Lie First, Lie Always: It’s Science!

Rep. Kim Norton – the Rochester legislator who will be serving as Michael Bloomberg’s bag-woman in the coming session – has decided to try to put some numbers behind her increasingly strident and faith-based posturing on guns.  She posted these “survey” “results” on her Facebook page.

How did it work?  I did say it was a liberal trying to do numbers, right?

The results, to date-12/22/15, of a survey sent out by my office to 3 precincts in my district:

Three precincts?  A whole three precincts?

Now, a legislative district has dozens of precincts.   I don’t know exactly how many precincts there are in Kim Norton’s HD25B, but there are a total of 56 in the city of Rochester, and Norton has roughly half the city.  Let’s be (what else?) conservative, and say she’s got 24 of ’em.

Her district also includes a grand total of 39,762 people, over 21 square miles.  It’s a cozy district.

So Norton sent out a “survey” to three precincts – maybe 1/8 of her district.  Which three precincts?  What are their demographics?  Do these three precincts represent her district?  More importantly – why does Rep. Norton think these three precincts represent her district?

Anyway.  So Rep. Norton mails out a survey to three selected precincts.  And here’s what she got back:

1. Are you in favor of background checks for gun show sales, private gun sales, and gifts?
Yes (73) 78%
No (21) 22%
Total 94

Forget the actual question for a moment.  There were 94 answers.

Out of nearly 40,000 people in her district, and out of maybe 3-4,000 (I’m estimating) in the three precincts she favored with her survey, she got less than 100 answers.

That’s one quarter of one percent of her district.

And do you suppose those people are a representative sample of the precincts, much less the district?  Or might they – just possibly! – have been an intensely self-selected sample of people who are motivated not only to pay attention to bulk mail from their DFL Representative, but also driven to fill out an utterly symbolic survey about an issue that Rep. Norton is wrapping herself around?

Remember – most people just don’t care that much.  And if most conservatives are at all like me, they don’t open junk mail from legislators, especially legislators they disagree with.

So I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that of the .25 of 1% of Norton’s district that opened the mail, read it, were motivated to complete it and send it back to the Representative’s office, a pretty disproportionate chunk were motivated by supporting Rep. Norton’s agenda.

But I’m no professional…

…well,  no.  Wait. I am.  I design samples for research as part of my job.  So I may be a little harder to BS than the average bear.

(Am I wrong?  Please, Rep. Norton; have your people call my people and set me straight.  You have my number.  Operators are standing by).

Sadly, Kim Norton’s typical supporter may not be so lucky.

2. Do you support requiring gun owners to register their guns with the local government?
Yes(66) 71%
No (27) 29%

Total 93

You know what’d be interesting?  If Rep. Norton had thrown in a question about whether the respondent was a gun owner.

I’m gonna take a flyer, here, and guess the answer would be about 30%.

3. With the goal of reducing suicides and impulse shootings, would you support extending the current seven day waiting period between a gun purchase and receipt of the gun?
Yes (64) 69%
No (29) 31%
Total 93

By law, of course, there is a seven day waiting period.

In practice?  Every store, federally licensed dealer and gun show in the state requires a “Permit to Purchase” issued by the police, or a Carry Permit issued by the state, to sell a handgun or “assault weapon”; they won’t sell without one, waiting period or no.   The very idea of waiting periods is statistically dubious, to the point where even the Ninth Circuit has asked what’s the purpose, especially with someone who already owns firearms.

And the idea that “waiting periods” affect suicides is just a wierd fantasy, of course.  Gun suicides – 2/3 of gun deaths – don’t occur at the end of the waiting period.  They are disproportionally older, usually white males, usually socially isolated, usually depressed – and they’ve owned their guns for decades.

3a. If yes, how many days should the waiting period be?

10 Days (8) 13%
14 Days (18) 28%
28 Days (38) 59%
Total 64

By this point in this exercise, I’m actually wondering why she didn’t put “eleventy-teen years” as an option.

5. Do you support a ban or restriction of sales on:
High Capacity Ammunition Clips of 10 or more bullets? (66) 69%
Exploding Bullets? (68) 72%
Assault rifles or Semi-Automatic guns? (59) 62%
Total 95

Exploding Bullets?


