MNGOPAC Endorses Mills

The MN Gun Owners Political Action Committee (MNGOPAC) has endorsed Stewart Mills in the Eighth Congressional District:

“Since he first entered the public arena, Stewart Mills has been an unflinching supporter of gun rights,“ said Mark Okern, Chairman, Minnesota Gun Owners PAC.  “Minnesota gun owners can count on Stewart Mills to stand firm for our Second Amendment rights 100% of the time.”

Mills entered the public policy arena in early 2013 when his video criticizing newly proposed federal gun control measures went viral.

“As a member of Congress, Stewart Mills will be a huge improvement over Rick Nolan for gun owners.  Nolan has repeatedly endorsed measures which would curtail our liberties and our gun rights, earning him an F from the NRA,“ said Okern.

I think this endorsement will help to highlight to Iron Rangers the yawning gap between what the DFL delivers – urban environmentalist embargoes on their livehilood, gun-grabbers and PETAzoids poking around in their gun cabinets, and ongoing taxpayer-paid infanticide that most of them oppose - with what they promise.

Don’t Stop, And NARN Will Soon Be Here

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

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

(All times Central)

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

Join us!

Saturday On The NARN

Big week coming up Saturday on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, so I thought I’d start talking about it now.

First, I’ll have Brian Strawser and Mark Okern of the Minnesota Gun Owners PAC, talking about their endorsement of Julianne Ortman and the year ahead in the legislature (hint: it’s going to be another doozy).

Then – Stewart Mills, CEO of Mills Fleet Farm and candidate for the US Congress in CD8, will join me to talk about his race.

Hope you can tune in.  Or join the show at 651 289 4488!

When Recycling Is Just Plain Wrong

I live in the Fourth CD – St. Paul, Ramsey and an unfortunate tail of Washington counties – and I’ve focused mostly on that Congressional race so far.

But if you’re a conservative, you need to pay attention to the race in CD8, where Chip Cravaack – one of the single greatest Cinderella stories of the 2010 cycle – is fighting a very tough re-election bid.

He’s up against Rick Nolan, an old-school northwoods ultraliberal DFLer who served in Congress back in the statist seventies.  While the MN DFL is an intellectual throwback to a time when neither US industry nor the notion of big government had any real challenges, Nolan is a literal throwback:

  • Jobs be damned:  Nolan sided with Twin Cities environmentalists and the EPA to block the PolyMet mine – and the 500 jobs it’d have brought to an area that could really, really use 500 jobs.
  • We All Belong To Government: Back when he was in Congress, he repeatedly voted to jack up small business taxes – and has given us no indication he’d be any less a tax-extremist than Barack Obama or Mark Dayton.
  • A One-Man Death Panel: Nolan supports Obamacare, which would gut the Medicare that so many of his constituents depend on.

The American Action Network just released an infographic about Nolan:

It’s suitable for framing and sending to any relatives you have up north.

Or just emailing.  Whatever.

The DFL is trying to tell northern Minnesota that they can return to their glory days of the 1960′s and 1970′s by returning to the government of the era.  It’s just not true.

Sartre Had A Point

When it comes to D-list political punditry, hell is other peoples’ predictions.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m someone else’s “other people”.  And my predictions have been…well, generally good.  I called the 2004 Prez and 2006 Governor’s races pretty much to the point.  I nailed the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 8th CDs almost to the vote.  Yeah, I blew the 2006 Senate race by about ten, and there’ve been a few clinkers.  I also predicted Norm Coleman and Tom Emmer in squeakers over Senator Smalley and Governor Fauntelroy – and if you left out fraudulent  and multiple votes, I think I may still have been right.

Still, as much as I love doing predictions, there’s an intense Schadenfreud when other peoples’ predictions – especially journalistic A-listers – come a cropper.

And a cropper they came.

Funny stuff.

The Yapping

Poor “Progressives”.

They can’t win elections.  Their politicians can’t do budgets (or, if they do, can never, ever make them work.  Even with years of unfettered control (from 2008 through 2010),  they can’t do anything useful with the economy.

And now even their protests suck:.

“We’re trying to find a caddy,” said a protester posing as Boehner. The Boehner impersonator stood beside impersonators of Minnesota Reps. Michele Bachmann, Erik Paulsen, Chip Cravaack and John Kline.

The “impersonators” were actually people wearing large cardboard cutouts of unflattering photos of the various politicians’ heads, looking like they were cut out from “Dump Bachmann” and blown up.  After eight years of constant caterwauling, they can’t even muster the energy to do those annoying papier-mache puppets anymore.

Cravaack wryly noted…:

“The people that we were speaking with were the job creators. They’re the people who employ Minnesotans,” Cravaack said of the attendees. “So we’re asking the question to them, ‘What is it going to take for you to invest in yourselves and create jobs?’”

He added that businesses are skittish about making that investment with the threat of new taxes and regulations from the Obama administration.

“Taxing companies right now in a recession is not going to create jobs,” Cravaack said. “It’s going to take jobs away.”

But to the progressive worldview, it’s government’s job to create jobs.

How?

By hiring lots of people who’ve never used shovels for a living for “shovel-ready” jobs? (What the hell is a “shovel-ready” job?  Outside of patching streets, what job in the world today actually uses shovels?)

