At The Victory Party

I’m at the Sheraton for the GOP’s victory party.  Early word – unconfirmed – is that turnout in Duluth and the Twin Cities is a little low. I haven’t gotten any but anecdotal confirmation that turnout in “red” Minnesota is high, but the anecdotal feedback is good.

We shall see.

Liveblogging will be a tad light, but I”ll do what I can here…

7:35: TV guys are firing up.  Early results are looking good so far.

7:47 – Bandwidth is tight; hard to update Twitter.

UPDATE 11/3:  And then our bandwidth situation went from bad to ridiculous, and a bunch of stuff happened, and we took control of the US House and flipped both chambers of the MN Legislature and Bachmann and Kline won by one point more than my optimistic predictions and Erik Paulsen shredded Jim Meffert by 21 and proved that the “conventional wisdom” about the Third District is bullpucks and then Chip Cravaack pulled ahead and stayed there and Tom Emmer ended up so freaking close it hurts, and then we went home.

A Thousand Points Of Duh

I”m on the phones here at the Election Integrity Watch center.

 I just got a call from a woman complaining about the posters by polling stations in North Minneapolis, “targeting people of color”.  I pointed out that we’re getting most of our calls from places like Plymouth, Blaine and Golden Valley. 

“Well, you have people in North Minneapolis harrassing people of color!”  I pointed out that all of “our people” are here in the boiler room with me, as I speak (except for two who are out in da hood in Minnetonka investigating a ballot storage issue).  

She quickly changed chanting points; “how do you sleep at night, knowing you’re doing hate speech?”  I said it was our First Amendment right, and our efforts are utterly non-partisain. 

She sounded like she was getting frustrated.  “Congratulations on doing what the Klan can’t anymore!”, she huffed, hanging up.

Jeff Davis notes that that’s a genuine worry, here; the DFL sending sock puppets out pretending to be from Minnesota Majority.


As you read this, I’m heading over to my polling station to get in line to vote.  I may not be the first in the door, but I’ll be close.

My slate?

  • Governor/Lt. Governor: No surprise here.  Emmer/Meeks. I believe I’ve made my reasoning amply clear both recently and over the past six months.
  • Congress: Teresa Collett.  For all sorts of positive reasons – she is brilliant and has the best vision – and, regrettably, negative ones as well, given Betty McCollum’s crushing vapidity.
  • Secretary of State: Dan Severson. Our election system is a disgrace. We need to put the grownups in charge, and eject the Soros-sponsored ACORN effluvium Richie.
  • Attorney General: Chris Barden.  It’ll be so much easier to untangle the corruption of the Hatch years if his successor can’t claim executive privilege.
  • State Auditor: Pat Anderson.  She’s qualified, she has experience, she has integrity.  Otto has experience, sort of.  No brainer.
  • SD66: Greg Copland.
  • HD66B: Bob Koss.
  • Ramsey County Commission, District 4: Rory Koch.
  • Appellate Court: Dan Griffith
  • Minnesota Supreme Court: Greg Wersal and Tim Tingelstad.  It’s time to start tossing incumbents.
  • Ramsey County Sheriff:  Matt Bostrom will be the first endorsed DFLer I will have voted for since 1998.  He may well be the last.  Let’s make it count.
  • Ramsey County Attorney: Dave Schultz.  Not because of anything he’s done, necessarily, although he is fully qualified to do the job. I am voting against the DFL machine; John Choi is just another cog in that machine.  I can not in good conscience support him.
  • An unopposed RamCo judge position: For three of them, I will be filling in family pets.  I do this to ensure my vote is counted.  One of those pets will be Nosemarie, my cat.  But whenever I write this, Nose usually gets between 3 and 7 other write-in votes.   Which is fun, and let me assure you, Noser appreciates it.  But it defeats my purposes to an extent; I can’t tell which one is my ballot.  So two of my other pets, who shall remain anonymous, shall also receive votes for unopposed judicial seats (for judges with terrible records on father’s rights, usually).  When I check back after the election for vote totals, and see them on the register, I know Mark Ritchie failed to disenfranchise me for yet another cycle.

100 Reasons I’m Voting For Tom Emmer

As I do before every important election, I’m listing the top 100 reasons I’m voting for the top of the ticket.

Of course, I became an Emmer supporter long ago.  The GOP started the campaign early – right around State Fair time in 2009 – with a crop of great candidates and rumored candidates.  Paul Kohls was a sharp guy; I could have easily supported Pat Anderson; Dave Hann is right about everything that matters; most of all, Marty Seifert would have been an excellent standard-bearer.  I would happily have written these 100 reasons about any of them.

But Emmer became my personal front-runner as Ed and I interviewed him at the Fair on September 4, 2009.  Someone asked him a question about some kind of wedge-y social issue or another.  And without skipping a beat, Tom responded “I dont’ care; this election is about jobs and the economy”.  Emmer is the single best stump speaker in Minnesota politics today.  And for all the left and media’s efforts to paint him as some sort of extremist, Tom has not only stuck to that message, but has shown himself superb at explaining that message to people who don’t start out as believers.  Which is the main reason the DFL has had to run such a superlatively slimy, negative campaign against him.

And to be honest, those were the only reasons I really need to support Tom Emmer.  But I came up with 99 more.  Because that’s what I do.

To wit – the 100 main reasons I’m voting for Tom Emmer today.

