2/28/2005 08:54:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|DFL Party spokesman Bill Amberg called my recent domain name purchases "the same juvenile tricks Republicans always engage in." Source: Star Tribune, March 1, 2005 But Amberg is ignoring the DFL's own history of creating political websites with domain names similar to Minnesota Republicans. 1. The DFL Party currently owns a website called Pawlenty Facts, which is advertised as a place to "learn the truth about Governor Tim Pawlenty." 2. The DFL Party has previously linked to a anonymous blog called Pawlenty Exposed. I suspect DFL staff is a major contributor for the material posted on the blog. In fact, some of the posts mirror DFL press releases. 3. The DFL Party has previously benefited from political cybersquatting: "State GOP deputy executive director Randy Skoglund has become a target of 'cybersquatting,' weeks after he squatted on some potential DFL campaign Web sites. The domain name randyskoglund.com has been purchased. Anyone who tries to reach the site won't find information about Skoglund because the site links directly to the DFL state Party Web site. Source: Associated Press, November 29, 1999|W|P|110965286748608977|W|P|JUVENILE TRICKS?|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com3/16/2005 10:47:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Steviewonderbread|W|P|that's fuckin bullshit. The republicans have done far worse in taking dfl party candidates potential website names. Why is it that when the shoes on the other foot republicans deny it?10/29/2005 09:21:00 AM|W|P|Blogger StPaul_DFLer|W|P|Why do they complain? Because they are a bunch of lying cry babies.2/28/2005 08:02:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Anonymous blogger grabs DFL-friendly domain names At least four Internet domain names that potential DFL gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates might like to have, including Attorney General Mike Hatch and Patty Wetterling, have been purchased by a blogger to direct visitors to a weblog critical of Minnesota Democrats. The websites -- including www.mikehatchforgovernor.com and www.wetterlingforsenate.com -- are registered to Domains by Proxy, an Arizona-based company that acts as a front for people who want to shield their website registration information from the public. The anonymous person who runs Minnesota Democrats Exposed posted a statement Monday saying that he or she purchased the domain names with personal money to increase the site's number of visitors. "My modest marketing plan was to ensure that citizens seeking information on Amy Klobuchar, Patty Wetterling, or Mike Hatch receive the opportunity to hear the other side of the story at Minnesota Democrats Exposed," the statement read. Corey Miltimore, executive director of the state Republican Party, said party officials are not involved in purchasing domain names involving state Democrats and have no control over independently run blogs. There is a link to Minnesota Democrats Exposed on the state Republican homepage. Bill Amberg, DFL spokesman, called the Internet bait-and-switch "the same juvenile tricks Republicans always engage in." Klobuchar, who is the Hennepin County attorney and is exploring a possible run for U.S. Senate, said: "I think 18 months before an election is a little early for dirty tricks." Source: Star Tribune, March 1, 2005|W|P|110965046440833692|W|P|STAR TRIBUNE REPORTS ON MY SPENDING SPREE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com3/16/2005 10:51:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Steviewonderbread|W|P|so your the asshole who did that? good going fucknut. fucking prick.5/03/2005 02:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger North Star Politics|W|P|MDE: Contributing to the lowering of politics since 2004.7/19/2005 08:24:00 PM|W|P|Blogger TeenageGOPLOVER|W|P|I love this site, i think its a great way to show the DFL for who they are! keep it up!7/19/2005 08:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger TeenageGOPLOVER|W|P|what is wrong with MDE buying those names, is this not the U.S.A. ? did this person work hard for the money that was used to do this? Is it wrong to use the money that you work hard for to share your views with others?11/23/2005 06:58:00 AM|W|P|Blogger bundio|W|P|Had these potential candidates dipped into their campaign funds for $4.95 they could have owned the domain names. Had their supporters saved the price of another "No W" bumper sticker they could have owned the domains. Thinking past your next entitlement may help your cadidates.2/28/2005 01:51:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I learned today that this blog may get a bit of free publicity soon, as a major Twin Cities newspaper is working on a story regarding my purchase of the possible domain names of potential DFL campaigns in Minnesota. A reporter did contact me for my comments, but I know full well that space constraints, misunderstandings and the occasional bias can prevent the media from accurately presenting both sides of the story. What better a location than this to explain the situation fairly? Last week I purchased domain names for several high profile candidates. My solitary goal was to use increased internet searches for these candidates to garner more traffic for the MDE blog.

I will remind my critics that Democrats in Minnesota and across the country have a long history of buying the domain names of GOP elected officials, private citizens, and candidates for political tomfoolery. My intentions were mild in comparison.

Admittedly, my objective may have been a little self serving, but it was hardly nefarious. My modest marketing plan was to ensure that citizens seeking information on Amy Klobachar, Patty Wetterling, or Mike Hatch receive the opportunity to hear the other side of the story at Minnesota Democrats Exposed. I purchased these domain names with personal money and I have no intention of ever selling them to anyone for financial or political profit. By design, my blog is dedicated to a truthful discussion on the activities, statements, and tactics of Minnesota Democrats. I encourage people to visit the websites of Minnesota Democrats by providing links to their websites from MDE. I think voters deserve to hear from both parties – which is why I am actively promoting my website as a factual alternative source of information on Minnesota politics. On a final note, the media is likely to criticize my blog for being published anonymously. I expect my fellow bloggers across the political spectrum will share my defense of our right to post "free speech" with as much or as little personal publicity as we choose. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled that anonymous and pseudonymous speech is fully protected by the First Amendment. The 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads: Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society. I look forward to seeing the upcoming aticle and to the increased hits it is sure to deliver to my blog. Ironically, their coverage may do far more to promote MDE than a handful of candidate web domains ever will. Thanks for taking time in advance to read the real story.

|W|P|110962746517092779|W|P|MY EXERCISE OF FREE SPEECH|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com3/18/2005 03:32:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Steviewonderbread|W|P|It's interesting that it says "anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.."

Who's in charge of the white house?, congress? and in minnesota-the governor?, and state legistlature? uhh I do'nt know...
REPUBLICNANS
Hello!!!!!!!!
You guys are the majority