By waving the magic government wand, perhaps?

They can’t even think of original chanting points:

Protesters accused the Minnesota congressmen of meeting with wealthy donors while proposing cuts to the middle class and not creating jobs. One sign read “People before profits,” and the crowd chanted “Hey-hey-ho-ho, corporate greed has got to go.”

Criminy – even Saul Alinsky is rolling in his grave.

Don’t Let The Door Hit You

Bright and early this morning on MPR, I heard Cathy Wurzer talking with former MNCD8 Representative Jim Oberstar.

It goes without saying the guy became a slippery wonk over his five decades in DC.

But it was his closing line that stuck with me; it should go up there with Cy Thao’s classic “When you guys win,  you get to keep your money.  When we win, we take your money“, or Larry Pogemiller’s “It’s silly to think people can spend their money better than government can“.

Asked about the criticisms he’d taken as for being seen as a porkmonger, he replied (I’m paraphrasing as closely as I can; I’ll try to get the audio after work today):

To all of them, I say – don’t drive on Highway 17.  Don’t drive on Highway 8. Don’t drive on Highway 61.  Don’t drive on [this bridge], or [that bridge], or [some other bridge].  Don’t drive on any of the things you criticized.  Follow your principles.

“Representative” Oberstar, by your imperial leave; I paid for them.  So did taxpayers in Manhattan and Mississippi, in Oregon and Ohio.  We paid for those roads, for your bike paths, the Great Lakes Marine Research Institute, the North Star Commuter Rail line, and all the millions upon millions of dollars of other spending you inveigled for your district.

You didn’t pay for it.

We did.

And I will drive on any f*****g highway I want, whether I agree with its rationale or not.  I will ride on the bike paths I criticized you for.  I will go to the ice cream social or whatever they do at the GLMRI, and drive over those bridges – maybe back and forth a few times, like a kid playing on an escalator.  Come to think of it, if I can find any escalators built with your pork-barrelling, I’ll ride ‘em until security tells me to stop.

Because I paid for them.  Against my will, in some cases; more than I’d have paid, in others; with my muted assent in still others. And since I paid for them – and since you were my employee (or would have been, had I lived in the 8th CD), I will not only not ask your permission, I may even take pictures of myself doing it, and send them to you, just to gall you.

So go curl up at the Humphrey Institute, and go away.

By your imperial leave.

The Great Poll Scam, Part XIII: Reality Swings And Misses

Contrary to the impression some wrote about on various blogs, I never worked for the Emmer campaign.  Oh, I did a fair amount of writing about Emmer’s bid for governor – I thought he had what it took to be the best governor we’ve had in a long time, and I was a supporter from long before he actually declared his intent to run.  I volunteered a lot of time, and a lot of this blog’s space, to fight against the sleaziest, most toxic smear campaign in recent Minnesota electoral history, and I do believe the better man lost this election.

But I never got any money for it.

What I did get – although not to an extent that would make a Tom Scheck or a Rachel Stassen-Berger in any way jealous – was a certain amount of access.  I heard things.

One of the things I heard from sources inside the Emmer campaign, especially during the long, dry, advertising-dollar-free summer before the primaries, when all three DFL contenders curiously spent their entire ad budgets sniping at Emmer, and the media played dutiful stenographers for Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s smear campaign, was that the Emmer campaign had its work cut out for it.  In late July and early August, a source inside the Emmer campaign, speaking on MI-5-level deep background, told me the internal polls showed Emmer trailing by 12 points.  It wasn’t good news, certainly – but it was early in the race, it was a byproduct of being outspent roughly 16:1 to that point, and it was just part of doing business.   ”We gotta pick up six points, and Dayton’s gotta lose six”, the source told me, as the campaign dug its way out of “Waitergate”.

I observed to the source that that should have been nothing new for Emmer; he’d come back from a bigger margin in the previous nine months or so, from being way back in the pack at the Central Committee straw poll about this time last year, where Marty Seifert won by a margin many considered insurmountable.

The source expressed confidence it could be done.

He was, statistically, exactly right. Emmer brought the race back from a 12 point blowout to a near-tie, with numbers that pretty steadily improved – according to the party’s own internal polling.

Steadily?

On October 11, I held a “Bloggers For Emmer” event at an undisclosed location in the western subs.  It had been ten busy weeks since my off-the-record conversation with my source in the campaign.  An Emmer functionary told me – off the record – that it was now a four point race.  

A week later, within ten days of the election, the same internal poll said the race was a statistical dead heat.

Then came the last-minute hit polls from the Humphrey Instititute, the Strib and Saint Cloud State – after which Emmer released his internal polling, which was reinforced by a Survey USA poll that more or less reinforced the internal polls’ results.

And then came the election.

Last week, David Brauer at the MinnPost interviewed Emmer campaign manager Cullen Sheehan.  As part of the piece, he graphed the respective polls: Emmer’s internal polling (orange), the Strib poll (wide dashes) and the HHH poll (dots), showing the indicated size of the Dayton lead.

Graph used by permission of the MinnPost

Graph used by permission of the MinnPost

Brauer:

Although “internal numbers” often become propagandistic leaks, Sheehan insists the data was not for public pre-election consumption. Though he wound up releasing the most favorable result during the campaign, it proved prescient, and two independent pollsters subsequently showed similar results.

