The Great Poll Scam: Introduction

The weekend before the election, I was talking with a friend – a woman who has become a newly-minted conservative in the past two years.  She’d sat out the 2008 election, and had voted for Kerry in ’04, but finally became alarmed about the state of this nation’s future – she’s got kids – and got involved with the Tea Party and started paying attention to politics.  And she was going to vote conservative.  Not Republican, mind you, but conservative.

And the Saturday before the election, she sounded discouraged.  “Have you seen the polls?” she asked.  “Emmer’s gonna get clobbered”.

I set her straight, of course – referred her to my blog posts debunking the election-eve Humphrey and Minnesota polls.and showing her the Emmer campaign internal poll that showed the race a statistical dead heat (which, obviously, was the most correct poll before election day).

She left the room feeling better.  She voted for Emmer.  And she voted for her Republican candidates in her State House and Senate districts, duly helping flip her formerly blue district to the good guys and helping gut Dayton’s agenda, should he (heaven forefend) win the recount.

But I walked away from that meeting asking myself – what about all the thousands of newly-minted conservatives who don’t have the savvy or inclination to check the cross-tabs?  The thousands who saw those polls, and didn’t have access to a fire-breathing conservative talk show host with a keen BS detector who’s learned to read the fine print?

How many votes did Tom Emmer lose because of the Hubert H. Humphrey and Minnesota polls that showed him trailing by insurmountable margins?

How many votes to conservatives and Republicans lose in every election due to these polls’ misreporting?

Why do these two polls seem so terribly error-prone?  And why do those errors always seem to favor the Democrats, with the end result of discouraging Republican voters?

Coincidence?

———-

Public opinion polling is the alchemy of the post-renaissance age.  Especially “likely voter” polling; every organization that runs a poll has a different way of taking the hundreds or thousands of responses they get, and classifying the respondents as “likely” or not to vote, and tabulating those results into a snapshot of how people are thinking about an election at a given moment.

But the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll has, to the casual observer, a long history of coming out with polls that seem to short Republicans – especially conservative ones – every single election.  And the relative newcomer to the regional polling game, the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute’s poll done in conjunction with Minnesota Public Radio, seems – again, anecdotally (so far) to take that same approach and supercharge it.

I’ve had this discussion in the past – David Brauer of the MinnPost and I had a bit of a back and forth on the subject, on-line and on the Northern Alliance one Saturday about a month ago.

And so it occurred to me – it’s easy to come up with anecdotes, one way or another.  But how do the numbers really stack up?   If you dig into the actual numbers for the Humphrey Institute and the Minnesota Poll, what do they say?

I’ll be working on that for the next couple of weeks.  Here’s the plan:

http://www.shotinthedark.info/wp/?p=15172

Obama’s October Surprise Letdown

So why did Obama demand that the Iraqis gundeck the Bush Administration’s (and General Petraeus’) Iraq withdrawal plan?

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops – and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”

“However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open.” Zebari says.

Though Obama claims the US presence is “illegal,” he suddenly remembered that Americans troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of a UN mandate. His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the “weakened Bush administration,” Iraq should seek an extension of the UN mandate.

While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a “realistic withdrawal date.” They declined.

So let’s get this straight; he’d rather hold off the withdrawal and claim the credit than bring the troops home?

Yow.

A Reminder

Tomorrow’s the pick-up day for Joe Repya’s latest sign campaign:

Pick ‘em up at Stephano’s in Eagan – the corner of Highway 13 and Cliff Road  - starting at noon, and going until 3 or until they run out, whichever comes first. 

I say that because they should run out fast – as in, possibly within the first hour or so. 

What to do with them?  From Colonel Joe Repya’s press release (I’ve added emphasis):

At noon on September 1, the anti-war crowd claims they’ll have upwards of 50,000 marching from the Minnesota Capitol Building to the Excel Energy Center where the Republican National Convention, at the Excel Energy Center in Saint Paul.

We are asking everyone who supports our men and women in uniform defending America in the War on Terror to line the streets from the Excel Center with our signs. It is our way of being “Minnesota Nice” and wishing these protesters a “nice day in Minnesota.” We encourage no discussion or verbal exchange with the demonstrators – only a pleasant “smile!

So show up!  So I’ll see you Tomorrow a Noon at Stephano’s!

Leave a comment here and/or at the Colonel’s blog if you plan on showing up.

That’s Gotta Hurt

When even the Twin Cities’ left-leaning alt-media notice:

Brodkorb/MDE wins a round: Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has reversed himself and admitted that he gave his campaign an email list from the SOS’s office that was not supposed to be used for campaign purposes.

