in another piece soon.
The Pre-Written Story
But Grow himself is the real problem here. His piece, while short on the sort of insight that actually engaging people on both sides of the issue might have given it, is long on evidence that Grow wrote the story long before yesterday’s press conference.
There’s the inflammatory reference to every leftymedia member’s favorite boogyman:
The bill has the support of the National Rifle Association, presumably because it does nothing to require background checks on all gun sales and because it does nothing to restrict sales of military-style weapons or even the quantity of rounds in ammunition magazines.
The bill has the support of gun-rights organizations because instead of wasting time and effort putting niggling restrictions on the rights of the law-abiding that didn’t affect crime in any way the first ten years they were tried, they actually address the real problem; criminals, the insane, the addled, and the holes in the data the state sends to the Feds for the background check system.
(And while the NRA makes a nice, recognizable, stereotyped boogeyman for the lazy propagandist, the NRA actually has very little to do with the day to day heavy lifting of the gun rights movement in Minnesota. It’s the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance that turned out 500 or more people a day to attend the gun grab hearings a couple of weeks back. Grow either doesn’t know that, or doesn’t want people to know that. You know where my money is).
More evidence that Grow wrote the story entirely off of DFL and “Protect Minnesota” chanting points?
Despite the fact that it’s a bill that authors hoped would unite people, it seems to be dividing. Yes, there was a mix of Republican and DFL representatives standing with Hilstrom, Cornish and Stanek. But there were no law-enforcement organizations represented at the news conference where the proposal was unveiled.
Here’s the video of the press conference:
See all those guys in uniforms?
Scroll in to 1:12. That’s Sheriff Rich Stanek, Hennepin County Sheriff, speaking on behalf of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association.
Either Grow is lying, or he wrote the entire story with no knowledge of the facts of the story.
Short On Fact, Long On Jamming Words Into Peoples’ Mouths
Grow follows by saying…:
There also were no DFL senators, though presumably the bill will be as attractive to outstate senators as it appears to be to many outstate DFL representatives.
Grow throws that in there as if it’s a substantive fact related to the bill itself. It’s not. While most outstate legislators no doubt remember the DFL debacle of 2002, it’s also more than plausible Tom Bakk wants to keep his powder dry.
In other words, presence of no DFL senators is a non-factor, unless you’re a low-information reader.
Grow next swerves through fact – and in so doing, undercuts his own premise. I’ll add emphasis:
Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, and the chairman of the House public safety committee, has indicated he has no desire to have the bill heard by his committee. Paymar is pushing a bill that would require purchasers of guns at flea markets and gun shows to go through background checks.
Yet, given the large number of co-authors with Hilstrom, there likely are ways for the bill to weave its way through the legislative process.
Yes. There are a large number of co-authors; so many they had to submit it not one, not two, but three times to get them all on. Over half of the House is signed on as authors of the bill.
Michael Paymar wants to thwart the will of the representatives of over half of Minnesota’s voters?
Putting Thirty Shots From An AR15 Into A Strawman
Finally, Grow takes his whacks at some of the legislators who’ve violated the DFL’s narrative:
[Representative Tony] Cornish, usually a lightning rod in the gun debate, said he was taking a different role regarding the fate of this bill.
“Several of my statements (in the past) have been controversial,’’ he said. “Today my role is to be a peacemaker.’’
No sooner had he said that than he uttered a statement that raises the hackles of those hoping for stronger gun measures.
“I want to thank the NRA for helping (on the bill),’’ he said. He went on to say that the bill “contains nothing for gun owners to fear.’’
Er, who’s “hackles” got “raised”, here? And why?
Was it the involvement of the NRA? Your dog whistles aren’t our problem.
Or was it the quote about gun owners having nothing to fear? Is that the actual goal, here?
Hilstrom, in her seventh term, refused to talk about her true feelings of the bill. Rather, she kept speaking of the importance of “passing a bill that will solve real problems.’’
She did point out that she never has sought the endorsement of the NRA and that in the past she has received a “C,’’ “D,’’ and “F’’ from the NRA.
If she’s doing the right thing – which, for a majority of Minnesotans, is “solving problems”, rather than attacking the law-abiding gun owner – then I don’t care if she’s a life-time “F” rating. And I don’t care about her true feelings; I don’t care if she’s being used as an escape hatch by the DFL to get out of the embarassment of the Paymar/Hausman gun grab bills.
Finally: I owe the Twin Cities media an apology. I’ve said that Larry Jacobs is the most over-quoted person in the Twin Cities media. And he is. David Schultz is right up there.
But in the “single-issue” category, Heather Martens – “Executive Director” and, near as we can tell, one of less than a half-dozen members of “Protect Minnesota” (and de facto representative of House District 66A) and a woman whose entire body of public assertions is lies, dwarfs them all:
Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota, derided the bill as “NRA-approved.’’
Boo! Boogeyman! Hiss!
Listen, MinnPost-reading dogs! There’s your whistle!
“Any bill that fails to address the gaping holes in our background check law falls far short of the public’s demand for the right to be safe in our communities,’’ Martens said in a statement.
And there’s another lie. The bill does address the gaping hole that exists in the background check laws.