  1. Because the DFL’s plan is a return to the past, in ways that just don’t make sense anymore.
  2. Because the DFL’s big-money, big-union, big-service model was based on economy that exploded at a time when America was the only serious economy on earth.
  3. And times have changed.
  4. And Tom Emmer knows that we have to change our government with those times.
  5. And Mark Dayton thinks that if you throw enough obstinacy and rhetoric and taxpayers money at life, the clock will turn itself back to the DFL’s glory days.
  6. Not to mention his own glory days.
  7. And as that great political commentator said, Glory Days will pass you by in the wink of a young girl’s eye.
  8. Because Emmer’s about providing three things; Jobs
  9. Jobs, and
  10. Jobs.
  11. And Dayton is not.
  12. Unless you’re an AFSCME, SEIU, MAPE other state employee.
  13. Indeed, we know of many companies that are going to leave Minnesota, sooner or later, if taxes don’t moderate.
  14. And we know many, many more that are waiting on the fence to see where their investments are going to go.
  15. Because it’s not just about creating jobs.  It’s about creating a climate where companies will create jobs, and new companies will form, and hire people to work for them, and more new companies will form to provide goods and services and wholesaling and distribution and support and markets and suppliers for the companies above.
  16. And Mark Dayton’s policies will curb that as effectively as any policy designed to curb business growth on purpose ever could.
  17. Because our state government needs to be re-engineered…
  18. …and Emmer has the plan to do it…
  19. …while Mark Dayton’s entire plan is to just pour more of our money down the rathole.
  20. Because of Emmer’s enemies; the SEIU, AFSCME, the Teamsters, and the bureaucracy are the only people who benefit from the current government.
  21. Because Tom Emmer is one of us.
  22. And I just know that some idiot leftyblogger will go “yeah, he’s a middle class white guy”, which shows you yet another reason Emmer needs to win; the phony “diversity” pimps must not be rewarded.
  23. No, Tom Emmer is a Minnesota guy who grew up the child of business people, worked for the business, worked his way through college and law school, worked his way up the hierarchy of his business – just the way most Minnesotans have to, whether they’re white middle class guys…
  24. …or Latino working-class gals…
  25. …or black single mothers who are fighting to keep their kids’ charter schools afloat…
  26. …or Asian immigrants who are working in their uncle’s restaurant while they earn their engineering degree.  It’s all part of a story…
  27. …that Mark Dayton never participated in, can not understand…
  28. …and has to have interpreted for him  by his advisers from the AFSCME, MFT, MAPE, SEIU, ACORN, CommonCause and MoveOn.
  29. Tom Emmer doesn’t have to have anyone explain “the Minnesota Dream” to him.  He’s lived it, and his whole plan is about opening up that dream to everyone.
  30. Because Mark Dayton is the wrong guy for the job.
  31. He was an unmitigated disaster as a Senator…
  32. …and an undistinguished State Auditor….
  33. …and a failure as Economic Development commissioner – so bad that his boss’ son wrote an Op-Ed claiming that he bailed on the job before a recession, to salvage his political future.
  34. And his only “plan” is to start jacking up taxes.
  35. And as much as he caterwauls about “taxing the rich”, the fact is that his proposed “taxes on the rich” won’t even begin to cover the deficit, will slow the state’s economy and sent it into a vicious, revenue-killing spiral…
  36. …that will result in the definition of “the rich” being pushed ever downward until pretty much everyone in Minnesota is “rich”…
  37. …while, paradoxically, poor.
  38. Because his plan will gut charter schools – a racist plan that will destroy the only meaninful “school choice” most inner-city parents of color, and from poor families, and immigrants and Native Americans, have to try to get their children a decent education.
  39. (But Dayton needn’t care, because he went to Yale).
  40. Dayton’s plan, indeed, is voodoo economics of the most trite, vapid order.
  41. And Minnesotans are smarter than that.
  42. (Or, after Ventura, McCollum, Ellison and Franken, I guess I should say they can be smarter than that.  Here’s your chance, Minnesota!)
  43. Because “Alliance For A Better Minnesota” is, paradoxically, an alliance for a much, much worse Minnesota.
  44. Because while I don’t really want big corporations buying my elections, I don’t want Alita Messenger buying them, either.
  45. Or Big Unions.  What’s the SEIU done for us lately, besides demand more money and more subsidies?
  46. Ditto the Minnesota Federation of Teachers?
  47. Or, more tellingly, the entire Dayton family?
  48. Because anyone the Twin Cities Media has been working so hard to gundeck this last six months has to be good.
  49. Because Pat Doyle smeared Emmer in the Strib
  50. …and I busted Doyle.
  51. Because if Tom Emmer wins, maybe the Twin Cities media will examine some of their prejudices, and focus less on electing DFLers and more on…reporting the news?
  52. Because if Emmer wins, perhaps people will, once and for all, start treating the Minnesota Poll like “news”, and more like an “in-kind campaign contribution”, which is all it is.
  53. Ditto the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute Poll
  54. And “Mid-Morning with Keri Miller”.
  55. Because while I have no doubt that the Twin Cities media will eventually ask questions about Mark Dayton’s alcoholic relapses and mental health record, it’d be good to settle that before he takes on the most powerful job in Minnesota.
  56. Or preferably rather than taking it on.
  57. Because it will pound a stake through the heart of the old, RINO Republican party
  58. Because Lori Sturdevant seems to have staked out a market at tut-tutting Republicans for not being like the Republicans of the 1970’s – and far be it from me to want to constrict somebody’s market.
  59. Because Tom Emmer survived the most epic smear campaign in Minnesota history.
  60. And that sort of behavior must not be rewarded.
  61. Think about it; if Mark Dayton wins, all of ABM’s lies will be considered justified.
  62. Because to the left, the end justifies the means – and since power is their end, this campaign will codify the means; lying, smearing, slandering.
  63. And “power”, in this case, means not only the power to tax you back to the stone age, but to scupper the economy of this state for a generation.
  64. Which, let us not forget, is yet another end that’d justify their means, if it succeeds. Because a state with lots of DFL dependants is a state with a happy DFL.
  65. Because if Tom Emmer beats out this epic smear campaign, perhaps the Minnesota DFL and its lefty allies will learn some f****ng manners.
  66. Because I don’t want the definition of “Marriage” decided by a bunch of moron legislators or bobbleheaded, agenda-driven judges.
  67. Because if Emmer wins, free speech wins.
  68. It was the “Citizens United” Supreme Court case that allowed corporations to contribute to political campaigns.
  69. And so a raft of Minnesota companies contributed to “MNForward”, a pro-business PAC.
  70. And a legion of howling lefty nutcases lined up to crucify these businesses…
  71. …well, no.  They didn’t line up to slander and badger Polaris or Davisco or Securian.  They lined up to attack Target Corporation as “anti-gay”…
  72. …even though Target is one of the most pro-equal-rights-for-gays companies in a state full of companies that bend over backwards to prove their “diversity”.   The attack wasnt’ because of anything Target did, but to try to bully and browbeat all Minnesota companies who dared to dissent from the DFL and their various hangers-on.
  73. BTW, Tom Emmer is no more “anti-gay” than Barack Obama or, for that matter, Mark Dayton.
  74. Because while the “Minnesota Miracle” of Minnesota Media Myth is indeed largely mythical, and would have happened anyway
  75. But today, Minnesota needs a real miracle, and we need it now.
  76. And real miracles come from the private sector…
  77. …and the best thing government can do is stand out of the way – lending the odd helping hand (by, say, providing an educated and competent work force – ooops, sorry about that, Minnesota Federation of Teachers) and letting private enterprise and the market do the hard stuff.
  78. Because while Governor Pawlenty has done a helluvva job keeping the wheels on this state, it’s only going to get more difficult as the Obama Depression grinds on.
  79. And we have two more years of The One to survive; and electing a responsible, grownup, conservative government is a great first step in telling the rapacious federal regime “not so fast, bitches”.
  80. Because it’s a big wave.
  81. And if Emmer wins, then so will Michele Bachmann.
  82. And Erik Paulsen.
  83. And John Kline.
  84. And since the Constitutional Officer races usually follow the governor’s race, an Emmer win will bring back Pat Anderson to State Auditor, replacing the fairly useless but boundlessly venal Rebecca Otto.
  85. And Dan Severson could win, replacing Mark Ritchie, who was basically put into office to further George Soros’ grand scheme of having fifty in-the-bag secretaries of state.
  86. And Chris Barden could become the Attorney General, giving us an AG that will work for Minnesota, rather than for Mike Hatch.
  87. And if Emmer wins big, there’s a decent shot that Chip Cravaack will win as well – and Congress desperately needs Jim Oberstar to leave and go into the lobbyling business, where his heart really belongs.
  88. And if Emmer wins, the coattails will help Randy Demmer, too; every little bit helps.
  89. And of Tom and Chip take it downtown, then Lee Byberg will stand a decent chance of toppling Colin Peterson.
  90. And if Tom, Chip, Randy and Lee pull it off, then the heretofore unthinkable – Teresa Collett knocking off Betty “Mission Accomplished” McCollum – is suddenly thinkable.
  91. And Joel Demos might just be able to pack his wife and kids up and head off to DC as well.  Because we’re Minnesotans, and we do believe in Miracles.
  92. And if that happens, somewhere on the campus of the Blake School, some mirthless harpy’s head is going to explode.
  93. And some hard-scrabble Latina will make a few bucks cleaning up the mess, giving her the money to feed her kids and drive them to a good charter school,  where they become good educated citizens, who vote Republican…
  94. …and help repeat the cycle…
  95. …so that before too terribly long the DFL – the great destroyer of jobs, the albatross on the back of the Minnesota economy, the racist ravager of school choice, the thuggish apparatchik that wants to make sure you do no better than they do, will become a third party.  Like it so richly deserves.
  96. Because I want Minnesota to be a good place for my children.
  97. I don’t want Minnesota to become a Cold California, a windy Greece, a passive-aggressive Michigan, a “nice” Massachusetts.
  98. And DFL rule merely ensures that that is exactly what will happen.
  99. And conservative government is not just sane, stable government, it’s the key to a prosperous, sustainable state.  Even the parts that aren’t government.
  100. Because it’s something you can do for A Better Minnesota.  All of us. Together.