And while Brauer points out that internal numbers “aren’t holy” – and many leftybloggers openly guffawed when Sheehan released them – the GOP’s internal numbers have a long record of accuracy, in my experience.  In 2002, when the Strib poll had Roger Moe measuring the drapes in the mansion, a GOP source leaked me internal polling showing that Pawlenty was tied and rising.  And internal polling released to a group of bloggers a month before the election showed Chip Cravaack pulling close to Jim Oberstar; numbers that the campaign asked be kept off the record showed that with “leaners”, Cravaack was actually leading.

So for all the leftyblogs’ caterwauling about “push polling”, the GOP’s internal polls – as seen both publicly and behind the scenes – called things as they were.  There’s a reason for that; parties need to accurate polling to help them allocate scarce resources effectively.  The DFL has not released their internal polling – but the Dayton campaign’s behavior indicates to me that they also saw Emmer’s late surge, leading them to re-roll-out the “Drunk Driving Ad” (the closest the Dayton campaign ever came to a coherent policy statement, with full irony intended).

But neither sides’ internal polling is affiliated with a major media outlet.  The Strib, Minnesota Public Radio and MinnPost all have symbiotic relationships with Princeton, the Humphrey Institute and Saint Cloud State, respectively (though to be accurate the MinnPost only paid for three questions in the SCSU poll, and those were, according to Brauer, on ranked-choice voting).  Those relationships, presumably, exist so that the news outlets can get “their” results out to the public first.

No matter how they’re arrived at, or so it seems.

Brauer confirms after the fact what my sources in the campaign told me, off the record, at the time; it was a real numerical rollercoaster ride:

Although “internal numbers” often become propagandistic leaks, Sheehan insists the data was not for public pre-election consumption. Though he wound up releasing the most favorable result during the campaign, it proved prescient, and two independent pollsters subsequently showed similar results.

“It really is, internally, a compass,” Sheehan says of the campaign’s polling.

Emmer’s own numbers show a candidate trailing — sometimes badly — for nearly the entire race.

On July 28 — three weeks after Emmer’s interminable “tip credit” debacle — the Republican trailed Dayton by 11 points. Ironically, the Star Tribune poll — which Republicans say overstates DFL support — had it closer: Dayton plus-10.

It was a demonstrable fact that the Strib poll oversampled DFL voters by a big margin – but that’s a poll-technique discussion to be held some other time.

In the wake of the double-digit gap, Sheehan took over as campaign manager. But by early October, the internal numbers had barely budged: Emmer was still down 7. A Strib survey taken a week or so earlier showed the Republican down 9 — again, pretty close to what the campaign was seeing.

Finally, on Oct. 13, Emmer got his first great inside news: he was only down 1. But the next media poll (SurveyUSA/KSTP) had him down 5, and an Oct. 18 internal poll repeated that number. It was two weeks before Election Day.

And then came the Big Three media polls, one after the other – the Strib, SCSU and the Humphrey polls – showing Emmer 9, 10 and 12 points down, respectively.  At which point Sheehan opted to release the internal numbers – which were shortly reinforced by SUSA.

Sheehan:

“At that point [right before the election - the polls on which I've focused throughout this series], undecided voters are making up their minds and supporters are getting anxious, having seen 7 down, 10 down and 12 down,” Sheehan says. “It impacts fundraising and volunteers. It’s definitely not the only factor, but it is a factor.”

Sheehan, now the Minnesota GOP Senate caucus chief of staff, is a Republican, but Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s pollster feels similarly. Reid’s internal numbers proved better than media polls predicting his opponent would win.

Says Sheehan, “The point I am making is that outside public polls have an impact on campaigns — ultimately, some impact on eventual outcome of campaigns, especially in close races.”

At least one media outlet agreed even before the results were known. This year, the Star Tribune declined to do its traditional final-weekend poll. A key reason, editor Nancy Barnes told me, is that “a poll can sometimes influence the outcome of an election.”

Sheehan’s plea? Withhold questionable numbers. “I’m under no illusion that public polls will cease, but I do think news organizations have a responsibility to ask themselves, when they get their results, if they really believe they’re accurate,” he says.

I’ve met Sheehan not a few times.  Great guy.  Big future in politics.  Now, I’m not sure if he’s ever read this series; if he has, I’m sure he needs to be diplomatic.  He’s gotta get along with the regional media.

But the fact remains that the closer the race got, the farther off-the-beam the Strib and HHH polls swerved.

Just the same as they do in practically every election, especially the close ones.

So Sheehan has a point; the news media should treat suspicious polls as they would a source that’s burned them. 

Seriously – can you imagine Erik Black or Bill Salisbury or David Brauer putting a story on the front page (or “page”) based on the uncorroborated word of a source that had burned them, over and over again?  As in, not even close, but really, really embarassingly burned?

And the Strib and Humphrey Polls have burned the regional media – over and over and over again.

Presuming, of course, that accuracy is what they’re shooting for.

More later today.

Why Did Emmer Lose?

The dust is finally settling.  The campaign is over.  We have a “governor”-elect.

So what went wrong with the Emmer campaign?

