7/26/2004 08:23:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
In a previous post tonight, I wrote about a young college student from Minnesota who is attending the Democratic National Convention. He had hoped Democrats would "focus on uniting and not dividing."
Sorry Peter, but like Al Gore's speech tonight, Jimmy Carter's speech was not about "uniting" Americans.
Text of former President Jimmy Carter's speech to the Democratic Convention:
My name is Jimmy Carter, and I'm not running for president. But here's what I will be doing: everything I can to put John Kerry in the White House with John Edwards right there beside him.
Twenty-eight years ago I was running for president, and I said then, "I want a government as good and as honest and as decent and as competent and as compassionate as are the American people." I say this again tonight, and that is exactly what we will have next January with John Kerry as president of the United States.
As many of you know, my first chosen career was in the United States Navy, where I served as a submarine officer. At that time, my shipmates and I were ready for combat and prepared to give our lives to defend our nation and its principles.
At the same time, we always prayed that our readiness would preserve the peace. I served under two presidents, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, men who represented different political parties. Both of whom had faced their active military responsibilities with honor.
They knew the horrors of war, and later, as commanders-in-chief, they exercised restraint and judgment and had a clear sense of mission. We had confidence that our leaders, military and civilian, would not put our soldiers and sailors in harm's way by initiating "wars of choice" unless America's vital interests were endangered.
We also were sure that these presidents would not mislead us when it came to issues involving our nation's security. Today, our Democratic party is led by another former naval officer -- one who volunteered for military service. He showed up when assigned to duty, and he served with honor and distinction.
He also knows the horrors of war and the responsibilities of leadership, and I am confident that next January he will restore the judgment and maturity to our government that is sorely lacking today. I am proud to call Lieutenant John Kerry my shipmate, and I am ready to follow him to victory in November.
As you know, our country faces many challenges at home involving energy, taxation, the environment, education, and health. To meet these challenges, we need new leaders in Washington whose policies are shaped by working American families instead of the super-rich and their armies of lobbyists. But the biggest reason to make John Kerry president is even more important. It is to safeguard the security of our nation.
Today, our dominant international challenge is to restore the greatness of America -- based on telling the truth, a commitment to peace, and respect for civil liberties at home and basic human rights around the world. Truth is the foundation of our global leadership, but our credibility has been shattered and we are left increasingly isolated and vulnerable in a hostile world. Without truth -- without trust -- America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant between the president and the people.
When that trust is violated, the bonds that hold our republic together begin to weaken.
After 9/11, America stood proud, wounded but determined and united. A cowardly attack on innocent civilians brought us an unprecedented level of cooperation and understanding around the world. But in just 34 months, we have watched with deep concern as all this goodwill has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. Unilateral acts and demands have isolated the United States from the very nations we need to join us in combating terrorism.
Let us not forget that the Soviets lost the Cold War because the American people combined the exercise of power with adherence to basic principles, based on sustained bipartisan support. We understood the positive link between the defense of our own freedom and the promotion of human rights. Recent policies have cost our nation its reputation as the world's most admired champion of freedom and justice. What a difference these few months of extremism have made!
The United States has alienated its allies, dismayed its friends, and inadvertently gratified its enemies by proclaiming a confused and disturbing strategy of "preemptive" war. With our allies disunited, the world resenting us, and the Middle East ablaze, we need John Kerry to restore life to the global war against terrorism.
In the meantime, the Middle East peace process has come to a screeching halt for the first time since Israel became a nation. All former presidents, Democratic and Republican, have attempted to secure a comprehensive peace for Israel with hope and justice for the Palestinians. The achievements of Camp David a quarter century ago and the more recent progress made by President Bill Clinton are now in peril.
Instead, violence has gripped the Holy Land, with the region increasingly swept by anti-American passions. Elsewhere, North Korea's nuclear menace -- a threat far more real and immediate than any posed by Saddam Hussein -- has been allowed to advance unheeded, with potentially ominous consequences for peace and stability in Northeast Asia. These are some of the prices of our government's radical departure from the basic American principles and values espoused by John Kerry!
