7/27/2005 07:39:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This story about missing Diet Cokes from Senator Mark Dayton's office reminded me of Dayton's fetish with clean refrigerators:
"In 1998, he left the farm to run for governor. His campaign was a debacle. Not only did he finish a disappointing fourth in the DFL primary, but his behavior prompted questions about his mental stability. More than 20 members of his campaign staff were either fired or quit.
Several of them, who asked not to be named, said Dayton triggered the departures with angry outbursts over seemingly trivial issues, such as a messy office or a dirty refrigerator.
Dayton insisted such criticism was unfair. He acknowledged a few outbursts, but said they were caused by the failures of the campaign and having to 'settle for effort, performance and results that were far less than what I was paying for and had a right to expect from professional people.'" Source: Pioneer Press, November 1, 2000
'"He [Mark Dayton] had high expectations,' said Monte Jarvis, Dayton's 1998 field director.
'Certain relatively trivial instances would trigger extreme reactions and threats of firing. I was personally reamed out for crumbs in the bottom of the refrigerator.' Afterward, Jarvis added, Dayton would apologize for taking out his frustrations on his staff.
Told of the accusation, Dayton winced and shook his head. 'Monte was one of the more dedicated and reliable people in that campaign,' he said. 'Yes, I lost my temper on a half-dozen occasions, after numerous repeated attempts to get some semblance of cleanliness.'" Source: Star Tribune, August 30, 2000|W|P|112247574912518363|W|P|I'D LIKE TO BUY MARK DAYTON A CLEAN REFRIGERATOR|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/27/2005 07:24:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This is from today's Roll Call:
Let Moderation Be Your Guide. Is a certain soft drink making Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) and his staff jittery?
Someone, or many people, in Dayton’s office are guzzling Diet Coke by the caseload, and HOH is worried. So is Dayton’s office manager, Kristen Gentile, who sent an e-mail on Tuesday to everyone in the office, including the Senator himself, with the eerie two-word subject line: Diet Coke.
"On Thursday, I bought 18 cases of Diet Coke," Gentile wrote in an e-mail that an anonymous tipster forwarded to HOH. "We are now down to four which, I’m sure you will agree, is ridiculous. After speaking with the front desk staff, it’s my understanding that it is not constituents drinking the Diet Coke like it’s going out of style, but staff & interns. I think we can all agree that 168 cans of Diet Coke should have lasted us far longer than two business days!"
The understandable lecture continued, "I realize that it’s been oppressively hot recently and I certainly understand the impulse to consume fluids, however, there has to be a reasonable limit."
For one thing, no one should be drinking so much soda pop. And two, guess who’s footing the bill for this expensive little caffeine habit? Yep, you guessed it.
"Unlike the water supply, which is paid for out of the office’s official budget, the Coke is paid for by Mark personally," Gentile wrote. "Please, please, please be respectful of his money (and my time & energy) and limit the amount of Coke you consume to a reasonable one or two cans."
Dayton, the man who drew snickers for his decision to shutter his Senate office last fall and, together with this staff, nervously fled Capitol Hill for fear of a terrorist attack, had no comment on who the Diet Cokehead or Cokeheads may be.
His spokeswoman, Chris Lisi, did not find the e-mail as amusing as HOH did. "Usually reporters call me about stories that make sense," she said rather testily when we contacted her. "Why are you calling me about Diet Coke?"
OK — just lay off the Diet Cokes, give us a call back, and we’ll be happy to explain!
You couldn't make this stuff up because nobody would believe it.|W|P|112247466114757894|W|P|I'D LIKE TO BUY MARK DAYTON A COKE|W|Pemail@example.com/27/2005 04:01:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The "Forest Gump" defense didn't work for Jennings.
Former Rep. Jennings convicted of fraud
Former state Rep. Loren Jennings, accused of using his office to financially benefit a firm in which he had a financial stake, was convicted Tuesday of two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.
A federal court jury in St. Paul acquitted him of four other charges following a nine-day trial.
Jennings, 54, a Harris DFLer, represented the Chisago County area for 18 years before losing a reelection bid in 2002. He declined to comment as he left court after the verdicts Tuesday afternoon.
Defense attorney Doug Kelley said the convictions will be appealed.
"Obviously, we're disappointed. We thought we had demonstrated that Loren Jennings had complied with all the requirements of state law," Kelley said.
U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger called the verdicts "a just decision under the law."
"Any public official who violates a public trust is subject to consideration by us for possible prosecution," he said.
No date has been set for Jennings' sentencing by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle. Kelley said he expects prosecutors to seek a six- to seven-year prison term, which he would oppose.
Prosecutors alleged that Jennings used his influence as a one-time chairman of the House Regulated Industries Committee to push for a law change in the late 1990s that benefited Northern Pole Inc. Jennings and some business partners had lent the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Jennings then used his political clout to pressure power companies to give money to the power pole recycling firm, prosecutors charged.
Northern Pole collected $650,000 in state-mandated conservation money from energy companies. About $284,000 of that money was used to pay off loans that Jennings and his business partners had given to the company.
A federal grand jury indictment accused Jennings of purposely not disclosing that he had a $670,000 interest in a power pole recycling company.
In closing arguments Monday, Kelley told jurors that what prosecutors claimed were Jennings' investments in Northern Pole were simply "bridge loans" intended to help his friend, banker John C. James.
But James deceived Jennings and his business associates in an elaborate financial scheme intended to cover up irregularities at James' bank, Kelley said.
After pleading guilty to bank fraud charges, James became a government witness against Jennings, trying to avoid a federal prison sentence, Kelley charged.
Changes in state law pushed by Jennings that mandated large power companies to spend money on conservation programs were "wide open" and afforded business opportunities to many companies, not just Northern Pole, Kelley said. He said that Jennings also did not believe that he had a business interest in Northern Pole that state law required him to disclose.
"There was no fraud. He followed the only law that he knew," Kelley told jurors. "He acted in good faith and therefore you should find him not guilty."
But Republican House Speaker Steve Sviggum, called as a prosecution witness, testified that most legislators disclose a possible conflict or ask to be excused from a vote "even if there is a remote question."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Dixon asked jurors why Jennings would lie to officials of Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) about having a financial stake in Northern Pole if he believed he had complied with state disclosure laws.
"There's no explanation other than the intention to deceive," Dixon said. "This is a case where a legislator used his office for personal benefit by making false statements." Source: Star Tribune, July 27, 2005|W|P|112246283492173080|W|P|RUN, LOREN, RUN!|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/26/2005 02:11:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Click here for a post on Democratic Undergound that compares College Republicans to Nazis.