We’ll come back to that.  First, let’s talk about what went right.  Emmer ran a campaign he can be proud of, to the extent that he, personally, never stooped to the Dayton campaign’s level of untruth and sleaze.   He took the high road, and stayed there, without excepttion – even chiding Ed and I when we interviewed him at the State Fair for calling Dayton “the opposition”. 

And the statewide GOP landslide in legislative elections showed that he was the right candidate for the times; the new conservative majority will, near as I can tell, be pushing an agenda not much unlike Emmer’s.  I’m by no means ready to write off widespread fraud, personally – but that’s a battle for investigators and lawyers to gnosh out or, ideally, for the Legislature to interdict with sweeping electoral reform.

So what happened?

Drip Drip Drip: “Alliance For A Better Minnesota” was on the ground the afternoon Emmer won the nomination, first with a website and then a TV ad campaign that I spent the better part of six months debunking, one point after the next.  It was the most toxic, sleazy third “third party” campaign in Minnesota history (paid for by the Dayton family and ex-family, it wasn’t “third party” at all) – and it hit paydirt with an ad campaign featuring a teary-eyed mother recounting her son’s death in an accident with a drunk driver.  The woman then mentioned Emmer’s two 30-year-old alcohol-related driving convictions, and mouthed outrage that Emmer proposed legislation to “reduce punishments for drunk drivers”.

Mark Twain once said that a lie will go around the world while the truth is waiting in line for its morning latté.  The corollary to that is that it takes seven seconds to tell an effective lie, and a couple of minutes to refute the lie – but the average political consumer’s attention span is about seven seconds.   ABM lied – I busted them over and over , as did Channel 5 – but they were never held accountable for it. 

Anecdotally?  I heard from GOP activists all over the state that they heard from people whose only real impression of Emmer was that he was “a drunk driver”, throughout the summer.

 Erin Haust at the Minnesota Examiner addressed the ad in her own post-mortem of the campaign in the MN Examiner:

The ad, and subsequent silence from the Emmer campaign to refute the claims, clearly negatively effected the election results. Keeping in mind local races resulted in the Minnesota House and Senate changing to Republican control for the first time in decades, the blame for losing at the top of the ticket must be placed squarely on the state party and the Emmer campaign for reasons other than just one ad.

True.  But the response to the ad was a symptom of the next reason.

Can You Spare Me A Dime:  One of the reasons Emmer didn’t respond to the ad, other than taking the high road, was that the campaign spent virtually nothing on advertising until after the primaries, and really nothing much until Labor Day.  During the primaries, oddly enough, all three DFL candidates spent most of their ad money attacking Emmer – indeed, it’s kind of curious how in sync all three of them were before Dayton’s primary win.  Very, very curious.

But I digress. Emmer didn’t respond.  It was a matter of fiscal prudence; it also allowed ABM to frame the entire discussion.  By the time Greater, Non-Republican  Minnesota heard anything about Emmer, he was “the angry guy”, “the drunk driver” or, if the good guys were lucky, “Tom Who?” to a big chunk of Minnesota.

It made fiscal sense, but it meant the Emmer campaign was framed from the very beginning. 

Emmer gambled, to a great extent, by not spending the rest of the campaign un-framing himself, but rather pushing his own, positive message and agenda.   Had the election been held a month later, I bet it’d have worked. 

But on November 2, there were 8,000 more Minnesotans (or maybe 2,000, with 6,000 stuffed ballots; we just don’t know) who were still drooling “G’huck, isn’t he the angry drunk guy” before walloping their kids while standing in line at the liquor store.

So close.  So very, very close.

Antisocial:  I’ve copped to it many times; I’m not primarily a social conservative.  Oh, I’m anti-infanticide, and think that while there’s a case to be made for civil unions as a legal contract I believe marriage is religious and ergo none of the state’s business.   I’ve said it not a few times; Emmer got my attention at the 2009 State Fair, when he said the election was about jobs and the economy, not gay marriage.   And Emmer strenuously avoided social-conservative talk throughout the campaign – to the point where during the final debate at the Fitzgerald Theatre, when Gary Eichten pressed him to discuss whether he’d use the bully pulpit to curtail the “right” to infanticide.

In short, Emmer left social conservative issues on the table.  Perhaps he’d assume that socialcons would read the fact that’s a Catholic guy with seven kids and draw all the conclusions they’d need to come to the polls and vote for him.   When was the last time a pol overestimated the intelligence of the voting public?

There’s evidence that it was a mistake.  A Laurence survey showed that gay marriage – or, rather, the idea that Dayton and Horner would use the courts or a DFL legislature to jam down gay marriage, like in Iowa – was a huge swing issue for voters.   A bit of stupid anti-Catholic bigotry from the State DFL may have swung the SD40 race for Dan Hall.  And I wouldn’t doubt that there are 10 Swarthy-Americans in Saint Cloud that were offended by this toxic DFL gaffe, just enough to put King Banaian into office.

And don’t forget Chip Cravaack, who ran a good jobs ‘n economics campaign, but did not allow the voters to forget that “pro-life” Jim Oberstar had betrayed his pro-life constituents by caving in to The One on providing infanticide via Obamacare.

Didn’t seem to harm him much.