In repudiating extremism we need to recommit ourselves to a few common- sense principles that should transcend partisan differences. First, we cannot enhance our own security if we place in jeopardy what is most precious to us, namely, the centrality of human rights in our daily lives and in global affairs. Second, we cannot maintain our historic self-confidence as a people if we generate public panic. Third, we cannot do our duty as citizens and patriots if we pursue an agenda that polarizes and divides our country. Next, we cannot be true to ourselves if we mistreat others. And finally, in the world at large we cannot lead if our leaders mislead.
You can't be a war president one day and claim to be a peace president the next, depending on the latest political polls. When our national security requires military action, John Kerry has already proven in Vietnam that he will not hesitate to act. And as a proven defender of our national security, John Kerry will strengthen the global alliance against terrorism while avoiding unnecessary wars.
Ultimately, the issue is whether America will provide global leadership that springs from the unity and integrity of the American people or whether extremist doctrines and the manipulation of truth will define America's role in the world.
At stake is nothing less than our nation's soul. In a few months, I will, God willing, enter my 81st year of my life, and in many ways the last few months have been some of the most disturbing of all. But I am not discouraged. I do not despair for our country. I believe tonight, as I always have, that the essential decency, compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.
And so I say to you and to others around the world, whether they wish us well or ill: do not underestimate us Americans. We lack neither strength nor wisdom. There is a road that leads to a bright and hopeful future. What America needs is leadership. Our job, my fellow Americans, is to ensure that the leaders of this great country will be John Kerry and John Edwards. Thank you and God bless America!
|W|P|109089666841180765|W|P|Hey Peter, Jimmy Carter Didn't Listen to You!|W|Pemail@example.com/26/2004 08:19:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|In a previous post tonight, I wrote about a young college student from Minnesota who is attending the Democratic National Convention. He had hoped Democrats would "focus on uniting and not dividing."
Sorry Peter, but Al Gore's speech tonight was not about "uniting" Americans.
Text of former Vice-President Al Gore's speech to the Democratic National Convention:
Friends, fellow Democrats, fellow Americans:
I'll be candid with you. I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election.
But you know the old saying: you win some, you lose some. And then there's that little-known third category.
I didn't come here tonight to talk about the past. After all, I don't want you to think I lie awake at night counting and recounting sheep.
I prefer to focus on the future because I know from my own experience that America is a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote.
In all seriousness, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve America. I want to thank you as Democrats for the honor of being your nominee for president four years ago. And I want to thank the American people for the privilege of serving as vice-president.
And most of all, I want to thank my family with all my heart -- my children and grandchildren, and especially my beloved partner in life, Tipper.
I love this country deeply, and even though I always look to the future with optimism and hope -- I do think it is worth pausing for just a moment as we begin this year's convention, to take note of two very important lessons from four years ago.
The first lesson is this: take it from me -- every vote counts.
In our Democracy, every vote has power. And never forget: that power is yours. Don't let anyone take it away or talk you into throwing it away.
And let's make sure that this time every vote is counted.
Let's make sure not only that the Supreme Court does not pick the next President, but also that this President is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court.
The second lesson from 2000 is this: what happens in a presidential election matters.
The outcome profoundly affects the lives of all 293 million Americans -- and people in the rest of the world too. The choice of who is president affects your life and your family's future.
And never has this been more true than in 2004, because -- let's face it -- our country faces deep challenges.
These challenges we now confront are not Democratic or Republican challenges; they are American challenges -- that we all must overcome together.
It is in that spirit, that I sincerely ask those watching at home who supported President Bush four years ago: did you really get what you expected from the candidate you voted for?
Is our country more united today?
Or more divided?
Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled?
Or do those words now ring hollow?
For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all?
Did you expect, for example, the largest deficits in history? One after another? And the loss of more than a million jobs?
By the way, I know about the bad economy. I was the first one laid off. And while it's true that new jobs are being created, they're just not as good as the jobs people have lost. And incidentally, that's been true for me too.
Unfortunately, this is no joke for millions of Americans. And the real solutions require us to transcend partisanship.
So that's one reason why, even though we meet here as Democrats, we believe this is a time to reach beyond our party lines to Republicans as well.