If you follow the links for the pcitures, you end up at a website for Dodger Digital Design. I 'm no Donald Trump, but I think it could be bad for business if you compare College Republicans to Nazis.
If you are offended, call (651) 592-1061 or email to complain.
|W|P|112241325285654771|W|P|MORE NAZI COMPARISONS FROM THE LEFT|W|Pemail@example.com/26/2005 08:43:00 PM|W|P|R-Five|W|P|Last week, the fill in hosts for Nick Coleman on Air America were characterizing Karl Rove as Joseph Goebbels. This was no parody or hyperbole. They said it matter-of-factly in a somber tone.7/26/2005 01:55:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Rep. Jennings convicted
Former state Rep. Loren Jennings, accused of using his office to financially benefit a firm in which he had a financial stake, was convicted Tuesday of two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering by a federal court jury in St. Paul.
A federal court jury in St. Paul acquitted him of four other charges following a nine-day trial. No date has been set for his sentencing by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle.
Jennings, 54, of Harris, declined to comment as he left court after the verdicts Tuesday afternoon. But defense attorney Doug Kelley said Jennings will appeal his convictions.
A federal grand jury indictment accused Jennings of violating state law by failing to disclose a $670,00 interest he had in a power pole recycling company.
Prosecutors alleged that Jennings used his influence as a one-time chairman of the House Regulated Industries Committee to push for a law change in the late -1990s that benefited the beleaguered company, Northern Pole Inc.
It collected $650,000 in state-mandated conservation money from energy companies. About $284,000 of that money was used to pay off loans that Jennings and his business partners had given to Northern Pole, prosecutors alleged.
Kelley argued that what prosecutors construed as investments by Jennings in the firm were bridge loans made to help out a friend, banker John C. James, who took advantage of Jennings.
Jennings and Kelley also maintained that the 18-year legislator, who was defeated in a 2002 reelection bid, did not have an obligation to disclose the loans as a conflict of interest under state law. Source: Star Tribune, July 26, 2005|W|P|112241154698644419|W|P|BREAKING NEWS: JENNINGS FOUND GUILTY|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/26/2005 07:31:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Dog, Pony and Veterinarian Show
His grandfather founded General Mills, his father founded the Red Owl grocery chain. Imagine the disappointment, then, of Minnesota's Democratic/Farm-Labor Party when political novice Ford Bell, who announced for the U.S. Senate on Friday, nonetheless said he won't be financing his own campaign. Democrats who find something particularly appealing about his clotted portfolio of liberal talking points -- in favor of abortion rights and national health care, opposed to the Iraq war -- would have to reach into their own pockets, already stretched by an army of unfunded unknowns seeking the seat of retiring DFL Senator and department store heir Mark Dayton.
Mr. Bell, who sits on the boards of several charitable foundations, is a veterinarian by training, which might be helpful given the zoo he will encounter in his chase for the nomination. Of the numerous candidates who've entered the race or are contemplating doing so, only Amy Klobuchar, a Hennepin County attorney, holds public office. Patty Wetterling claims political experience based on her failed House race last year and her lobbying for child-protection laws after her son was kidnapped 16 years ago. Real estate developer Kelly Dornan, worth a reported $50 million, is a complete neophyte. Waiting in the wings is the undecided Mike Ciresi, a millionaire trial lawyer and tobacco beneficiary, who failed to win the DFL nomination in a previous run in 2000. He's said to be still reviewing his options and interviewing political consultants.
Minnesota is a swing state, all the more significant because of the purpling of its neighboring region, including Wisconsin and Iowa. Last year, John Kerry squeaked past President Bush by fewer than 100,000 votes. Democrats claim their hotly contested nomination will be a sign of strength and "diversity" compared to the GOP's regimented unity behind Rep. Mark Kennedy. A wildcard is the partial government shutdown in the continuing budget battle between GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democrats in the state Senate. If the controversy drags on, voters may have had their fill with shouting and chaos by next year, in which case Mr. Kennedy may continue his smooth sailing right into the Senate. -- Holman W. Jenkins Jr Sourc: Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2005|W|P|112238856387108719|W|P|MORE COMENTARY ON FORD BELL|W|Pemail@example.com/26/2005 09:01:00 AM|W|P|Kevin from Minneapolis|W|P|Do we have to make remarks about Jacob Wetterling that could be twisted by the otherside and used against us? I doubt it.7/25/2005 09:44:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The idea of running for governor has floated around Dean Johnson for the last decade.
The talk has heated up this year, as the Senate majority leader faced off with Gov. Tim Pawlenty over the state budget in a session that just ended a week ago.
But if Johnson is planning to run for governor in 2006, he’s keeping it to himself, at least for now. In fact, he’s become an expert at avoiding the question.
Asked if he would like to sit in the governor’s chair, he chuckled last week and said, "I took a couple twirls around in it the last couple weeks when he wasn’t looking."
The chair was comfortable, but he’d need to lower the seat a bit, because Pawlenty is taller, he said. When the Capitol press corps asks him about running, he tells them, "I’m too short."
If you can get him to speak seriously about the idea, he will admit that “I think there’s some things that can be offered to the public.”
Johnson said he believes the state needs a more moderate governor who could “bring Minnesota together” and build consensus.
“It doesn’t have to be Dean Johnson, it could be anybody,” he said. However if it were to be him, “I would not have to change my political stripes.”
Johnson quickly turned the talk of running for governor to talk about Senate District 15.
At this point, he said, he’s not sure he’ll run for re-election to the Senate next year, either, but there’s still one legislative session left before the election.
Johnson enjoys being majority leader and believes a district can be aided by a lawmaker in a leadership role.
When he looks at the development of Ridgewater College over the past 25 years, for example, he’s proud of the role he’s played in that at the Legislature, he said.
“I’m still challenged by the job,” he said. Source: West-Central Tribune, July 25, 2005|W|P|112231057409517212|W|P|JOHNSON FOR GOVERNOR?|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/25/2005 07:23:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|#10 - My Exercise of Free Speech
This post explains why I purchased the domain names of DFL candidates and why I blog.
#9 - Union Thugs Attack College Republicans at Minnesota State Fair
This post highlights that unions are fillied with thugs who like to beat-up kids attending the Minnesota State Fair. I would rather join the French Foreign Legion than join a union.|W|P|112230241523029861|W|P|MDE'S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: THE TOP-TEN BEST POSTS|W|Pemail@example.com/27/2005 08:31:00 PM|W|P|Shirazi|W|P|Happy blog anniversary and even happier blogging in future.7/25/2005 06:55:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Since a candidate from the DFL Party hasn't been elected governor since 1986, I am sure it is difficult for bloggers like North Star Politics to talk about the successes of a Republican governor.