From Out Of The Bag: The above might have been unforced “errors” – or maybe not errors at all.  It’s hard to say, but it’s easy to be a Monday-Morning Quarterback.   The fact is, other than the spending deficit and the early flub in handling the “Waiter Tips” teapot-tempest, Emmer ran a decent campaign.  Indeed, watching the candidate debates – all 3,174 of them – it was hard to miss the fact that Dayton was a bumbling chanting-point-bot, and Horner was a slick, highly-polished talking-point-bot.  Emmer cleaned the floor with both of them in every debate I saw (although I only saw like 400 of them).

But the media was in the bag for Dayton.  Oh, the Strib endorsed Horner, but out in the streets, the media’s real agenda – anyone but Emmer, and please, please, we want a DFL governor after all these years, was loud and clear.

Haust catches part of it:

Dayton’s history of ties to socialist, progressive groups is far from secret. Dayton spokeswoman and Executive Director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Denise Cardinal, was a featured speaker alongside self-avowed communist and community organizer Van Jones at the America’s Future Now! conference last summer. They and other speakers demanded redistribution of wealth in the United States and discussed radical, revolutionary tactics to accomplish that end. Neither the state party nor the Emmer campaign made the connection between radicals like Cardinal and Van Jones and the Dayton campaign…Dayton’s campaign received millions of dollars from groups and individuals linked to socialists, progressives and communists. George Soros funded organizations like Democracy Alliance contributed heavily to his campaign. Soros himself is scheduled to co-host a fundraiser for Dayton in the coming week.

The Republican Party of Minnesota and the Emmer campaign failed to take advantage of the national media attention Dayton’s friends and allies were receiving during the campaign and throughout the recount.

True, perhaps – but it’s for sure that the state’s media didn’t go near any of it, either.  Indeed, the media failed to report – or report meaningfully at any time between the endorsing process and the election – about Dayton’s…:

  • mental health state. 
  • alcoholism
  • relapses – when, how recently, how severe, and why?
  • quitting his job as economic development commissioner under Rudy Perpich
  • closure of his DC Senate offices in 2005 
  • record as a New York “Teacher” – it was up to Sheila Kihne to find out that “the toughest job of his life” lasted sixteen months of working about 1/3 of the time until his draft status let up.
  • Educational record – the University of Massachussetts at Amherst won’t say if he got his teaching certificate (or, indeed, whether he completed any course work at all) – which’d be an odd bit of history for someone who opposes alternative teacher licensing.

Oh, the bloggers investigated it all.  And the mainstream political media – Rachel Stassen-Berger, Tom Scheck, Tim Pugmire, Bill Salisbury, Pat Doyle, Pat Kessler – studiously avoided touching any of the topics.  (or, to be fair to Rachel Stassen-Berger, they avoided addressing them after January of 2010, long before anyone outside the wonk class was paying ahny attention to the election).

And after remembering the feeding frenzy the media went into over, say, Morgan Grams (the son of Rod Grams, Senator until 2000, whose estranged son got into legal trouble that drew slavering coverage from the Twin Cities media, even though Grams had had almost nothign to do with raising him after his divorce from Morgan’s mother…

…details of which we got the kind of detail that made everyone an expert in Rod Grams’ personal life.

So why didn’t Mark Dayton, the man who would be governor, the guy who has to try to un-flock a “6.2 billion dollar deficit”, warrant the same level of scrutiny?

Why do you think?

There are some lessons to learn here – and, hopefully, institutionalize.  Because I have a hunch we’ll be running for an open seat again in four years.

Miten Se Hopey-Changey Juttu Menossa Sinulle?

A sign of the times – Finnish-Americans voted heavily Republican for the first time:

Around 100 years ago Finnish immigrants flocked to the mines and woods of the country around Lake Superior, where the topography and weather must have seemed familiar. They’ve been a mostly Democratic, sometimes even radical voting bloc ever since. No more, it seems. Going into the election, the three most Finnish districts, Michigan 1, Wisconsin 7 and Minnesota 8, all fronting on Lake Superior, were represented by two Democratic committee chairmen and the chairman of an Energy and Commerce subcommittee, with a total of 95 years of seniority.

Wisconsin’s David Obey and Michigan’s Bart Stupak both chose to retire, and were replaced by Republicans who had started running before their announcements. Minnesota’s James Oberstar was upset by retired Northwest pilot and stay-at-home dad Chip Cravaack.

So here’s a new rule for the political scientists: As go the Finns, so goes America.

Obama must feel like he’s in a sauna right about now…

One Day At The Crow Wing County Courthouse, Part II

When we left Monty Jensen, it was Friday, October 29.  He’d just seen a scene that disturbed him; supervisors from a Brainerd-area group home voting for their charges who, while they had the legal right to vote, didn’t seem to have much idea where they were or what they were doing (which, if I were much less sober and reflective than I am these days, I would say “makes them a perfect DFL constituency”.  But I am more sober and reflective these days).

Jensen chewed on what he’d seen overnight – and then took a shot in the dark.

“I called George Burton”, he says, referring to the Constitution Party candidate for Jim Oberstar’s seat.   Burton got Jensen in touch with the Minnesota Freedom Council, one of a small network of grassroots groups that is scrutinizing Minnesota’s election system.

