5/20/2005 06:53:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
Back in March, I exposed how Amy Klobuchar was using the tragic death of Tyesha Edwards to raise money for her U.S. Senate campaign. Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court threw out the murder conviction of the teenager accused of shooting Tyesha.
Will Klobuchar still use the death of Tyesha Edwards in her fundraising appeals and speeches?
Below is my original post:
How low will Amy Klobuchar stoop to raise money for her U.S. Senate campaign? Apparently low enough to use the tragic death of Tyesha Edwards, an 11-year-old girl who was killed in November 2002 by a stray bullet while doing her homework, in her latest fundraising plea.
This is from a recent email from Klobuchar's campaign:
"As the chief prosecutor for Minnesota's largest county (which includes nearly one-fourth of the state's population) it is my job to fight for those everyday heroes — the family whose daughter was killed by gang bullets as she sat at her kitchen table doing her homework..."
"Please visit my website at http://www.amyklobuchar.com/ to learn more, sign up to volunteer to be part of our grassroots network, and consider making a contribution, whatever the amount. I am not a millionaire but I need to raise millions of dollars." Source: Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate email, March 28, 2005 |W|P|111659782972751845|W|P|UPDATE: KLOBUCHAR USES TRAGIC DEATH OF 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL TO RAISE CAMPAIGN FUNDS|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/26/2005 09:19:00 PM|W|P|Peter|W|P|Check out SwanBlog.blogspot.com for a post on the curious decision to not require ab agreement to testify against Burrell as part of his co-defendant's plea bargain.5/17/2005 01:42:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|At least it’s Dom Perignon!
Now that Mike Erlandson is about to give up his dual role as chief of staff to Rep. Marty Sabo (D-Minn.) and chairman of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), maybe he can concentrate on other things, like his new baby daughter, conducting his own liberal radio talk show or maybe even running for Congress.
Erlandson, 41, who will step down Saturday as the DFL’s longest-serving chairman, and his wife, Dawn, are the proud parents of 6-month-old Lily, and Erlandson recently became host of a one-hour radio show on Air America Minnesota. Erlandson is also eyeing a run at political office himself, probably when Sabo retires or when another House seat opens up.
Erlandson’s state GOP counterpart, Ron Eibensteiner, recently sent him a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne as a farewell present, causing Erlandson to joke that he’ll send it back when Eibensteiner retires. “God knows, a Democrat can’t afford a bottle of Dom,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Source: The Hill, May 17, 2005|W|P|111636265511819343|W|P|ERLANDSON FOR CONGRESS?|W|Pemail@example.com/16/2005 09:51:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Doran adds name to list of DFL Senate candidates
Minnesota real estate developer Kelly Doran said Monday he will run for Senate next year as a Democrat, joining DFLers Patty Wetterling, a child-safety advocate, and Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar.
Doran, 47, described himself in an interview with The Associated Press as a "centrist Democrat." He said he supports the idea of a balanced budget amendment, to force Congress and the White House to be fiscally responsible.
On other issues, Doran said he's opposed to President Bush's tax cuts and privatization plans for Social Security, and said the United States made a mistake in going to war in Iraq.
Doran declined to disclose his net worth, except to say it was a "healthy number." He said he planned to fund his race with a combination of his own money and fundraising.
He has not held public office before, but argues people are ready for a different kind of candidate.
"I'm not a career politician," Doran said. "Americans are tired of politics as usual."
John Wodele, who was Gov. Jesse Ventura's spokesman, is serving as a consultant to Doran's campaign.
Rep. Mark Kennedy is running for the Senate seat as a Republican. The incumbent senator, Democrat Mark Dayton, is not seeking re-election. Source: Associated Press, May 16, 2005|W|P|111626253520575380|W|P|WHO??|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/15/2005 04:59:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Doug Grow: DFLers know how to throw a party -- into chaos
Those of us who live in Minneapolis reside in a one-party town.
And just what sort of party is it?
Turns out the Minneapolis DFL can't even organize its own convention.
The convention, which was to go about the business of endorsing a mayoral candidate, was to have begun at 10 a.m. Saturday. But it wasn't until that time that the party leaders figured out they had a problem: There weren't as many seats as there were delegates.
"Hmmm," astute city party leaders said as they noticed that the Augsburg College gym was full and that more people were trying to squeeze in from a crammed hallway.
At about that time, Sen. Linda Higgins, a DFLer from north Minneapolis, jumped onto the stage. Higgins hadn't created the mess. But she started drawing diagrams for party leaders to show how the problem might be solved.
It was Higgins' miserable lot in life to address the convention delegates with the hastily designed plan to get every delegate into a seat.
"We have more people than chairs," Higgins announced at 10:15. "We need to reconfigure."
"Can't hear you!" a delegate from the back of the gym yelled.
"Eighth Ward [delegates]," Higgins announced, bravely. "We need you to move from your spot and go to the riser [bleacher] seats in the back of the gym."
"Point of order!" screamed an upset delegate. "Why do we have to move the Eighth Ward? The Eighth Ward is already settled."
Higgins had sort of a Republican answer to the question.
"You're going to move because that's what we've decided!" she yelled into her microphone.
Grumbling, the Eighth Warders started to leave their cushy floor seats -- folding chairs, with backs -- and head for the backless bleacher seats.
It was 10:25 now, and the Higgins shuffle had just begun.
"Second Ward, go to that section of the risers over there," said Higgins, pointing to a corner of the bleachers.
There were delegates scattered everywhere. Eighth Warders and Second Warders were trying to get to the bleachers. People were streaming in from the halls.