That has to hurt. Not like landing on a bike with no seat, but it still hurts. (I think this is from "The Naked Gun")|W|P|112230073227580585|W|P|ALMOST 20 YEARS|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/26/2005 02:32:00 AM|W|P|North Star Politics|W|P|Speaking for myself, I don't find it difficult at all. Tim Pawlenty is printing himself a one-way ticket to a one-term governorship, thus ensuring that it's not a full twenty years. The Republican Party, both statewide and nationally, is doing liberals and Democrats the greatest favor we could ask for: showing America what a sham the neoconservative viewpoint is.
2006 and 2008 will be great years for both America and the Democratic party.7/26/2005 08:40:00 AM|W|P|John Jordan.com|W|P|Now that was funny!
Revenues are up. Employment's basically at "full capacity". But conservativism is a sham.
Thanks for making me laugh this morning.7/26/2005 10:51:00 AM|W|P|North Star Politics|W|P|I didn't say conservatism is a sham. The conservative viewpoint is one that I can respect, if not agree with. I said neoconservatism is a sham. Republicans throughout history would be embarrassed at what the once Grand Old Party has become.7/29/2005 09:47:00 AM|W|P|Fernholz|W|P|I am embarassed as to what politics has become, including both parties.7/25/2005 06:35:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|HATCH IN THE WITNESS CHAIR: The long-anticipated trial between Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch and the Medica board of directors is expected to commence this week after a brief delay.
The non-jury trial before Hennepin County District Judge Lloyd Zimmerman is likely to feature the testimony of Hatch early in the case, to the delight and interest of legal and political observers alike. Hatch is first on the state's witness list. Hatch's ongoing skirmishes with big health care in the state give him some populist cachet should he run for governor next year.
But Medica will put up a spirited defense that its board is legitimate and caring of the insurer's 1.3 million members. Source: Star Tribune, July 25, 2005|W|P|112229867343836814|W|P|HATCH GETS THE CHAIR!|W|Pemail@example.com/24/2005 09:55:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I am working on a top-ten list of the best post in the short history of Minnesota Democrats Exposed.
Mike Hatch will be mentioned quite a bit|W|P|112222429607631916|W|P|MDE'S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: THE TOP-TEN BEST POSTS|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/24/2005 06:07:00 PM|W|P|nk2134|W|P|Nice shameless self promotion.7/23/2005 04:09:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|My friend at North Star Politics is calling me names. Again.
My comments are in yellow.
What a Jackass
MDE is just on fire today, [just today?] with a pair of posts attacking Ford Bell for having some money, yet not enough to self-finance his campaign for U.S. Senate. You can read here and here.
You have to understand that Senate campaigns are really expensive [thanks for the tip]. Now, NSP has no idea how much money Mr. Bell has. The man could have $50 million sitting around and just doesn't want to spend it.
But to question Mr. Bell's ability to pay for a Senate campaign on the basis of the value of his house (which may have been in the family for several generations or something like that) just isn't right, isn't smart, isn't fair.
I invite MDE to consider the value of his own home the next time he has any cash flow problems [I am a Republican; I don't have cash flow problems]. NSP has posted about MDE before, most recently here. This stuff continues to lower the bar.
I didn't say Bell needed to finance the whole campaign, but maybe he could throw in some cash to pay for pizza for his volunteers, or some t-shirts.
Since the campaign will end soon, the t-shirts will be collectables.|W|P|112216100795640189|W|P|IF THIS IS WRONG, I DON'T WANT TO BE RIGHT|W|Pemail@example.com/23/2005 03:58:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I added a link on MDE to Wind Beneath the Right Wing:
"A blog dedicated to promoting conservatism, exposing the hypocrisy of liberalism, and working to elect more conservatives to public office. This blog will focus on the issues and events that affect the great state of Minnesota and our great nation."
Welcome aboard! |W|P|112215998596227097|W|P|NEW LINK ON MDE: WIND BENEATH THE RIGHT WING|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/23/2005 08:15:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|My compliments to Republican Minnesota for this post on Hatch.|W|P|112213184486156038|W|P|REUSSE RIPS HATCH|W|Pemail@example.com/23/2005 07:50:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This comment is compliments of redhairblueface:
"Did you know that everytime someone in Mexico flushes the toilet, a blog like this one ends up in America?"
After reading this comment, I laughed so hard I cried.
|W|P|112213068287106228|W|P|MDE'S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: MY FAVORITE LIBERAL COMMENT|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/23/2005 07:31:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I need to thank DFL State Representative Phyllis Kahn for stealing the campaign literature of then GOP State Representative Lynne Osterman.
This is the post that started Minnesota Democrats Exposed.|W|P|112212975732368739|W|P|MDE'S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: THE FIRST POST ON MDE|W|Pemail@example.com/23/2005 03:34:00 PM|W|P|Republican Minnesota|W|P|Kahn should have been marooned on Ceti Alpha V.7/23/2005 07:02:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Today is the one-year anniversary of the start of Minnesota Democrats Exposed.
Let me begin by thanking the numerous people who read my blog. There are so many blogs with better writing and more thoughtful analysis, but for some reason people keep visiting my blog. To quote Homer Simpson: "I'm no super genius, or are I?"
I appreciate all of the comments and emails, both negative and positive, I have received since I started this blog.
For the next week, aside from my regular posts, I will be taking a walk down memory lane and highlighting the best and worst of Minnesota Democrats Exposed.
I see no end in sight for Minnesota Democrats Exposed and I hope you continue to visit.
Minnesota Democrat Exposer.
|W|P|112212896145899726|W|P|MDE'S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/23/2005 08:00:00 AM|W|P|Segretti|W|P|MDE:
Happy Anniversary to a great American and a great patriot.7/23/2005 08:02:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Thank you for your comments. I always wanted to be called a "great patriot."
MDE7/22/2005 12:54:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
How does someone with a house worth an estimated $1.8 million not have any money to fund a campaign for the U.S. Senate?
According to Hennepin County, Ford Bell's house in Wayzata is worth over $1.8 million, yet he claims he has no money to spend on his campaign.|W|P|112206207696341555|W|P|POOR FORD BELL, HE WAS BORN WITH A SILVER FOOT IN HIS MOUTH|W|Pemail@example.com/22/2005 10:31:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Ford Bell has apparently hired Laura Nevitt. You may remember her from the Minnesota for Dean team as well as the Patty Wetterling campaign for House (she was the political director).|W|P|112205364137389529|W|P|FORD CAMPAIGN HIRES FORMER DEAN STAFFER|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/23/2005 07:04:00 AM|W|P|Republican Minnesota|W|P|So it's safe to say the DFLers can write this guy off.7/22/2005 10:24:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Ford Bell announces Senate bid
Democrat Ford Bell, a veterinarian by training, announced Friday he will join the field of candidates running for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2006.