Acting on their advice, Jensen started to work.  “About 10:30 Saturday morning (October 30), I looked up Don Ryan, the Crow Wing County attorney, in the phone book.   I tried him a couple of times, with no answer. ”

“Then I tried Ron Kaus, at the Minnesota Freedom Council.  I’d never heard of him in my life.  I spoke with him – and he got right on it.  They wanted all the information – and he asked me to meet at the courthouse and tell him  how everything went down.  When we got there, he asked me if he could record the conversation.  We didn’t talk for five minutes before the recording started; I told my story”.

Here’s the story, for those who missed it the first time:
Here’s part I of the video…:

…along with Part II…:

…and Part III.

Jensen recalls “We went through and did the video.  I was kinda on the hot seat.  And from there, we  started trying to do the investigation”.  He got some advice from Kaus;  “If you want this investigated, you need to do it as an affadavit; the complaint form will just get filed away”. 

So Jensen spent the weekend writing the complaint.  On Monday morning, he was ready to turn it in.

“On Monday morning, I brought four copies in.  The auditor notarized them, and kept one”.  Then, Jensen went to the County Attorney’s office.  “Being that it was Monday before election day…I handed it to him personally.  He said he didn’t know what he could do with the election the next day, so all the votes would count.  But he said they’d follow up with the investigation.”

Later on, Jensen said the County Attorney’s office called to say the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s office had assigned an investigator.  On Thursday, November 4 – two days after the election – Jensen met with that investigator for about 90 minutes.  “He stated that they’d been speaking with certain group homes, had a list of ballots turned in during the time frame, and had everything to back up the story”.

And that, for the most part, was the last Monty Jensen has heard from Crow Wing County.

———-

Toward the end of our conversation, Jensen reflected.  “The other day, I was talking with my girlfriend.  I asked “Am I crazy, or is something going on here?”

We’ll get the girlfriend’s answer straight from her, later this week.

It’s In The Name

Earl Pomeroy – who was as untouchable as Jim Oberstar two years ago – is out in North Dakota.

He lost 55-45 to Chris Berg – no relation that I know of, although I hope to run that down soon.   And with that, North Dakota – which has been represented entirely by Democrats in DC since the eighties – is suddenly 2/3 Republican, and Kent Conrad has got to be sizing up lobbying as a career change.

We shocked the world.

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.

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:

In Case There Is Any Doubt

I was, to the best of my knowledge, the first blogger in Minnesota to publish predictions to which he has stuck through the campaign (other than the traditional “I’m gonna vote for the party with which I’m identified!” that, let’s be honest, is pretty much de rigeur among partisan bloggers).

So while I reserve the right to do another round of ‘em before the election (because, yo, it’s my blog, at least until the Democrats sic the FEC on us all), there’s how the race looks to me, so far:

CD 1:  Demmer is going to trip Walz in the home stretch.  It’ll be close – maybe within a point – but Demmer’s going to win.

CD 2: Kline by a conservative 25.

CD 3: Paulsen by 12.  Meffert has run a fairly inept campaign.

CD 4: See below.

CD 5: See below.

CD 6: Bachmann by ten over Clark, who has run an utterly inept campaign.  Indeed, it could be said that when it comes to running a district-wide race, Clark doesn’t know $#!+.

CD 7:  See below.

CD 8:  I believe Chip Cravaack is going to win this thing.  Oberstar’s performance in the Duluth debate was so arrogant, so self-absorbed and scolding and condescending and tone-deaf, that I believe this is the year.  Cravaack has run a flawless campaign, and if there is a story where the backstory is shaping up to spell “Cinderella”, it’s Cravaack’s.

Which is not to say Cravaack don’t need help.   Volunteer. Knock doors.  Drive people to the polls.  Every legal, legitimate vote counts.

Attorney General: I think incumbency gives Lori Swanson a huge advantage over Chris Barden.  I also believe that if even half of the allegations Barden and the WCCO I-Team have surfaced are true, Swanson (and her puppetmaster, Mike Hatch) will be so damaged that the office is assailable in four years.  Will Barden pull it off this year?  I think it depends on tsunami-like GOP turnout and diminished DFL response.  If there was a year that this could happen, this would be it.

But I think a late surge of people who feel betrayed by the Obama/Reid/Pelosi axis of failure could help put Barden over the top.

Secretary of State: Dan Severson has run a campaign almost as intense and energetic as Cravaack’s.  Overcoming incumbency in these constitutional office races – which are usually painfully low-profile – is usually very difficult.  If anyone can do it, it’s Severson.   I’m calling it a tossup, dependent on turnout.  Huge GOP turnout?  Severson wins.  Your mission is clear, people.

State Auditor: I think Pat Anderson has stated her case pretty impeccably.  I think she wins by 2-3.