your have the right ro remain anonymous, but not for that reason.10/11/2005 12:48:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Sutekh|W|P|I didn't realize that "a truthful discussion on the activities, statements, and tactics of Minnesota Democrats" had so much to do with you.2/28/2005 07:48:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|These DFL house members have forgot that Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch is the most partisan attorney general in the history of Minnesota. The real issue here is the DFL being afraid to discuss gay marriage in Northern Minnesota. ## Did lawmaker's run for attorney general determine location of panel hearing? Two weeks ago, few people would have claimed that the center of the state’s homosexual marriage debate lies in Northeastern Minnesota. However, when the announcement was made that the state House Civil Law and Elections Committee will be holding a hearing on the so-called “gay marriage amendment” in Grand Rapids on March 18, the city became an unlikely player in this controversial debate. Why, both Republicans and Democrats asked, was Grand Rapids chosen to host one of the most highly anticipated, controversial and heated discussions of the legislative session? Not surprisingly, speculation and accusations began to run rampant throughout the State Capitol as soon the news broke. Some House Democrats spoke openly about what they believe is more of an early campaign stop for committee chairman Rep. Jeff Johnson, R-Plymouth, than a real opportunity to engage Greater Minnesota in the political process. It is quite the coincidence, they said, that the announcement to hold the hearing in Grand Rapids was made the same day that Johnson held a press conference declaring his candidacy for attorney general. One member of the committee, Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis, has been especially outspoken about the decision to hold the hearing in Grand Rapids. "I think it’s directly related to the chair’s run for attorney general," he said. “This is essentially a campaign stop for Johnson.” Rep. Loren Solberg, who represents Grand Rapids, was also skeptical of Johnson’s motives for holding the hearing in his hometown. "I find it curious that the same day that Jeff Johnson announces he’s running for attorney general the announcement is made to hold the gay marriage debate in Grand Rapids." When asked if he considered the hearing a campaign stop, Solberg replied matter-of-factly, "Of course." Johnson denied the accusations made by the opposing party. He claimed that he did not make the decision to hold the hearing in Grand Rapids — that it was a group decision made by the leaders of the Republican caucus. He dismisses the Democrats’ claim that it is a campaign stop in his quest for the attorney general seat. "The decision to go outstate was made at the start of the session, long before I made my announcement to run," he said. He added that as chairman he simply leads the meetings and doesn’t expect to get much exposure or press out of it. House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, also scoffed at the notion that the hearing is a part of Johnson’s campaign. "I think the Democrats are a little too paranoid," he said, "and I think they’re afraid of rural Minnesota." But questions still remain — of all the cities in greater Minnesota, why Grand Rapids? And why a hearing on such a controversial issue such as whether or not to include a constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage? Sviggum said that at the start session he encouraged all committee chairmen to conduct meetings outside the Metro area. "We wanted to reach out to citizens all over the state," he said. "I think it’s good outreach to have action in outstate Minnesota." Johnson said that several communities were considered for the hearing, including Moorhead, St. Cloud, Bemidji and Rochester. The executive board eventually decided they wanted it to be in a northern city since a few other committees had already made plans to hold hearings in the southern part of the state. Johnson said that Grand Rapids was finally chosen because no other hearings had been held there or anywhere on the Iron Range, and because it had a venue that could hold a lot of people. “Last year hundreds of people had to be turned away,” Johnson said, referring to the committee hearing held at the Capitol last year on the same issue. In 2004, The House voted in support of the gay marriage amendment, but it was voted down in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a partisan vote of 5 to 4. Johnson also said committee chairmen were encouraged to pick one or two of the most well-known bills for the greater Minnesota hearings. “When (Speaker Sviggum) asked me to pick one or two of our highest profile bills, it wasn’t hard,” he said. The gay marriage legislation is clearly the most contentious issue his committee will face this session, Johnson added. Although Solberg supports the idea of committee hearings being held in Greater Minnesota, he said that he would prefer that the chairmen choose bills that have a more direct affect on the area. He believes the Republicans are choosing to focus on the gay marriage issue rather than deal with more serious concerns. “The most important issues in the state, I think, are trying to create jobs, fund education, health care and fixing the roads,” he said. “Most people in the district are probably more concerned about (these issues). Those are the issues they are talking with us about and want us to solve. Gay marriage is not a burning issue, I think, with most people.” Sen. Tom Saxhaug, a DFLer who is also from Grand Rapids, agreed. “In these days when we have so many important things to be talking about — jobs, economic development, bonding bills, transportation, health care — why are we spending time going up 200 miles north to debate this when we already have a law (outlawing gay marriage in Minnesota) is just beyond me,” he said. “I think it’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard in my whole life.” Even Ellison, who is from Minneapolis, felt that it would be more beneficial to hold a hearing in Grand Rapids if it was on a local issue. “I think it’s unfortunate that we are going up there to talk about gay marriage,” he said. “I doubt that’s the number one interest of the people of Grand Rapids. If we were going up there to say ‘how can we improve living for the people of rural Minnesota?,’ that’d be great.” Both Saxhaug and Solberg referenced the homosexual marriage law that is currently on the books in Minnesota. In 1997, the Legislature passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as union between one man and one woman. The law prohibits same-sex marriage and also prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex marriages from other states. Solberg said he voted in support of the DOMA in 1997, but feels that a constitutional amendment is unnecessary. Nonetheless, Sviggum and Johnson, who both support the bill, stand by their decision to hold the debate in Grand Rapids. Sviggum said that harsh criticism from the DFL caucus is just par for the course when you are the leader of the opposing party. “They criticize us for not reaching out to rural Minnesota,” he said. “They’re job is to criticize me no matter what.” He added that he thinks the 12 members (seven Republicans, five Democrats) of the Civil Law and Elections Committee will benefit from traveling away from St. Paul for the hearing. “They’ll get a different flavor and a different perspective to greater Minnesota issues,” he said. “But really, the legislators weren’t even a consideration of mine. I think this benefits the citizens.” The committee hearing is sure to bring throngs of protesters, supporters and reporters to Grand Rapids on that Friday afternoon. Solberg said that he hopes the visitors will go beyond the decisive gay marriage issue and take a closer look at the major issues currently effecting the community. “We always welcome people to come to the Grand Rapids area,” he said. “My hope is that they drive up here and see how bad the roads are and our lack of jobs. Maybe there will be some benefit if they notice these things and take a look at the more important issues.” Source: Mesabi Daily News, February 28, 2005|W|P|110960993029800314|W|P|DFL HOUSE MEMBERS AFRAID OF DISCUSSING GAY MARRIAGE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/27/2005 05:42:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The Pioneer Press has a new section on their website for updates on the '06 election.|W|P|110955513035243072|W|P|UPDATES ON '06 ELECTIONS|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/27/2005 03:07:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|For those of you keeping score at home, please add Dean Johnson to the "WHO'S OUT" list. WHO'S OUT? Mark Dayton Walter Mondale Mike Hatch Matt Entenza Al Franken Collin Peterson Bill Luther Buck Humphrey Dean Johnson WHO'S IN? (or who has not ruled it out) Mark Rotenberg Patty Wetterling Tom Rukavina Jerry Janezich Betty McCollum Amy Klobuchar Mike Ciresi Steve Kelley ## State Sen. Dean Johnson not likely to seek Dayton seat A run for the U.S. Senate doesn't appear to be in the cards for state Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson. Johnson says he's "99 percent sure" that he won't run in 2006 for Sen. Mark Dayton's seat. Dayton announced earlier in the month that he would not seek a second term. Johnson, a DFL senator from Willmar, said in a radio interview with KWLM-AM that he's not even sure he'll run for reelection to the state Senate, but he's a bit interested in another job He wouldn't say which one, but when asked specifically about running for governor he would only say that he needs time before making a decision. Johnson is now the third most senior member of the Senate and a brigadier general in the Minnesota National Guard. Source: Associated Press, February 27, 2005|W|P|110954604193525000|W|P|WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT? #13|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/26/2005 10:33:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Amy Klobuchar has fired the first political shot of 2006 at Patty Wetterling: '"I'm going to make my decision based on whether I can make a difference for Minnesota, no matter who else is in the race,' Klobuchar said." Source: Star Tribune, February 26,2005 |W|P|110944300466192479|W|P|PATTY WHO?|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/25/2005 03:02:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This is further evidence that Wetterling's announcement about her running for the U.S. Senate was actually a non-announcement: "Wetterling was not available for comment beyond her written statement, but her campaign spokesman, John Schadl, said she has not ruled out running in the 6th District. 'She's looking at where she can do the most good,' he said." Source: Pioneer Press, February 25, 2005|W|P|110937292301120272|W|P|CONFUSION: WETTERLING MAY STILL RUN FOR CONGRESS|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/25/2005 12:09:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Wetterling didn't announce she is running for the U.S. Senate, nor did she announce the formation of an exploratory committee. Wetterling said that in a few weeks she will announce an exploratory committee to explore the option of running for the U.S. Senate. Wetterling must think the DFL Party and other candidates will wait around for her to decide if she will run. ## The Wetterling U.S. Senate Announcement: Since Senator Mark Dayton announced he would not seek reelection two weeks ago, a lot of people have urged me to run for the U.S. Senate. I am extremely flattered to be considered as a potential candidate for such an important position. Up to two weeks ago I had not given a run for Senate much thought because it was my understanding that Senator Dayton would seek reelection. A United States Senator has the ability to have a profound effect on public policy issues that affect the daily lives and futures of working families. After discussing this development with family, friends, and supporters I have decided to actively explore a run for the U.S. Senate. In the upcoming weeks I will form an exploratory committee to further look into this option. My focus, as always, is to determine where I can best advocate for children and families, to serve the people of Minnesota most effectively. Patty Wetterling|W|P|110936310919768723|W|P|WETTERLING'S ANNOUNCEMENT IS WEAK|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/25/2005 11:06:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Looks like Erlandson doesn't know what is going on inside the DFL.|W|P|110935851156913560|W|P|ERLANDSON WAS WRONG; WETTERLING TO RUN FOR U.S. SENATE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/24/2005 08:18:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|