Campaign workers for the two major candidates, Mayor R.T. Rybak and challenger Peter McLaughlin, were hustling about, trying to buttonhole delegates and figure out where everyone was headed.
"Would the people in the Second Ward and the Eighth Ward get to the risers!" said Higgins. "Now! If you want this convention to start before noon, you have to start moving! If you're not in the Second or Eighth Ward, get out of the aisles!"
Ah, participatory government.
By 10:45, the Fifth, Sixth and 13th Wards were on the move. Some to floor seats. Some to the bleachers.
At 11:01, delegates from the First Ward got the bad news.
"First Ward, back to the risers," Higgins yelled.
"B.S.!" screamed an angry delegate.
Even by DFL standards, this was not going smoothly. To make matters worse, there was no coffee. (The buzz had it that the coffee vendor had pulled out at the last minute.) There was only one food vendor -- for a few thousand people.
The frenzy had to cause more problems for the Rybak campaign than the McLaughlin campaign.
Rybak's campaign was tightly organized. The mayor and his supporters were at Augsburg early Saturday, mapping final strategies.
"They wouldn't open the door for us until 8," said Peter Wagenius, a Rybak strategist. "We were ready to go at 7 o'clock."
McLaughlin's core supporters tend to be calmer old DFLers. McLaughlin himself didn't bother arriving until 9 a.m.
Tony Scallon, McLaughlin's campaign chairman, saw the mess and merely laughed.
"You know the chaos theory of the universe?" Scallon said. "Well, the DFL fits right in. We always have chaos."
The one campaign not bothered by the confusion was the campaign of Harry Savage.
Savage, 22, is an angry young man with one issue: He opposes taxpayer support of a baseball stadium.
"By supporting R.T. Rybak or Peter McLaughlin, you're supporting Carl Pohlad!" Savage said in his speech to the delegates. "... Run with Harry Savage!"
"Har-ry! Har-ry! Har-ry!" a few delegates chanted.
By 11:18, Higgins had Fifth Warders and Seventh Warders on the move. By this time, she also had shortened her message.
"Everybody stop talking but me!" she screamed.
By 11:28, the city convention was called to (sort of) order.
Party leaders were declaring that the poor planning really wasn't poor planning at all. The mess was created because DFL delegates are so excited by the party that they arrived at the convention in record numbers.
It's a good bet the party dis-organizers solved that problem for future years. A lot of people who showed up filled with enthusiasm Saturday will never want to return. Source: Star Tribune, May 15, 2005|W|P|111615912550937816|W|P|CHAOS IN THE CITY OF LAKES|W|Pemail@example.com/14/2005 06:57:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The battle for the DFL endorsement between R.T. Rybak and Peter McLaughlin is on the 5th ballot.
Click here for updates.|W|P|111612255018633329|W|P|THE BATTLE FOR MINNE-APPLE|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/13/2005 12:39:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
I can't wait for Minnesota Democrats to go "nuclear" next week.
STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER
Upon completion of action on the pending highway bill, the Senate will begin debate on fair up or down votes on judicial nominations. As is the regular order, the Leader will move to act on judge nominations sent to the full Senate by the Judiciary Committee in the past several weeks. Priscilla Owen, to serve as a judge for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Janice Rogers Brown, to serve as a judge for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, will be the nominees of focus.
The Majority Leader will continue to discuss an appropriate resolution of the need for fair up or down votes with the Minority Leader. If they can not find a way for the Senate to decide on fair up or down votes on judicial nominations, the Majority Leader will seek a ruling from the Presiding Officer regarding the appropriate length of time for debate on such nominees. After the ruling, he will ensure that every Senator has the opportunity to decide whether to restore the 214-year practice of fair up or down votes on judicial nominees; or, to enshrine a new veto by filibuster that both denies all Senators the opportunity to advise and consent and fundamentally disturbs the separation of powers between the branches.
There will be a full and vigorous Senate floor debate that is too important for parliamentary tactics to speed it up or slow it down until all members who wish have had their say. All members are encouraged to ensure that rhetoric in this debate follows the rules, and best traditions, of the Senate.
It is time for 100 Senators to decide the issue of fair up or down votes for judicial nominees after over two years of unprecedented obstructionism. The Minority has made public threats that much of the Senate’s work will be shut down. Such threats are unfortunate.
The Majority Leader has proposed his Fairness Rule: up to 100 hours of debate, and then an up or down vote on circuit and Supreme Court nominations. Further, the Fairness Rule would eliminate the opportunity for blockade of such nominees at the Judiciary Committee. And finally, it will make no changes to the legislative filibuster.
If Senators believe a nominee is qualified, they should have the opportunity to vote for her. If they believe she is unqualified, they should have the opportunity to vote against her.
Members must decide if their legacy to the Senate is to eliminate the filibuster’s barrier to the Constitutional responsibility of all Senators to advise and consent with fair, up or down votes.
-30-|W|P|111601344142455754|W|P|LET THE MELTDOWN BEGIN!|W|Pemail@example.com/12/2005 04:35:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Apparently Wetterling has had a fishing license for 15 years, but it was under her husband's license. [Feminists should insert joke here]
Her name was also spelled four different ways, begging the question: If you can't fill out a fishing license correctly, how can you be a U.S. Senator?
Thanks to a dedicated reader and based on public information from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Patty Wetterling has never purchased a Minnesota fishing license and Amy Klobuchar only purchased a 24-hour angling license in February. [See above. Her license was under her husband's license]
The data from the DNR spans the year 2000 until today.