"It is time for us to take back our government," said Bell, in his announcement in front of Minneapolis' Westminster Presbyterian Church where he is an elder.
Bell, who is on the board of several non-profit organizations and is president the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, said he was elected to the Senate he would push a universal single payer health plan, a sustainable energy plan and peace.
"When I go to Washington, I will be a strong voice for peace," said Bell.
Bell is the grandson of James Ford Bell, founder of General Mills, and son of Ford Bell, founder of the Red Owl grocery chain, but he said Friday that he could not self-finance a multi-million dollar Senate race. "I don't have any money to throw in," he said.
Bell said he supports abortion rights, banning assault weapons and is against constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage. He is a lifelong Democratic-Farmer-Laborite but he had not yet decided if he will abide by the DFL endorsement.
Although Election Day is more than 15 months away, at least seven people have already declared their intent to run for the Senate seat being vacated by DFL U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.
They include Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, DFLers Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Patty Wetterling, public safety advocate, Kelly Doran, real estate developer, Jerry Janezick, former state Senator and former Independence Party chair Jack Uldrich. Source: Pioneer Press, July 22, 2005|W|P|112205348577480004|W|P|GRANDSON OF THE FOUNDER OF GENERAL MILLS HAS NO MONEY FOR HIS CAMPAIGN|W|Pemail@example.com/22/2005 08:59:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Is the Left Really This Predictable?
Extreme Groups Follow "Tar & Feather" to a T (And F)
WASHINGTON – As Progress for America forecasted in "Tar & Feather, Inc.: The Liberal’s 10-Step Plan for Judicial Character Assassination" – incredibly predictable liberal special interest groups launched their premeditated character assassination campaign within minutes of the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court:
Step 1: Before (and after) a vacancy is announced – whip your membership into a frenzy with over blown rhetoric...
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said confirmation of Roberts would set "the court back half a century. ... He will roll back workers’ rights, women’s rights and civil rights." (Chicago Tribune: Interest groups get busy after president announces court nominee, 7/20/05)
From NARAL: "By nominating John Roberts, George Bush has issued a slap in the face to every American who values personal privacy and a woman’s right to choose." (ABC News’ ‘The Note’ calls this one of the "most apocalyptic" press releases, 7/20/05)
Step 2: …while preparing for battle.
"President Bush has consciously chosen the path of confrontation, and he should know that we, and the 65 percent of Americans who support Roe, are ready for the battle ahead," Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement. (Chicago Tribune: Interest groups get busy after president announces court nominee, 7/20/05)
Step 3: Once a nominee is named, immediately announce that the nominee’s record "raises more questions than it answers."
"At first blush, John Roberts may not appear to be an ultra-right judicial activist, but his approach to issues of protecting the rights and freedoms of individual Americans is, at best, unclear and, in some instances, deeply troubling," said Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. (Baltimore Sun: Roberts chosen for court, 7/20/05)
Step 4: Plead for a slower pace.
Nan Aron, the organization's president, said in a statement, "While we will be conducting a complete analysis of his record on and off the bench, an initial review has led to serious concerns about whether he will be fair, independent and will protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans." (Chicago Tribune: Interest groups get busy after president announces court nominee, 7/20/05) Source: Progress for America (www.JudgeRoberts.com)|W|P|112204840325963875|W|P|THE ANSWER IS "YES"|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/21/2005 03:03:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Another DFL millionaire will announce their candidacy for the U.S. Senate. It's a smart move to announce on the same day Vice-President Cheney is visiting Minnesota on behalf of Congressman Mark Kennedy.
Please join us this Friday, July 22nd for a pair of events officially launching the Ford Bell for U.S. Senate Campaign!
As chair of the Minneapolis Heart Institute for the past 10 years, clinician and researcher at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine and longtime board member & chair-elect of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, Ford has committed his life to serving Minnesota's many communities.
As chair of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, an elder in the Presbyterian Church and an educator, sportsman & volunteer with more than 25 organizations, Ford's experiences are unmatched by any other candidate.
What: Ford Bell for U.S. Senate Campaign Kickoff Announcement!
When: Friday, July 22nd 2005 - 8:45AM
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church 1200 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Info: For Transit Information – Click Here
Directions: For Directions & Free Parking Information – Click Here
Yellow Medicine County Fair Announcement
What: Ford Bell for U.S. Senate Campaign Kickoff Announcement!
When: Friday, July 22nd 2005 - 2:00PM
Where: Yellow Medicine County Fairgrounds Highway 3 / Fair Grounds Road, Canby, MN 56220
Info: More information about the County Fair is available at the Canby City Hall at (507) 223-7295
Directions: From Hwy 75 South turn right onto Fair Grounds Road/Hwy 3 in Canby. The Fair Grounds are located at Ring Avenue & Fair Grounds Road in Canby, MN.
For More information about Ford Bell for U.S. Senate or to volunteer on our campaign, please visit us at http://www.fordbell.com/ or contact our office at (612) 339-3798.
"I have worked my entire adult life to better our community, and now I want to bring that same commitment to a new challenge, to bringing our country back to a great vision, and back to those principles of fairness and generosity and of commitment to helping those who are working to create a better life for themselves and their families." Ford Bell - 2005|W|P|112198392438264248|W|P|FORD BELL FOR U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGN KICKOFF|W|Pemail@example.com/21/2005 02:37:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Coleen Rowley will be on CNN tonight to talk about terrorism and her candidacy for Congress. My sources in Rowley's campaign tell me she will be on around 9:00 p.m.
The more Rowley talks about terrorism, the better it is for Kline.
|W|P|112198242117040310|W|P|ROWLEY INTERVIEW ON CNN TONIGHT|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/21/2005 02:21:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Wife of Nominee Holds Strong Antiabortion Views
WASHINGTON - While Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.'s views on abortion triggered intense debate on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, there is no mistaking where his wife stands: Jane Sullivan Roberts, a lawyer, is ardently against abortion.
A Roman Catholic like her husband, Jane Roberts has been deeply involved in the antiabortion movement. She provides her name, money and professional advice to a small Washington organization - Feminists for Life of America - that offers counseling and educational programs.
The group has filed legal briefs before the high court challenging the constitutionality of abortion.