So let’s make this happen.

Previous “100 Reasons” posts:

Morning In America?

28 years ago, when I was working at my first country-western radio job, about the time the early eighties recession was at its deepest, I first heard this Merle Haggard song. It was in the “recurrent” bin – music the station had played for a good six months before I started – but never quite left the rotation.

And it captured the spirit of 1980 and 1981 was well as any song of the era…:

…and really, life in Minnesota, today, as well.

And if the Republicans sweep the nation?  Especially if Emmer wins?

I haven’t felt like that since 1991 – when the Berlin Wall fell.

And nothing captured that era better than this ditty:

Watching the nation wake up from that Obama buzz won’t be quite as fun as watching the USSR gurgle down the drain…

…but this is the battle we’ve been dealt.

I’m game!

Riding a Wave of Fear

America is afraid tonight.

Afraid that the great recession is far from over. Afraid the government, having pulled every lever in the cockpit, may not be able to save us this time.

Make no mistake, no matter what the results tomorrow, occupational anxiety will persist. High unemployment levels will not soon abate. Waves of foreclosures, bank and insurance company failures will pepper the landscape for months and maybe years to come while Obama administration policymakers chant eenie meenie miney moe.

Small businesses are wondering when the recovery will come in their mailbox. Many Americans are wondering when Obama and his people are finally going to show up and save them from their misery. Those that can see farther are afraid America itself may not be salvageable and that no one can save us from the misery to come.

The numbers are so large and the odds so long…they might be right.

Everybody knows the GOP is going to hand the DNC it’s ass tomorrow but I agree with Rasmussen.

…a fundamental rejection of both political parties.

More precisely, it is a rejection of a bipartisan political elite that’s lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve.

It’s not so much that America sees the GOP as the party that has the secret sauce. No. It’s more like right now they’re the cream of the crap.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Emmer and Paulsen and Hann and Stensrud and will be voting for conservatives across the board out here in the West. But the victories tomorrow night, and there will be many, will be empty for many of us that wonder if anyone anywhere has the stomach to make the decisions that America needs now.

Fact is, George Bush’s fiscal policies destroyed any claim the GOP had on fiscal reserve. And yet, Obama, belying thin hopes that his presidency would be more about ambition than ideology, drove the agenda so far left that it would be a conservative’s dream if it weren’t for the monumental damage it has done to our nation.

It took policies so wasteful, so misguided, so unpopular and on a scale so inconceivable to manifest a contrast with the GOP’s fiscal policies. It is solely stupefied disbelief that will drive Americans to vote for Republicans tomorrow in a proportion that may make statistical history.

To think that the GOP will soon be jettisoned back to 1994 politically was unthinkable just a few months ago.

We must hope – demand – that the opportunity this time won’t be equally squandered.

Top Five Reasons Emmer Should Be Governor – #1: It’s The Hope

I moved to Minnesota 25 years ago.

I moved here because my home state, North Dakota, was mired in an epic farm depression – and even in the best of times, the job market for a guy with a BA in English and a drive to be a writer was dodgy.

I moved to find opportunity.  I worked my ass off, and eventually found it.

But I look at the Minnesota that a forty-year near-monopoly stranglehold of DFL control has had left behind – but for a few hopeful years in the past decade – and wonder “would I move here if I were getting out of college today?”

And “will my kids have any reason to stay here?”

Eight years ago, I might have said “absolutely’!” without reservation.  Sane adults were taking over.  Even Saint Paul had been run for quite some time by guys – Norm Coleman and Randy Kelly – who could focus on what mattered, at least by Saint Paul DFL standards.

But Minnesota’s sliding backwards.  Businesses are leaving.  And Mark Dayton’s entire goal is to make sure goverment wants for absolutely nothing.

It’s a recipe for decay, decline, and failure.  Ask the Greeks.  Ask California and New York.

It reminds me of the years not long before I moved to Minnesota.  The Carter years – the years of malaise and hopelessness.

What would America have given, in retrospect, to have avoided the years of malaise? Of hopelessness?  Of that feeling that we were rolling downhill like the proverbial snowball headed for hell?

We found our redemption, of course – in Reagan, in a way, but in a larger sense in rediscovering part of our nation’s soul.

So what will Minnesota choose?  Lining up like dutiful oxen to drag the wagon of government forward, groaning and creaking as the driver cracks the whip ever louder as the going gets tougher?

Or will it choose to again become the place that drew my great-grandparents from the old country, over 100 years ago – a place of opportunity, of untapped potential?  The place that spawned my paternal grandparents, where gumption and will and hard, hard work could lead one to a better place (even if that place was North Dakota, for a few generations?)  The place that has the potential to be for our kids what it was for me?

Mark Dayton is the candidate of stagnation.  Of decay and decline.  He is the driver on that oxcart.  He wants you to be good, compliant, oxen – happy to drag your days away for a Better Minnesota.

Tomorrow is your chance to choose better.

To choose growth over decay.

To choose the American, and Minnesotan, spirit over the soulless miasma of the bureaucracy.

To choose the spark of personal initiative, creativity and soul over the deadening hand of Big Mother Government.

To choose freedom, prosperity and happiness over lumpen gray satiation.

Vote Emmer.

Previous Reasons Emmer Should Be Governor

#2: Moving Minnesota Forward

#3: You And I

#4: Playing To Our Strengths

#5: The Overhaul

Welcome To Chicago

And it’s time for the first allegation of election fraud.