Wilbur Fluegel
A board member of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, who's primary responsibility it is to regulate political orgainzations, contributes $1000 to a political organization he has been asked to investigating and he doesn't think it's a problem. Whew. It sounds too crazy to be true, but it is. ## Contributions questioned The state Republican Party issued a statement after the ruling Thursday saying the board "is once again allowing Democrats to eviscerate Minnesota's proud tradition of disclosure and transparency" and questioning the role of board member Wil Fluegel. The statement, by party executive director Corey Miltimore, criticized the board for deliberating in private and said the public should know how Fluegel voted because "he reportedly gave $1,000 to the DFL House Caucus last year." The party released a page that it said came from the caucus schedule of campaign contributors showing Fluegel contributed $1,000 in August of last year. The board's website, which publishes a list of contributors, shows Fluegel giving a total of $750 from 2000 through 2002 to the DFL House Caucus. Fluegel, in an interview, didn't dispute that he gave $1,000 to the DFL House Caucus in 2004. He couldn't explain why the website didn't list any contributions from him to the caucus in 2004. Fluegel declined to comment on whether he voted in this week's ruling. "I didn't see a conflict of interest in my participation to the extent that I participated in the decision of that issue," he said, adding that board members can recuse themselves from voting if they see a conflict. He said that most of the board members have been active in politics and that the Legislature has not prohibited board members from making contributions. Source: Star Tribune, February 24, 2005 Click here for complete story.
|W|P|110930511481938348|W|P|CONTRIBUTIONS BY CAMPAIGN FINANCE BOARD MEMBER RAISE QUESTIONS|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/24/2005 07:30:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|R.T. Rybak campaigns with a pledge to make city hall more accountable and ethical, but when he needs to make a tough decision, he forces his ethics board to make it for him. What a wimp. ## Rybak turns to ethics board for advice Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak turned Thursday to the city's Ethical Practices Board for advice on how much to reimburse taxpayers for his controversial $42,556.41 newsletter. "We're asking them to advise us about the issue of repayment so there's a third-party opinion," Deputy Mayor David Fey said. In a letter to ethics officer Burt Osborne, an assistant city attorney, Rybak asked the board to issue an advisory opinion and recommendation of the amount to be repaid. "I will abide by the recommendation you make," he wrote. Last month, state Auditor Pat Anderson cited as illegal use of taxpayer funds the newsletters of Rybak and three City Council members: Lisa Goodman, Gary Schiff and Paul Zerby. She said they all ought to reimburse the city for a portion of the letters. Anderson said again Thursday that the amount should be determined by the city attorney's office and approved by the City Council. In a memo issued Thursday, City Attorney Jay Heffern wrote: "It appears the purpose of this statute is to prevent public officials from utilizing publicly financed mailings for self-promotion." "I recommend that publications prepared and distributed at public expense not include pictures or pictorial or graphic devices which might tend to attribute the publication to an elected official or group of elected officials rather than the city of Minneapolis," he wrote. Anderson agreed with Heffern's legal analysis. Anderson had been critical of Rybak's glossy eight-page newsletter sent from his office in January with five photographs of himself and titled "Minneapolis news from Mayor R.T. Rybak." She also faulted the newsletters of Goodman, Schiff and Zerby. Goodman had not seen the memo and could not comment, an aide said Thursday. Schiff said asking the board to determine an amount sounded fair to him. Anderson said she would accept the board's decision provided it determined a "reasonable" amount -- "not zero or a dollar." Of the elected officials, Zerby has expressed the most distress over the assertion he broke the law. On Thursday, he said, "I threw my checkbook in my suit jacket and said, 'To hell with it, I'll be done with it today.' " But after reading Heffern's memo, he still has questions about what is appropriate reimbursement for the four-page letter with one picture that he sent at a production and mailing cost of about $1,500. He pondered paying one-fourth, to account for the page with the picture, but he's still trying to figure out what's right. "I frankly would like to be done with this," Zerby said. Source: Star Tribune, February 24, 2005|W|P|110930276986682744|W|P|WHAT A WIMP!|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/24/2005 12:34:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|According to statement just made by DFL Party Chair Mike Erlandson, Patty Wetterling will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in '06, NOR will she be a candidate in the 6th congressional district.|W|P|110927770209337848|W|P|MDE EXCLUSIVE: ERLANDSON SAYS PATTY WETTERLING WILL NOT BE A CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE IN '06|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/24/2005 11:44:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Bush gets a spot on the wall DULUTH: The president's portrait hasn't been up in the federal building, but that will change today. George W. Bush has made it a point to visit Duluth, stopping on two occasions for campaign rallies. But the president of the United States could never really call the city home -- until today. More than four years after he first took office, workers at the city's federal courthouse building will finally hang his portrait in the lobby today. While federal building managers are not required to display the sitting president's picture, traditionally most do. Bill Clinton's portrait adorned the wall of the Duluth federal building's lobby during his entire presidency. In fact, Clinton's picture even managed to hang around for several months after he left office. But once the 42nd president came down, the 43rd never went up. Retired federal government employee John Lukan was the first to complain about the blank spot on the wall. From his point of view, the Duluth resident suffered through Clinton's likeness for eight years, and now he wants his due. "I am just looking for a little consistency here," said Lukan, the head of a local conservative group. Source: Duluth News-Tribune, February 24, 2005|W|P|110927422998494911|W|P|AFTER FOUR YEAR WAIT, BUSH'S PORTRAIT WILL HANG IN DULUTH COURTHOUSE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/24/2005 05:33:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Klobuchar to file candidacy papers Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar today plans to take her first official step in declaring her interest in running for the U.S. Senate in 2006 by filing a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. Klobuchar confirmed her plans Wednesday. "We've had tens of thousands of dollars of contributions come in, many of them unsolicited, and the law says that we have to file when we start to get these contributions in," she said. The federal law requires the filing of a statement of candidacy if a candidate raises or spends at least $5,000. Klobuchar, a DFLer, is eyeing the seat that will be vacated by Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton in January 2007. Even though she plans to file the papers, Klobuchar said she is not yet ready to officially announce her candidacy. "I am moving ahead," she said. "I'm close to deciding. ... I'm very serious about this. If she runs, Klobuchar could face a long list of Democrats. Those include trial lawyer Mike Ciresi, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, University of Minnesota lawyer Mark Rotenberg, state Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, state Rep. Tom Rukavina and state Sen. Steve Kelley. Republicans who say they are running include U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy and former Sen. Rod Grams, and U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht is expected to announce his plans next week. Source: Star Tribune, February 24, 2005|W|P|110925223069548632|W|P|WHAT A SURPRISE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/23/2005 12:33:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|"I must say I don't know what the Democrats do to regain momentum." Source: former Vice-President Walter Mondale, Baise, February 22, 2005 Thanks Fritz.|W|P|110919464030750467|W|P|WISDOM FROM FRITZ!|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/23/2005 08:33:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed will be updated later today with new features. Please check back.|W|P|110917666453167680|W|P|NEW FEATURES ON MDE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/22/2005 06:34:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I was contacted this evening by the Star Tribune regarding my use of the picture of Mike Hatch for my caption contest. I checked with my legal department and rather than pursuing an expensive and long legal battle, I removed the picture. For the record, I do think Hatch's office contacted the Star Tribune.|W|P|110912830513715908|W|P|MDE vs. STAR TRIBUNE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/22/2005 07:24:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|