I also ask tonight for the help of those who supported a third party candidate in 2000. I urge you to ask yourselves this question: do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates?
Are you troubled by the erosion of some of America's most basic civil liberties?
Are you worried that our environmental laws are being weakened and dismantled to allow vast increases in pollution that are contributing to a global climate crisis?
No matter how you voted in the last election, these are profound problems that all voters must take into account this November 2d.
And of course, no challenge is more critical than the situation we confront in Iraq. Regardless of your opinion at the beginning of this war, isn't it now obvious that the way the war has been managed by the Administration has gotten us into very serious trouble?
Wouldn't we be better off with a new President who hasn't burned his bridges to our allies, and who could rebuild respect for America in the world?
Isn't cooperation with other nations crucial to solving our dilemma in Iraq? Isn't it also critical to defeating the terrorists?
We have to be crystal clear about the threat we face from terrorism. It is deadly. It is real. It is imminent.
But in order to protect our people, shouldn't we focus on the real source of this threat: the group that attacked us and is trying to attack us again -- al Qaeda, headed by Osama Bin Laden?
Wouldn't we be safer with a President who didn't insist on confusing al Qaeda with Iraq? Doesn't that divert too much of our attention away from the principal danger?
I want to say to all Americans this evening that whether it is the threat to the global environment or the erosion of America's leadership in the world, whether it is the challenge to our economy from new competitors or the challenge to our security from new enemies, I believe that we need new leadership that is both strong and wise.
And we can have new leadership, because one of our greatest strengths as a democracy is that when we are headed in the wrong direction, we can correct our course.
When policies are clearly not working, we can change them. If our leaders make mistakes, we can hold them accountable - even if they never admit their mistakes.
I firmly believe America needs new leadership that will make us stronger at home and respected in the world.
We are here this week to present to the nation the man who should be our new president: John Kerry.
John and I were elected to the US Senate on the same day 20 years ago and I have worked closely with him for all that time. So I want to say a personal word about John Kerry the man.
He is a friend who will stand by you. His word is his bond. He has a deep patriotism that goes far beyond words. He has devoted his life to making America a better place for all of us.
He showed uncommon heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam. I watched him show that same courage on the Senate floor. He had the best record of protecting the environment against polluters of any of my colleagues - bar none.
He never shied away from a fight, no matter how powerful the foe. He was never afraid to take on difficult and thankless issues that few others wanted to touch -- like exposing the threat of narcoterrorism and tracing the sources of terrorist financing.
He was one of the very first in our party to take on the issue of drastic deficit reduction. He has developed a tough and thoughtful plan to restore our economic strength and fiscal discipline.
To put it simply, those of us who have worked with John know that he has the courage, integrity and leadership to be a truly great President of the United States.
And he showed wisdom in his very first decision as the leader of our party -- when he picked as his running mate an inspiring fighter for middle class families and families struggling to reach the middle class: John Edwards.
John Kerry and John Edwards are fighting for us and for all Americans, so after we nominate them here in Boston and return to our home states across this land, we have to fight for them.
Talk to your friends and neighbors, go to "JohnKerry.com," raise money, register voters and get them to the polls, volunteer your time, and above all: make your vote count.
To those of you who felt disappointed or angry with the outcome in 2000, I want you to remember all of those feelings. But then I want you to do with them what I have done: focus them fully and completely on putting John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House.
Fellow Democrats, when I look out and see so many friends who have meant so much to me in my own public service, my heart is full tonight. I thank you for all the love you've shown Tipper and me. You will forever be in our hearts.
There's someone else I'd like to thank, and that's the man who asked me to join him on the ticket at our convention 12 years ago, my friend -- and my partner for eight years -- President Bill Clinton.
I'll never forget that convention or that campaign -- the way we barnstormed the country, carrying a message of hope and change, believing with our whole hearts that America could be made new again.
And so it was. And with your help, and with the leadership of John Kerry and John Edwards, so it shall be again.