On Friday, October 30, 2010, a member of the Minnesota Freedom Council witnessed apparent voter fraud occurring at the Crow Wing County Courthouse in Brainerd, Minnesota. Upwards of 100 residents from a local group home for mentally disadvantaged individuals were brought into the County Courthouse to cast absentee ballots. The witness reported that supervisors were telling voters to cast a straight Democratic ticket. There was even a report of a voter prematurely leaving the voting both and a supervisor casting the ballot for the voter. Essentially, the people in-charge were taking advantage of the mentally disabled in order to bolster the vote for their candidates of choice. These individuals involved can be charged with a felony under Minnesota election laws.

Here’s part I of the video…:

…along with Part II…:

…and Part III.

Only legal voters should have the right to vote.

This deserves an investigation.

If a democracy can’t trust its democratic institutions, is it a democracy at all?

Watch – some nutslap leftyblogger will call that “voter intimidation”.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Voter fraud is a touchy issue in Minnesota.  The powers that be constantly tell us we have the most incorruptible election system in the country – but not one in 10,000 Minnesotans could explain to you correctly how the 2008 Senate election went from a 200-vote win for Norm Coleman to a 300 vote win for Al Franken.  The Minnesota Majority has found hundreds of ambiguous registrations that led to scads of investigations that have led to dozens of convictions for voter fraud so far, in two of our 87 counties.  And our Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, is a former “community activist” whose 2006 campaign to get elected was bankrolled in part by George Soros’ effort to take SecState offices nationwide.

So yeah, this is serious business.

And let me make sure we give credit where it’s due; the video came from “Election Integrity Watch“.  We need to run down some facts, here – but it deserves investigation.

Top Five Reasons Dayton Should Not Be Governor – #1: Malaise

Yesterday, we examined how Mark Dayton would endeavor to move Minnesota backward – to try to go Back to the Seventies for its economic model.

And that’s if everything goes perfectly – which it can not.

But it’s so much worse than that.

Mark Dayton, and the Democratic Farmer/Labor Party, wants Minnesota to not only look backwards forty years for its model – but they want Minnesota to look at the sidewalk in front of its feet as it shuffles forward into history.

The DFL in Minnesota – and the state’s once-very-liberal Republican party – have a vision of government that, to take the Dayton campaign at its word, has three messages:

3. Attack the most convenient scapegoats. During tough economic times, “the rich” are a convenient set of scapegoats.

2. Focus on short-term outcomes: The old saying goes “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; show a man how to fish, he eats forever”.  Mark Dayton’s campaign is all about creating a large, elaborate, unionized and exquisitely expensive infrastructure to hand out fish in all its metaphorical forms, while making the art of fishing that much harder for them to master.

1. Above all, keep government fat and happy. Mark Dayton’s axiom for Minnesota, if you take  his campaign at face value, is this; satisfying the wants of Minnesota’s professional and vocational Governing Class is the supreme mission of government.

And history shows us that a state – in the general or United sense – that focuses on these priorities can not survive, much less thrive.

At the very least, these priorities pound society into a master-servant relationship – with government as the master.  A benevolent master, mostly, doling out little bits of satisfaction – fish, if you will – to keep the peasants mollified, but a master nonetheless.

Like a cattledriver and his cattle.

Are you happy to moo for a better Minnesota?

Minnesota deserves better.

Because in its truest form, America is about better.  America in its truest form is not a bunch of serfs serving its lords and masters.  It is a free association of equals, governing itself by consent of the governed, with a government that takes care of its appointed roles and otherwise gets the hell out of the way.

Mark Dayton, at his very best, is a throwback to an era that not only can not come back – it must not come back.

So tomorrow, Minnesota, let us deserve better.

Previous Reasons Dayton Should Not Be Governor

McCollum: “Mission Accomplished!” Redux

Betty McCollum thinks Al Quaeda is no longer a threat (from Betty McCollum Needs Change):

“Al Qaeda no longer poses a threat to the United States.”

That’s a fascinating conclusion.

Watch McCollum with her opponent, Teresa Collett, at their Health Care debate.

Watch McCollum trying to defend her role in the Health Care debate (starting around 1:27).  Remember when lefties (wrongly) said Sarah Palin was an intellectual flyweight for writing speaking notes on her hand?  McCollum reads administration chanting points from a piece of paper.

Got concerns about your future, young Minnesotans?  Betty will blow sunshine up your skirt!

The Fourth District deserves better.

They All Look The Same To The DFL

It’s the second stupid, bigoted attack by the DFL in as many weeks – and it involves my good friend and longtime Northern Alliance colleague King Banaian.

Can you imagine the uproar if a Republican campaign would be stupid enough to drop a campaign piece saying…:

  • “Keith Ellison: Too involved in Saudi Arabian politics to bother with Minneapolis”
  • “Satveer Chaudhary:  Too Hindi To Bother With New Brighton”

Not only would the DFL descend on the idiot candidate like a biblical plague, but 99% of the GOP would feel obliged to join them.

But the DFL has done it again.

Last week, it was the anti-Catholic attack on Dan Hall in Burnsville, which has gotten national attention.

And over the weekend, perhaps a dumber attack still.

Courtesy of Luke Hellier at MDE, this mailer was sent out in re King Banaian, who’s running for House in District 15B – the east half of the Saint Cloud area.

Images courtesy MDE

Images courtesy MDE

King is the former chair of the Economics department at St. Cloud State.  He’s prominent enough an economist to land all sorts of contracting work for governments around the world who are interested in opening up free markets; since I’ve known him, he’s consulted with the Macedonian, Ukranian, Mongolian, Armenian, Kazakh and other governments.

Heaven forbid someone in the Legislature would have earned international respect at economics.

Here’s what the piece says:

King Banaian certainly has a resume – jetting acrosst eh globe to consult the governments of Egypt, Macedonia, Armenia, Ukraine and Indonesia.

But what does all his international travel tell him about the needs of families here in St. Cloud?

Other than the fact that he’s lived there for a couple of decades and become a pillar of the community, you mean?

But worst of all is the photo.  King – that is his real name, and it’s a family thing – is of 100% Armenian descent.  And like most Caucasians from that part of the Caucasus, he’s fairly described as “swarthy”.  Sitting in front of an exotic-looking building, the piece is clearly aimed at some SEIU droog who might be wavering in his DFL loyalty; they’re counting on that droog to look at the picture and go “d-uuu-uuuh, he looks like one of them AY-rabs, g’huck”.

Check out the postcard.  It’s from Saint Paul.  And while I can’t make out the ZIP code from the postmark, I’ll lay 1000-1 odds it’s from the DFL mothership down on Plato.

(On the upside?  At least the DFL bothered to check his biography; had they gone by his name, the piece might have read “Saint Cloud doesn’t need any drunk Irish running things”.  If they went by the photo alone, we might have been favored with some Juan Valdez references. We should perhaps be thankful for small favors).

I asked Banaian for comment earlier.  He’s too busy campaigning to worry about it yet.

The DFL:  they want to win Minnesota one ignorance racist rube at a time

UPDATE: King Banaian says “people here knowmy service as a local economic expert as well as international adviser. Voters care about fiscal accountability, not my passport”.