According to public information from the DNR, Amy Klobuchar purchased a 24-hour angling license on February 12, 2005 only three days after Senator Mark Dayton announced he would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate. Klobuchar’s campaign website prominently displays a picture of her ice fishing on Leech Lake.
When Minnesotans cast their lines this weekend on one of our states’ numerous lakes, I encourage them to think about casting their vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who has fished for more than 24 hours.|W|P|111594110679757996|W|P|UPDATE: ANGLERS SHOULDN’T CAST VOTE FOR KLOBUCHAR AND WETTERLING|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/11/2005 04:32:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
Senator Larry Pogemiller looks on in wonder during the Senate Republican Caucus' press conference earlier today. Pogemiller must be amazed at Senators actually trying to get their work completed. |W|P|111585433268676012|W|P|LOOK WHO'S LOOKING|W|Pemail@example.com/11/2005 08:52:00 PM|W|P|Joe Mayo|W|P|I’m surprised that Pogemiller could find the time for this. You think with Johnson AWOL, he’d be busy consolidating his power within the Senate DFL Caucus.5/11/2005 09:44:00 PM|W|P|MNDFLer|W|P|It's interesting that all I see is suits in that picture. Is it possible that the Republicans brought out all their little cronies and interns for the press conference?5/12/2005 12:54:00 PM|W|P|Teaparty|W|P|mndfler,
That's an image of people working, which is why you don't see any Dem's in the picture, except Pogemiller, who appears to be leaning on the rail.
Perhaps the Dem's retired to their offices for a mid-afternoon belt?2/06/2006 12:17:00 AM|W|P|Kandelle|W|P|Pogemiller is looking dazed...he cannot believe Profiles of Learning has been repealed "over my dead body". Each year, Pogemiller is missing more and more votes. If you look at the records, Pogemiller will sign in but he will still miss votes.
2003: Pogemiller missed 28 votes
2004: Pogemiller missed 21 votes
2005: Pogemiller missed 34 votes
Let's tuck a flower behind Pogemiller's ear and call it a day!5/11/2005 02:00:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This horrific comparison of Governor Tim Pawlenty to Osama bin Laden is on Pawlenty Exposed.
Tim. Osama. Tim. Osama
If Minnesota is on its way to becoming the Saudi Arabia of renewable fuels, then Tim Pawlenty is the new Osama bin Laden.
I hope the DFL is proud of their work.|W|P|111584551102747489|W|P|BLOG COMPARES PAWLENTY TO BIN LADEN|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/12/2005 04:40:00 PM|W|P|Matt|W|P|"I hope the DFL is proud of their work." Yes because one blogger over at Pawlenty Exposed is clearly a representative for the whole DFL party. You got us.5/11/2005 08:21:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The line of scrimmage at the State Capitol hasn't moved much since January.
After months of often bruising partisan conflict, interrupted by a few agreements on ethanol, a bonding bill and a minimum wage increase, public regard for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the evenly divided Legislature remains virtually unchanged, a Minnesota Poll has found.
The poll, conducted April 30 to May 4, found that 56 percent of Minnesotans approve of the way Pawlenty is doing his job, precisely the same percentage found in a January poll. And 40 percent said they approve of the Legislature (divided between a DFL Senate and a Republican House), up by a statistically insignificant 1 percentage point from January.
The results are, on balance, good for Pawlenty, said Blois Olson, co-publisher of the newsletter Politics in Minnesota, but the numbers also don't give much momentum to either side as they attempt to bridge wide chasms on budget and social issues in the final two weeks of the legislative session.
"It just shows that this digging in of the heels by both sides is expected, and maybe not all that unpopular," Olson said. "People may be resigned to a sense that once again nothing is going to happen for a while and that we will have yet another special session."
Pawlenty's office saw the results as vindication in the face of withering criticism from interest groups.
"These results are good news because they show strong approval of the governor's performance in challenging times," said spokesman Brian McClung. "His message of holding government accountable, setting priorities and living within our means is resonating with Minnesotans."
Governors in previous pinched circumstances -- facing budget shortages and forced to cut programs and raise revenues -- have tended to lose approval between the opening of legislative sessions and before final agreements were reached. In the 2003 session, for instance, when the shortfall was larger and program cuts were deeper, Pawlenty's approval rating declined by 10 percentage points between the beginning and end of the session.
But DFL Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson said the poll reflects Pawlenty's appealing personality and should not be taken as an endorsement of Pawlenty's program cuts, or as disapproval of DFLers' intention to increase taxes on top incomes and to spend more than Republicans on public services such as education and health care.
Other questions on the Minnesota Poll show that a majority or plurality of Minnesotans favor a larger budget and tax increases as part of the solution, said Johnson, who is scheduled to fly today to five southern Minnesota cities promoting DFL education proposals.
"This governor presents himself in a confident way to the public, he does get around the state, but the proof is in the pudding," Johnson said. "There's a sense that people are still undecided about this governor, and the referendum will be on what comes out of this legislative session. We're betting that investing more in public education than the governor and the House will carry the day and that they will see that cuts in health care will be grievous."
While the comparative advantage Pawlenty enjoys over the Legislature as an institution would appear to give him an upper hand as the May 23 adjournment deadline approaches, it's not all that simple. The Legislature is divided evenly between the major parties, so the higher level of disapproval cuts both ways.
Governors almost always are rated more highly than their legislatures. And while the current rating for the Legislature is on the low side compared with previous years, Pawlenty's standing is also lower than those of Govs. Arne Carlson and Jesse Ventura, who both enjoyed 70-plus percent approval ratings when they presided over a booming economy, budget surpluses and tax cuts.