Hey, if you can’t trust a “Secretary of State” whose only notable political experience was running the pressure group whose sole accomplishment was plastering those annoying “November 2″ bumper stickers on the backs of rusty Subarus and gaunt Volvos nationwide but who pinky-swore to “depoliticize” the Secretary of State’s office, who can you trust?

Let’s see what kinda damage control the Strib rolls out over the long weekend.

Stanek Out

MDE reports that Rich Stanek isn’t going to run for Jim Ramstad’s 3rd CD seat.

Stanek, the Henco sheriff, would have made a great congressional representative – but would have had to spend a lot of time and effort fighting off recycled palaver over his past racist remarks and actions (for which he’s worked harder than anyone I know if in the public eye to atone, and for which even the crypto-maoist City Pages has (grudgingly) declared him rehabilitated - not that any of that matters to the local media).

He leaves behind a decent field of solid conservatives.

More – much, much more – on this race over the next 11 months.

Ethics For Ye, But Not For We

Al Franken bashes tobacco companies from the stump, among other places.

Indeed, check out this entry from his “campaign blog“:

Al Franken, who hopes to challenge Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., next year, says he delivered a stern message to friend Tom Hanks at a fundraiser in Los Angeles last month.

“At one point I talked about the contrast between me and Norm, which was that he takes money from Big PhRMA and Big Insurance and Big Oil and Big Tobacco, and I’m taking money from Big Comedy,” Franken recalled in an interview Wednesday. “And I said, for example, I don’t think I’ll be writing any earmark in for Tom Hanks.”

According to Franken, Hanks stormed out of the room, bringing the house down. Then the actor returned to applause, pointed to Franken, and the two said in unison, “Big Comedy.”

It is to chuckle.

But as it happens, he’s not above dipping his fingers into Big Tobacco’s deep pockets.

Local lefties are un-thrilled at the news.

Cleaning Up that Culture of Corruption

Via Malkin, yet another onslaught of liberal voter fraud:

Guess which left-wing group is at the center of the worst case of voter-registration fraud in Washington state history? Yep, you guessed it: ACORN. The same ACORN tied to massive voter fraud in Missouri. And Ohio. And 12 other states. Here’s the Washington state scoop via Seattle’s KOMO TV: “King County prosecutors filed felony charges Thursday against seven people in what a top official described as the worst case of voter-registration fraud in state history, while the organization they worked for agreed to keep a better eye on its employees and pay $25,000 to defray costs of the investigation. The seven submitted about 1,800 registration cards last fall on behalf of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which had hired them at $8 an hour to sign people up to vote, according to charging documents filed in Superior Court.”

Prosecutors didn’t sugercoat the fraud: “This was an act of vandalism upon the voter rolls of King County,” said Dan Satterberg, the interim King County prosecutor. But officials tried to give ACORN some benefit of the doubt, noting that the defendants were motivated by financial gain rather than intentions of sabotaging the election.

The leftymedia and the Sorosphere gamboled about like poo-flinging monkeys at the news of the two GOP functionaries in New Hampshire who got caught tampering with elections – but will this story get any coverage outside of the blogosphere and talk radio?

About an acorn’s chance in a squirrel farm.

History, De-Varnished?

The Minnesota Monitor – as impeccable a source of journalism as George Soros’ money can buy – snarks at covers Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, quoting a piece from Radar, which would appear to be yet another bunch of John Stewart wannabees (not unlike, as it happens, the piece’s author himself).

Oh, it starts out with the usual symptoms of Bachmann Derangement Syndrome:

“Bachmann, an Evangelical Lutheran, and self-professed fool for ‘Christ,’ ran for Congress because God—and her husband—wanted her to,” the tongue-in-cheek article said.  “The representative publicly credited her campaign to her submission to her husband, who was channeling God’s wishes for her.”

(Offline note to Christians – d’ya ever think that anyone in the Sorosphere will bother to figure out that “fool for Christ” doesn’t mean what they think it means?  Or that the voluntary, theologically-based notion of “submission to one’s husband” isn’t necessarily personally disempowering, given that she is now one of the most powerful people in the United States?  No, me either)

But then it touches upon some interesting history:

It also notes, “as a Minnesota state senator, Bachmann launched a crusade to outlaw gay marriage that turned into a highly publicized spectacle replete with restroom run-ins with angry lesbians

 SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATCH!

“Run-in with angry lesbians”? 

Radar via their mouthpiece at Minnesota Moneyitor is referring to an incident in Scandia, Minnesota about two years ago, in which Michele Bachmann she was detained against her will in a restroom.  Bachmann claimed her visitors were upset and moved to prevent her from leaving the rest room. 