Governor Pawlenty proposed legislation banning the sale of specialty and candy flavored cigarettes.

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch told DFL activits in Bemidji yesterday that issues such as fighting the rise of teen smoking by banning candy-flavored cigarettes "sound good, th[e]y get a great sound bite, but they’re meaningless.” Source: Bemidji Pioneer, February 22, 2005. [Registration required] Meaningless? Hatch was undoubtedly responding to the actions of Governor Tim Pawlenty who proposed legislation that would make Minnesota the first state to ban the sale of specialty and candy flavored cigarettes. According to Governor Pawlenty's website: "Flavored cigarettes pose a particular risk because they have been shown to appeal to teens. Preliminary data from the National Youth Smoking Cessation Survey found a strong correlation between age and use of flavored tobacco. Nationally, 24 percent of 16 and 17-year-olds and 17 percent of 18 and 19-year-olds reported using flavored cigarettes in the previous month. The number of adults who had tried these products was significantly less -- only 9.4 percent of adults age 25-44 had tried flavored cigarettes and only 3.8 percent of adults 45 and older had tried them. Within the past year, cigarette manufacturers have begun selling these specialty and candy flavored cigarettes. Types of cigarettes impacted by Governor Pawlenty's proposed ban would include R.J. Reynolds products such as 'Kauai Kolada,' 'Twista Lime,' 'Winter Warm Toffee' and 'Winter MochaMint' and Brown & Williamson flavored versions of Kool cigarettes such as 'Caribbean Chill,' 'Midnight Berry,' 'Mocha Taboo' and 'Mintrigue.'" The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said "RJR's candy-flavored cigarettes are the latest evidence that the tobacco companies have not changed and continue to market in ways that appeal to kids." But according to Hatch, banning specialty and candy-flavored cigarettes is "meaningless."

Outrageous.

|W|P|110908584809853265|W|P|MEANINGLESS?|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/21/2005 07:41:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
Senate hopeful Kennedy hitting campaign trail Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is getting a jump on other U.S. Senate candidates with a statewide tour this week. Kennedy announced earlier this month he would seek the seat now held by Democrat Mark Dayton, who is retiring after one term. Today, he'll be in southern Minnesota for the first leg of a 21-city tour over the next five days. Kennedy says he wants to spend time in all corners of the state as he introduces himself to voters. Kennedy was recently elected to a third term in the U.S. House representing Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District. He could face a challenge for the GOP nomination from colleague Gil Gutknecht and former Senator Rod Grams. No Democrats have formally announced a campaign. Source: Associated Press, February 21, 2005
##
Congressman Kennedy on Senate Announcement Tour
Recently announced U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy will spend the upcoming week traveling across the state to meet with Minnesotans and kick-off his U.S. Senate campaign. Kennedy will spend time in each of the eight congressional districts, stopping in 21 cities over the next five days. Planned stops along the way include: Rochester
Blaine
Moorhead
Fairmont
Stillwater
Alexandria Worthington
St. Paul
Lowry
Brewster
Bloomington
St. Cloud Marshall
Chaska
Duluth
Redwood Falls
Little Falls
New Ulm
Pequot Lakes
Mankato
Brainerd Kennedy says,"I'm looking forward to hearing from the people of Minnesota and sharing my views about how we can make progress on important issues like creating jobs, reforming Social Security, winning the war on terrorism, improving public education, and defending the values that made Minnesota great. There's nothing I like better than visiting coffee shops, schools, and workplaces to talk with folks there. This will be my first of many visits and I plan to hit every corner of the state." Source: Mark Kennedy for U.S. Senate
|W|P|110900104400938450|W|P|WITH NO DEMOCRATS IN SIGHT, KENNEDY HITS THE ROAD|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/21/2005 03:23:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch in pose. Source: Star Tribune
The Star Tribune did a fluff story on Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch and his battles against the health care industry. Representative Fran Bradley provided a critical, yet accurate analysis of Hatch's record: "But then again, much has stayed the same. Health care costs continue to skyrocket and care issues remain a top priority with the public. And in recent months, Hatch appears to have renewed his onslaught on what he sees as organizations that place profits over patients. 'What accomplishments?' said state Rep. Fran Bradley, R-Rochester, chairman of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee. 'What has been happening with health care costs? Nothing he's done has affected health care cost drivers.' Bradley and others assert that Hatch goes too far in his oversight and criticism of the nonprofit insurers and care providers, that he is headline-driven and has chosen to battle the big players in health with a view to running for higher office. 'Health care is one of the top attention-getters of voters,' Bradley said. 'It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that.'" Source: Star Tribune, February 20, 2005|W|P|110898503828926792|W|P|"WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS?"|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/19/2005 09:21:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|