Governor: :I’ve been predicting Emmer by three points all along.  I am going to stay right there.  I think it’ll be dead-on for a number of reasons; over the past two weeks, there’ve been indications that independents are breaking powerfully to the right, just as Emmer needs.  The Dayton campaign, its putative lead in the last few polls notwithstanding, is campaigning  like it’s behind, leading me to think that the DFL has internal polls that show a different story than the public numbers.   I suspect that the polling will be driven by the “leaner” questions – the economy, gay marriage – that the polls downplay at this state in the election (Rasmussen doesn’t release ‘em at all).  I suspect DFL turnout – especially for the off-putting stiff Dayton, who’d be a loser of a candidate even in a good DFL year – is going to be disappointing, and there is evidence that GOP turnout, especially in the Third, Sixth, Eighth and perhaps First and Seventh districts, is going to be really, really intense, in a sense that none of the current polls have the mechanism to model properly.

So I say Emmer by three.

Below: The 4th, 5th and 7th CDs are tricky.  Which, in and of itself, is a very good thing; they used to be the simplest districts to predict; they’d always be DFL blowouts by 30-50 points.  And they still could be.  In a normal year, I’d shake my head and predict that Teresa Collett, Joel Demos and Lee Byberg would be doing well to get over forty points.

And yet.

If Chip Cravaack is genuinely threatening in the 8th CD, then truly anything can happen.  And Collett, Demos and Byberg have all run tough, hard-working campaigns, and all of them have raised vastly more money than their predecessors.   If there is an avalanche of independents ready to vote conservative (not necessarily Republican), then Cravaack’s tide could help carry them all, plus Emmer, over the top.

Betty McCollum and Collin Peterson are having to actually campaign in their districts for the first time in years, and while neither of them have humiliated themselves as badly as Oberstar did in last Tuesday’s debate, they’ve both committed gaffes (Peterson’s “my voters are crazy” quip, McCollum’s “Mission Accomplished, now let’s get the Marines working on global warming!” remark) that show they are now residents of Planet Beltway.

In this case, truly, hedging is the honest answer.  Collett, Demos and Byberg are all in admittedly extremely tough races against well-entrenched incumbents; under normal circumstances, getting within twenty points would be a moral victory for any them.  And I believe they will all score that moral victory.

And I’m not going to rule out bigger and better things.  Not yet.

———-

Of course, all of these depend on turnout.  Which means if you’re a conservative and/or Republican, this is go time.  Volunteer for a campaign.  Get out there and knock doors, man the phone banks, update databases, replace vandalized signs, go to rallies – help out.

The good guys can win this one.  Let’s make it happen.

The Unthinkable: Duluth Paper Endorses Cravaack

The Duluth News-Tribune – a traditionally left-leaning paper in a traditionally left-leaning district – Ou endorses Republican challenger Chip Cravaack over 18-term incumbent DFLer Jim Oberstar.

While giving a nod to Oberstar’s “achievements”, and acknowledging his vote for Clinton’s  ”debt reduction” bill in 1993 (that relied on tax hikes more than spending cuts), the DNT notes that these are different times:

But there’s also no escaping the chilling reality of our nation’s economic state. Unemployment hovers around 10 percent, despite stimulus and other efforts to turn the tide. Health-care reform has companies warning employees of the likelihood of increased health-insurance costs. A pair of wars rages. And the national debt stands at a staggering $13.6 trillion and is increasing at an alarming rate of $3.8 billion a day.

The brake pedal of fiscal responsibility is needed in Washington now as much as ever. Although Oberstar voted in 1993 for the biggest debt reduction in post-World War II history, the 17-term incumbent is hardly the embodiment of financial restraint and new direction.

And they figure – as I do – that Chip’s the guy for the times, and the job:

His opponent, on the other hand, Republican Chip Cravaack, represents what Congress, including Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, needs at this critical crossroads in American history. A pro-business, fiscally conservative, former Navy captain, with a master’s degree in education, Cravaack has smarts. He is articulate, reasoned and composed. More critically, he has specific and promising strategies to pull the nation out of its financial funk.

“This is clearly unsustainable,” Cravaack said last week of our nation’s mounting debt and free-spending ways. “The best thing to correct the situation is to create a business-friendly environment where the private sector creates jobs.”

This is huge – justifying a rare Sunday posting from me.

I’m going to be releasing my election predictions tomorrow.  And while I’ve believed for a week that Cravaack was could pull off the upset of the year – nationally! – this is another log on the fire.

There’s A Hot Sun Beating On The Blacktop

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism from 9AM-3PM.

  • Volume I “The First Team” -  Brian and John or some combination thereof kick off from 11-1.  They’ll be talking with gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, among other guests.
  • Volume II “The Headliner”Ed and I follow from 1-3PM Central.  We’ll be talking with Attorney General candidate Chris Barden about his accusations against Lori Swanson/Mike Hatch (pardon the redundancy).  Plus we’ll talk with Chip Cravaack’s campaign about his get out the vote effort and how Twin Citians can help, and with Sanu Patel-Zellinger about her race for the MN House in east Bloomington against Ann “The Moneyholic” Lenczewski.
  • The King Banaian Show! – King is on hiatus from 9-11 on AM1570, Business Radio for the Twin Cities!  We’re broadening the franchise; two stations, now – so when King hopefully wins his House race, he’ll be Representative Banaian!
  • And for those of you who like your constitutionalism straight up with no chaser, don’t forget the Sons of Liberty, from 3-5!