Nevertheless, Pawlenty's approval extends across almost every demographic group. Even among those who describe themselves as liberal, 45 percent approve and 38 percent disapprove. Only among three groups do more disapprove than approve: Democrats, independents and those who say the state is off on the wrong track. A slight gender gap differentiates Pawlenty support. Male respondents approved of his performance 60 to 32 percent, females 52 to 34 percent.
Typical of Pawlenty approvers among respondents was Mark Anderson, a 43-year-old owner of a bar and restaurant in LaSalle, near Mankato.
Anderson said Pawlenty is being blamed for economic problems he can't control. Anderson also said he likes Pawlenty's energy and independence on such things as taking on pharmaceutical companies and promoting ethanol production. "He's working for us," he said.
Anderson further described himself as sympathetic with the "traditionalist, moral principles of the Republican Party." Pawlenty's status as a firm social conservative and an opponent of gay marriage and abortion have helped keep that part of his base solid.
Typifying Pawlenty disapprovers was Michele Dukinfield, a 54-year-old registered nurse from Roseville. As she sees it, Pawlenty is "attempting to take Minnesota hard to the right. He's cutting essential services to people who can least afford it, he's a reverse Robin Hood."
"A big reason his approval has remained high is that the right wing has successfully turned any report of his poor performance into a question of liberal media bias," Dukinfield said. "He is attractive ... like a piece of chocolate silk pie, but good only in small servings and not really good for your health." Source: Star Tribune, May 11, 2005|W|P|111582596452279373|W|P|PAWLENTY'S POLL NUMBERS REMAIN HIGH|W|Pemail@example.com/10/2005 01:22:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|If you have nothing going on tonight, activists from abortion rights supporter NARAL will dress in judicial robes and protective suits in front of Sen. Norm Coleman's office from 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. They will be protesting the 'nuclear option' in the U.S. Senate.
Looks like Halloween is coming early this year.|W|P|111575725196857625|W|P|PROTEST TONIGHT AT SENATOR COLEMAN'S OFFICE|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/11/2005 12:17:00 PM|W|P|Draft Pawlenty|W|P|Don't they understand that going "nuclear" actually means to follow the constitution and law of the government?5/10/2005 07:03:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|"A new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll shows that 52 percent of adults in the state oppose gay and lesbian legal unions while 38 percent favor them. The opposition is an increase of 10 percentage points over last year.
Overall, 51 percent of those polled also agree that a constitutional amendment is needed in Minnesota. Forty-six percent agree strongly.
The increase in the opposition to legal unions, which would give same-sex partners many of the same rights as married couples, comes from a 10-percentage-point rise in those who say they are strongly opposed to the idea. The trend, critics say, reflects a nationwide marketing effort by conservatives and religious groups to sway opinions on what has become one of the most divisive issues of the day." Source: Star Tribune, May 10, 2005 |W|P|111573411314965129|W|P|OPPOSITION TO GAY MARRIAGE GROWS|W|Pemail@example.com/10/2005 08:57:00 AM|W|P|Swiftee|W|P|Actually, the trend reflects the widespread rejection of the nationwide effort by barking moonbats and anti-religious groups to convince people that sand is food because they eat it.
Big kudo's to our local Bachmann stalkers as well, keep up the good work!5/10/2005 09:43:00 AM|W|P|MNDFLer|W|P|Did any of you all see this? http://www.startribune.com/stories/670/5394912.html
Dang science, always getting in the way...5/11/2005 02:00:00 PM|W|P|Swiftee|W|P|You got a point there somewhere?5/09/2005 10:33:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|DFL convention math
Approximately 3,300 delegates and alternates are eligible to attend the DFL city convention May 14, and one of the big questions is: How many will actually show up?
In the hotly contested 2001 DFL city convention, only 981 delegates attended, according to Tim Bonham, the DFL city party treasurer.
In 2001, as in previous city conventions, the delegate pool was chosen the previous year during the presidential endorsement process. Those delegates' interest in city politics may have varied. This year, for the first time, the DFL held a city-specific round of city precinct caucuses in March, giving local candidates a chance to organize their support.
Bonham predicts this year's turnout will be similar to 2001; however, some of his party colleagues believe the new process could result in 2,000-3,000 delegates turning out.
However many show up, a candidate needs 60 percent of their votes to get endorsed.
The stakes May 14 are higher for McLaughlin. He has pledged not to run against an endorsed candidate, a move that typically endears a candidate to the party faithful, who want the process honored. A Rybak endorsement means McLaughlin would bow out.
Rybak has not committed to abide by the endorsement. He said he has spent many nights talking to delegates and respects the process. Yet he also wants respect the hundreds of new politically active people, including students and new immigrants, who don't know the party system.
Both sides are making calls and courting delegates.
A key block is labor.
Kyle Makarios, political director of the Minneapolis Central Labor Union (MCLU), said he knew of 462 delegates with labor ties, or 14 percent of the delegate pool. Those numbers don't count retirees or city police and fire union members, he said.
Central Labor will not give its official AFL-CIO endorsement until after the city convention, but some of its member unions have. Jim Niland, political director of McLaughlin-backing AFSCME Council 5, said 140 - 150 union members are delegates.
Teachers also make up a significant block of labor delegates, Makarios said. Both McLaughlin and Rybak have hit youth and education themes.
Education is a safe mayoral issue. The Minneapolis School Board, not the city, runs the schools. As in many other arenas, the mayor has a bully pulpit rather than a policy-and-funding role.