Thank you -- God bless you and your families -- and may God bless the United States of America.
|W|P|109089693323081245|W|P|Hey Peter, Al Gore Didn't Listen to You!|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/26/2004 06:05:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|"I really just hope they [Democrats] focus on uniting and not dividing." Peter Polga-Hecimovich, a college student from St. John’s University, who is attending the Democratic National Convention. Source: St. Cloud Times, July 26, 2004
I will report back on whether Minnesota Democrats listened to Peter.
|W|P|109089054496274864|W|P|Minnesota Democrat Attending National Convention Warns Other Minnesota Democrats About the Tone of the Democratic National Convention|W|Pemail@example.com/26/2004 05:37:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The goal of this blog was to talk about Minnesota Democrats. But Teresa Heinz-Kerry telling a reporter to "shove it" is just too good to pass up.
Click here to view the video.
|W|P|109088875902462812|W|P|IMPORTANT NOTICE: I am breaking the rules of my own blog|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/26/2004 02:08:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|How many Democrats does it take...
The convention organizers in the Democratic National Party seem to be having a little trouble with math.When the head of the Minnesota DFL Party, Mike Erlandson, went down to the convention floor on Sunday for the first time, he was surprised by what he saw.They "didn't have enough seats" for the Minnesota delegation.They were about 15 short, he said.You wouldn't think that getting the right number of delegate chairs would be a problem, considering the party has had four years to count. We'll know in a few hours, during the opening session, whether this problem has been fixed -- or whether some of Minnesota's DFL delegates will be leaving Boston with sore feet.
Remember in a previous post, I highlighted DFL Party Chairman Mike Erlandson's problem counting how many people actually attended their local DFL precinct caucus.
|W|P|109087630503801453|W|P|Tom Webb's [Pioneer Press] Blog Reveals How Important Truly is the Minnesota Delegation in Boston! |W|Pemail@example.com/26/2004 05:56:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|According to today's Pioneer Press, Senator Mark Dayton will attend an event in Boston for people with disabilities. The event is being held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention.
What is so interesting is that Dayton is currently being sued by a former employee who claims he was fired for, yes you guessed it, having a disability!
An attorney for Dayton, wants to have the court dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that lawmakers enjoy protection from such litigation even though Congress passed a widely trumpeted law in 1995 that purportedly put Capitol Hill under the same laws governing every other employer.
|W|P|109084689847739628|W|P|Senator Mark Dayton's Hypocrisy Regarding People with Disabilities Exposed!|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/25/2004 05:37:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Governor Pawlenty was taken to task late last week by the Star Tribune and by Representative Matt Entenza for visiting members of the Minnesota National Guard in Kosovo. They both thought Governor Pawlenty, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Minnesota National Guard, needed to stay in St. Paul and again finish more of the work Entenza and other members of the legislature coundn't get done.
I bet you would be suprised to learn that while Governor Pawlenty was in Kosovo meeting the brave and dedicated members of the Minnesota National Guard, Representative Matt Entenza was in Boston as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
|W|P|109080241650217141|W|P|WARNING #4: Democrats Think Attending A Political Convention is More Important Than Visiting Minnesotans Serving in Kosovo|W|Pemail@example.com/25/2004 08:17:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I have provided links on the right to blogs coverning the Democratic National Convention. Check back for my updates exposing Minnesota Democrats during their time in Boston.
Remember, we let the truth speak for itself.
|W|P|109076892966402132|W|P|STAY INFORMED DURING THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/24/2004 06:26:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|DFL Party Chairman Mike Erlandson told the Associated Press yesterday that "57,000" people attended their local DFL precinct caucuses. The number of attendees has grown, shrunk, and
now grown again. I heard the folks at Enron did their accounting.
It's a good thing we're here to keep track for them.