I suspect he’s right.  But it’s not the people in 15B that I’m worried about.  It’s that wacky bunch down on Plato.

Top Five Reasons Emmer Should Be Governor – #3: The Overhaul

Who does government work for?

If you said “us”, either you aren’t from Minnesota, or you are hopelessly naive.

For the past forty years in Minnesota, the state budget has grown, consistently, vastly faster than inflation.  Not just a little faster, but much, much, much, much faster.

No matter who was in charge – DFLers or, until recently, the equally-liberal “Republicans” like Arne Carlson – the budget grew, year in and year out, usually by double digits.

Worse, during the good times our productivity was taxed to excess, giving even more of the results of our labor and creativity to the government than it thought it was going to get.  And the government, rather than giving it back from whence it came, decided to find still more things to spend that money on, “obligating” us to keep that spending going full-steam when times got tighter.

Minnesota has been on a treadmill designed to ensure that government gets what it needs – and wants – first and foremost, for the past forty years.

And there is no way we can keep it going.  If Minnesota adopts the budget that the DFL and the state’s machinery demands – a 20% increase over the previous biennium – it will be followed in the next biennium by another 10-20% increase, and then another, and then another, until by the time our children have to try to run things our entire state economy will exist, one way or another, to feed government.


Of course.  Because no economy can sustain that kind of growth.  The market will collapse, as it did in Greece, and as it is in California.  The private sector will go Galt, as indeed Minnesota corporations are starting to do now – keeping their corporate headquarters here, for now, but moving service and manufacturing and even engineering jobs to Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Mississippi, and India because Minnesota is too damn expensive.

There is one candidate who will get in front of this trend, stand astride it, and yell “Stop” – whose vision involves stopping the train not only before it drives off the cliff, but turning it around and changing the way this state operations – with zero-based budgeting, with a rational appraisal of what government should be doing, with a focus on what really makes Minnesota great – Minnesotans, with their infinite motivation and creativity, working in their enlightened self-interest, backstopped with their voluntary, communitarian spirit.

Once upon a time, Ronald Reagan said America faced A Time for Choosing.

Minnesota is in the same place today as we were 46, and 30, years ago. It is a time for choosing.  Freedom and prosperity?  Or mediocrity and serfdom to the soulless bureaucracy?

Choose freedom.  Vote Emmer.

Previous Reasons Emmer Should Be Governor

#4: Buck The Narrative

#5:  Our Better Nature

Top Five Reasons Dayton Should Not Be Governor – #3: Unexamined

There are so many unanswered questions about Mark Dayton.

Now, if we had an institution in our state whose job it was to ask tough questions of those who would tax our earnings and spend our money and run the free association of equals that We The People call our government – say, a big organization with a long tradition of asking questions, with Codes of Ethics and printing presses and TV and radio transmitters, for example – perhaps some of these questions might have been asked or, at the very least, asked consistently and clearly after, say Labor Day, when the vast majority of non-political junkies tune in to the subject of politics.

But we apparently have no such institutions in Minnesota.  So nobody was able to ask…

  • Why did Mark Dayton quit his teaching job in mid-year, after working about 1/3 of the time a real teacher would have? And let’s be clear -0 when I say “nobody” was able to ask, I mean Sheila Kihne, housewife and mom and blogger, asked.  She asked questions about Dayton’s resume, his education, and his many breaks from his rigorous teaching schedule in NYC to participate in protest rallies in the Twin Cities.  The rest of the media?  Not quite so much.
  • Who Is Financing All Those Attack Ads: It was all right there in plain sight; “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” the group behind most of Mark Dayton’s attack ads, was financed largely by friends of Mark Dayton, and Mark Dayton himself.  Curious?  It was, briefly, to Tom Scheck of MPR, who was nearly alone among the Twin Cities media in covering ABM’s background at all, and even that long before the vast majority of Minnesotans cared.
  • How About All That Erratic Behavior?:  Emmer’s two “DUIs” – actually “Careless Driving” convictions in 1980 and 1990 – received slavering coverage.  But Dayton’s apparently meltdown in office, culminating in his departure from the 2006 Senate campaign, apparently weren’t something the public had a “right to know”.  Not even given reports that he’d had alcoholic relapses in office and at least once since leaving office.  And rumors of his battle with mental illness continue to go unexamined, except via the most collegial sort of questions from the media – and again, this started and ended long before the voting public really started caring about this campaign, so even the tiny wedges of perfunctory coverage – a Rachel Stassen-Berger/Baird Helgeson piece that ran on the Sunday after Christmas of last year – if not the least-read news weekend of the year, certainly a contender.  Given that this is the extent of any recent coverage in Minnesota’s “newspaper of record”, it’d be charitable to say the Strib “buried” the story by giving it the most ludicrous possible minimum exposure possible while actually writing anything at all.
  • Dayton’s serial budget shortfalls: The Twin Cities’ media questioned Dayton about the serial shortcomings in his various budget plans in only the most cursory, perfunctory way possible.  There were certainly questions – I’ve had a couple dozen myself, and I’m just a lowly blogger.  And yet the questions about Dayton’s plans – the racist gutting of charter schools, the illlusory reliance on halving state contractors for $425 million of savings that can not be realized, the simple fact that the entire plan is dead on arrival at the new, likely much-more-conservative legislature none of these questions got any serious examination from a Twin Cities media that seems more intent on breaking the DFL’s generation long losing streak than in the public’s “right to know” any but the most cursory, trivial and meaningless factoids about Dayton’s plan.

If you were a banker, and Dayton sat before you peddling his record as collateral for a loan, you’d tell him to come back in a year when he’d built up some decent credit.

He shouldn’t get to build that credit on our time and with our money.

Previous Reasons Dayton Should Not Be Governor

Top Five Reasons Emmer Should Be Governor – #4: Buck The Narrative

There are two duelling narratives at work in the Minnesota gubernatorial election this year.

One of them is a huge, national narrative; the immense, perhaps unprecedented in 65-100 years, backlash against the currently-absolutely-ruling party.  Conservatism is, by most rational accounts, about to deal a thrashing to liberalism that’ll make the 1994 election look like a flip of the Scott County Soil and Water district‘s power structure.  Whatever it is.  The point being, the “Narrative” is that the GOP wave rolls and breaks, sweeping away liberal politicians from coast to coast.  The left fears the wave; when you have liberal Democrats backing and filling and trying to portray themselves as conservatives and telling a sitting president two years off the biggest electoral mandate in decades to “shove it“, and even the likes of Lori Sturdevant are filling their sandbags (didja know Larry Pogemiller has grown more conservative?  Lori says so!), there’s a narrative out there.  And of course, the counter-narrative, from the DFL and the media (pardon, as always, the redundancy, and it’ll be a joy to be done with this campaign if only so I can retire that particular phrase for the next 18 months or so), is that Minnesota is the state that always bucks that trend; we voted against Reagan in ’84! (for a native son, at a time when our GOP was indistinguishable from the DFL).  The narrative says that conservatives, usually Republican, are going to win and win big.