However, on the Dump Bachmann blog – your one stop shop for Bachmann derangement – reported the event as follows:

Less than a moment later, piercing
screams were heard from the ladies’ washroom. “Help!!!!
HEEEELLLLLLPPPPPP!!!!!” With everyone’s attention riveted
on the door, Senator Bachmann emerged in a crouching run,
crying, “I was being held against my will!” Two women
were seen standing behind her, one tall and elderly,
the other young and petite, both unassuming and bewildered.

So one of several things is going on here:

  1. Radar knows something the “Dump Bachmann” gang aren’t telling us; that Bachmann was not casually queried by a gentle biddy and a nun!
  2. Radar is lying, and Minnesota Moneyitor is blithely passing the lie on without any further checking, defaming the indefamable Dumpers.

What is the truth?

By the way, here’s an infinitesimal nod toward Radar’s credibility:

and grainy photos suggesting that Bachmann was ‘spying’ on a gay rights rally while crouching behind a bush.”

They put scare quotes around the elements of the “Bachmann spied on the gay rally” story, one of “Dump Bachmann’s” most delusional old chestnuts.

MinMoneyitor - the best “journalism” George Soros’ money can buy!

UPDATE:  Open note to a certain ethically-challenged leftyblogger who thinks puerile name-calling is “argument”:

I get twenty times the traffic you do – and I always will.  So no, I’m not trolling for traffic on your dim little site. 

Face it; your efforts helped Michele Bachmann get into Congress.  With y’all as enemies, she may be the first female president.

Now go run along and play in the little pool of  your own febrile splittle that you’ve been marinading (poaching?) in since November.

Roast Crocodile With All The Fixings

The Strib Editorial board yesterday cried crocodile tears about the tone of this state and nation’s political debate, in the form of a paeon to the healing power of Thanksgiving. The piece starts out well, as far as it goes:

The platters circled and tensions rose until some word or gesture or foregone rejoinder — invisible even afterward! — made possible a turning point, and it all turned out all right.

Remember what Tolstoy said about happy families being all alike? We might suggest that picture-book Thanksgivings are all the same, while each stress-tested celebration that ends well is a triumph of unique circumstances, proving anew the wide possibilities of peacemaking.

Indeed – what a wonderful sentiment!

And then it makes a turn that makes one wonder – Did the Strib farm this editorial out to one of their regular writers’ wives? Or does the Strib really believe this stuff?

In today’s America the distinctive flavor of political life is bitterness. It is not the depth of our differences that distinguishes this era so much as the rancor of our arguments, a thoroughgoing disrespect for opposing ideas and the people who hold them, for the weight of facts and the worth of pluralism.

But we who fashion this page want to believe that if families and friends can heal their long-nursed hostilities with the help of roast turkey and root vegetables, then there is hope for bridging the merely political disputes among the players in our newly redivided government — and among the partisans who put them there.

We want to believe that the elections just past have created the possibility of a turning point, a chance to change not only the course of the nation but the tone of its conversations.

We want to believe that people who can shelve seething resentment for the sake of getting through a holiday meal with their families can do the same in service of healing for our country. Don’t you?

Year after difficult year, the lesson of Thanksgiving is that all of us bring our faults and imperfections, our personal burdens of blame, to the feast table. If we behave ourselves and give others the benefit of our doubts, we may just leave it with a helping of grace.

Ah.  So we can expect the Strib to take a step back and recognize that conservative Republicans believe what we do for a reason, and quit referrring to every conservative as a “divisive” “extremist”?

We can expect the Strib to report the whole story, even if telling the whole truth exonerates Republicans?

Sorry, Strib editors.  I don’t believe a word of it.

How’s That Again?

Last Tuesday was a buzzkill across the board; one of the biggest whacks upside the head was Phil Krinkie’s narrow (55 vote) loss.

Bob Collins at MPR’s Polinaut on a bump’n run City Pages interview with Krinkie:

City Pages interviews Phil Krinkie, who lost his re-election bid. He says he hopes for a stalemate and thinks the voters should be punished. That goes against the whole “let’s work together theme.”

Here’s the CP’s actual interview, quoting Krinkie:

“But I want to leave you with a quote from Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York. When he got beaten by David Dinkins, he said, ‘The voters have spoken and now they must be punished.’ I have a feeling that’s what may be in store for the people of Minnesota.”

Mr. Collins: Your version (“the voters should be punished”) implies a petulance that is absent from Krinkie’s actual statement.