“Erlandson in the last few days had been predicting that total turnout would reach 20,000 to 25,000, double the estimated 12,000 who showed up in 2000 and 2002.” Source: Star Tribune, March 3, 2004
“State DFL Chairman Mike Erlandson attributed it to the anger at President Bush that drove 56,000 Minnesotans -- five times more than usual -- to the party's March 2 precinct caucuses.” Source: Saint Paul Pioneer Press, May 24, 2004
“At least 35,000 Democrats attended their precinct caucuses - well above the 20,000 party leaders had expected and nearly three times as many as in 2000.” Source: Associated Press, March 3, 2004
"All of this started when we had 57,000 people show up for caucuses," said DFL Party Chairman Mike Erlandson.” Source: Associated Press, July 23, 2004
|W|P|109071893546802788|W|P|WARNING #3: Minnesota Democrats Have A Problem Counting People or They Have People Who Can't Count |W|Pemail@example.com/23/2004 06:52:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Anoka County won't charge legislator in flier case
Associated Press Writer
ST. PAUL (AP) _ Anoka County prosecutors declined Friday to criminally charge DFL state Rep. Phyllis Kahn in an alleged case of campaign tampering, but said a city attorney could still file theft charges over a literature-swiping incident.
Meanwhile, House Republicans said they might make an ethics complaint against the 32-year legislative veteran from Minneapolis.
Kahn has apologized to Rep. Lynne Osterman for taking the first-term Republican's campaign brochures from doorsteps in her New Hope district and replacing it with pieces from a DFL opponent.
The incident occurred Monday as Kahn was helping Sandra Peterson campaign. Local police confronted Kahn after an area resident called to report the literature swap. Kahn was initially cited with violating a city ordinance, but police later dropped the citation and referred the case for possible charges.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office asked neighboring Anoka County to review the case because Kahn has worked with Hennepin officials as a legislator.
Anoka County Assistant Attorney James Weber Jr. said the only potential offense is misdemeanor theft, which the New Hope city attorney would handle.
House Majority Leader Erik Paulsen said the incidents might warrant an ethics case in the Legislature, which has the power to punish its members or even remove them.
``We're looking into it,'' Paulsen said. ``Do her actions bring the House into disrepute? Yes, they do.''
Kahn, who is seeking a 17th term, was on a bike trip in Iowa and couldn't be reached Friday, a House DFL spokesman said. The phone at her home rang unanswered Friday evening.
But she told KSTP-TV and WCCO-TV, which found her at home Friday, that she had done a ``stupid thing'' and was sorry.
``It just shows that you can be in this business, you can be very old, and supposedly very smart, and you can be in this business for a long time and can still do really stupid things,'' Kahn told KSTP.
Kahn told the station she was willing to answer to her constituents and talk to them about it. But asked if she would resign, she laughed and said, ``Give me a break.''
She admitted taking the literature in her apology letter to Osterman. In it, Kahn told her colleague she was ``interested in seeing what you were saying. I'm sure it will have little effect on your campaign but I know it was wrong and I am sorry.''
This isn't the first instance where a legislator has come under scrutiny for messing with another candidate's campaign materials.
Nearly 20 years ago, a Worthington-area state senator was charged with misdemeanor theft for removing an opponent's literature from doorknobs in an apartment building.
Republican Sen. Doran Isackson admitted that ``in a moment of weakness'' he took DFLer Jim Vickerman's brochures on the eve of the election. Isackson lost the race and the charge was dropped when he agreed to write an open letter in area newspapers apologizing for the incident.
Osterman said she was deeply disappointed in Kahn. It's unclear how many brochures were taken, but Osterman plans to re-canvass 32 houses in the neighborhood where Kahn campaigned.
``This is a theft issue. It would be no different if I took a Target circular or a pizza circular out of someone's door,'' she said. ``That's their property.''
Osterman and Peterson agreed to sign a League of Women Voters-sponsored clean campaign pledge to steer clear of negative campaigning and condemn interests that do. Peterson, a state teachers union leader, said she also wants the campaign to remain positive but thinks the proposed pledge needs more work.
``I am hoping everybody can move on and get past this _ move on to the issues that really matter to the citizens of the state,'' Peterson said. ``We want it to be an issue-oriented campaign.''
The Osterman-Peterson race will be among the more hard-fought contests this fall in the battle for control of the House. Democrats are targeting seats in first-ring suburbs in their effort to win back the majority. Republicans have controlled the chamber since 1999 and had an 81-53 edge during the 2004 session.