The counternarrative, being pushed by the DFL and their BFFs in the regional media?  The hope that they can manufacture some change in one of the DFL’s greatest frustrations; the Chicago-Cubs-like inability to win the big prize, the governor’s office.  The DFL hasn’t had an elected governor in a generation, since 1986, when Rudy Perpich slouched into his last, ludicrous term (Jesse Ventura doesn’t count, even though he fronted the DFL-lite “Independence Party”, and his policy strings were pulled by “moderate” DFLers Tim Penny and Dean Barkley, and since he had no party representation in the Legislature he had to spend his entire term spooning with Roger Moe to get anything done, and essentially governed as an insane man who, paradoxically, was sane for a DFLer).  The press’ desire for change in the governor’s office – for a DFLer, any DFLer, even an ersatz one like Tom Horner – is almost physically palpable.  And it reminds one of the old parable of the frogs who wished for a king, and were sent a stork.  Storks eat frogs, lest the irony escape you.

The media, for all their caterwauling about reporting what actually happens, loves narratives.  It satisfies the human desire to bring order and pattern to chaos (not to mention putting their party in control, with an aim toward redistricting Michele Bachmann out of Congress, since those stupid voters keep refusing to do it for them).

Screw the narratives.

Minnesota needs not only a leader, but a leader whose goal and mission is to break with the bigger, longer, more debilitating narrative that’s driven this state for far, far too long – that Minnesota is a big-government, big-“service”, big expense state.  It was a model that arguably worked a few decades ago, when our economy and our world were very, very different places that were a lot more forgiving of wholesale patronage and gross inefficiency.  More on that in tomorrow’s installment of this series.

Minnesota needs a new narrative – one that we, The People, write as we go, through our own merits and drive and energy and determination.  Not one written at 4225 Portland, or on Plato Boulevard, or on Times Square.

We can elect Mark Dayton, and keep on acting in someone else’s story – the same story we’ve lived through before.  The same story that’s reaching its miserable denouement in California, and Massachusetts, and Illinois – leaving They, The People, broke and out of work and picked clean by the taxman.

Or you can write a new narrative – our narrative – starting on November 3, if Tom Emmer is elected.

I’m making my choice, of course.

Previous Reasons Emmer Should Be Governor

#5:  Our Better Nature

The Real Contest

After the release of the welter of ludicrous polls from the Strib and the Humphrey Institute that – inevitably – showed Mark Dayton with improbably large leads earlier this week, the grownups have finally spoken.

First came the public release of an internal poll by the Emmer campaign showing the race an even-up, 40-40 tie.

And the KSTP/SurveyUSA poll (rated as the third best polling in the US by left-leaning Nate Silver at 538) shows a statistical tie – 39-38 Dayton, with a four point margin of error:

The poll shows Emmer has expanded his lead among men by two points, while Dayton’s lead among women has fallen 14 points since earlier this month. Emmer leads by five points among people ages 18 to 49; Dayton has a nine-point lead among those over age 50.

This tracks with results I saw a few weeks back in District 32B.

Here’s the part I love; the Leftybloggers’ constant bleat of “omitting cell phone users underpolls Democrats” is shown to be so much wind in sails:

For the first time, the KSTP/SurveyUSA poll includes a survey of people who only use cell phones. Among this population, who tend to be younger voters, Dayton and Emmer are both at 35 percent. Fifteen percent of these voters are undecided.

The good news for conservatives (and ergo Minnesota’s future)?

  • Emmer is up strongly in the SurveyUSA poll: Two weeks ago, Emmer was down by five. with a four point margin of error.
  • Emmer is up by an equal margin in internal polling:  On October eleventh – less than three weeks ago – a source inside the Emmer campaign told me that internal polling was showing Emmer down by four points.  The latest poll shows, as does the Survey USA poll, a four point jump for Emmer.

Polls, as everyone who knows polls will tell you, are a snapshot in time.  Comparing the snapshots over the past month shows that Emmer is doing exactly what his campaign has always been aiming to do; surging at the end.

A Not Remotely Modest Proposal

We don’t know how the Minnesota gubernaturial election is going to turn out yet.  I have my predictions in; you are welcome to do your own.

But one thing is for certain; it’s not going to be a 12 point race.

Which would provoke a curious person to ask; what is with the “Star/Tribune Minnesota Poll” and the “MPR/Hubert H. Humphrey Institute Polls”?

This week, they showed results for the gubernatorial election (MNPoll had Dayton +7, HHH had Dayton +12) that, I assert, may not actually be intended as DFL morale-builders – but if they were, it’d be hard to show how they’d be different.  Their oversample of Democrat “likely voters” may or may not be built on experience in Minnesota elections – but it doesn’t take a keen-eyed journalist to see that their methodology is drastically wrong.  Indeed, there are those who are taking that look; Jake Grovum at PIM does a good job of BS-detecting; he covers ground Ed and I have covered on the show as well as our various blogs over the past few months; it’s well worth a read.

And it doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to look at the record of both of these polls and at least suspect that they smell a rat.  The Minnesota Poll has a 20-plus year record of showing DFL gubernatorial and Senate candates faring an average of 7.5% stronger on the eve of the election than they actually perform. I need to go over the figures for the Humphrey poll, but off the top of my head I do know that the HHH showed Mike Hatch leading by six points at this time in the ’06 campaign; somehow, Tim Pawlenty did seven points better than that.

It’s not that I’m qualified to bag on the inner workings of the statistician’s game; I dropped the class after one week in college.

But when you have…:

  • a twenty year history with the Strib/MNPoll, and a growing history with the HHH poll, of…
  • …errors in methodology in polling that consistently result in 6-7 point polling errors…
  • just happen to consistently – as in, without exception – favor the DFL candidate in close, important elections (forget about the 2006 Senate race), and which are…
  • …lavishly publicized at the beginning of the elections’ “get out the vote” phases…
  • …by the respective  sponsoring news and academic organizations, both of whomcan be accused – perhaps unfairly but definitely rationally – of having group cultures that favor, implicitly or explicitly, the party that is the consistent (invariable!) beneficiary of the statistical error, cycle after cycle after cycle…

…well, that strikes me as an interesting story.

Now, it’s been made clear to me in this election cycle that the elite of the Twin Cities political media establishment – the Rachel Stassen-Bergers and Tom Schecks and Bill Salisburys and Pat Kesslers and David Brauers and Erik Blacks and Tim Pugmires who do the heavy lifting at political coverage for the major regional media – don’t like mere peasants with blogs kibitzing about how they do their jobs, to say nothing about their story timing and selection.

But if I were a journalist (pardon the blasphemy – tis a silly thought), this woudl strike me a subject worthy of some scrutiny.

Perhaps even…investigation!

But I suspect that job will be left to us mere unlettered peasants, in our spare time, over the next two years.

Just saying.

HHH Institute?  Princeton Research? Strib?  MPR?  Expect a phone call in early December.

Top Five Reasons Dayton Should Not Be Governor – #4: Fool Us Three Times…

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that Americans hate second acts.