Conservatism Wins

From Our House:

What does a Democrat/DFL victory mean when

  • All gay marriage bans passed but one, including Wisconsin’s more comprehensive civil unions ban? In Arizona, a similar ban was rejected by a tiny margin.
  • Prop 2 passed in Michigan banning affirmative action?
  • The death penalty advisory passed in WI?
  • Arizona passed legislation requiring proof of citizenship for getting state benefits and for voting. Also passed bans on illegals getting bail on some felonies, being able to get money for civil suits in some cases.

As noted even as the counts rolled in – conservatism did just fine last Tuesday.

And I thought this bit was interesting:

Catholics and Evangelicals have been the backbone of the anti-abortion movement since it started. If this is now a settled question, where will they go next? The evangelicals and some Catholics will go on to other social issues, like banning gay marriage, homeschooling and educational choice related issues.

And that can only be a good thing.  While abortion is a solid moral issue (make no mistake, I oppose it), the issue as a whole has long settled into iron-clad categories:  A thin slice on either extreme either opposes it under even the most extreme medical circumstances or thinks it should be a sacrament for participation in society; thin layers of growing moderation follow as you drill your way inward to the vast majority of Americans.  Abortion is a wedge, all right – a wedge that in and of itself has worn out.  The votes to be gained (to speak cynically and politically) are all in the sub-issues; partial-birth, parental notification, etc.

Most Catholics however, may be in play and there have been widespread efforts on the part of the left to get them back, based on the “social teachings of the church.” This is a murky area, consisting of a particular interpretation of a couple of papal encyclicals, some of the documents of Vatican II and the writings of some theologians. Its been used to justify government action on issues like affordable housing and now even global warming. It’s been coming down the road for years and it may be here now.

It’s been one of the big theological stories ever since I was a kid; are the liberal American catholics going to split from the “conservative” Roman church?  What effect will it have?

Mainstream American Catholic churches have been following their mainstream Protestant cousins to the left for decades.  I think the political shakeout within the church and between the churches is going to be an interesting thing to watch over the next twenty years.

Recall how Tony Blair saved the Labor party from a certain death: he waited until he had seniority and then chucked all the old hard core trade unionists out of the party. The rest may be retired or may be biding their time after he retires in a year or so. But he did a good deal of housecleaning based on elements of the Conservatives’ policies that actually worked. Some people argue that if Bill Clinton hadn’t had so many personal weaknesses he might have been regarded similarly. We will just have to see how the ideological wars on both sides play out. It may well be that Conservatives will have roles to play in both parties.

Interesting concept – and a scary one, if you value conservatism.  Far better for conservatism to be a majority (or strong, obstreporous minority) in one party than a weak minority in two.

What do you think?

Bad Taste and Tastes Bad

I like satire. And normally, when the satirist runs up against the dim wailing of the not-too-bright audience, I take the side of the satirist.

But not this time:

A growing chorus of people who see no humor in Chris Stewart’s role in a satiric campaign website want the new Minneapolis school board member to resign even before he is sworn in.

But Stewart indicated that he is staying the course.

On Friday, former school board member Ann Berget joined those calling for Stewart’s resignation after he took responsibility for a racially themed website that mimicked the official website of Fifth Congressional District candidate Tammy Lee.

Racially themed? You be the judge. Here’s a bit:

Congressman Martin Sabo’s longtime District Director, Kathleen Anderson, who is a lifelong, loyal Democrat is crossing party lines for the first time in support of Tammy Lee’s campaign for Congress. Anderson says, “Independence Party candidate, Tammy Lee, is the only candidate that I feel is white enough to carry on Congressman Martin Sabo’s legacy. I’m voting for Tammy Lee because I’m a drunken hag who can’t possibly vote for Mandingo.”

Four suburban Mayors also agree and are publicly supporting and endorsing Lee’s candidacy: ReNae Bowman (DFL Mayor of Crystal), Mike Holtz (DFL Mayor of Robbinsdale), Martin Opem (Ind. Mayor of New Hope) and Gary Peterson (DFL Mayor of Columbia Heights). These are all elected politicians who no one has heard of, but still, they’re white like Tammy Lee.

Stewart’s side, via the Strib:

The buck stops with me and I take responsibility for the caustic and gross commentary that has resulted.”I look forward to focusing my energy on the incredibly tough work of creating safe, orderly and academically rigorous schools for every child in Minneapolis.”

Naturally, the buck-stopping and responsibility-taking stops short of an concrete penitence.