McLaughlin has said he would "make education a top priority" and has criticized Rybak for not
taking a more active role.
Rybak notes he chairs the Youth Coordinating Board and helped forge a children and youth agenda. (McLaughlin also is a Youth Coordinating Board member.) Rybak also has endorsements from a number of current and former School Board members, including former Board Chair Catherine Shreves and current Chair Joe Erickson.
Ward "weighting" also will affect the vote. A ward's total delegate slots are based on its Democratic Party votes from past elections. Also, wards with contested 2005 Council races tend to fill more of those slots than wards without real races.
Other factors will affect the outcome. The convention is the same day as fishing opener, which might lure away some delegates. Source: Skyway News, May 9, 2005
|W|P|111566017617425432|W|P|UPDATE ON MINNEAPOLIS CITY DFL CONVENTION|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/09/2005 09:37:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|"This spring, a majority of both metro and outstate residents oppose a higher tax, as do 50 percent of DFLers and 60 percent of Republicans." Source: Star Tribune, May 9, 2005|W|P|111565684169797489|W|P|50% OF DEMOCRATS OPPOSE GAS TAX INCREASE|W|Pemail@example.com/08/2005 07:11:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Senate DFL tax plan too much and far too late
New income tax tier can't be seriously considered at this time
It’s too big; it simply comes far too late in the 2005 legislative session for any serious consideration; it simply isn’t going to fly. Those are three good reasons why Senate Democrats should either revise downward — sharply — their proposed income tax increase or just let it go.
The proposal calls for a new, fourth tier in the state’s current income tax system. Currently, the tax rate on those in the highest income level is 7.85 percent. The Senate proposal would create a temporary new rate of 10.65 percent on taxable income for married couples with a combined income of $250,000 or more and a taxable income for single filers above $166,000.
It’s projected the new income tax tier would raise about $800 million in the next two fiscal years. Democrats say the added revenue would be used to pay more for state K-12 education, preserve MinnesotaCare and provide property tax relief — all laudable goals. But to try to find that money with a new income tax level at this stage of the session, even though it is labeled temporary until the state’s books are balanced, just won’t wash.
There are other ways to reach those goals, including increasing taxes on cigarettes and being more equitable in how property taxes and property tax relief are distributed.
Yes, some will make the argument that those earning such six-figure salaries should pay more. But the argument can also be made that to create another income tax tier will hurt business expansion, business recruitment and therefore overall state revenues that flow from business activity — not to mention the jobs that are created.
This being the final few days of legislative session 2005, the tax increase proposal that was put forth just a couple of days ago most likely even its most ardent supporters know is an attempt to put another bargaining chip into the pot when conference committees meet to hammer out House/Senate differences.
But if that’s the case, we find it to be a ridiculous miscalculation. Bargain for what? And for what political purpose? If Senate DFLers decided to make some kind of foolish last stand behind this proposal — which would surely derail the 2005 legislative session — they would most definitely not find majority public support.
If this was actually part of the Senate DFL strategy from the start of the session then it should have been put forth much sooner so that it could receive real debate, real consideration. But if it was just something decided upon recently to kind of toss into the final few days like a live political hand grenade then it was senseless. Source: Mesabi Daily News, May 8, 2005|W|P|111560518340183006|W|P|EDITORIAL: SENATE DFL TAX PLAN TOO MUCH AND FAR TOO LATE|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/08/2005 07:44:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
Click on the picture to view the ad from the Republican Party of Minnesota.|W|P|111556348827220480|W|P|MN GOP TAKES TAX FIGHT TO THE AIRWAVES|W|Pemail@example.com/08/2005 07:15:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|SOS for Erlandson?
Mike Erlandson, who is ending six years and the longest stint ever as DFL Party chair, will be honored Saturday night with a shindig outside party headquarters on St. Paul's West Side. Most of the state's top DFL politicos are expected to attend. He's coming off a year of DFL gains and has been unusually assertive and frisky in the traditional attack-dog role of a chairman, blasting Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other Republicans on a more regular basis through e-mail and news conferences.
Last week he seized on an unemployment uptick to saddle Pawlenty with responsibility for high unemployment rates in some northern regions and slower-than-predicted job growth. If it seems like this is more the modus operandi of a comer than a goer, there's a reason. Erlandson acknowledged that "a lot of folks talk to me about a lot of things," but that he's most interested in running for secretary of state, now the job of Republican Mary Kiffmeyer, in 2006. One of the job's chief functions is "to get people to come out and vote and that's what the party chairmanship was all about," he said. Despite his history as one of the state's top partisans, Erlandson said he would be less partisan than Kiffmeyer. Source: Star Tribune, May 8, 2005|W|P|111556190789454575|W|P|SOMEONE SHOULD THROW ERLANDSON A LIFE PRESERVER|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/05/2005 05:16:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|"Still, the proposal faces long odds _ even ignoring the fact that Pawlenty has promised repeatedly to veto tax increases. Some DFL members of the Senate signaled Thursday that they were uncomfortable with the size of the tax increase.
'It's problematic,' said Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope. 'I'm ready to support a sensible tax increase, but I can't support one of that size.''' Source: Associated Press, May 5, 2005|W|P|111533912140304464|W|P|ASSISTANT SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CAN'T SUPPORT SENATE DFL TAX INCREASE|W|Pemail@example.com/06/2005 02:02:00 PM|W|P|MNDFLer|W|P|She actually supported it.5/07/2005 08:43:00 AM|W|P|Swiftee|W|P|If I understand the bill, and I do, it would put MN once again at the top of the income tax pile.