Y’see, this is why so many Second Amendment activists have such contempt for their opponents’ arguments.

Imagine if you will someone arguing for regulation of healthcare, who proposes banning phrenology clinics, adding standards for blood leeches and healing crystals, and licensing  sexual healing practicioners.  Now, people who actually work in healthcare know that Phrenology was debunked 120 years ago, that leeches and crystals are irrelevant, and Sexual Healing was a Marvin Gaye song – and they get annoyed that someone is not only wasting their time arguing BS, but just a little disgusted that the legislator is finding people incurious enough to get on board to try to logroll the legislation.

10 rounds is not “high capacity”.  “Semi automatic” does not equal “assault” (you awake yet, hunters and skeet shooters?).  “Assault” does not mean “likely to be used in crimes”.

And…exploding bullets.

(Shaking my head, at a loss for civil words, awaiting a line about “guns that go pew pew pew”)

6. Do you believe gun safety and usage training should be required by all gun owners – even those who do not have a hunting license or permit to carry?
Yes (73) 81%
No (17) 19%
Total 90

And even a lot of shooters will aver that that sounds reasonable.

Of course, in Chicago and DC we see the whammy of this approach; in Chicago, you have to take a range test to get a permit – but there are no firing ranges in Chicago.

It’s not a stretch to imagine Minnesota’s government requiring training – and forgetting to issue trainer’s licenses.

7. Given these two values, is it more important to:
control gun ownership?
(49) 56%
protect the right of the people to own guns? (39) 44%
Total 88

FYI – These survey results generally mirror those share by scientific polls done across the country.

I’d be interested in seeing the “scientific polls” Rep. Norton is referring to.  But I am under no illusion she knows anything beyond “tacking ‘scientific’ onto a dubious assertion will gull a few of the gullible”.

She’s wrong, of course.  Not that that matters to her, or to the audience she’s trying to reach.

Just A Hint

A couple weeks ago, we noted that retiring representative Kim Norton who has pledged to carry a clot of gun-grabbing bills through the legislature this next session, has  asked for “a conversation about guns” on social media.

And then blocked everyone that disagreed with her, instantly and comprehensively (as have with all other Minnesota gun grab activists).

I asked her to appear on the NARN; she begged off, claiming to have not really thought about the issue all that hard (notwithstanding the fact that her proposals in various mainstream and social media have been pretty detailed).

Well, l’ll keep on trying.

But until then, we’ve got a hint as to her sympathies, via Twitter: 2015-12-10 21-33-31

Rep. Norton: celebrating passive victimhood for way too long.

I have a hunch she’s going to book a week in Costa Rica during “Minnesota Gun Owners Lobbying Day” (MN-GOLD).

Representative Norton’s MkKarthyistic Kangaroo Kourts

Yesterday, we noted that Rep. Kim Norton – the soon-to-be retired legislator from Rochester who’s going to be pushing the various gun-control bills that the DFL is copying and pasting from their benefactors at Bloomberg – accused people who oppose US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s “idea” of barring anyone on the government’s double-dog-secret “Terrorist Watch List” from buying guns, of “supporting allowing terrorists to have weapons”.

No, I’m serious.  In an incredible display of the kind of logic that most adults were shamed out of using back in fourth grade, Norton accused Bryan Strawser of the MN Gun Owners Political Action Committee of supporting guns in the hands of terrorists:


And this introduced an interesting question: what does it take to get on the list?

From that noted conservative tool, the HuffPo, we learn that this watch list is something of a roach hotel; easy to get in, impossible to get out.  I’m abridging the copy from the HuffPo, which you should read in its entirety:

1. You could raise “reasonable suspicion” that you’re involved in terrorism. “Irrefutable evidence or concrete facts” are not required.

In determining whether a suspicion about you is “reasonable,” a “nominator” must “rely upon articulable intelligence or information which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts,” can link you to possible terrorism. As Scahill and Devereaux noted, words like “reasonable,” “articulable” and “rational” are not expressly defined. While the document outlines the need for an “objective factual basis,” the next section clarifies that “irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary” to make a final determination as to whether a suspicion is “reasonable.” So how could intelligence officials be led to put you on the watch list?