While Amy Klobuchar and Mike Ciresi have empty websites, Congressman Mark Kennedy is again showing signs of a well organized campaign by having a functioning website more than 20 months before the election.|W|P|110887690906180975|W|P|CAMPAIGN WEBSITES: KENNEDY FOR U.S. SENATE IS UP AND RUNNING|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/19/2005 08:17:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|A post by First Ringer on Dayton v. Kennedy details how the support for Amy Klobuchar's candidacy is growing: The Drumbeat Grows Another day, another sign that Amy Klobuchar is the DFL frontrunner. On Friday night’s Almanac, the show’s political panel seemed in near lockstep agreement that Klobuchar was the favorite of the party activists and insiders. Ted Mondale, former State Senator and son of the former Vice-President, described that the sentiment in the DFL was to avoid a messy September primary and settle on a candidate quickly. No Mike Ciresi. No Steven Kelley. No Tom Rukavina. Just Klobuchar. Source: Dayton v. Kennedy|W|P|110883077798942592|W|P|AMY KLOBUCHAR'S SUPPORT GROWS|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/18/2005 02:19:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The daughters of Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch will be tried in June on misdemeanor charges arising from a struggle with police outside a Chicago nightclub last March. On Friday, a Cook County, Illinois, judge set a trial date of June 7 for Anne Hatch, 21, and Elizabeth Hatch, 23. They are accused of assaulting two police officers, resisting arrest and damaging police property during a March 27 incident outside the Crobar club on the city's Near North Side. At the time, the sisters were celebrating the 21st birthday of Anne Hatch, a student at Chicago's DePaul University. The women allegedly kicked out a squad car window while they were being transported to jail. Their father later said the two women were intoxicated and made "a horrible, horrible mistake." But Hatch also said that while his daughters wanted to be held accountable for their mistakes, they denied assaulting the officers. Source: Pioneer Press, February 18, 2005|W|P|110876541132809252|W|P|CHICAGO TRIAL DATE SET FOR MINNESOTA'S HATCH SISTERS|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/18/2005 06:24:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|You just can't make a story like this up. ## Recent book offers hopeful advice to ailing Democrats Two differing models of child-rearing—the strict father versus the nurturing parent— pretty well sum up the differences between the country’s two major political parties according to the author of a recent book that offers a possible road map for a Democratic resurgence in the U.S. So excited was state Sen. Becky Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) after reading the book, titled: “Don’t Think of an Elephant,” that she bought a copy for every DFL member of the Minnesota Senate. Written by George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at UC-Berkeley, the breezy paperback ($7.50 on amazon.com) offers the best explanation I’ve seen to date for the remarkable success of Republican candidates in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The terrorist attacks have so helped Republicans because they reinforced the underlying framework of the new Republican belief in strict father morality, which holds that the world is a dangerous place and that it is up to a strict male authority figure to protect us from evil. Lakoff explains how Bush strategist Karl Rove masterfully uses language (such as having President Bush refer to our enemies as “evildoers”) to reinforce this world view and is simultaneously careful to present the president as a source of strength and consistency (i.e. the strict father). Likewise, they attacked John Kerry for “waffling,” which is viewed by strict father moralists as a sign of weakness. Strict father moralists also view dissent as sinful, which helps to explain why Republicans have reacted so vehemently to any Democratic opposition to their policies. While most Democrats would view dissent as a distinctly American right, and even a responsibility in some cases, under the strict father world view, it is the duty of children (in the family sense) or citizens in the broader context to be obedient to the moral authority. In that context, offering political opposition is little different than backtalking to your father. The thinking works the same on the international level, where the French and Germans were vilified by Republicans for their unwillingess to support the Iraq war. While Kerry made a major point of Bush’s failure to build a broader coalition of allies, in the strict father world view, the U.S. is the world’s moral authority and other nations have an obligation to support our policies. When it didn’t work that way, conservatives saw the fault lying with the other country’s disobedience, rather than with the administration’s heavy-handed approach. After all, the strict father doesn’t consult with his children about how to approach problems, so why should the U.S. consult with France? What Democrats saw as a failure of diplomacy, actually reinforced the idea of Bush as the strong father figure. In other words, while Democrats were campaigning as if policy mattered, Republicans were waging their campaign on a far more fundamental, and more powerful, psychological level. The Democrats, according to Lakoff, have long represented the opposing view of child, or citizen, rearing. While the strict father believes that people are basically evil and must learn obedience through sometimes painful disclipine, the nurturing parent model holds that children, or citizens, are basically good, but need affirmative guidance to help them on the path to a responsible and creative adulthood. This belief system rejects corporal punishment, since it holds that, in most cases, children can be properly guided without such blunt, and potentially counterproductive, tactics. I suspect many parents would recognize the challenges in the nurturing parent approach. It’s harder work, because it requires better communication with your children and a willingness to be flexible. “Because I said so,” may be all the explanation needed in the authoritarian strict father household, but being a nurturing parent requires more than that. Such differences play out in public policy, says Lakoff, with Democrats supporting nurturing policies such as workplace safety and environmental regulations, social safety net programs, and tax policies that help to redistribute income (sharing is considered a virtue to nurturing parents). The Republican’s strict father framework opposes safety net programs, because they believe that people are poor due to their own bad decisions and that they shouldn’t be “rewarded” with government handouts that only encourage more irresponsible or immoral behavior. Republicans, for similar reasons, don’t like taxes that redistribute wealth, since they believe the wealthy got that way because they’ve led morally exemplary lives and should be rewarded with low taxes. So why are many Democrats so excited by Lakoff’s book? In part, it’s because most of them have never understood the new style Republicans represented by the Bush administration. Without knowing how the Bush folks think and, more importantly, how they communicate so effectively with their followers, the Democrats were essentially fighting with one hand tied behind their backs. And Lakoff has advice for how to respond. He offers ways for Democrats to reframe the political debate and better communicate the strengths of their world view and their approach to issues. He also urges Democrats to steer clear of those who urge the party to become more like the Republicans. According to Lakoff, if Democrats allow the Republicans to set the terms of the political debate, the Republicans will always win. Lakoff says Democrats need to take on big challenges in advancing their agenda, rather than simply quibbling over the details of Republican proposals, as they’ve done for far too long. If they can do that, Lakoff argues, the Democrats will rise again. Source: Timberjay Newspapers, February 18, 2005|W|P|110873756862298044|W|P|SENATE DEMOCRATS SEEK REASONS FOR POLITICAL LOSSES IN CHILD-REARING BOOK|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/17/2005 02:35:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Dayton should pay Minnesotans back for the amount he was paid to be our U.S. Senator. He didn't earn his paycheck. ## Dayton to return some campaign donations Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., says he'll return about $72,000 of his campaign contributions, and use the remaining $72,000 to wrap up his campaign. Dayton announced last week he would not seek re-election next year. Dayton says he'll return contributions earmarked for the general election, as required by law. Dayton says the $72,000 that was earmarked for the primary will be used to pay for administrative costs of his campaign. That includes paying the salaries of his four campaign workers for the next month, paying them severance, and filing campaign finance reports for the next two years. Dayton says he'll continue to donate his $162,000 Senate salary. He's been using that salary to fund Minnesota Senior Federation bus trips to Canada to help seniors buy cheaper drugs there. Dayton said he plans to talk with the federation to see if the group wants to continue the bus trips in the spring. Source: Associated Press, February 17, 2005|W|P|110868000369874747|W|P|I WANT MY MONEY BACK|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/17/2005 10:50:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Amy