A spouse's views normally are not considered relevant in weighing someone's job suitability. But abortion is likely to figure prominently in the Senate debate over John Roberts' nomination. And with his position on the issue unclear, abortion rights supporters expressed concern Wednesday that his wife's views might suggest he also embraced efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
"It's unclear how all this will affect her husband," said Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman with the Center for American Progress, a liberal public policy group. "It's possible that he would have a different view than her. It's just that in the absence of information about this guy, people are looking at her and trying to read the tea leaves."
Asked to discuss her role with Feminists for Life, Jane Roberts said in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times: "Thanks for your inquiry. At this time, however, I would like to decline your invitation to talk."
Advocacy groups on both sides of the issue were reacting strongly Wednesday to President Bush's first Supreme Court nomination.
The president of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, said: "We pray that Roberts will be swiftly confirmed."
The president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, warned that of the high court candidates considered by Bush, Roberts was one of the most extreme when it came to the question of overturning the Roe vs. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion.
Feminists for Life has sponsored a national advertising campaign aimed at ending abortion in America. One of its mission statements proclaims: "Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion."
Jane Roberts was a volunteer member of Feminists for Life's board of directors from 1995 to
1999. She has provided legal assistance to the group and been recognized as a contributor who donated from $1,000 to $2,500.
The president of Feminists for Life, Serrin M. Foster, said Roberts maintained her ties by advising the group on how to draw up incorporation and not-for-profit papers. She also has written for the group's newsletter, Foster said, including an article about adoption. Roberts and her husband have adopted two children.
"She's a brilliant attorney, and we're really proud that she lent her legal services to us to help serve the needs of women," Foster said. "She was a very good board member. She was
invaluable as an attorney for us."
Foster said that she had met John Roberts, who now sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but that the judge had not been involved with Feminists for Life.
Judge Roberts' public positions on abortion and Roe vs. Wade appear to be inconsistent.
In 1990, as the principal deputy solicitor general in President George H.W. Bush's administration, Roberts wrote a legal brief for the Supreme Court in a case regarding federal funding for abortion providers. "We continue to believe that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled," Roberts wrote.
His brief added: "The [Supreme] Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion ... finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution."
But during the 2003 Senate confirmation hearings on his appellate court nomination, Roberts took the position that abortion rights were no longer debatable.
"Roe vs. Wade is the settled law of the land," he told lawmakers. "There's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."
But abortion rights groups are convinced that Roberts is opposed to abortion.
"He's absolutely anti-Roe," Gandy said. "He believes it was wrongly decided and should be reversed." Asked then why Roberts two years ago proclaimed Roe vs. Wade a "settled" issue,
Gandy responded: "You have to say that. You can't get on the court without saying you will follow legal precedent. All the most extreme nominees say that. You can't even take the oath of office [unless] you say that."
Jane Roberts graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1976. In 1984, she graduated cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.
She practices and is a partner with the Washington firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw and Pittman, mostly concentrating on the firm's communications and global sourcing groups.
A close friend characterized her as an "extremely, extremely devout Catholic" who had enjoyed her antiabortion advocacy.
The Catholic News Service in Washington, which praised Judge Roberts and cited his government brief in 1990 challenging Roe vs. Wade, also spoke kindly of Jane Roberts.
"She has been active in Feminists for Life, and is a member of the board of governors of the John Carroll Society, a Catholic lay organization that sponsors the annual Washington archdiocesan Red Mass before the opening of the Supreme Court term," the news service said.
It also pointed out that if John Rogers were to be elevated to the Supreme Court, he would be the fourth Catholic justice on the current court, along with Clarence Thomas, Anthony M. Kennedy and Antonin Scalia.
Before Jane Roberts joined the board of Feminists for Life, the organization filed amicus briefs on abortion with the Supreme Court. Records show that the group filed briefs supporting the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, a law aimed at limiting the right to abortions, particularly for minors.
Several antiabortion groups including Feminists for Life also filed a brief in support of the right of abortion protesters to picket a Virginia women's health clinic. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said the courts did not have the authority to limit protesters' access to such clinics.
And Feminists for Life filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court in support of laws in Ohio and Missouri that attempted to limit the rights to an abortion under Roe vs. Wade. Source: Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2005|W|P|112198150166830360|W|P|HOW LOW WILL THE LEFT GO?|W|Pemail@example.com/21/2005 02:15:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Dear DFL'ers,
Tomorrow, Vice President Dick Cheney is holding a $4,200 per couple fundraiser for his hand-picked Senate candidate Mark Kennedy.
For five years, Mark Kennedy has taken his orders from Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. He even boasts about voting for their extreme agenda more than 98% of the time! We think a Minnesota Senator should take orders from Minnesota citizens. Join us to send Mark Kennedy a message:
Minnesota wants a strong, independent voice in the United States Senate, not a lapdog for Dick Cheney.
While Mark Kennedy serves as Dick Cheney and Karl Rove's lapdog, Minnesotans have more important needs: Good schools. Decent health care. Better roads and transit. Good jobs that pay decent wages. A clean environment. And real national security.
The 2006 Senate election comes down to one important issue: Will our next U.S. Senator represent Minnesota, or will our Senator be a lapdog for Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and George W. Bush?
Join other DFLers to send Dick Cheney and Mark Kennedy a message!
Where: Shaver Park,
Corner of Ferndale Rd S and Grove Lane E, Wayzata.
Note: This location is South of Lake Street, but Ferndale Rd S on the North side of Lake Street is under construction, so plan for an alternate route. Attendees should park on Lake Street (a half-block away) and walk south on Ferndale Rd S because parking next to the park is permit-only.
Click here for a map of the location: http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?addr=Ferndale+Rd+S+an... <http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?addr=Ferndale+Rd+S+and+Grove+Ln+E&csz=Wayzata%2C+MN&country=us&new=1&name=&qty>
When: 10 a.m. Tomorrow (Friday, July 22)
Why: Keep our U.S. Senate seat in the DFL column!
Who: You and your DFL friends, and invited television and print media.
What to bring: Your family dog, lapdog, or stuffed animal dog. (Get the message? Kennedy's a lapdog...)
RSVP: Please RSVP to let us know you're coming!
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto: email@example.com> or call 651-251-6313 with your name and how many people you're bringing.
We hope to see you there!