Funny they mention that:

2. You could post something on Facebook or Twitter that raises “reasonable suspicion.”


According to the document, “postings on social media sites … should not be discounted merely because of the manner in which it was received.”

Someone who doesn’t like you reports you to a governnment bureaucrat, who thinks “what the heck, better safe than sorry!”, and will never be held accountable for it…

…and boom!  There you are!

(Whoops – can I say “boom” anymore?)

And if you think government wouldn’t do that?  Do you really think Lois Lerner was the only bureaucrat to abuse her authority for political ends?

3. Or somebody else could just think you’re a potential terror threat.

The guidelines also consider the use of “walk-in” or “write-in” information about potential candidates for the watch list. Nominators are encouraged not to dismiss such tips and, after evaluating “the credibility of the source,” could opt to nominate you to the watch list.

In other words, there are no checks and balances.

And these next two…:

4. You could be a little terrorist-ish, at least according to someone.

(Given the liberal fad of “Swatting” conservatives – calling the police to report a conservative is dealing drugs and child porn and guns out of their houses, to draw a swat team, it’s not an idle threat).  Or…

5. Or you could just know someone terrorist-y, maybe.

…should make your blood run cold, when you remember #6:

6. And if you’re in a “category” of people determined to be a threat, your threat status could be “upgraded” at the snap of a finger.

The watch-list guidelines explain a process by which the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism can move an entire “category of individuals” to an elevated threat status. It’s unclear exactly how these categories are defined, but according to the document, there must be “current and credible intelligence information” suggesting that the group is a particular threat to conduct a terrorist act.

And the Obama Administration has designated vast swathes of people who disagree with him as potential terrorists.

If you’re a pro-lifer?  Second Amendment activist?  Tax protester?  Land rights, Tenth Amendment, open-government, anti-war?  You name it – you could find yourself on the watch list for any reason.

Or…no reason at all:

7. Finally, you could just be unlucky.

The process of adding people to the terror watch lists is as imperfect as the intelligence officials tasked with doing so. There have been reports of “false positives,” or instances in which an innocent passenger has been subject to treatment under a no-fly or selectee list because his or her name was similar to that of another individual. In one highly publicized incident in 2005, a 4-year-old boy was nearly barred from boarding a plane to visit his grandmother.

And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.  There’s no due process; there’s noplace to file an appeal.

You’re screwed. Your liberties can be held hostage by any petty bureaucrat, any ex-spouse, anyone who really, wants to mess you up in the most passive-aggressive yet damaging way possible.

So I’d like to ask Kim Norton (if she takes questions, which she does not) – how many of our civil liberties does she believe should be subject to a secret list with no due process or accountability?

Komissar Kim Norton, MkKarthyist

We’ve gone around and around with Representative Kim Norton of Rochester.  Norton, who is retiring from the Legislature after this coming session, is going to be carrying Michael Bloomberg’s water; she’ll be sponsoring, so we’re told, a number of gun control bills.

Not that you can get a straight answer out of her; although she went into great detail in the Rochester Post-Bulletin in which she called for a “conversation about guns”, she also told anyone who wanted to engage in dialog (as opposed to echo-chamber monologue) that she really had no idea what she was going to put into any bill, and had nothing to talk about.

Which is kind of hilarious, if you think about it.

Of course, on Twitter over the holiday weekend, she found a specific proposal to support – from Bloomberg’s chief streetwalker in the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand.

And her response (below) to MNGOPAC leader Bryan Strawser is one for the record books, and one that every Rochester voter should take up with Ms. Norton:  That’s right – for opposing denying civil rights to people who wind up on a non-transparent, easily-abused, unsupervised grab bag of names collected so willy-nilly it’s become the stuff of folk legends, for which the Feds don’t have to tell why, or even whether, you’re on it, Rep. Norton, one of the DFL’s inner circle thought leaders, equates you with a terrorist.

Remember when Democrats were opposed to mysterious starchambers handing down secret lists of enemies, with no transparency or accountability?  I’ll bet Rep. Nortdon does.

This is today’s DFL.

Question:  Do you suppose anyone in the media will question Rep. Norton on this?


Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on live at the Minnesota State Fair COM from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,

  • We’ll be talking with Andrew Rothman of GOCRA and Rob Doar of MNGOPAC about Kim Norton’s “gun violence” “proposals”, as well as a look ahead to coming sessions.
  • We’ll be talking about John Boehner, Brandon Peterson’s resignation and the upcoming special election, and much more.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!