Brian Bakst can be reached at bbakst(at)ap.org
|W|P|109063414719367172|W|P||W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/23/2004 02:05:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|#1 - "They fell out of the doorway." Source: WCCO-TV, July 22, 2004
#2 - "Kahn wrote that she was 'interested in seeing what you [Lynne Osterman] were saying.'" Source: Star Tribune, July 23, 2004
PLEASE POST ANY ADDITIONAL EXCUSES USED BY PHYLLIS KAHN
|W|P|109060975342889287|W|P|UPDATE: Excuses Used By Representative Phyllis Kahn to Explain Why She Stole Representative Lynne Osterman's Literature|W|Pemail@example.com/23/2004 07:04:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|7/23/2004 07:05:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|#3 "'It just shows that you can be in this business, you can be very old, and supposedly very smart, and you can be in this business for a long time and can still do really stupid things,' Kahn told KSTP." Source: Associated Press, July 23, 20047/23/2004 11:46:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Lawmaker allegedly replaces GOP materials with DFL literature
From Associated Press, July 23, 2004
State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, a key figure in the DFL House caucus, was stopped by New Hope police for allegedly removing a Republican House member's campaign literature from doorsteps and replacing it with material for a DFL opponent.
The case has been referred to the Anoka County attorney's office for possible charges, officials said.
In a statement, Kahn, a 32-year veteran from Minneapolis, said she: "made a mistake in picking up a few pieces of (Rep.) Lynne Osterman's campaign material, which was done without direction from anyone."
On Thursday, one of Kahn's aides hand-delivered a letter of apology to Osterman. Kahn wrote she was "interested in seeing what you were saying. I'm sure it will have little effect on your campaign but I know it was wrong and I am sorry."
Kahn added that she was chastised by Sandra Peterson, Osterman's DFL opponent, for her actions.
Kahn represents a Minneapolis district in the University of Minnesota area.
She was door-knocking in the suburbs this week as part of the DFL's effort to regain a majority in the House.
The Minnesota Republican Party issued a news release Thursday likening the incident to recent allegations of improper removal of security documents in Washington, D.C.
"Unfortunately this is the kind of mischief we can expect from Democrats throughout this election," said GOP communications director Randy Wanke. "Democrats will do or say just about anything to win in Minnesota."
Osterman, who has worked as a communications manager for public and private-sector institutions, said she has mixed feelings about the incident.
"It's sad that it came to this," she said. "(Kahn) has kind of an esteemed career and has been a model encouraging women candidates."
But, she continued, "it's stooping about as low as you can stoop."
Osterman's district, which includes New Hope and parts of Crystal and Plymouth, has been hotly contested in recent election years. Osterman came close to defeating veteran DFL Rep. Ann Rest, now a state senator, in 1998. In 2000, Osterman lost by just 65 votes to DFLer Mark Thompson and then defeated him in 2002.
|W|P|109060141759404922|W|P|WARNING #2: Minnesota Democrats Will Steal Campaign Literature to Try and Win Elections |W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/23/2004 08:52:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Rep. Kahn accused of taking GOP fliers
Published July 23, 2004
State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, a 32-year veteran from Minneapolis and a key figure in the DFL House caucus, was stopped by New Hope police earlier this week after a citizen complained that she was removing a Republican House member's campaign literature from doorsteps and replacing it with a DFL opponent's material.
The case has been referred to the Anoka County attorney's office for possible charges, officials said.
Kahn could not be reached for comment, but she issued a statement to local media in the northwestern suburb.
It said she "made a mistake in picking up a few pieces of (Rep.) Lynne Osterman's campaign material, which was done without direction from anyone."
On Thursday, one of Kahn's aides hand-delivered a letter to Osterman offering "apologies for picking up a few of your lit pieces." Kahn wrote that she was "interested in seeing what you were saying. I'm sure it will have little effect on your campaign but I know it was wrong and I am sorry."
Kahn signed off "As ever, Phyllis," and added this postscript: "I was soundly chastised by Sandy (Sandra Peterson, a former top official of Education Minnesota and Osterman's DFL opponent this fall) for my actions."