Minnesota DFL Party Associate Chair|W|P|112198072646436237|W|P|DFL TO PROTEST CHENEY VISIT|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/20/2005 07:28:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|NPR's Nina Totenberg: "But John Roberts Is One Of These Extraordinary Men Who Combines An Incredible Degree Of Brilliance, In A Room Of Smart People, As [Former White House Counsel] Brad [Berenson] Said To Me Earlier Tonight, He's The Smartest Guy In The Room, But You Don't Feel Like It." (ABC's "Nightline," 7/19/05)
Totenberg: "When You Combine That Kind Of Just Niceness, With That Kind Of Intellectual Rigor, You're Talking About A Potential For Enormous Influence." (ABC's "Nightline," 7/19/05)
Totenberg: "[T]his Is A Very Shrewd Pick Because John Roberts Has A Huge Number Of Powerful Democratic, Establishment, Legal Friends, Who Will Go To Bat For Him." (ABC's "Nightline," 7/19/05)
Totenberg: "And There Are Already Key Senators Who Have Mentioned [Robert's] Name As The Kind Of Person They Could Vote For." (ABC's "Nightline," 7/19/05)
Totenberg: "And As I Said, I Would - I Couldn't Imagine, Right Now, That He - That John Roberts Won't Be On The Bench On The First Monday In October." (ABC's "Nightline," 7/19/05)
CNN's John King: "The President Sees In John Roberts A Man With The Poise And Political Skills, First, To Handle The Tough Confirmation Fight Just Ahead, And Then To Emerge As An Influential And Conservative Voice On The High Court For A Quarter Century To Come."
(CNN's "American Morning," 7/20/05)
New York Times' David Brooks: "I'm In Love With John Roberts Now ... I Think It's A Great Pick ... I Think He's Sort Of Like The Joe DiMaggio Of The Courts. He's A Modest Guy. He's A Nice Guy. ... He's A Substantive Guy." (MSNBC's "Imus In The Morning," 7/20/05)
Brooks: "Roberts Is Someone Who Has Friends Who Are Liberals, Democrats. I've Never Met Anybody Who Doesn't Like The Guy. So, I Can't Imagine He Won't Get Confirmed." (MSNBC's "Imus In The Morning," 7/20/05)
Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ): "I Think It's Going To Be Calm Because I Think The Personality Of Judge Roberts Is Pretty Calm In And Of Itself." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 7/20/05)
Corzine: "[Roberts Is A] Man Of High Character, He's Got A Good Judicial Temperament. He's An Outstanding Litigator, So I Think He Will Keep The Challenges, The Thrust And Parry That Goes On In The Judiciary Committee On A Calm Level." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 7/20/05)
Corzine: "[Roberts Is] Not A Very Confrontational Man, He's A Very Smart Individual And So I Think On The Basis Of Confrontation, There Won't Be Too Much Of That." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 7/20/05)
Dean Colson, Former Rehnquist Clerk, Lawyer And Friend Of John Roberts: "[Roberts], Over The Last Two Decades, Has Become Probably The Premier Supreme Court Litigator Of Our Generation. It's A Very Elite Field, And He's The Very Best Of The Best." (CNN's "American Morning," 7/20/05)
Colson: "He Is An Extraordinary Intellect. And He Is Noted For His Preparation. He Is Very Careful In His Deliberations And How He Arrives At His Decisions." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 7/20/05)
Colson: "I Think Roberts Is Where Most Of America Is." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 7/20/05)
Fox News' Peter Johnson Jr.: "I Don't Think The President Could Have Picked A Better Candidate In Terms Of Legal Acumen And Legal Experience." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 7/20/05)|W|P|112186999493710702|W|P|THE REACTION TO ROBERTS #3|W|Pemail@example.com/20/2005 07:18:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|The trial for former DFL state Rep. Loren Jennings is underway.
Jennings, 54, is on trial in U.S. District Court in St. Paul for mail fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. The Harrisman was a nine-term (18 years) member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Jennings was a former chairman of the House Regulated Industries Committee, which oversaw regulation of utility companies.
Federal prosecutors accuse Jennings of using the power of his legislative office to steer $650,000 in state grant money to Northern Pole, a telephone pole recycling business in which he was reported to have had a $670,000 stake.
The government alleges that Jennings used his influence to enact legislation that would include recycling of telephone poles to be funded by the state Conservation Improvement Program. After legislation was passed, the indictment says that Jennings “used his position and influence” to persuade utility companies to provide conservation funds to Northern Pole, a company owned by a friend of his, George Vitalis.
The indictment says that Jennings loaned about $670,000 to Northern Pole and he also had an equity interest in the company. It is also alleged that $273,000 in loans the company paid to Jennings came from the $650,000 in conservation funds paid to Vitalis and Northern Pole by utility companies.
The indictment says Jennings concealed his interest in Northern Pole through businesses he owned and the Town and Country Bank of Almelund. The bank, in his district, later failed.
Jennings has categorically denied the charges. Source: ECM Publishing, July 20, 2005|W|P|112186923027225657|W|P|JENNINGS GOES TO COURT #3|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/20/2005 06:38:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|A good friend of mine always says "it's all about abortion" when refering to political battles. He certainly is right about Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court.
"John Roberts' record raises serious concerns as well as questions about where he stands on crucial legal and constitutional issues. Replacing O'Connor with someone who is not committed to upholding Americans' rights, liberties and legal protections would be a constitutional catastrophe." Source: Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People for the American Way.
"We are extremely disappointed that President Bush has chosen such a divisive nominee for the highest court in the nation, rather than a consensus nominee who would protect individual liberty and uphold Roe v. Wade." Source: NARAL Pro-Choice America.
"The president had an opportunity to unite the country with his Supreme Court nomination, to nominate an individual in the image of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Instead, by putting forward John Roberts' name, President Bush has chosen a more controversial nominee and guaranteed a more controversial confirmation process." Source: Senator "Dick" Durbin
"The president has chosen someone with suitable legal credentials, but that is not the end of our inquiry. The Senate must review Judge Roberts' record to determine if he has a demonstrated commitment to the core American values of freedom, equality and fairness." Source: Senate minority leader Harry Reid|W|P|112186841575590453|W|P|THE REACTION TO ROBERTS #2|W|Pemail@example.com/19/2005 06:36:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This is from the RNC.