Over on the Facebook, Rep. Kim Norton – about whom we talked the other day – has asked for a “conversation about guns”.

And, per usual DFLer practice in “conversations”, she seems to be deleting every comment that represents the other side of the “conversation”.

I left a comment:

Norton Screenshot

Let’s see how long that lasts.

If you’re a Second Amendment supporter from the Rochester area, by all means, sound off in Rep. Norton’s space (with a polite, well-reasoned argument, natch).  Let us know how long it takes for your comment to get whacked.

UPDATE:  It took ten minutes.  She also banned me from responding to any posts on her Facebook page.

In a different facebook post, Norton says:

They are not from my district, Jared. They have signed on for the purpose of lobbying. I have this sight for informational purposes and to share with my constituents. Please use my legislative email for lobbying or, even better, for suggestions!!

But she’s proposing laws that affect more than just her constituents; she’s put herself in the position of being the state’s lead for gun control efforts in the coming session.

If you live in her district, please sound off.

UPDATE 2:  I’ve invited Rep. Norton on my show:

Rep. Norton,

Mitch Berg here. I’m a host at AM1280 in the Twin Cities; I have a pretty sizeable audience in your district, over the air and via the internet.

I’m on the air every Saturday from 1-3PM – and I’d like to extend an invitation to you to come on my program this coming Saturday to talk about your “gun violence” proposals.

I’m wide open this Saturday; I’ll make 30-60 minutes available to discuss the issue in the sort of depth most media don’t allow.

And if you’re not free this coming Saturday, I’ll extend the offer; ANY Saturday afternoon between 1-3PM, between now and your retirement from the legislature, I will open for you and this conversation, whatever it takes.

I sincerely do look forward to your reply.

Mitch Berg

PS: I would understand your reticence about coming on a “Conservative” talk show. However, I have a long record of civil, productive interviews with people I disagree with. RT Rybak and Dane Smith are references!

Again, I hope we can talk on the air soon.

UPDATE 3 :  Well, not tomorrow.

Notwithstanding the very specific proposals she laid out in the Rochester paper, she says she’s just researching the issue, and has no specifics in mind, and perhaps we’ll talk when she has a bill written.

The invite will stand until the end of the session.


If Not You, Who? If Not Now Next Session, When?

As Joe Doakes noted in the comments re yesterday’s story about retiring DFL representative Kim Norton’s plans to push more pointless, time-wasting anti-Second Amendment legislation in the next legislative session, it would be not only funny, but the perfect response, for some member of the House to rise up and propose a kill-all amendment that would repeal the requirement to register kayaks.

Who in the House could make this happen?

While campaign finance laws would no doubt forbid offering a beer to the representative that offered the amendment, I’ll certainly offer a drink to someone else in your honor.

For democracy!


Minnesota’s gun-rights movement has carried out probably the best single grassroots political reformation in recent state history; over the course of 20 years, Minnesota has gone from being an anti-gun state that flirted seriously with Chicago-style gun bans in the eighties, to being a state with a decent shall-issue law and a reasonable chance of debating “Stand your Ground” and even “Constitutional Carry” in coming years, provided some elections break the right way.

More than that?  The pro-Second Amendment human rights movement in Minnesota is a bipartisan front; Republicans throughout the state have joined with DFLers through most of greater Minnesota – who’ve learned, in some cases the hard way, that most of Minnesota outside the 494-694 ring hold their Second Amendment human rights in high regard.

To the point where the DFL apparently has to keep their lobbying to Metrocrats and DFL machine-players who have nothing to lose.

Like Rochester DFL rep Kim Norton, who’s leaving the House after this next session, and wants to go out in a blaze of big-government, criminal-coddling glory, apparently.

Gun rights supporters are none too pleased with Norton’s announcement that she’ll push for stricter gun laws during her final legislative session next year…

Norton, who is not running for re-election in 2016, said she has received about 50 emails so far. The vast majority of those emails are from people who do not live in her legislative district. She said she has no intention of giving up on her plan to introduce a bill tightening gun rights. Among the ideas she plans to push is one prohibiting guns in the Capitol complex saying, “I don’t feel safe at work.”