Of course, if Stewart resigned, he’d be replaced (this is Minneapolis, after all) with someone who do doubt believed the same, whatever his/her race, whether they said it or not. This is the city that elects Greens to responsible positions in government, after all. But it’d be nice to draw the line somewhere.

Republicans Who Act Like Democrats

A longtime friend of this blog, and an elected official in the west metro, sends me this analysis:

Attached is a revised copy of the GOP scumbags that voted in favor of
final passage of the Twins Stadium bill.  You'll note 13 of the 38
turncoats were defeated or elected not to run and a DFLer took the seat.

This means:  Of the 26 seats that were lost, 13 (aka 50%) voted for the
Twins bill.

Coincidence?  Perhaps.  But I call it a factor in the defeat.

Here’s the list:

Won: Abeler (Anoka County)

LOST: Blaine (Morrison County)

LOST: (retired, moved to DFL) Bradley (Olmsted County)

Won: Brod (Sibley/LeSueur Counties)

LOST: Charron (Washington County)

LOST: Cox (Scott/Goodhue Counties)

LOST: Cybart (Scott County)

LOST: Davids (Fillmore/Houston Counties)

Won: Demmer (Dodge/Steele Counties)

LOST: (retired, moved to DFL) Dempsey (Goodhue County)

LOST: (retired, moved to DFL) Dorman (Freeborn County)

Won: Finstad (Brown County)

Won: Garofalo (Dakota County)

LOST: Gazelka (Crow Wing County)

Won: Gunther (Martin County)

Won: Hamilton (Cottonwood County)

Won: Heidgerken (Stearns/Pope Counties)

Won: Hoppe (Carver County)

Won: Lanning (Clay County)

Won: Magnus (Rock/Murray/Pipestone Counties)

Won: McNamara (Washington County)

Won: (retiring, held GOP) Meslow (Washington/Anoka Counties)

LOST: Peter Nelson (Chisago County)

Won: Nornes (Ottertail County)

Won: Ozment (Dakota County)

LOST: (retired, moved to DFL) Penas (Roseau/Kittson)

Won: Neil Peterson (HENNEPIN COUNTY)

LOST: (retired, moved to DFL) Samuelson (Ramsey County)

Won: Severson (Benton County)

Won: Simpson (Wadena/Ottertail)

Won: Sviggum (Wabasha/Rice)

Won: (retiring, held GOP) Sykora (HENNEPIN COUNTY)

Won: Tingelstad (Anoka County)

Won: Urdahl (Meeker County)

Won: Wardlow (Dakota County)

LOST: (retired, moved to DFL) Westerberg (Anoka County)

No, I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

When Republicans act like Republicans, we win.

When we act like Democrats – awash in power, giddy over being in control of all the cool wheels and buttons and levers of government – we lose.

Many Republicans needed a refresher. Many of them got it on Tuesday.

Everything Must Be Perfect

Remember when Democrats whinged and yapped about the threat to democracy posed by Diebold? That the polling system was irredeemably broken?

Atomizer does, if only vaguely:

I realized that I had AM radio on all day and had not heard one frantic report of rampant voter fraud. I hadn’t heard a single person crying about how they had been disenfranchised. Nobody had yet come forward with tales of having been intimidated at the polls. The always reliable members of the MSM had yet to trot out even one pathetic loser who was too incompetent to figure out how to cast a ballot. No candidate was threatening court action to overturn a close result and nobody was shrieking about an election being stolen.

No, we were all spared these indignities this time around and I, frankly, found it quite refreshing. I guess that’s just what happens when adults lose elections.

I heard not a single Republican…:

  • impugning the intelligence of the opposition
  • declaring widespread fraud
  • declaring the system broken
  • saying that Americans (or “those other Americans”) need to “Wake Up”
  • call for investigating secession.

The more I see the differences between the parties, the more I look forward to 2008. These Democrat hamsters are going to immolate themselves trying to actually run a government.

This next two years could be a huge opportunity.

Teaching Moment

Michael Medved has a list of the lessons we should have learned last night.

I have a few more:

  1. Check out the losers (in competitive races; Obi Sium, Rod Grams and Alan Fine can sit this one out, as can Colleen Rowley and Wild Wendy); Gil Gutknecht ran for the center when the president’s going got tough, as to a lesser extent did Mark Kennedy. Michele Bachmann stayed the course, and won by a solid margin. The lesson – conservatives win when they run as conservatives. I’ll be looking forward to hearing David Strom’s split of races between candidates who ditched the “No New Taxes” pledge and those who’ve kept true to it; at a superficial glance last night, it looked like the tax-hikers lost out, as they did in ’04.
  2. While the Minnesota Poll was, for once, almost accurate, the Strib’s reporting took its’ place as a loathsome DFL tool. If you are a citizen who cares about democracy (as opposed to untrammelled one-party rule), you need to become better-informed about the ways the Strib shades its reporting. Read the blogs. Become a blogger, if you’re angry enough.
  3. A letter-writer last night noting that he hopes that the MN Republicans…

    take a long hard look at how they run campaings after that ass kicking. I have a clue for them; Hennepin county matters, a whole lot!
    Stupid suburbanites run the party and they ran the campaign. If Aklo didn’t suck so bad, I’d say they got what they deserved.