Kahn represents a Minneapolis district in the University of Minnesota area in which she has always been a heavy favorite for reelection. She was door-knocking in the suburbs as part of the DFL's effort to regain a majority in the House of Representatives in November's elections.
Complaints about petty shenanigans such as lawn-sign vandalism or literature-swiping are not uncommon -- often involving kids or overzealous volunteers.
However the complaint is handled, it's not likely that Republicans will let it go quietly. The Minnesota Republican Party quickly issued a news release Thursday likening the incident to recent allegations of improper removal of security documents in Washington, D.C.
"Unfortunately this is the kind of mischief we can expect from Democrats throughout this election," said GOP communications director Randy Wanke. "Democrats will do or say just about anything to win in Minnesota."
Osterman, who has worked as a communications manager for public and private-sector institutions, said she has mixed feelings about the incident. "It's sad that it came to this," she said. "[Kahn] has kind of an esteemed career and has been a model encouraging women candidates."
But, she continued, the incident illustrates how desperate DFLers are to retake her seat and others, and "it's stooping about as low as you can stoop."
The incident highlights the fact that Osterman's district, which includes New Hope and parts of Crystal and Plymouth, has been hotly contested in recent election years.
Osterman came close to defeating veteran DFL Rep. Ann Rest, now a state senator, in 1998. In 2000, Osterman lost by just 65 votes to DFLer Mark Thompson and then defeated him in 2002.
Acknowledging that her own campaign in 1998 was marked by last-minute negative attacks by the Republican caucus, Osterman said she in turn was savaged by DFLers in 2000 and decided in 2002 to keep the campaign as positive as possible.
Osterman said Peterson, as former head of the teachers union, one of the state's strongest DFL-allied interest groups, will be a formidable opponent.
She said she gives credit to Peterson for alerting her on Monday evening, shortly after the incident happened, that one of Peterson's volunteers had gotten into some trouble for taking her literature.
But Osterman said Peterson did not tell her that Kahn was the person involved.
At the time, Osterman said, she didn't think much of the incident and just planned to distribute new literature in the area. She did not find out that the literature was taken by Kahn until Thursday, Osterman said, after reporters contacted her.
Kahn apologized soon afterward.
The New Hope Police Department's news release on the incident said the complaint came from the 8200 block of 28th Av. N. After Kahn was stopped, a citation for violation of an unnamed city ordinance was issued.
However, "the New Hope PD later determined the charges on the citation were inappropriate for the alleged actions" and it was dismissed, the police statement said. The case then was referred to the office of Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar, a prominent DFL leader.
In turn, Klobuchar's office referred the case to Anoka County because it has worked with Kahn "on legislative issues and thought it would be best to have someone outside the county take it," said Pete Cahill, chief deputy Hennepin County attorney. "I'm sure Anoka will look at the facts, all possible criminal charges. If they determine there was no felony, they will refer it to the city attorney for possible misdemeanor prosecution."
During her decades in the Legislature, the 67-year-old Kahn has been best-known for the landmark legislation she pushed through in the 1970s that limited smoking in public buildings, an initiative that she has advanced for 30 years. She also has been an advocate for an assortment of women's causes, including equity in sports.
A legislative guide published by Republican activist Sarah Janecek describes Kahn as "one of the best educated legislators in either chamber" and as someone who provides leadership on science and technology issues.
Dane Smith is at email@example.com.
|W|P|109059092071704303|W|P|WARNING: Minnesota Democrats Will Steal Campaign Literature to Try and Win Elections|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/23/2004 06:57:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
test|W|P|112212707220811108|W|P||W|Pemail@example.com/23/2004 06:44:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
test|W|P|112212628633903026|W|P||W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/20/2004 06:11:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
test |W|P|111003186919496777|W|P||W|Pemail@example.com/11/2004 06:23:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P||W|P|112108819352348767|W|P||W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/09/2004 08:45:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
|W|P|112096712742228899|W|P||W|Pemail@example.com/09/2004 08:21:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
|W|P|112096567165190086|W|P||W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/03/2004 06:42:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
test|W|P|112311972946284075|W|P||W|Pemail@example.com/01/2004 06:29:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|