She added, “Many of my constituents have asked for change.”

Rep. Norton; it’s entirely possible you’re not safe at work.  Same as everyone else in the Rice/University neighborhood, which has become one of Saint Paul’s sketchiest.

But it’s not because of the people who were covered by the Capitol carry restriction (carry permittees had to notify the Capitol Police if they planned to carry in the Capitol complex) – who are absolutely no danger to anyone, legislator or not.  It’s because of the same, common criminals who threaten all the rest of us, and who don’t bother getting permits or notifying Capitol police, any more here than they do in Chicago.

In other words, your proposal is as useless as any other gun control measure – and utterly pointless as well.

Speaking of which:

Norton said she is fed up with gun violence and wants to sponsor a bill with “common sense” changes to the state’s gun laws. Among the changes she’d like to see is a system making it easier to track gun ownerships. She compared it to how if she sells her kayak, she has to register who she sold it to.

I agree.  It’s high time we deregulated kayaks.

The good guys have responded:

The Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee sent out an email urging its supporters to email the Rochester DFLer and tell her they oppose her efforts. In an interview with the Post-Bulletin earlier this month, The gun rights group’s email begins, “Just when you think anti-gun politicians in Minnesota have gotten a clue, one pops up and proposes what they call ‘common sense gun law changes.'”

In an interview, the group’s political director Rob Doar said his organization has serious concerns with the idea of establishing any sort of gun registration system…He said the idea also raises privacy rights concerns, with there being a potential for the data to be hacked. He noted that Canada decided to scrap its firearms registry because it proved to be expensive and ineffective.

With emphasis on expensive.

And ineffective.

So, DFLers; are any of you outside the 494-694 loop who are planning to run for re-election planning on signing on to this?

Sound off!

Handicapping The House

While the “Left MN” blog seems to be a re-boot of the late, demented but unlamented “Cucking Stool”, the site’s associate blogger Tony Petrangelo is one of those rare Minnesota leftybloggers who ought not be under police surveillance – a compliment I give rarely (becaiuse it’s rarely deserved).  Over the years, he’s written some excellent stuff about polling, redistricting, and the mechanics of politics.

And this past week, he’s been releasing a set of predictions for the MN House and Senate.  He’s done this before, by the way:

This is my second time doing race ratings of Minnesota legislative elections, the first time being in 2010. Here are links to my Senate ratings and House ratings from that cycle. I used a Safe/Tilt/Toss-up ratings scale and prior to the election I rated the Senate seats as 31 total DFL seats (Safe+Tilt), 19 total GOP seats and 17 Toss-ups.

The GOP won all 19 seats I had them winning. They also won every single race I had listed as a toss-up. They also won a race I had listed as Tilt DFL, the Don Betzold – Pam Wolf race. Clearly 2010 was a wave year for the GOP.

Still, as Petrangelo notes, it was a game effort:

That said, I don’t think my ratings did particularly bad especially since there was no sort of adjustment incorporated to account for the broader political context of the election.

We’ll come back to that.

As with my previous foray into race ratings I’ve kept this years version to an entirely numbers based exercise. Meaning at no point is a race rating the way it is because I made a subjective judgement about the quality of a candidate.

There’s some more methodology talk in there, which you should oughtta read, because it’s useful stuff and I don’t disagree with any of it.

Which is notable, in that my own ratings below are largely the opposite.

Well, not entirely; in many, maybe most cases, I agree with Petrangelo.  In many others, I made a different prediction because of some qualitative aspect to the race that isn’t readily apparent in the empirical numbers Petrangelo used.  A race held after a redistricting is going to toss a lot of those empirical measures up in the air – as will a wave election (as Petrangelo discovered in 2010).  While this may not be a wave year, there’s a dynamic at work that I think will affect a lot of these races.

I’ll do the House of Representatives first.  I’ll include the House District, the DFLer, the GOPer, Petrangelo’s rating, and mine; if mine differ from Petrangelo’s they’ll be in bold.