No, not the misnamed “gun show loophole”, which is another media myth. The real gap is the data that the state isn’t sending to the feds; the Hilstrom bill fixes it.
GOCRA’s Mountain, Grow And Martens’ Molehill
Leaving aside the fact that Grow got pretty much everything in this story wrong – and wrong in a way that suggests not only that he wasn’t at Hilstrom’s press conference but that he wrote the whole thing straight from chanting points long before Hilstrom took to the microphone – the most pernicious thing about Grow’s story is that it tries to create the impression that there’s a genuine battle between two titanically-powerful sides to this debate.
In terms of legislators? A bipartisan sample of over half of the House is on board co-authoring Hilstrom’s bill(s). A thin, runny film of metro-DFL extremists is backing the Paymar/Hausman/Simonson gun grab bills.
In terms of the public? Last month, GOCRA put out a call for people to come to the Capitol. And they did.
“Protect Minnesota” and “Moms Demand Action” put out a call yesterday for people to come out and protest against Hilstrom’s bill.
Here they are:
Well, not literally. But no, other than Heather Martens, nobody showed up.
There are literally more DFL legislators co-authoring Hilstrom’s bill than there are members of “Protect Minnesota” and the “Moms Demand Action” put together.
So how much money did Big Labor spend along with Big Lefty Plutocrat to buy the Governor’s Office and the Legislature?
If you believe the Strib, it’s “around $3 million.
If you believe the Strib is going to tell the truth about DFL perfidy – and especially the big money behind the DFL, I’ve got a 50% stake in the next Lindsay Lohan movie to sell you.
Bill Walsh, long-time Minnesota political operative, did a little digging into the story – and he’s got something the Twin Cities’ mainstream media doesn’t want to give you; the facts:
I’m publishing his piece as a guest writer at Shot In The Dark today.
Unions Spent $11.1 Million in 2012 to Buy Friendly Legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton
Bill Walsh, Shot In The Dark Guest Writer
A few weeks ago the Star Tribune published an article about campaign spending in the 2012 election focusing on two big individual donors – Alida Messinger and Bob Cummins. The conclusion? Each party has a big donor that gave lots of money, it’s all a wash. I’m afraid this story is all we’re going to get from the Strib on campaign spending analysis. Today, in an otherwise well written article on union influence at the capitol this year, Rachel Stassen-Berger writes that unions “put at least $3 million into elections.” I guess $11.1 million is “at least” $3 million. She’s only off by $8.1 million.
I took the time to go through the campaign finance reports of 111 different union organizations in Minnesota and nationally for the 2012 election. Spending ranged from Education Minnesota at $1.8 million to the Bemidji Central Labor Body AFL-CIO Political Fund at $250. State and local unions accounted for $9.1 million in campaign spending with national unions kicking in the other $2 million.
It took some time to come to the right numbers because many unions give money to each other for joint spending initiatives. These numbers reflect the net spending after backing out contributions between unions. It goes without saying that over 99% of the money went to DFL candidates and causes.
I blame myself for not getting this research to the StarTribune before they published today’s article. It really would have added some punch to their story.
For example, when talking about the nurses union asking the legislature for new staffing ratios that will drive up health care costs, it would have been useful to point out to readers the nurses union spent over $500,000 helping DFL candidates win back the legislature last year. As a matter of fact, that probably should be mentioned every time the media covers the progress of this legislation.
Likewise, when discussing AFSCME’s attempt to force unionization on small private childcare businesses, it would inform the reader to mention that seven different AFSCME organizations gave a total of $1.6 million to DFL candidates and causes in 2012.
The list goes on – Education Minnesota is trying to resurrect their statewide insurance pool legislation, MAPE and AFSCME are getting new generous employment contracts, the minimum wage is being increased and Dayton is following through on his promise to raise taxes on the rich.
But business spends a lot too, right? Wrong. It’s hard to get anywhere near $11.1 million if you add up the business money spent in the 2012 election. A business friendly PAC called Minnesota’s Future spent $1.2 million while the Chamber of Commerce-supported Coalition for Minnesota Businesses spent just $283,000 on the 2012 election. We all know the MNGOP received little support from the business community and the two legislative caucuses combined to spend only $4.1 million, and not all of that can be attributed to business.
According to today’s Pioneer Press, however, business interests do spend a lot on lobbying. The Campaign Finance Board reported that business interests spent $17.4 million lobbying the legislature during the 2011 session.
This may be the key to understanding today’s political environment. Unions spend heavily getting sympathetic Democrats elected to office. Once they are in place, it doesn’t take much money to lobby –the jury is already selected.
Business on the other hand, spends relatively little on the nuts and bolts of campaigns and prefers to hire lobbyists to try to influence the debate after the legislature has been selected.
First, Republican legislators need to hammer away on the $11.1 million unions spent to buy this legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton. They need to remind the public and the press at every opportunity to follow the money. Pay to play has never been more obvious in Minnesota.
Second, the business community needs to shift some of its resources to where it matters: the 2014 general election. Business will never match the collective self interest and desperation of the unions, so we need to reach a higher level of cooperation if we hope to recapture the House and win back the governor’s office in 2014.