  4. Put another way – the MNGOP needs to learn, once and for all, that until they can make the cities competitive, the current strategy of holing up in one’s suburban enclave is going to continue delivering us disasters.

Plenty to learn, and about a year to learn it.

    They May Take Our Lives, But They Can’t Take Our Freedom!

    I look at it this way; it’s going to be a great two years for conservative talk show hosts (partly, at least, because when the Dems try to reinstate the “Fairness Doctrine”, there’s at least a veto-sustaining minority of Republicans left in Congress). The Democrats, who ran a purely-negative campaign against the war and the President, devoid of any policy ideas, will now have to try to legislate from that same well of thought. Which will be, indeed, a blogger and talk-radio goldmine.

    Good for me!

    Of course it was a terrible night (and will be a gruelling two years) for taxpayers, the people of Iraq, fetuses, people who want the courts to act like courts rather than shadow legislatures – and if you’re a gun owner who voted Democrat, you need to get your head checked.

    But it was what it was. King Banaian and I declared the 2008 campaign in session at about 1AM last night.

    Game on.

    Shockers?

    A little bird told me…:

    • Look for a potential upset in MN House District 3A, up in the far north part of the state. DFLer Tom Anzelc – endorsed to try to replace 17-term DFLer Irv Anderson – may have spent too much money (as in, all of it) getting through a bruising primary fight, and also faces a Ventura Independence Party challenge (which always soaks up DFL voters). Republican challenger Les Lemm looks to be in a decent position in this very DFL-heavy area.
    • In District 8A, Jim Hilty – a five-term DFLer from Finlayson, in a district that frequently doesn’t field Republicans – has only started campaigning recently against Republican Tim Hafvenstein. Hafvenstein has apparently run a pretty solid, well-funded campaign; a little bird says it’s an even race.

    Stay tuned for more.

    I Voted. Twice.

    Oh, don’t call Mary Kiffmeyer (or Doug, the Guardian of Poll Justice from my comment section): I had a spoiled ballot.

    Suffice to say my cats are going to do much better than the pundits predicted.

    By the way, Republicans; ignore the exit polls. They make you more discouraged than you need to.

    And Democrats – you should also ignore the exit polls; they’ll make you sound like idiots in two years, say, when you’re insisting that exit polls are a more valid measure of voter intent than the actual results.

    (Cue conspiracy theorists)

    Predictions

    You got Strom’s predictions. Now it’s my turn.

    • Senate: A-Klo probably wins, but it’s going to be a lot closer than the pundits wanted it to be.
    • MN CD1: Gutknecht in a tight squeaker.
    • MN CD2: Kline is going to beat Rowley like it’s a prison shower-room beat-down. Ten points at least.
    • MN CD3: Ramstad by twenty.
    • MN CD4: The MFT Betty “Rubble” McCollum will beat Obi Sium by around 20, 15 if we’re lucky. But it’ll be a first step in breaking the DFL’s hegemony in the Four. Will the CD4 GOP be smart enough to get the message?
    • MN CD5: Ellison 45, Fine 25, Lee 20, Greens and other hamsters divvy up the rest.
    • MN CD6: Bachmann by eight.
    • MN CD7: Peterson by a jillion.
    • MN CD8: I haven’t followed this one. I suspect habit-prone Rangers will return porkmeister Oberstar for his 200th term, but I’m ripe for a surprise.
    • Governor/Loot Governor: Pawlenty/Molnau by four.
    • Attorney General: In a tribute to the influence of the media and Minnesotans’ short attention spans, Lori Swanson will win by five. More’s the pity; Johnson’s got my vote. I’m hoping for a surprise.
    • Secretary of State: There’s some talk that this could be the upset race, with Kiffmeyer losing to foamy-mouthed Mark “Not Married To Madonna” Ritchie. I certainly hope not.
    • State Auditor: Anderson by ten.
    • Hennepin County Sheriff: Stanek will swarm on this race – twenty points, I bet. When even the City Pages is on your side, and you’re a Republican, you really have conquered the world. Or at least Henco.
    • Ramsey County Sheriff: Tougher call. I give the nod to the incumbent, Fletcher.
    • US House: The Dems should gain 15 seats. 20 at the outside, far short of the 50 that would make this the real second-midterm victory they should have expected.
    • US Senate: The GOP will retain a 1-2 seat lead, far short of the four-seat deficit they should have gotten, which would constitute the lower threshold for a Dem “victory”.