HD DFL Candidate GOP Candidate Petrangelo Berg
01A Bruce Patterson Dan Fabian Lean GOP I’m thinking Fabian’s pretty safe. I’ll call it Likely GOP
01B Marc DeMers Debra Kiel Toss-up Incumbency, Obama’s weak coat-tails and a strong Byberg bid makes this Leans GOP in my book
02A Roger Erickson David Hancock Toss-up I’m going to say Hancock holds this one.  Leans GOP.
02B Brita Sailer Steve Green Toss-up Toss-up.  I’d say Sailer’s incumbency would count, but I don’t think the DFL’s that strong in the area.
03A David Dill Jim Tuomala Safe DFL Safe DFL
03B Mary Murphy Keith MacDonald Safe DFL Safe DFL
04A Ben Lien Travis Reimche Likely DFL Likely DFL
04B Paul Marquart Paul Sandman Lean DFL Lean DFL
05A John Persell Larry Howes Toss-up I’m going to stay on “toss-up” for this one.
05B Tom Anzelc Carolyn McElfatrick Toss-up Call me pollyanna, but I’m going with Lean GOP.  Just a hunch.
06A Carly Melin Roger Weber Safe DFL Safe DFL
06B Jason Metsa Jesse Colangelo Safe DFL Safe DFL
07A Thomas Huntley Therese Bower Safe DFL Safe DFL
07B Erik Simonson Travis Silvers Safe DFL Safe DFL
08A Chet Nettestad Bud Nornes Safe GOP Safe DFL
08B Bob Cunniff Mary Franson Likely GOP Likely GOP
09A Don Niles Mark Anderson Likely GOP Likely GOP
09B Adrian Welle Ron Kresha Safe GOP Safe GOP
10A John Ward Chris Kellett Toss-up Tough one.  I’d like to make this “Leans GOP”, but Kellett’s a newcomer.
10B Joe Radinovich Dale Lueck Toss-up Toss-up
11A Mike Sundin Jim Putnam Safe DFL Safe DFL
11B Tim Faust Ben Wiener Toss-up Toss-up
12A Jay McNamar Scott Dutcher Toss-up Toss-up
12B Rick Rosenfield Paul Anderson Safe GOP Safe GOP
13A Richard Bohannon Jeff Howe Likely GOP Likely GOP
13B Shannon Schroeder Tim O’Driscoll Safe GOP Safe GOP
14A Anne Nolan Steve Gottwalt Lean GOP Lean GOP
14B Zachary Dorholt King Banaian Toss-up I’m going with Lean GOP. Redistricting, incumbency, the SCTrib endorsement and a great record will make this an easier race than 2010.  Hopefully.
15A Joe Walsh Sondra Erickson Likely GOP Likely GOP
15B Brian Johnson Jim Newberger Safe GOP Safe GOP
16A Al Kruse Chris Swedzinski Lean GOP Lean GOP
16B James Kanne Paul Torkelson Likely GOP Likely GOP
17A Andrew Falk Tim Miller Toss-up Toss-up
17B Mary Sawatzky Bruce Vogel Lean GOP Lean GOP
18A Nancy Larson Dean Urdahl Likely GOP Likely GOP
18B Logan Campa Glenn Gruenhagen Safe GOP Safe GOP
19A Terry Morrow Safe DFL Safe DFL
19B Kathy Brynaert Thad Shunkwiler Likely DFL Likely DFL
20A Ryan Wolf Kelby Woodard Safe GOP Safe GOP
20B David Bly Brian Wermerskirchen Likely DFL Likely DFL
21A John Bacon Tim Kelly Lean GOP Lean GOP
21B Bruce Montplaisir Steve Drazkowski Likely GOP I’ll go with Safe GOP
22A Eugene Short Joe Schomacker Likely GOP Likely GOP
22B Cheryl Avenel-Navara Rod Hamilton Lean GOP #
23A Kevin Labenz Bob Gunther Likely GOP Likely GOP
23B Tony Cornish Safe GOP Safe GOP
24A Craig Brenden John Petersburg Lean GOP Lean GOP
24B Patti Fritz Dan Kaiser Toss-up Toss-up
25A John Vossen Duane Quam Lean GOP I’ll call this Likely GOP
25B Kim Norton Melissa Valeriano Lean DFL Lean DFL
26A Tina Liebling Breanna Bly Likely DFL Likely DFL
26B Patrick Stallman Mike Benson Likely GOP Likely GOP
27A Shannon Savick Rich Murray Lean DFL Lean DFL
27B Jeanne Poppe Nathan Neitzell Likely DFL Likely DFL
28A Gene Pelowski Adam Pace Safe DFL Safe DFL
28B Ken Tschumper Greg Davids Lean GOP Lean GOP
29A Susann Dye Joe McDonald Safe GOP Safe GOP
29B Barrett Chrissis Marion O’Neill Likely GOP Likely GOP
30A Holly Neuman Nick Zerwas Safe GOP Safe GOP
30B Sharon Shimek David Fitzsimmons Safe GOP Safe GOP
31A Ryan Fiereck Kurt Daudt Safe GOP Safe GOP
31B Louise Woodberry Tom Hackbarth Safe GOP Safe GOP
32A Paul Gammel Brian Johnson Likely GOP Likely GOP
32B Rick Olseen Bob Barrett Likely GOP Likely GOP
33A Todd Mikkelson Jerry Hertaus Safe GOP Safe GOP