Klobuchar's husband, John Bessler, has registered Klobuchar's website for a potential campaign for the U.S. Senate: Domain Name: KLOBUCHARFORSENATE.COM Klobuchar for Senate 416 6th St. S.E.Minneapolis, MN 55414 US Domain Name: KLOBUCHARFORSENATE.COM Record expires on 14-Feb-2006. Record created on 14-Feb-2005. Administrative Contact , Technical Contact : Klobuchar for Senate johndbessler@aol.com 416 6th St. S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55414 US Phone: 612-378-7236 |W|P|110866690860544250|W|P|KLOBUCHAR REGISTERS CAMPAIGN WEBSITE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/17/2005 08:31:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|According to an analysis on the 2006 U.S. Senate races, Minnesota's open seat has been designated 'leaning Republican': "Former Sen. Rod Grams (R-MN), having been defeated by Sen. Dayton not too long ago, had decided to enter the 2006 race even before Dayton dropped out. Also in the race is Rep. Mark Kennedy, another Republican. Either way, no matter whether Grams or Kennedy wins the Republican primary, they are considered the favorites (though not by a very wide margin, hence the 'leaning Republican' designation for Minnesota) over any candidate that the Minnesota DFL can scrounge up." Source: Tim Saler, February 17, 2005|W|P|110865834684727003|W|P|ANALYSIS: MINNESOTA'S OPEN SENATE SEAT SHIFTS TO GOP|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/17/2005 06:25:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The DFL Party and Minnesota Republican Watch both take a shot at Congressman Gil Gutknecht about his pledge to serve six terms (12 years) in the House of Representatives: "WILL GILL GUTKNECHT BREAK HIS PLEDGE TO MINNESOTANS? Rep. Gil Gutknecht should explain to Minnesotans why he has not announced he will not seek re-election to the U.S. Congress. Gutknecht promised in his first campaign to fight for term limits, and even drafted legislation that would have barred members of Congress from accruing additional pension benefits after they served six terms." Source: DFL Dispatch, February 16, 2005 "State DFL Chairman Mike Erlandson said that if Gutknecht seeks reelection to his House seat next year, his reversal would be 'a very valid issue for whoever the Democratic candidate is.'" Source: Star Tribune, February 17, 2005 But back in 2001, when Wellstone broke his pledge to serve two terms (12 years) in the U.S. Senate, Erlandson didn't think Minnesotans cared about a term limit pledge: "The vast majority of Minnesotans really do not care about things like that sort of pledge." Source: Associated Press, January 17, 2001 |W|P|110865638649524681|W|P|DFL COMPLAINS ABOUT GUTKNECHT'S TERM LIMIT PLEDGE; FORGETS WELLSTONE BROKE HIS PLEDGE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/16/2005 01:06:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This story about Mike Hatch bringing his dog and her nine puppies to his office reminds me of "The Simpsons" episode when Mr. Burns steals Santa's Little Helper's puppies. Santa's Little Helper and She's The Fastest hook up and produce 25 puppies. Mr. Burns steals the puppies so he can make a greyhound fur tuxedo. The best part of this episode is when Mr. Burns sings about his new greyhound fur tuxedo: Smithers: Are you sure you want to go through with this, Sir? You _do_ have a very full wardrobe as it is. Burns: Yes...but not completely full. For you see...[singing] Some men hunt for sport, others hunt for food, The only thing I'm hunting for is an outfit that looks good. [to the tune of "Be Our Guest"] See my vest, see my vest, made from real gorilla chest, Feel this sweater, there's no better than authentic Irish Setter. See this hat? 'Twas my cat. My evening wear? Vampire bat. These white slippers are albino African endangered rhino. Grizzly bear underwear; turtles' necks, I've got my share. Beret of poodle on my noodle it shall rest; Try my red robin suit, it comes one breast or two, See my vest, see my vest, see my vest! [with hat and cane] Like my loafers? Former gophers! It was that or skin my chauffers, But a greyhound fur tuxedo would be best. So let's prepare these dogs -- Woman: Kill two for matching clogs! Burns: See my vest, see my vest, oh please, won't you see my vest? [spoken] I really like the vest. Smithers: I gathered, yeah.-- Disney, schmisney, Lisa is aghast. Lisa: He's going to make a tuxedo out of our puppies! [Bart hums "See my vest"] Bart! Bart: Sorry. You gotta admit, it's catchy. ## Mike Hatch's office goes to the dogs Attorney General Mike Hatch's office really went to the dogs. Hatch brought his golden retriever Bella and her nine puppies to the office Tuesday at the request of his staff, which wanted to throw a ``puppy shower.'' Laddie, the dogs' father, stayed home. Leslie Sandberg, a spokeswoman for Hatch, said all the puppies have been purchased or spoken for. But it will be a few weeks before the month-old puppies head to their new homes. The pups got a taste of politics when they wandered into a news conference, where Hatch was announcing a bill that would clamp down on pushy debt collectors. Hatch said of the puppies, ``They were born Republicans, but then they opened their eyes and now they're Democrats." Source: Associated Press, February 16, 2005|W|P|110858979110187173|W|P|MIKE HATCH BRINGS HIS BITCHES TO THE OFFICE|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/16/2005 12:40:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|U.S. Senate candidate and Congressman Mark Kennedy has released an impressive list of the names of key grassroots supporters of his 2006 Senate campaign as well as those serving on his finance committee. Kennedy's growing list of prominent supporters establishes his place as the strongest GOP candidate: "Kennedy's early announcement and securing of endorsements, such as the one Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) offered even before Kennedy formally entered the race, are signals that Republicans want to clear the field for him. 'Kennedy's early moves ... have scared people off,' Casselman said. 'He is making a show of strength.'" Source: Roll Call, February 16, 2005 |W|P|110858766879328805|W|P|KENNEDY'S CAMPAIGN IS SHOWING STRENGTH|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/16/2005 09:53:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|According to this article, Wetterling will be deciding soon if she will run for the U.S. Senate or Congress. If she didn't know the issues important to the voters in the 6th congressional district how can she run statewide? ## Minnesota Senate Race Taking Shape A week after Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) abruptly took himself out of the 2006 Senate race, Republicans already have a frontrunner to replace him while the Democratic picture is considerably less clear. Several potential Democratic candidates have declined the race, while others continue to eye it. To no one's surprise Rep. Mark Kennedy (R) formally declared his candidacy Friday, upping his timetable to adjust to Dayton's news, though he had planned to challenge the freshman Senator regardless. Several high-profile Gopher State Democrats have taken themselves out of the running, including the former vice president and 2002 Senate nominee, Walter Mondale; state Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, a former football star; Buck Humphrey, grandson of former Vice President Hubert Humphrey; state Attorney General Mike Hatch; and comedian-turned-radio talk show host Al Franken. Barry Casselman, who writes a weekly column in The Washington Times and specializes in Midwestern politics, said Democratic candidates are not under the same time crunch as Kennedy. "The only rush was for Kennedy - he needed to formally declare to keep out other [Republican] candidates," he said. Since Dayton caught most Democrats off guard, it is natural that they will take longer to decide to enter the race,Casselman said. No Democrat is expected to be able to clear the field, so there is no real advantage to being first out of the gate. Wealthy attorney Mike Ciresi, a possible contender whom others are watching closely, says he will not be rushed into a decision. Ciresi, who lost the Democratic primary to Dayton in 2000, says he hopes to decide in March but no later than early April. "Whoever's going to get in is going to get in," he said about other Democrats. "It wasn't a factor last time I made the decision and won't be this time. I obviously have a deep interest in the Senate and if I think it's the right time and as long as the family is willing," he will run again. Ciresi and Dayton waged an expensive primary campaign in 2000 with Dayton eventually besting Ciresi and several others. Ciresi came in second. Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D)is not expected to wait nearly that long. The chief prosecutor for the state's largest county, which includes about 20 percent of Minnesota's population, is expected to jump in soon. Democrats think she could be a strong candidate. In her first race in 1998, Klobuchar defeated Sheryl Ramstad Hvass, a former judge and prosecutor who is the sister of Rep. Jim Ramstad (R). Party leaders are also awaiting a decision from child safety advocate Patty Wetterling. Wetterling proved to be serious competition for Kennedy last year as she challenged him in the suburban and exurban 6th district and forced him to spend almost $2.3 million to win re-election. She is expected to announce as early as Monday whether she will seek the Democratic nomination for the Senate or the 6th district or whether she will opt not to run for anything. Rep. Betty McCollum (D)is also eyeing the race, though she has not set out a timetable for making a decision. Casselman said a newcomer to watch is Mark Rotenberg, the general counsel for the University of Minnesota. "He's the sleeper in the race," Casselman said. "He's the bright new face that is so rare in the Minnesota [Democratic] Party." Rotenberg, who headed up the failed 2004 presidential efforts of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) in Minnesota, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he believes he could raise enough money to wage a serious challenge. State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Erlandson, who will leave that post in May, is also thinking of running. "Yes, I'm taking a look at it," said Erlandson, who also serves as chief of staff to Rep.Martin Sabo (D-Minn.). "The question is, can you beat Mark Kennedy? " Erlandson said that if he believes the answer is "yes," then he will probably run. Other Democrats still eyeing the race include state Rep. Tom Rukavina, who was a close family friend of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.); 2000 Senate candidates Rebecca Yanisch and Jerry Janezich, the latter of whom won the party 's endorsement but fared poorly in the primary; and several others. Despite Kennedy's early entry, there are still other potential candidates on the Republican side. Former Sen. Rod Grams, who lost to Dayton in 2000, is trying to revitalize his political career, while Rep. Gil Gutknecht is rumored to be backing away from the race, though his spokesman denied that. Gutknecht will make his decision by early March, according to spokesman Bryan Anderson. Casselman said that Gutknecht would be a more viable candidate than Grams but that the point is moot as national Republicans are already lining up behind Kennedy. "Rod Grams is a much less serious candidate this year than Gutknecht" would be, he said. "He has been out of office five years and he was beaten handily" by Dayton last time. "What would be the motivation to choose him over someone who's been successful like Kennedy?" Kennedy's early announcement and securing of endorsements, such as the one Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) offered even before Kennedy formally entered the race, are signals that Republicans want to clear the field for him. "Kennedy's early moves ... have scared people off," Casselman said. "He is making a show of strength." Political observers and partisans still disagree about whether Dayton's exit from the race is a boon or a bust for Democrats. "With Dayton in the race, he was the most vulnerable of all the Democratic incumbents in the nation; however, he was an incumbent and that means something, " Casselman said. "The race would have been close with Dayton in it." Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, argued that his party will fare better now. "They've gone from an incumbent to no candidate whatsoever," he said. "There 's been a flurry of names mentioned, but the only bit of news to come out of the Democratic side has been a publicity stunt from Al Franken and that is a bit embarrassing." Democrats say the GOP should rethink that logic, noting that with Dayton in the race Republicans had a target they could beat up for two years while now, Kennedy will become the target. Erlandson said he hopes Democrats will rekindle the strategy they used to defeat Grams in 2000. There was an active primary on the Democratic side but all involved spent their time and money softening up Grams, leaving the eventual primary winner unbruised and ready to deliver the knock-out punch, he said. If Democrats do the same thing in 2006, Erlandson added, Kennedy could suffer the same fate. Source: Roll Call, February 16, 2005|W|P|110857711620728037|W|P|WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT? #12|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/16/2005 09:33:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|MDE has received a copy of the letter the Minneapolis GOP sent to R.T Rybak: Minneapolis Republican City Committee February 16, 2005 Mayor R.T Rybak Room 331, City Hall 350 South Fifth St. Minneapolis, MN 55415 Dear Mayor Rybak, I am the Chair of the Minneapolis Republican City Committee and I am writing to inform you that the Minneapolis Republican City Committee has formally voted to file an ethics complaint in respect to your recent “newsletter”, unless within fourteen days you reimburse the City of Minneapolis for the cost of printing, postage, and the City staff time. The Committee is currently exploring legal options that may be exercised against you if you do not comply with this request The Committee is disappointed that an individual who ran on a platform of integrity and openness in government would use City resources for what seems to be campaign purposes. We are saddened that we must take this action, but we see no alternative when our elected officials seem to think that the government is there for them to use to further their own interests. Sincerely, Ezra Ebner Chair Minneapolis Republican City Committee CC: Minneapolis City Attorney Minneapolis Ethical Practice Board Media|W|P|110857585535351281|W|P|RYBAK SHOULD PAY BACK|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/16/2005 08:50:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The Minneapolis GOP were very smart to tell Rybak he should also repay the city for the staff time used to produce his newsletter. ## GOP wants Rybak to repay city for newsletter The chairman of the Minneapolis Republican Committee said Tuesday he will file an ethics complaint unless Mayor R.T. Rybak reimburses the city for his recent newsletter. Ezra Ebner said the Republicans don't have a specific amount in mind, but characterized as "disingenuous" Rybak's eight-page election-year newsletter. State Auditor Pat Anderson already has said Rybak should reimburse the city for a portion of the $42,000 he spent on the newsletter, a number that includes production costs and mailing, but not staff time. Ebner's letter to the mayor said staff time should be accounted for. Rybak included five pictures of himself in the newsletter, a first from his office. The newsletter was delivered to all city households last month. If the city ethics board receives the complaint, it could investigate and make findings and recommendations for punitive actions. The board has no enforcement power. But Burt Osborne, assistant city attorney, said a politician would disobey the board at his or her own peril, because the board was created under the current council and mayor. Anderson has called Rybak's newsletter the "most flagrant" violation of state law she had seen during her two years in office. While the law allows officeholders to inform the public of activities, it also says the "report or publication must not include pictures of elected officials nor any other pictorial or graphic device that would tend to attribute the publication to an individual or group of individuals instead of the political subdivision." The mayor will address the issue of "possible repayment" based on the advice of the city attorney and "independent advisers," spokeswoman Laura Sether said. City Attorney Jay Heffern is reviewing the law and expects to complete a memorandum by next week. Source: Star Tribune, February 16, 2005|W|P|110857407886816909|W|P|MINNEAPOLIS GOP DEMANDS RYBAK REPAY CITY FOR NEWSLETTER|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/16/2005 08:14:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The Republican Party of Minnesota has launched an online petition calling on Senator Mark Dayton to support the President's efforts to strengthen Social Security: "President Bush is looking to work with Democrats in confronting the challenges facing our nation, but some Democrats in Congress are looking to obstruct the President's bold second term agenda in an effort to score partisan political points even at the cost of accomplishing the business of the American people. While President Bush is displaying leadership and following up on his campaign pledge to preserve Social Security for future generations, Senator Dayton is offering pessimism and negativity while presenting no plan or vision for preserving Social Security." Click here to tell Senator Mark Dayton that you're not interested in being a part of his political obstructionism when it comes to Social Security.|W|P|110857122915690043|W|P|MN GOP LAUNCHES ONLINE PETITION TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/16/2005 08:09:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Sen. Moua pays fines; renews license State Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul, has paid $2,650 in fines assessed against her Green Gables home-health-care agency, state officials said Tuesday. State Health Department officials threatened last week not to renew her license because the seven fines, imposed in December 2003, had not been paid. The fines were paid "in the last couple of days and her license has been renewed," said Doug Schultz, a department spokesman. Inspectors cited her agency with violating rules governing training and supervision of aides handing out medications, and several record-keeping regulations. Moua said last week that she was frustrated because an employee had been trying unsuccessfully for two months to reach department officials to resolve the fines. Inspectors will return soon to Green Gables Home in Mahtomedi, where her licensed agency provides care to 10 residents, to ensure that the rules are now being followed, Schultz said. Source: Star Tribune, February 16, 2005|W|P|110857039185078914|W|P|DFL LEGISLATOR PAYES FINES ASSESSED AGAINST HER HEALTH CARE AGENCY|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/15/2005 07:34:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|