What They're Saying: Judge John G. Roberts
"Another Member Of The 'Gang Of 14', Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., Told The Hartford Courant Last Thursday That Roberts Would Be One Of Three Picks He Thought Would Not Spark A Talk-A-Thon, Or A Filibuster." (Jesse J. Holland, "Roberts Pick Draws Praise From Senate Republicans, A Few Democrats," The Associated Press, 7/19/05)
Wall Street Journal: "[M]r. Roberts May Be Difficult For The Democrats To Attack As Being An Extremist. Those Who Have Worked With Him Say He Is A Likeable, Gracious Judge Who Will Play Well To The Broader Public Audience During His Hearings." (John Harwood and Jess Bravin, "Bush Picks Appeals Judge John Roberts Jr. For Supreme Court," The Wall Street Journal, 7/19/05)
Wall Street Journal: "The Business Community Is Certain To Hail His Selection. ... In Addition, He Was Among The Finalists' Who Had Recent Experience In The Global Markets Of Today - A Perspective Corporate Leaders Say Is Sorely Missing On The Court." (John Harwood and Jess Bravin, "Bush Picks Appeals Judge John Roberts Jr. For Supreme Court," The Wall Street Journal, 7/19/05)
MSNBC's Dan Abrams: "[John Roberts Has] Actually Been Supported By Many Prominent Democrats When He Was Up For The Federal Court Of Appeals. In Fact, Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmed Him By A 14-3 Voice Vote." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 7/19/05)
MSNBC'S David Gregory: "It Should Be Known That Roberts Is Known As A Pretty Serious Conservative Legal Scholar With A Good Judicial Temperament." (MSNBC's ""Live Coverage Of Supreme Court Pick,"" 7/19/05)
MSNBC's Brian Williams: "John Roberts Is An Upstanding Member Of The Federal Bar." (MSNBC's "Live Coverage Of Supreme Court Pick," 7/19/05)
Williams: John Roberts "Has Been Able To Reach Across Those Kinds Of Ideological Lines." (MSNBC's ""Live Coverage Of Supreme Court Pick," 7/19/05)
Fox News' Shephard Smith: "If I Recall Correctly, [Roberts] Had A Rather Noncontroversial Confirmation Hearing. [He] Went Through The Process Rather Rapidly With A Little Bit Of Confirmation Difficulty From Democrats, But Nowhere Near As Much As Some Of The Other Presidential Nominees That Received The Filibuster Treatment." (Fox News' "The Fox Report," 7/19/05)
Smith: "He Clerked For Then-Associate Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist Back In 1981 And 1982, So He Has A Very Good Pedigree There In Terms Of Experience, At Least In And Around The High Court." (Fox News' "The Fox Report," 7/19/05)
Smith: "This Is Someone Major With Staunch Republican Credentials, And As Far As The President Is Concerned, It Gives Him The Ability To Stick To That Promise That He Made To Nominate A Conservative." (Fox News' "The Fox Report," 7/19/05)
Fox News' Major Garrett: "The President Said All Along That What He Wants Is A Strict Constructionist. Someone On The High Court Who Will Interpret The Constitution And Then Decide The Facts Of The Case Presented To Him Or Her Based On Not Only The Facts But On The Underlying Interpretation Of The Constitution." (Fox News' "The Fox Report," 7/19/05)
Garrett: "This Is A More Conventional Pick In That Sense. Does It Necessarily Mean It Is Someone Who Will Cause A Confirmation Problem? I Don't Have A Sense On That Yet. The Democratic Reaction Will Be Crucial." (Fox News' "The Fox Report," 7/19/05)
Garrett: "The Confirmation Process Went Relatively Quickly. It Only Took About Six Months From Nomination To Confirmation For John Roberts. Which Means He Has Not Only A Legal Track Record But A Senatorial Confirmation Track Record And It's To A Very Important Federal Appeals Court." (Fox News' "The Fox Report," 7/19/05)
Garrett: "Democrats Often Say The Court Of Appeals For The DC Circuit Is The Second Most Powerful Court In The Land So It Will Be Very Hard For Senate Democrats To Say 'Well This Nominee Was Not Given Sufficient Scrutiny When He Was Before The Senate Before,' Because They Say They By Definition Say They Heavily Scrutinize Anyone Nominated For This Particular Court." (Fox News' "The Fox Report," 7/19/05)
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: "[Roberts] Is A Very Smart Guy. He's Argued In Front Of The U.S. Supreme Court, Which Is Awfully Good Practice." (CNN's "Paula Zahn Live," 7/19/05)
Toobin: "[Roberts] Is A Very Distinguished Lawyer. This Is The Kind Of Lawyer That People Have Been Talking About For 20 Years, About Being On The Supreme Court. He Is Someone Who Has A -- Who Has The Experience That Makes Him A Plausible Candidate." (CNN's "Paula Zahn Live," 7/19/05)
Toobin: "When It Comes To Credentials, There Can't Be Any Argument That John Roberts Isn't Qualified." (CNN, "Paula Zahn Live," 7/19/05)
Toobin: "Harry Reid Has To Bow To Reality. He Does Have Suitable Credentials." (CNN, 7/19/05)
MSNBC Analyst Jonathan Turley: John Roberts "Is Someone Who Is Extremely Smart. ... He Is A Very Talented Man. ... You Would Have To Give Him Very High Scores For Intelligence." (MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," 7/19/05)
Gregory Garre, Former Colleague Of Roberts: "He Has A Friendly, Down-To-Earth Demeanor That Puts Others At Ease And Fosters Consensus." (Gina Holland, "Former Rehnquist Clerk Picked For Supreme Court Vacancy," The Associated Press, 7/19/05)
The Assocated Press Called Roberts A "Likeable Lawyer." (Gina Holland, "Former Rehnquist Clerk Picked For Supreme Court Vacancy," The Associated Press, 7/19/05)|W|P|112182431883870501|W|P|THE REACTION TO ROBERTS|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/19/2005 05:20:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
According to media reports, President Bush will nominate Judge John G. Roberts, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to the Supreme Court.|W|P|112181884248242813|W|P|LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!|W|Pemail@example.com/19/2005 08:03:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|This is a great story. It shows how Entenza was grandstanding about campaign finance reform after he got caught with his hand in his wife's cookie jar. Plus, it shows that the DFL is to blame for no meaningful campaign finance reform.
On January 21, Hamline University political science and law professor David Schultz met with House Minority Leader Matt Entenza. The reason for their meeting was to discuss possible changes to Minnesota's campaign finance laws. At Entenza's behest, Schultz had drafted a series of suggestions for tightening contribution limits and broadening disclosure requirements.
At the time, Entenza was facing intense scrutiny for pouring money into DFL-affiliated organizations in the final weeks of the 2004 election campaign. The St. Paul lawmaker and his wife, Lois Quam, an executive with UnitedHealth Group, donated some $600,000 to DFL causes during the election cycle. The scope of the couple's political benevolence, however, was not disclosed until after the election--when the Democrats picked up 13 seats in the House and came within one victory of toppling the Republican majority.