33B Denise Bader Cindy Pugh Likely GOP Safe GOP
34A Adam Fisher Joyce Peppin Safe GOP Safe GOP
34B David Hoden Kurt Zellers Safe GOP Safe GOP
35A Andy Hillebregt Jim Abeler Safe GOP Safe GOP
35B Sam Scott Peggy Scott Safe GOP Safe GOP
36A Grace Baltich Mark Uglem Lean GOP Lean GOP
36B Melissa Hortman Andrew Reinhardt Lean DFL Lean DFL
37A Jerry Newton Mandy Benz Toss-up Toss-up
37B Jon Chlebeck Tim Sanders Lean GOP Lean GOP
38A Patrick Davern Linda Runbeck Safe GOP Safe GOP
38B Greg Pariseau Matt Dean Likely GOP I’ll go with Safe GOP
39A John Bruno Bob Dettmer Likely GOP ‘ll call this Safe GOP
39B Tom Degree Kathy Lohmer Toss-up Given Obama’s non-coattails and an excellent campaign, I’ll run with Lean GOP on this one.
40A Michael Nelson Safe DFL Safe DFL
40B Debra Hilstrom Richard Cushing Safe DFL Safe DFL
41A Connie Bernardy Dale Helm Safe DFL Safe DFL
41B Carolyn Laine Laura Palmer Safe DFL Safe DFL
42A Barb Yarusso Russ Bertsch Toss-up I’ll call this one Lean GOP
42B Jason Isaacson Ken Rubenzer Likely DFL Likely DFL
43A Peter Fischer Stacey Stout Lean DFL This is a Toss-Up
43B Leon Lillie Kevin Klein Safe DFL Safe DFL
44A Audrey Britton Sarah Anderson Toss-up Toss-up (UPDATE:  Not sure how this one escaped me.  Sarah Anderson is dynamite, and I’d actually change this one to Safe GOP, except that the western subs are weird and I don’t always understand them.  Let’s be conservative and call it “Leans GOP“)
44B John Benson Mark Stefan Likely DFL Likely DFL
45A Lyndon Carlson Jeff Pauley Lean DFL Lean DFL, sorry to say.
45B Mike Freiberg Reid Johnson Safe DFL Likely DFL
Liely DF46A Ryan Winkler John Swanson Safe DFL Safe DFL
46B Steve Simon David Arvidson Safe DFL Safe DFL
47A Keith Pickering Ernie Leidiger Safe GOP Safe GOP
47B Joe Hoppe Safe GOP Safe GOP
48A Yvonne Selcer Kirk Stensrud Toss-up Toss-up
48B Tori Hill Jenifer Loon Likely GOP Likely GOP
49A Ron Erhardt Bill Glahn Toss-up Lean GOP; Erhard’s the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.
49B Paul Rosenthal Terry Jacobson Toss-up Lean GOP
50A Linda Slocum Craig Marston Safe DFL Safe DFL
50B Ann Lenczewski Richard Bohnen Safe DFL Safe DFL
51A Sandra Masin Diane Anderson Toss-up Toss-up
51B Laurie Halverson Doug Wardlow Toss-up Toss-up
52A Rick Hansen Joe Blum Safe DFL Safe DFL
52B Joe Atkins Paul Tuschy Likely DFL I’ll call this Lean DFL
53A JoAnn Ward Pam Cunningham Lean DFL This is a Toss-up
53B Ann Marie Metzger Andrea Kieffer Lean GOP I’m calling this one Likely GOP
54A Dan Schoen Derrick Lehrke Likely DFL Likely DFL
54B Joanna Bayers Denny McNamara Lean GOP Lean GOP
55A Chuck Berg Michael Beard Lean GOP Lean GOP
55B Travis Burton Tony Albright Safe GOP Safe GOP
56A Dave Jensen Pam Myhra Likely GOP Likely GOP
56B Will Morgan Roz Peterson Toss-up Toss-up
57A Roberta Gibbons Tara Mack Toss-up Lean GOP
Lean 57B Jeff Wilfart Anna Wills Toss-up Toss-up
58A Colin Lee Mary Liz Holberg Likely GOP Safe GOP
58B Jim Arlt Pat Garofalo Likely GOP Safe GOP
S59A Joe Mullery Cindy Lilly Safe DFL Safe DFL
59B Raymond Dehn Gary Mazzotta Safe DFL Safe DFL
60A Diane Loeffler Brent Millsop Safe DFL Safe DFL
60B Phyllis Kahn Kody Zalewski Safe DFL Safe DFL
61A Frank Hornstein Devin Gawnemark Safe DFL Safe DFL
61B Paul Thissen Nate Atkins Safe DFL Safe DFL
62A Karen Clark Kurtis Hanna Safe DFL Safe DFL
62B Susan Allen Tom Johnson Safe DFL Safe DFL
63A Jim Davnie Kirk Brink Safe DFL Safe DFL
63B Jean Wagenius Matt Ashley Safe DFL Safe DFL
64A Erin Murphy Andrew Ojeda Safe DFL Safe DFL
64B Michael Paymar Brandon Carmack Safe DFL Safe DFL
65A Rena Moran Daniel Lipp Safe DFL Safe DFL, more’s the pity
65B Carlos Mariani Carlos Conway Safe DFL Safe DFL
66A Alice Hausman Mark Fotsch Safe DFL Safe DFL
66B John Lesch Ben Blomgren Safe DFL Safe DFL
67A Tim Mahoney Cathy Hennelly Safe DFL Safe DFL
67B Sheldon Johnson John Quinn Safe DFL Safe DFL