At least they're not shy about what they mean about "fair" eh?5/07/2005 08:51:00 AM|W|P|MNDFLer|W|P|Sure sounds like you understand it very well when you simply repeat the first GOP talking point. 96% of Minnesotans won't see any difference, except for the fact that their property taxes won't go up. I guess that is a little inconvenient for this governor. The people at the top are being asked to pay their fair share. Right now, the group has a lower overall tax burden than middle class families. They pay less of a percent of their income in overall taxes. This is trying to get them to pay their fair share. The bill also closes a giant corporate tax loophole that the DFL has been trying for years to close but the Republicans keep standing in the way. This would bring in more than $200 million. Bottom line is that 31 Republican senators voted for a huge increase in education spending, then voted against this tax bill without offering any other way to pay for their votes. Chicken.5/05/2005 01:42:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|In today's Star Tribune, former Vice President Walter F. Mondale wrote about preserving Senate rules, "filibuster and all."
Well Old Fritz Mondale has certainly changed his tune!
When Walter Mondale was in the U.S. Senate, he argued for the constitutional option -- he argued that a majority could force a vote on rules-change proposal. In 1975, he and Senator Pearson set forth a motion to do just that.
In 1975, Walter Mondale proposed to change the cloture rule on all matters from 2/3 to 3/5. Mondale was not formally arguing for majority cloture, but it appears to have been in his heart. For example, he argued the following:
"It seems to me that a not-so-subtle difference, a profound different (sic), between 66 2/3 percent and a simple majority could be the different between an active, responsible U.S. Senate and one which is dominated by a small minority." Cong Rec, Jan. 17, 1975, p. 759.
"May a majority of the Members of the Senate of the 94th Congress change the rules of the Senate, uninhibited by the past rules of the Senate? I firmly believe that the majority has such a right - as the U.S. Constitution, the precedents of this body, the inherent nature of our constitutional system, and the rulings of two previous Vice Presidents make clear." Cong Rec, Jan. 17, 1975, p. 758.|W|P|111532643300552411|W|P|OLD FRITZ BEING INCONSISTENT|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/05/2005 12:31:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|"'It's a massive job-killer,' Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said of the Senate's $1.4 billion tax package, of which the temporary income tax is only a part. 'It would affect our ability to keep and grow jobs in Minnesota.'
Dan Salomone, Pawlenty's revenue commissioner, said the temporary, 11 percent top income-tax rate the bill provides would put Minnesota in a tie with Montana for the highest income tax rate in the nation." Source: Pioneer Press, May 5, 2005|W|P|111532161941461511|W|P|DFL TAX PROPOSAL CALLED "MASSIVE JOB-KILLER"|W|Pemail@example.com/05/2005 02:00:00 PM|W|P|MNInsider|W|P|Like the Governor is afraid of job killers. Every person that loses their job because their employer had to cut down on staff to afford the new minimum wage should vote against the Governor next year. That goes for the employers that go out of business because they are under staffed. There is no consistency in the Governor's argument.5/06/2005 12:22:00 AM|W|P|Micah|W|P|Let's look at your arguement logically. The highest estimates for unemployment from a minimum wage increase of the proposed size for unskilled workers is about 10%. Those people will lose their lousy minimum wage job and the 90% that kept theirs will be grateful to the politicians that increased their wage. Not that minimum wage workers should be voting for TimPa in the first place.5/11/2005 09:57:00 AM|W|P|MNInsider|W|P|Michah, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.5/05/2005 12:26:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
"Smaller businesses tend to pay their taxes through the individual income tax rather than the corporate income tax. That's because the corporate rate of 9.8 percent is significantly higher than the current top individual rate of 7.85 percent. With the addition of the fourth tier, that tax advantage would vanish, Hesse said, and some might choose to pay corporate taxes." Source: Star Tribune, May 5, 2005|W|P|111532132338209626|W|P|DFL TAX PROPOSAL WOULD HURT SMALL BUSINESSES|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/05/2005 08:37:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Governor Pawlenty will have a news conference at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the Senate DFL’s massive tax increase proposal.
|W|P|111530755838505154|W|P|BREAKING NEWS: PAWLENTY TO PROTECT THE TAXPAYER FROM THE SENATE DFL|W|Pemail@example.com/05/2005 12:46:00 PM|W|P|Swiftee|W|P|God bless Tim Pawlenty!
;-)5/06/2005 12:23:00 AM|W|P|Micah|W|P|Yes, thank God TimPa is out to protect my interests. Why, someday my income will increase ten-fold and I'll be subjected to having to pay an extra $20 grand a year in taxes! Thanks in advance!5/04/2005 09:18:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|It's not everyday that someone without a car gets arrested for DWI.
Minneapolis council member admits driving drunk
Minneapolis City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren said he intends to plead guilty Friday to drunken driving downtown on April 30.
Lilligren confessed to the incident Tuesday in a written statement and a phone call to a reporter. He is expected to enter his plea in Hennepin County District Court at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
He said he was stopped about 3:30 a.m. Saturday on Washington Avenue by the State Patrol.
He said his blood-alcohol content was 0.15 percent, above the legal limit of 0.10 percent.
"While no one was injured by my driving, I apologize to everyone I put at risk," he said in his brief written comments. "I am sorry for the pain and disappointment this will cause my friends, my family and my constituents."
Lilligren declined to say where he had been partying but said he had been drinking beer and barley wine, a strong ale.
He said he and a friend had taken a cab to his home. Lilligren said he slept, then later borrowed a neighbor's car to drive his friend home and was stopped.