It’s baloney, of course, Americans love a good comeback story.  Our history is crowded with ’em; Grover Cleveland’s second term; William Howard Taft’s service on the Supreme court; Richard Nixon (who perhaps should not have had his second act); Ronald Reagan himself, whose career spanned several different iterations.

But as George Patton said, Americans hate a loser.

And while God no doubt loves Mark Dayton, it’s quite clear that if we, the people of Minnesota, were a bank, and Mark Dayton were coming to us for a loan, and his collateral were his record in office, we would turn him down.

Dayton’s record doesn’t even qualify as “checkered”; it’s just plain bad.

Leave aside his questionable record as a New York City high school teacher – during which he taught about 1/3 of the working days during his tenure, and left in mid-year.  Let’s look at his political record:

  • State Auditor: Dayton was, at best, an undistinguished State Auditor.
  • Economic Development Director: Dayton shuffled through two years as the state’s Economic Development Director.  And then, with another recession on the way, he quit – as related by his boss Rudy Perpich’s son in a brutal Strib Op-Ed, to safeguard his own political future.
  • The Bumbler: His term as Senator was the stuff of comedy legend, almost like an out-take from the old TV series Benson.  When even the ultra-liberal Time calls a Democrat “America’s Worst Senator”, it’s time to sit up and take notice.  And – her’e’s the important part – learn from experience.

Dayton is a dissipate playboy who regards politics as a hobby.  If you had a kid who messed up this much, would you give him not only another toy, but a bigger, more expensive one?

Of course not.

Minnesota deserves better.

Previous Reasons Dayton Should Not Be Governor

#5: We Are Better Than This

Top Five Reasons Emmer Should Be Governor – #5: Our Better Natures

What are Minnesotans’ great strengths?

We have so many; we’re resourceful (who else could live in such a cold place)?  We’re smart – our test scores show it (although North Dakotans would seem to be smarter, by that measure); we’re communitarian, even without the heavy hand of government to drag it out of us.

We’re self-starters; we’ve created things as varied as sandpaper and the artificial heart; the homing torpedo and instant cake mix; the supercomputer and solid dish soap…

…and while government has had its role in many of those achievements, Minnesotans should stand up and take credit where it’s due; government at the very best merely got out of the way.

But look at Mark Dayton’s entire campaign.  Everything about it reads like a return to the 1970’s, from the goals – resurrecting and perpetuating programs like Local Government Aid – through the “eat the rich” language.

Just as our companies, and our families, have had to change to meet the challenges that happen as times change, so must our government.

There is one candidate that will make government adapt to the same changing times we all face.

Tom Emmer has run a campaign that has not only focused on the positive – he even chided Ed Morrissey and I for calling Dayton “the opposition”, a stark contrast to the deeply, cravenly slimy campaign that Dayton has run – but looks to the best of Minnesota’s character.  His budget doesn’t scapegoat classes; it calls for some shared sacrifice on the way to a much, much better goal.  Mark Dayton’s campaign appoints others to be “Happy To Pay For A Better Minnesota”; Emmer puts the onus on all of us – and presents us all with the opportunity, not only to escape California/Greek/New York style stagnation and bankruptcy, but to share in honestly-earned rewards.

Tom Emmer has run a principled campaign; he presents the state with a tenable plan to balance its budget while taking care of the people who need taking care of, and asking a little more out of those who don’t – like city governments.

He appeals to Minnesotans’ better natures – our strength, our communitarian spirit, our intelligence, our vision.  Not our passive-aggressive venality.

It’s just one of the reasons I’m voting for Emmer.  But it’s an important one.

Four more to go before Monday.  Stay tuned.

The HHH And The DFL Get Out The Vote Effort

Another MPR/HHH Poll. Another lopsided sample.  Another improbably huge Dayton lead.

Another day in a city where the media and academy actively work with the dominant political party to maintain control.

According the poll, which has a margin or sampling error between 3.6 percent and 5.5 percent and surveyed 751 likely voters, Dayton had support from 41 percent of those voters, Republican Tom Emmer had support from 29 percent and Independence Party’s Tom Horner had 11 percent.

Blah blah blah.

Rachel Stassen-Berger did manage to put this rather key fact in paragraph three, rather than buried under the fold as in most coverage of these DFL morale-builders (emphasis added):

The poll’s sample includes 45 percent Democrats, 38 percent Republicans and 16 percent independents. The percentages for both the Democrats and the Republicans are higher than recent Star Tribune Minnesota Polls, which had a sample that included roughly a third of voters in each category.

I’m not saying there’s collusion between the HHH (although Emmer would cut higher ed funding), MPR (whose state subsidy Emmer favors cutting) and the Star/Tribune (which has been audibly slavering for a DFL governor) to try to get out DFL votes.

But if they were colluding, I’m not sure how these polls would be any differnet, or differently-timed.

Top Five Reasons Dayton Should Not Be Governor – #5: We Are Better Than This

Think back over the past six months of Mark Dayton’s campaign. Think over the ads he’s run.  Think back over the messages.

Why would you vote for Mark Dayton?

Now, make no mistake; the Dayton campaign – and its “third-party” advertising from the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which is “third party” only on the most technical sense of the term, having been funded largely by the Dayton family – has tried to give you all sorts of reasons to vote against Tom Emmer; two drunk driving arrests 20 and 30 years ago, some grossly out-of-context statements about food server wages and legislative records and some poking and prodding at his conservative voting record.

But why would one vote for Mark Dayton?

Let’s go through his ads and see if we can find a positive, affirmative reason to vote for Mark Dayton, rather than against Tom Emmer.  Let’s run through the Top Five reasons:

5. He wants to tax “the rich”.  Which “rich?”  We’ll come back to that later.

4. He was a high school teacher forty years ago, and will make sure that schools get more money, or something. The message is a little vague.

3. Er…

I got nothing.

The fact is, Mark Dayton’s entire campaign has been run on slime.  Think of the campaign’s salient points, such as they’ve been:

  • Emmer favors “Uncertified” Teachers… – …of exactly the type that Mark Dayton himself once was.
  • Minnesota Cities need to be able to launder their spending through the state to dodge accountability to their own taxpayers: We pretty well addressed and debunked that here, and here, and here, and here, and here.
  • Emmer Got Sued!: The Strib’s Pat Doyle “distinguished” himself with his hit piece on Emmer, which managed to maneuver itself into spreading everything about Emmer’s legal and personal record that could be construed as unfavorable – while carefully excising all exculpatory context.  Someday when they give awards for showing that “journalistic ethics” are merely “a framework by which journalists justify the means toward their ends”, Doyle will be a winner emeritus.
  • Emmer Hates Gays – Except even the most remedial degree of reporting shows that the whole claim is based on a fraudulently-overblown and out-of-context claim of support for one Bradlee Dean.  This was blown up into the most contrived astro-turf campaign I have seen in all my years of watching DFL astroturf – a coast-to-coast fabrication of the vapours that generated much heat about Target Corporation’s donation of $150K in cash and services to a pro-business PAC that, nonetheless, did nothing much except show America what a bunch of yapping McCarthyites Minnesota liberals are.
  • The Phantom Plan: Until about Labor Day – four solid months – the DFL and its minions caterwauled about Emmer’s lack of a “budget plan“.  Then he released a plan – which balanced the budget – and pointed out the inconvenient truth that Dayton’s first whack at a plan came up $3billion light; his second plan is a little over a billion off the mark.
  • Emmer Had Two DUIs, and wanted to lower penalties for drunk driving!: The episodes were twenty and thirty years ago.  And Emmer has been constantly forthcoming about his youthful mistakes, unlike Senator Dayton’s silence on his record of alcoholism, mental illness and other erratic behavior (of which more later).  As to ABM’s giggly claims that Emmer tried to “lower penalties for drunk driving” – it turned to be a gross, craven distortion, the sort of thing that was called a “filthy lie” in a more direct age.