Senate tomorrow!

You Don’t Like Those Numbers? We’ll Keep Making Them Up ‘Til You Do!

There used to be firearms ranges in the Twin Cities – places where shooters could go and practice and, perhaps more importantly, teach the kids how to handle and, even moreso, how not to handle guns.

Metro-area DFL governments have pretty much squeezed out all the ranges within 20 miles of the Twin Cities proper.  Today, with the exception of Bill’s Gun Range in Robbinsdale, you have to drive to Burnsville, Lakeville, Blaine and such (along with a private club in Oakdale with some public shooting hours) to find a public range.

Not a few of those old ranges – Braemar in Edina, for example – were absorbed by Twin Cities law enforcement; they became ranges for cops.  They’re maintained at public expense.  And while cops need plenty of practice with their firearms, it’s not like the ranges are hopping 24/7.  There’s slack time (not that the cops shouldn’t get some more practice yet).  And since the public is paying for that unoccupied time, why not give the public access to the ranges they pay for?  If only for the safety instruction that, statistically, saves vastly more lives than any gun control measure?

And so Tom Hackbarth sponsored a bill that’d open up ranges to the public for firearm safety instruction.

And the bill was debated for an hour yesterday.

And during that debate, Assistant Minority Leader Kim Norton claimed that it would cost either $500,000 or $1,000,000 to convert these ranges for public use; according to various accounts, either Norton raised the figure in mid-debate, or a metro DFLer did.

That’s right – in the special little world of the DFL, you need to convert a range (which was a public range, in the case of Braemar among others) to handle civilian bullets.

Clearly the Sheriff’s Association wants this bill killed.  Public ranges aren’t for the public after all.

And if you’re a parent in North Minneapolis or Frogtown who wants to teach your kids gun safety?  You gotta drive and drive and drive and pay and pay and pay.

Because the DFL doesn’t want all those pesky brown-skinned people to know how to handle guns.