Not a car owner
Lilligren does not own a car and usually walks to work at City Hall from his home near Lake Street and Interstate Hwy. 35W.
He said he had never been arrested for anything and the incident was painful for him. The day after the arrest, Lilligren said he went to a chemical dependency counselor for assessment and was determined not to be dependent but to have abused alcohol.
He acknowledged a fine line exists between the two. "Being arrested for driving under the influence is a problem," he said. "Thank goodness no one was hurt."
The arrest doesn't change his plans to run for reelection. "I hope to make some use of this if it helps someone else to not do this," he said. He began notifying his council colleagues of the arrest late Tuesday.
Lilligren said he intends to continue the one-on-one counseling sessions.
Council President Paul Ostrow said he wasn't aware of any action the council needed to take on the matter. "I'm disappointed and concerned, but also think it's important that Council Member Lilligren is accepting responsibility for the incident," Ostrow said.
Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Dan Niziolek had not heard of the arrest. "Out of respect for Robert, I'd like to talk to him before I say anything," he said.
Lilligren, a DFLer, won election in November 2001. He represents the Eighth Ward.
The redistricting based on the 2000 U.S. Census redrew Lilligren into the Sixth Ward. He is in a reelection contest with fellow first-term Council Member Dean Zimmermann, a Green Party member. Source: Star Tribune, May 4, 2005|W|P|111522407196709616|W|P|BREAKING NEWS: ANOTHER DWIFL|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/04/2005 06:26:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Payback is a real bitch.
DFLer fills slot on campaign board
A Minneapolis businessman was appointed Tuesday to a DFL slot on the state campaign watchdog board, replacing a member who came under fire from Republicans for contributing to a DFL legislative caucus.
GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty named Sven Wehrwein, 54, to a four-year term on the six-member Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Wehrwein, a former certified public accountant, corporate chief financial officer and investment banker, serves on the boards of Twin Cities firms Synovis Life Technologies and Vital Images.
Wil Fluegel, a former chairman of the campaign board, was not reappointed. In February he declined to disclose his vote on the board's ruling that found no wrongdoing in a national campaign group's acceptance of DFL House Minority Leader Matt Entenza's $300,000 donation.
Fluegel gave $1,000 in 2004 to the House DFL caucus, which Entenza heads. [Click here for information] But Fluegel denied any conflict of interest on his part and noted that his role on the state board did not legally preclude him from political activity.|W|P|111521353076721673|W|P|CAMPAIGN FINANCE BOARD MEMBER WHO CONTRIBUTED TO DFL HOUSE CAUCUS NOT REAPPOINTED|W|Pemail@example.com/03/2005 04:58:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
I am writing to let you know about my campaign for the U.S. Senate - to update you on the progress we've made, and to introduce you to my family. I always think it's important to know where someone's coming from...it helps you understand where they're going.
To run the kind of aggressive statewide campaign we need to win this Senate race, to seize the terms of the election debate in 2006, and to bring Minnesota values of opportunity, fair play, and responsibility to Washington, I will need your early support.
We are building a large statewide grassroots network, and I'd like you to be part of it in whatever way you can. Please join us by visiting our website at http://www.amyklobuchar.com/ and sign up as a volunteer and consider contributing if you can - $25, $50, $100, or whatever you can afford. I'm not a millionaire but I need to raise millions of dollars to win this campaign and bring some Minnesota common sense to Washington.
Where I come from and where we're going...
Two weeks ago, on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, with hundreds of friends, family, and supporters on hand, I announced my candidacy for the United States Senate.
The two most important people in my life were there with me that day - my husband John and my daughter Abigail. Without their love and support I couldn't be doing this. John is, well, - he's the nicest guy in the world. Abigail, who is 9, said that her biggest concern about this campaign is "those mean commercials." "Do you think they'd put me in them mom?" she asked one night. I thought for a moment and said, "maybe if you don't practice piano, it could happen, but other than that, I doubt it."
We kicked off our statewide campaign from the same place where so many of my life's journeys have begun - the driveway of the home where I grew up in Plymouth and where my mom, Rose Klobuchar, still lives today. After getting over her initial concerns about whether her newly sprouting tulips (the green part, that is) could survive a visit from 400 exuberant guests, and whether her maple tree could survive 10 kids perched on its branches, my mom had a good time.
My mom was a second-grade teacher until she was 70. Her now-grown-up students still stop me on the street to tell me about how, with commitment and love, she shaped their lives just as she shaped mine, by teaching me to value education and curiosity and good humor.
My dad, Jim Klobuchar, was also there with us that day. He's also retired, or sort of retired. I say that because he continues to write books and still organizes adventure trips. As a newspaperman he brought life to the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
He taught me that with faith in God we can meet our biggest challenges. He taught me to be leery of those with too much power, to take on the tough fights and follow my dreams.
The house and driveway where we gathered that Sunday have marked the beginning of many journeys for me. My first day of kindergarten, and all through elementary school, my sister and I would walk across the street, through the Bezenar's backyard, and up the hill to what was then called Beacon Heights School. It was on the driveway where I started many a bike trip with my dad, including the one that took us all the way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming: 1100 miles in 10 days with all our gear on our bikes and our backs, three flat tires, five angry farm dogs, and one big tornado. He says that trip was my idea.
Now I begin the most important journey of my life.
It is a journey that I cannot take alone.
I talked that sunny afternoon about the reason for the journey, about why I'm running to represent you in Washington, and about how I want to bring Minnesota common sense to the halls of Congress.