    I’m off to the polls now. See you on the Patriot this evening!

    Continue reading

    It’s Like Raaaaiiiaaaaaiiin, On Your Wedding Day, Part III

    Last week, the DFL says the Secretary of State website is all but an agent of the Bushitlerite agenda. State DFL chair Brian Melendez:

    “The Secretary of State’s website deceives the public about current eligibility requirements for voting in Minnesota elections and doesn’t include all the methods for same day registration.” Source: DFL Party press release, October 30, 2006

    Today: With their own pollfinder hosed, to whom does the DFL refer the poor saps who go to their site?

    The Secretary of State, natch. So – is the Secretary of State really not so bad, or are the Dems trying to stifle turnout?
    (Their pollfinder is apparently back up now…)

    However Things Turn Out…

    …this evening, Gary Miller’s “Kennedy Vs. The Machine” was one of the most important things to happen in the blogosphere in the past two years.

    Gary Miller, the Ringer, Doug Williams and Andy Aplikowski showed the world how to outflank a rankly-biased mainstream media, with solid reporting and just-plain-facts that clobbered the “Machine” – the Strib, PiPress, WCCO and MPR – at every turn.

    But don’t listen to me – this morning’s letter writer said it better.

    It has been your voice that gave hope not just to me but to all who cared when things in this campaign seemed to go south, and not just for Kennedy. It looked bad but you said it would pass, and the Republicans would be stronger for it. You have us hope, even when we didn’t want to hear it.

    […]

    The one thing your coverage made me realize that I appreciate the most is the fact that there are still good people in the political realm. My involvement in the political realm has told me the same as well. When I see the image of Mark Kennedy next to Klobuchar, I see truth fighting fallacy. In the tough times I didn’t think we would pull it out, but now, with tomorrow being Election Day, I realize good will win out. People will be driven toward the positive from the negative when the day is said and done.

    However the votes tally up – and they’re sure to be much closer than the Machine wants you to think they will – kudos to the guys on a hard job very well done.

    So howzabout you take a few months off and then come back with “Coleman Vs. The Machine”?

    Now More Than Ever

    42 years ago, Ronald Reagan gave his classic “A Time For Choosing”:

    The speech articulated what it meant to be a conservative in perilous times:

    Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face–that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand–the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for “peace at any price” or “better Red than dead,” or as one commentator put it, he would rather “live on his knees than die on his feet.” And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin–just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it’s a simple answer after all.

    You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” There is a point beyond which they must not advance. This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater’s “peace through strength.” Winston Churchill said that “the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits–not animals.” And he said, “There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

    You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

    Change commissars for mullahs, and it still works just fine.

    Remember it at the polls today.

    Mitch Votes

    I’m not one of those bloggers who goes through the charade of “endorsing” for the election. Duh. I’m a blogger – a schlemiel who works a 9-5 job and raises a couple of kids. Who cares what I think?

    Indeed, nobody needs to care one iota. But for what it’s worth, on reading the Ramsey county ballot (danger – PDF file!), here’s where I’m going:

    • US Senate: Mark Kennedy, obviously. Amy Klobuchar has been a dismal failure as Henco Attorney, is utterly wrong on the war, second amendment rights, and pretty much everything else. Robert Fitzgerald, of the Ventura Independence Party, is basically a DFLer with better hair.  Greenie Mike Cavlan – who cares?  And Constitution Party candidate Ben Powers’ radio ads make him sound downright unhinged.
    • US House, District 4: My support for Obi Sium is a matter of public record, not just to defy the DFL’s almost-traditional hegemony over this district, but against the GOP status quo in the Fourth.  The Fourth CD GOP has always been run by an establishment run by, for and of people living north of County Road D.  And while Minnesota is going to turn red one of these next few elections, we will never prevail for real in this state until we make a real go of it in the city.  And the fact is, the city is populated by people who should be Republicans – they just don’t know it yet.  Black Minnesotans lead the rest of us in working for school choice and accountability; Latino culture is, at its heart, socially conservative in a way that the DFL spits on; Asians value education and the  meritocracy in ways that the Anglo mainstream seem to have forgotten about; the Eritrean community from which Sium hails (as well as much of the Ethiopian) community have fought too hard for freedom to take it as much for granted as too many Americans (especially DFLers) do.  Sium is a much-needed blow to both establishments.  On the other hand, when the Minnesota Federation of Teachers says “Jump”, Betty “Rubble” McCollum says “off what?” without evidence of cognitive thought.  I’ll be voting for Obi early and often.
    • MN State Senate, District 66: In the past ten years, I’ve voted for exactly four DFLers – Norm Coleman (before the DFL booted him out), Jerry Blakey, Randy Kelly (and I’d vote for him again), and…Ellen Anderson.  Oh, she’s one of the shrillest liberals around, utterly irredeemable on more issues than I can count.  But in that particular election, there was no GOP candidate, and she does have good constituent services; every time I’ve ever called her office, I’ve gotten a polite, courteous and thorough response, even though my status as an objector to the DFL is well-known (I once interviewed her husband Andy Dawkins on my old KSTP talk show, so it’s no secret).  So never let it be said I don’t give the devil her due.  But since the GOP did endorse perennial candidate Warren Anderson, I’ll vote for him.
    • MN House District 66B: As good as Ellen Anderson is at constituent relations, Alice “The Phantom” Hausman is bad.  If it weren’t for photo ops, teachers union meetings and fundraisers, nobody in the district would know Hausman existed.  Saved from being the most worthless member of the MN House only the the existence of Larry Pogemiller, Phyllis Kahn and maybe half a dozen others.  I’m voting for Joyce Bevins.  I’d vote for anyone without a felony record, just on principle.
    • Governor: Pawlenty/Molnau.  No question.  Tim Pawlenty is one of the most successful governors in Minnesota.  He led the solution of a budget deficit some pundits said would take a decade to resolve.  And he spent some precious political capital pushing the Minnesota Personal Protection Act, which tells you something of the guy’s character.  Even though he’s scampered away from the No New Taxes pledge, he’s basically held the line, against a phalanx of caterwauling.  There is no rational reason to vote for anyone else – especially the rancid Mike Hatch (paired with the vacuous Judi Dutcher), the irritating Peter Hutchinson, or the psychedelic Ken Pentel.
    • Secretary of State: Mary Kiffmeyer.  I need say no more; there’s nobody else on the list who deserves more than a passing chuckle.  Mark Ritchie?  Gank.
    • State Auditor: Pat Anderson, going away.
    • Attorney General: Jeff Johnson.  Years of working for Mike Hatch can only made Lori Swanson into one of two things; Mini-Mike, or a hopeless Stockholm-Syndrome sufferer.  She can get her therapy on her own time.  Johnson’s the man.
    • Transportation Amendment: Not a chance.
    • Ramsey County Commission: Incumbent Toni Carter is a big light-rail advocate.  As a result, I’ll be writing in “Mitch Berg” for this seat – primarily so that if I ever worry about the integrity of the counting process, I can check to make sure that my vote was counted.
    • County Sheriff: This is going to be a tough one.  It’s a non-partisan position – and while Bob Fletcher has done a good job, Bill Finney was also an excellent police chief for Saint Paul.  Since Finney’s been linked with the DFL, and many local DFL activists are exercised about Fletcher, I think I’ll vote for the incumbent.
    • County Attorney: Susan Gaertner treats citizens who defend themselves with firearms like criminals first and foremost.  Her Child Support Enforcement division is rapacious and dubiously ethical.  And she runs the County Attorney’s office like a make-work program for underachieving lawyers.  I’ll be writing in Clu Berg – my dog – for this office.
    • Soil and Water, District 1: I don’t know either candidate.  I’ll be writing in Candy Berg (the younger of my two cats).
    • Soil and Water, District 4: On the other hand, I do know some candidates here.  I’ll be voting for Jack Krenik, a local conservative firebrand, and I urge you to do so as well.  For the other seat, I’ll vote Mary Jane Reagan, because anyone who changes her name to Reagan to win public office in Saint Paul deserves praise.
    • School District Levy: I will vote “No”.  I’ve had enough of the Saint Paul Public Schools’ alarmism, social agenda, and systematic political indoctrination.  And I’d vote “no” even if either of my kids were still in the district – which they are not.  Consider it my protest.
    • Supreme Court: Barry Anderson.
    • Court of Appeals: Christopher Dietzen.
    • District Court: I’ll be voting for all of the incumbents (especially Elena Ostby, against former ultraliberal City Council member Jay Benanav), except for Diane Alshouse, against whom I’m writing in Nosemarie Berg, my elder cat.