State Representative Jeff Johnson announced today that he is running for attorney general. Mike Hatch will need to decide if he is running for re-election knowing the GOP will be endorsing a qualifed, articulate, and respected attorney and legislator. "The attorney general's office should not be about partisanship and political advancement as it has been for the past six years. I'm running for attorney general because I want to be attorney general, not because I want to be governor or some other higher position down the road. I intend to return this position to its proud Minnesota tradition of being about the practice of law and not the practice of politics, about getting results and not getting headlines." Source: Jeff Johnson for Attorney General Click here to read Johnson's press releases announcing his candidacy.|W|P|110848165275768315|W|P|JEFF JOHNSON ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/14/2005 08:53:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|

"Buck Humphrey, the grandson of former vice president and senator Hubert H. Humphrey, had given thought to running, but on Monday he withdrew his name from consideration." Source: Associated Press, February 14, 2004

WHO'S OUT? Mark Dayton Walter Mondale Mike Hatch Matt Entenza Al Franken Collin Peterson Bill Luther Buck Humphrey WHO'S IN? (or who has not ruled it out) Mark Rotenberg Patty Wetterling Tom Rukavina Jerry Janezich Betty McCollum Amy Klobuchar Mike Ciresi Steve Kelley Dean Johnson ## Grandson of former senator Humphrey won't run in 2006, MN There won't be a Humphrey in Minnesota's race for U.S. Senate in 2006. Buck Humphrey, the grandson of former vice president and senator Hubert H. Humphrey, had given thought to running, but on Monday he withdrew his name from consideration. He was among several Democrats to express an interest in the race last week after incumbent DFL Sen. Mark Dayton announced he wouldn't seek a second term. The 35-year-old Humphrey said the time wasn't right for a run.''I don't think it works on a political level or, most importantly, on a family level,'' he said. He didn't rule out running for the Senate in the future. Humphrey's grandfather served in the Senate for nearly a quarter century. When he died in 1978, his wife Muriel finished his term. Skip Humphrey, Buck's father, ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1988. Democrats still weighing campaigns include: Minneapolis lawyer Mike Ciresi, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, former U.S. Rep. Bill Luther, outgoing DFL Chairman Mike Erlandson, Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar, former public development official Rebecca Yanisch, former state Sen. Jerry Janezich, University of Minnesota general counsel Mark Rotenberg and children's advocate Patty Wetterling. U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy and former Sen. Rod Grams said last week that they would seek the Republican nomination. They might be joined in the GOP race by U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht and Minnesota House Majority Leader Erik Paulsen. Source: Associated Press, February 14, 2005

|W|P|110840027274089506|W|P|WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT? #11|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com2/14/2005 07:26:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P| Regardless of political affiliation, we should all organize against the FEC regulating political activities in cyberspace. ## Policing Internet Politics? The Federal Election Commission next month will begin looking at tightening restrictions on political activities in cyberspace, a controversial move that makes some FEC officials uneasy. “I don’t think the FEC should do anything that restricts or interferes with the ability of citizens at the grass-roots level to use the Internet or support the candidates of their choice,” said Michael Toner, the Republican vice chairman of the FEC. Specifically, the FEC is planning to examine the question of how Internet activities, when coordinated with candidates’ campaigns, fit into the definition of “public communications.” While coordinated communications are considered campaign contributions and therefore subject to strict contribution limits, current FEC regulations adopted in 2002 carve out an exemption for coordinated political communications that are transmitted over the Internet. Last year, a federal judge challenged that provision, saying that “to allow such expenditures to be made unregulated would permit rampant circumvention of the campaign finance laws and foster corruption or the appearance of corruption.” But Toner said there is no evidence that Congress intended to regulate the Internet when it enacted the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as the McCain-Feingold bill. “Congress is clearly familiar with the fact that the Internet is an increasingly important tool in politics and yet did not mention it in the McCain-Feingold law so ... I still see no evidence that Congress intended to regulate the Internet at all,” Toner remarked. Dave Mason, another Republican who sits on the FEC, also worries that that agency may be treading “into that thicket” that will cause “almost certain damage to political freedom.” The territory is not completely uncharted for the FEC. In 2001, the agency issued a “notice of proposed rulemaking” on the use of the Internet in federal elections, but after collecting public comments from dozens of individuals and holding a hearing, the agency opted not to issue any new regulations. FEC officials decided the subject deserved more examination and research and that it did not have sufficient resources to tackle the tough questions related to regulating the Internet. And interestingly, before BCRA’s enactment, the FEC did define general public political communications to include those made on “any electronic medium, including the Internet or on a Web site.” But Mason said the agency’s “hands-off” approach to Internet activity has worked well in the post-BCRA environment. “We don’t get complaints about it, or outraged newspaper articles,” the commissioner noted. But this time the agency may have little choice in the matter. Last fall, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the agency had erred in its interpretation of several portions of BCRA, including its exemption of the Internet from coordinated communications. “The Commission’s exclusion of Internet communications from the coordinated communications regulation severely undermines FECA’s purposes,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her September 2004 opinion. Siding with Reps. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and Marty Meehan (D-Mass.), BCRA’s two key House sponsors, Kollar-Kotelly concluded that not regulating such expenditures would “permit rampant circumvention of the campaign finance laws and foster corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Mason, who had wanted to appeal that part of the judge’s decision but couldn’t get enough backing from his colleagues, said he views her ruling as “very unfortunate.” “I understand the rationale of the judge’s ruling, but I think it’s really a horrible example of regulation for its own sake that is not justified by any problem that anybody’s been able to point to in terms of abuse [or] corruption,” Mason said. For his part, Toner is concerned about just how far any potential regulations could reach and whether a crackdown on certain Internet activities, for example, might unjustly endanger unsuspecting campaign volunteers who are active on the Web. “If we do decide to regulate the Internet, it’s going to put on the table a lot of important issues such as what is the value of Internet activity is, particularly when it’s coordinated with candidates or political parties,” Toner explained. “And if we take the position, which I’d be very uncomfortable doing, that if an individual volunteering with a candidate consults with a candidate on his or her Internet activities, e-mails, Web sites ... are we really going to be viewing that as an in-kind contribution to the candidate? And if so, is that going to be putting people in jeopardy?” But critics of the watchdog agency insist that the judge has done nothing more than instruct commissioners to correct a loophole in the law that will only get bigger as the political uses of the Internet expand. “It would be completely irresponsible now for the FEC to ignore the mandate of the campaign finance laws twice after having been told by a federal district court they were wrong,” said Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer. “This isn’t really an issue about the Internet,” Wertheimer added. “It’s an issue about the potential illegal coordination between a spender and a candidate regardless of where the money is being spent.” According to Wertheimer, “there’s absolutely no rationale that says, ‘I can’t spend a million in coordination with the candidate on TV advertising, but it’s OK to make the same expenditures on Internet advertising.’” Carol Darr, an expert on politics and the Internet, is in agreement. As director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, Darr has closely tracked the explosion of Internet advertising in the political arena, and she sees a potential for abuse if the FEC does not act. “The Internet does not have a monopoly on free speech, and there is no logical reason why communications that are coordinated with a candidate and which would otherwise be treated as a contribution should escape regulation simply because they occur online,” Darr said. Not so, challenged James Bopp, a Republican lawyer who challenged the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act on behalf of the Christian Coalition and the National Right to Life Committee. “There’s good reason to keep your hands off the Internet,” Bopp said. Regulating communications on the Internet makes little sense, Bopp argued, especially considering the fact that the costs of such activities are typically very low — if not entirely free — and therefore create no risk of corruption. “Of course the FEC has approved the idea of de minimus costs, the use of corporate facilities by an employee — you can make a [photo] copy. You can pick up your phone and make a phone call,” Bopp explained. “And it always has seemed to me that the activities on the Internet are so cost-free that we’re not really talking about money influencing elections.” Wertheimer rejected the notion that cyberspace offers cut-rate, closeout prices for campaigns. “The idea that you barely spend anything on the Internet is an illusion when it comes to campaigns,” Wertheimer said. “There is an awful lot of money being spent on advertising on the Internet.” Source: Roll Call, February 14, 2005|W|P|110839600704437211|W|P|WE MUST STOP THIS|W|P|minnesotademocratsexposed@hotmail.com