As the chief prosecutor for Minnesota's largest county, in which I represent nearly one-quarter of the people of this state, I've fought to make our communities even better, safer places to live. I've fought to make government more accountable and efficient. I have a proven record of making a difference and producing positive results for the people I represent.
I am a public servant who will put the greater good of the many in front of the interests of the few. Just as I have done as a prosecutor, I will stand up for what's right without fear or favor. I will devote myself to solutions that improve people's lives instead of fixating on issues that divide.
Meet my in-laws in Mankato
Following the Sunday afternoon announcement, we spent four days traveling around Minnesota. We went first to Mankato, my husband's hometown, where I spoke with students at Minnesota State University. We were greeted by my in-laws, Bill and Marilyn Bessler. Bill and Marilyn raised six boys in Mankato, first in a trailer home and then in the house where they live today on Mulberry Street. Bill teaches biology at the college and has a really loud voice which is helpful in large classrooms, and, as I've learned, in large families.
On the trip to Mankato, like so many of my trips around the state in the past few years, I heard a lot about what's wrong in Washington. The students know something is not right when they're getting huge increases in tuition while an outsized portion of the tax cuts have gone to the wealthiest among us. We talked about how Washington has taken a $200 billion surplus and turned it into a $400 billion deficit, amounting to a $26,000 "birth tax" for every baby born in Minnesota. We talked about the need to go back to the pay-as-you-go rules Congress used during the Clinton administration to balance budgets and produce surpluses.
You want to do some more spending, fine, but show how you're going to pay for it. You want an additional tax cut, ok, but show how you're going to pay for it.
Duluth and the Range, my family's roots
We then went north to Duluth and the Iron Range, where my grandpa worked 1,500 feet below ground in the iron ore mines. He and my grandma saved money in a coffee can of the basement of their house in Ely to send my dad and his brother to college. My grandparents always believed that with hard work comes opportunity and security. That's something that Minnesota has always stood for. I have always been proud to live in a state and country where we wrap our arms around the people who need it the most - our kids, our elderly, our disabled. It's what we do. We take care of our kids, our parents and grandparents. That's why we know that you can't protect Social Security by diverting money out of the system.
We need a Social Security system that's a guarantee, not a gamble.
The Red River Valley and farm country
Next, after a great coffee stop at the Cabin Coffee Shop in Bemidji, we made our way to the Red River Valley where, in Moorhead (after a nice gathering the evening before hosted by my friend and no-nonsense and good-cook prosecutor, the Clay County Attorney Lisa Borgen), we toured the American Crystal Sugar beet processing plant. Sugar is a $3 billion industry to Minnesota and North Dakota, and I met with farmers, workers and business owners about why we need an even playing field in trade agreements to ensure the economic livelihood of Minnesota's working families. We also had the privilege of visiting an ethanol plant in Benson - where I talked to people about rising gas prices and alternative fuel sources - and were hosted at a wonderful farm in rural Swift County.
Coffee shops and crowds across greater Minnesota
As we drove around the state, we stopped at coffee shops along the way in towns like Alexandria and Willmar and Austin and greeted crowds of supporters in places like Rep. Joe Opatz's house in St. Cloud, and Daube's Bakery in Rochester. All along the way, I talked with Minnesotans and heard about what's important to them. As I said in my announcement speech, the 2006 election shouldn't be a 24-hour TV shout-fest about what's right and what's left; it should be about what's right and what's wrong.
Hard work and fair play
Our campaign will be about bringing the debate back to issues of importance to Minnesota's everyday heroes - our teachers, our workers and small business owners, our farmers, and our service men and women.
No matter where we were across the geographic or political spectrums on this trip, whether we were talking with Democrats, Independents or moderate Republicans, I found that people are sick and tired of fiscal irresponsibility, special interest agendas, and issues that divide. I found that Minnesotans share much in common. We believe in opportunity through hard work. We believe in fair play. We believe in a secure nation and strong communities. We believe in personal integrity and responsibility.
I've often said that we can't have two systems of justice - one for the rich and powerful and one for everyone else. Well we can't have two health care systems - one for the people that can afford it and one for everyone else. And we can't have two economic systems.
In Minnesota we believe in fair play.
Minnesotans are ready to elect someone to fight for their issues, and I'm ready to take on that fight. At Tobies in Hinckley, one enthusiastic customer said she'd vote for me, but then she wanted to know when the election was going to be. When I told her it's in 18 months, she said, "At this rate, you'll be able to shake every hand of every citizen in Minnesota." Believe me, if I can, I will!
Running for the U.S. Senate is going to take hard work, lots of financial resources, and your commitment and support. Already, I'm pleased to report that I've been endorsed by 56 state legislators and countless other Minnesotans. In the first reporting period, we raised $592,000 - more than any other candidate, including the anointed Republican candidate.
Winning with a grassroots campaign
I know what it takes to run a winning grassroots campaign. When I first ran for County Attorney I beat a well-funded Republican opponent in what was the costliest, most aggressive, most heated campaign ever in the history of that office, in an area that covers two congressional districts.
Two things you need to know about me: (1) I know that putting people first - a real grassroots effort - is the key to victory; and (2) I don't let baseless attacks go unanswered. I fight back.
But to do it I need your help. I need your volunteer energy, and, if possible, your financial contribution. Please log onto our website at http://www.amyklobuchar.com/ and join this important effort.
P.S. Visit our website at http://www.amyklobuchar.com/ to read the announcement speech and see pictures from the announcement tour!|W|P|111516499485743263|W|P|UPDATE FROM KLOBUCHAR'S CAMPAIGN|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org