Schultz laid out eight suggested changes to Minnesota's campaign finance laws. Under his proposal, all political donations--whether to so-called 527 groups such as 21st Century Democrats (the organization that received much of Entenza's support last year) or directly to campaigns--would have to be disclosed within 48 hours. In addition, all contributions would be limited to $1,000. There were also measures designed to curb attack ads in the final weeks of campaigns. Many of the changes mimic those implemented in 2002 at the federal level through the McCain-Feingold bill.
"It was basically my dream bill," says Schultz, a past head of Common Cause Minnesota. "If we passed this bill we'd have had the best campaign finance laws in the country."
Entenza apparently lost interest in reforming the state's campaign finance laws once the furor over his personal contributions died down. But Schultz's proposal was eventually picked up by Rep. Tom Emmer, an eccentric freshman Republican from Delano. Emmer has made waves this year by championing chemical castration of sex offenders and attempting to strip Minnesota AIDS Project of all state funding.
He was motivated, in part, by disgust at Entenza's underhanded DFL financial support. "What he did in my estimation was unethical and it was clearly a way to bend the rules, but it wasn't illegal," says Emmer. However, he also makes it clear that financial shenanigans are endemic to both major parties. "It's driven by special interest groups giving donations, tons of money to both caucuses," Emmer says.
There are dollar figures to back Emmer's assertion. In 2004, according to a study recently completed by Schultz, large donors, lobbyists, and political action committees spent $94,821 per legislator to influence state legislative races and policy decisions.
In March Emmer's bill passed out of the House Civil Law and Elections Committee intact. While in a second committee, the provision limiting the size of contributions was stripped out. The disclosure requirements, which Emmer deemed the most important element of the bill, however, passed to the house floor in April. "I want total transparency," he says.
Initially, Emmer was optimistic that the bill would be passed, but once it got to the floor, support suddenly dissipated. Various interest groups, most notably Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, stepped up their attacks on the measure. The anti-choice nonprofit group passed out literature condemning the bill and told house members that the vote would be counted in the organization's influential legislative scorecards, even though the issue has nothing to do with abortion.
"What a crock of crap that is," says Emmer, who is pro-life and was endorsed by the MCCL in 2004. He's now disgusted by the group's high-handed tactics: "I've told them to knock it off. I don't ever want to hear from them again. I don't appreciate people passing me notes while I'm in committee telling me how to vote."
The measure never made it to a full House vote. Schultz says that he called Entenza--a potential candidate for attorney general next year--to try to spur some action on it, but got no response. Emmer also believes that the DFL leader didn't want the bill to pass. "This is extensive and important reform and Matt could have had his name all over it, and he just disappeared," Emmer says.
(Entenza did not return a call seeking comment.)
A companion bill in the Senate was originally championed by John Hottinger, the veteran St. Peter DFLer. According to three different people who met with him on the matter, Hottinger initially expressed enthusiasm for the bill and promised to push it through the Senate. The measure, however, never even got a hearing in committee.
"There's two reasons you carry a bill: to support it or kill it," says Schultz. "I'm fundamentally convinced that Hottinger does not support campaign finance reform."
"He had no intention of doing anything with that bill," says Joe Marble, co-founder of the advocacy group Minnesotans for Responsible Government. "He just basically stuffed it in the drawer."
Hottinger, not surprisingly, disputes this assessment. He blames the MCCL for the inability to pass campaign finance reform and says that the only way to fix the system is to introduce full public financing--a remote prospect at best. (Such a measure failed in a Senate committee this year.) "It's not so much that I don't support it," Hottinger says of the Emmer bill. "It's that it's an incomplete proposal."
Emmer attempted to reintroduce the campaign finance bill at the start of the special session, but it went nowhere. And he's not optimistic about the prospects for reform any time soon: "The big money over there is just sick." Source: City Pages, July 19, 2005|W|P|112178420465496414|W|P|IF YOU WANTED CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM THIS SESSION, BLAME THE DFL|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/19/2005 08:01:00 AM|W|P|Kevin from Minneapolis|W|P|I'm sorry, but Sen. Hottinger is 100 percent correct on this one. Entenza was no fan of the reform proposal, but it was the MCCL that knocked it down. Don't believe it? Why would a bill that Matt Entenza hates die on the General Register of a Republican controlled House one year after Entenza pumped $600,000 into nearly gaining back the majority? Because the MCCL said it should, that's why.7/19/2005 02:17:00 PM|W|P|John Jordan.com|W|P|Frankly, I don't know much about this bill or how it didn't succeed.
What I can say, though, is that I agree with the assessment of the MCCL and their "high handed" tactics.
I'm as pro-life as they come. But this group soured me to their organizations causes pretty quickly. They give you a survey of a number of questions. I forget how many but 25 comes to mind.
Toward the end of the survey they throw in some questions that have absolutely nothing to do with the pro-life cause. With them, if you don't answer EVERY QUESTION exactly as they want it, even the questions unrelated to the pro-life cause, you're not one of them and they won't support you.
I went round and round with them my first time over one of the questions. I hadn't decided how I'd come down on the issue or wasn't well versed enough on it to make a decision (I forget which). I left it blank.
They called me and told me I'd have to answer their way or they wouldn't list me a pro-life candidate, wouldn't help me, wouldn't make calls, wouldn't donate money, etc.
As to passing notes to legislators, they're the king of it. I've never seen such intimidation by a special interest group.
If I ever ran again I'd have to say "thanks but no thanks". I'm with them on the cause, but their tactics are nothing short of being the neighborhood bully.7/19/2005 07:44:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I just received this from Progress for America.
Large Majority of Americans Reject Liberal Attempts to Inject Ideology into Court Battle
FOX NEWS/OPINION DYNAMICS POLL: The Supreme Court Conducted July 12-13, 2005; surveyed 900 registered voters nationwide; margin of error +/-3% (release, 7/14)
Do you think it is acceptable or unacceptable for a U.S. Senator to base his or her vote on a Supreme Court nominee solely on thenominee’s political ideology -- that is, solely because the nominee is a conservative or a liberal?
Acceptable - 19%
Unacceptable - 69%
(Not sure)- 12%
If Senate Democrats strongly oppose the person President Bush nominates to be the next Supreme Court justice, do you think they should:
Allow an up or down vote on the nominee, even if they might lose - 51%
Draw out the debate to prevent a vote and keep the nominee from being confirmed? - 24%
Not sure - 26%
If the person President Bush nominates to the U.S. Supreme Court is a well-qualified strong conservative, do you think Senate Democrats should vote to confirm the nominee?
Yes - 62%
No - 22%
Not sure - 16%
For the complete poll, go to: http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/poll_071405.pdf. |W|P|112178469540094006|W|P|SUPREME COURT POLL|W|Pemail@example.com