(All times Central)

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

  • AM1280 in the Metro
  • streaming at AM1280’s Website,
  • On Twitter (the Volume 2 show will use hashtag #narn2)
  • UStream video and chat (at HotAir.com or at UStream).
  • Podcast at Townhall, usually by Monday
  • Good ol’ telephone – 651-289-4488!
  • And make sure you fan us on Facebook!

Join us!

News Flash?

From Blois Olson’s “Morning Take“: word has it that the Duluth News Tribune is doing to do the unthinkable:

Sources close to the CD8 campaign of Republican Chip Cravaack are telling people that on Sunday the Duluth News Tribune will endorse his candidacy to replace Democrat Rep. Jim Oberstar.

I’m not going to write “Developing…” at the end of this post – good lord, what kind of hapless dork do you think I am? – but I’ll be following this very, very closely.

I’m starting to feel really optimistic about Cravaack’s shot, here.

Oberstar Breaking The Law?

The other day Politico did a piece about Jim Oberstar’s fundraising, and how little of it comes from within the Eighth District.

And one of his staffers apparently knows something the rest of is don’t.  Or didn’t.   Emphasis added:

“They are taking lawn signs, putting up lawn signs, making voter-contact calls, door-knocking, distributing campaign [literature],” [Oberstar staffer Jim] Schadl told POLITICO in an e-mail. Moreover, Schadl, says, there are another 527 waiting in the wings to help out in the final run-up to the election.

Er…campaigns aren’t supposed to act in collusion with 527s.

Because that’s how they get money out of politics.  Y’know.  By preventing politics from being polluted by money.  From businesses or unions.

If we had a functional mainstream media in this state, full of bright, curious people whose job it was, say, to dig into stories like this – people like, I dunno, Pat Kessler or Erik Eskola or Tim Pugmire (not to keep picking on Pugmire; I just don’t want to have to wing it trying to spell Mark Zdechlek) – perhaps the people of Minnesota might find out if there was there, there, story-wise.

A Not So Modest, Utterly Pragmatic Proposal

It’s go time for Republicans in Minnesota. And by “Republicans”, I mean conservatives, and people who can be convinced that Minnesota’s liberal traditions and Barack Obama/Mark Dayton’s takeover of society will leave us all the worse for wear.

If you live in the Third Congressional District, you are in a semi-competitive race – but Jim Meffert clearly doesn’t pack the gear.  Still, if you live and work in the Three and support the GOP and conservative ideals, you will need to hunker down, help out Paulsen and your local state House/Senate candidates, and maybe dig deep and see if you can free up a buck or two to help those races out.

If you live in the Fourth or the Fifth – you know you’re the underdogs. I’m one of you.  And yet you have great candidates with great messages, facing weak candidates (especially the Fourth CD’s Betty McCollum, one of the most inconsequential people ever to serve in Congress).  And you’ve been working; somehow, the GOP found a reserve of people whose spirits had not been trounced by decades of living in one-party cities, and have been campaigning in precincts that haven’t seen a GOP voter in a generation. We’ll come back to you.

If you live in the First District, you are seeing signs of hope; Walz is weak, Demmer is raising good money, Walz backed a lot of deeply stupid legislation – Demmer could pull this off.  Hang in there, and above all, keep working.

Of course, if you live in the Seventh and Eighth, you might be feeling like you just climbed into a car with the accelerator stuck to the floor.  Lee Byberg has raised more money than  Colin Peterson’s last generation’s worth of challengers combined, most of it local.  And Chip Cravaack has not only blown the lid off of the usual polling in the Eighth District, but uncovered what looks like a wave of populist conservative enthusiasm in that long-benighted part of the state.

I don’t want to get too excited, but Byberg, Demmer and Cravaack could all catch fire here.

I’ve never felt that about the Seventh or Eighth in all the years I’ve lived here.

Now – if you live in the Sixth District, Michele Bachmann is going to win by 10 points.  Maybe 12.   So while the leadership of the Sixth District will scream at me for suggesting it, I’m going to say “howzabout you take a moment to peel  off a few bucks to help out one of the swing districts?  Maybe help conquer one of the districts that hasn’t seen sane representation (or in the case of the Eighth, seen their representative at all) in a generation or two?

And if you live in the Second District, you know in your gut that if Shelly Madore gets within twenty points of John Kline, it’ll be with the aid of a lot of corpses in cemeteries in Apple Valley.  Kline is going to demolish Madore.  Now, in 2008 I suggested peeling off some money and some volunteer time to help out in some of the swingier districts, and Janet Beihoffer – the 2nd CD chair at the time – nearly took out a hit on me.  But I’m going to do it again.  John Kline is going to win, and win huge.  So will Bachmann.

So if you live in those districts and see fit, and want to help back up some of the confidence that’s buzzing around the state, please consider peeling off some volunteer time to drive from the Second to the First, or from the Sixth up to the 7th or 8th, to help Randy, Lee or Chip.  Or send a few bucks to Randy, Lee and especially Chip and, if you really want to pray for an upset that’ll shock the world, for Joel Demos and Teresa Collett.

Here’s where to start:

  1. Randy Demmer
  2. John Kline
  3. Erik Paulsen
  4. Teresa Collett
  5. Joel Demos
  6. Michele Bachmann
  7. Lee Byberg
  8. Chip Cravaack

More – much more – later.