Alliance for a Better Minnesota broke records, not only for spending (nearly unreported by the mainstream media and utterly unchallenged by our state’s so-called “watchdog” organizations), but for the serial falsity of its claims.  The DFL’s bullpen of news-release blogs were only too happy to carry the water.  While the DFL caterwauled about corporate funding, ABM spent nearly four million in funds from public employee unions and…the Dayton Family and candidate Dayton himself.

Mark Dayton has no positive vision for the state of Minnesota.

He waves the flag of “class” envy – really achievement envy – and vague blandishments about school funding…and that’s about it.

Minnesota deserves a better vision than this.

Minnesota deserves better than Mark Dayton.

Lists Everywhere

Over the next five days I’m going to run three lists.

  • The Top Five Reasons Mark Dayton Should Not Be Governor – I’ll be running them one per day between now and Monday.
  • The Top Five Reasons Tom Emme Should Be Governor – One a day til Monday, except I may take Sunday off and double ’em up on Monday.
  • And finally, my traditional Top 100 Reasons I’m Voting For Tom Emmer on Tuesday morning, as we all get up and head to the polls.

They’ll pretty much sum up the past six months on this blog.

Stay tuned.

Backing And Filling

The DFL starts to work on its damage control from its viciously anti-Catholic attack piece.

Blois Olson – who is not “the DFL”, per se, but has a history of working for DFL candidates – in his “Morning Take”

MN GOP will push to find controversy with a direct mail piece in SD40. GOP operatives are working hard to advance outrage over a mail piece sent by the MN DFL in the race for SD40 where incumbent DFL Sen. John Doll is running against GOPer Dan Hall.

“Find controversy?”

I think the controversy pretty much jumps out and beats you over the head.  Check it out for yourself:

Click for full size

Not a lot of room for interpretation there.

There is no doubt that if they get traction with this it could have some statewide impact on the election, especially if they advance the narrative that the piece is anti-Catholic. While one side of the piece shows a clergy collar with a faux button “Ignore the Poor”. The other takes legitimate pointed criticism at GOPer Dan Hall’s positions related to the MN budget and ties it to his profession as a chaplain.

Which is part of the DFL’s outreach to the region’s – mostly the Metro’s – “social justice-gospel” addled – Catholics; the idea that the state’s budget itself is a sort of Good Work.

That’s no different than finding issue with any other candidates profession and the political positions they take. The piece is hard hitting, but clergy of other faith’s wear a collar, and the word “Catholic” doesn’t appear anywhere on the piece.

Olson goes on to point out that priests of other denominations wear clerical collars.  But the ad’s only context is the current race – where Archbishop Nienstedt has attacked gay marriage, and where Tom Emmer is a very orthodox Catholic.

And neither the Episcopal nor Orthodox hierarchies have taken any key political stances in this election (or have they?  Who would know?) as has the Archdiocese.  If this piece is a swipe at the Anglicans, Greeks or Russians, it’d be a response to an Orthodox or Episcopal stance that nobody’s really aware of; being a highly-qualified pundit, I’m pretty sure Olson knows that’d be a curious misallocation of resources at this point in the campaign.

The ad is a swipe at District 40 Senate candidate Dan Hall, who is a volunteer chaplain with the Burnsville Fire Department.  The DFL’ s line is that Hall is a “Hypocrite” for preaching on the one hand, and supporting Governor Pawlenty on rejecting the big federal Medicaid payment.

The DFL is taking it upon itself to tell us who is or is not a good Christian and Catholic, based on adherence to the DFL’s budget wish list.

Senators Koch and Fishbach gave a statement about an hour ago asking if candidate Dayton stood by his party’s attack.  Dayton is Catholic – or at least he’s given the homily at ultraliberal Saint Joan of Arc in Minneapolis.

I’m gonna suspect he lets this ride without mention…

UPDATE:   MDE has scanned the full postcard.

CORRECTION:  The postcard was sent by the DFL State, not Central, Committee.  It was an inadvertent slip.  Hard to tell all those committees apart.

Pray For Cold

Parts of northern Minnesota have gotten/will get two feet of snow out of the blizzard currently sweeping in from the Dakotas.

If you follow conventional Minnesota political wisdom, the worse the weather is, the better the GOP does.

So the colder it stays, and the more of that snow lingers ’til Tuesday, the better it’s going to be for Cravaack and Byberg.

So break out those parkas and tough it out and hope for some serious cold.

Fake And Inaccurate

Berg’s Seventh Law – “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.” – remains one of the most accurate formulas in American politics today.

The left has been caterwauling about “Corporate Money in Politics” – the fallout from the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations to donate money to political campaigns.  They’re concerned, so they say, about money “polluting politics”, and want it stopped, stopped, for our own good.

Berg’s Seventh Law says that they are trying to draw attention away from their own activities.  And the Law is a law for a reason; it’s always right:

A record $87.5 million has been spent by one union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, to elect Democrats. Paid not by voluntary contribution from its members, but by forced union dues from workers—who are paid by taxpayers.

I’m opposed to unlimited spending by any outside interest group or individual, and I believe full disclosure should be required on all campaign spending. Thanks largely to the Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case, however, the law encourages this political money pornography. But it’s laughable to hear President Obama and the Democrats suggest that this is somehow a Republican phenomenon.

Six of the top 10 overall political action committee spenders are union groups, with the vast amount of contributions supporting Democratic candidates. The spending by labor unions, with AFSCME as Exhibit A, makes a mockery of President Obama’s bogus boogeyman scare tactics about supposed shadowy foreign interests—a charge to which CBS anchor Bob Schieffer asked David Axelrod, “Is that all you got?”

Contrary to what Obama and the Democrats would have us believe, the Tea Party is largely fueled by small-dollar donations from American citizens in amounts of $200 or less.

Here in Minnesota, unions and the Dayton family and associates have been pouring money into the PACs “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” and “Win Minnesota” and “The 2010 Fund”, to the tune of double Emmer’s campaign fund.  Most of the money is from out of state.  Almost all of it is in huge chunks, as opposed to the small donations that have floated the Emmer campaign – a phenomenon first noted in this blog in 2002, when it came out that the average donation for the “populist” Paul Wellstone was five times as large as the average donation for Norm Coleman, even though both had about the same amount of donations.

The DFL; Democracy For Lease.