11/22/2005 11:14:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
I have never been more proud of House Speaker Steve Sviggum. This is the exact type of speech Republicans need to give to Minnesotans.
Sviggum speaks to Beltrami Country Republicans House Speaker Steve Sviggum, in launching the race this week to recapture two local seats Republicans lost in 2004 to "liberal, leftist extremists."
Sviggum was the keynote speaker Tuesday night at a Beltrami County Republican fund-raiser at Bemidji State University's David Park House, where about 35 people heard stump speeches from six candidates for various offices.
Among them, former Rep. Doug Lindgren, R-Bagley, said he would try to recapture the seat he lost in 2004 to Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids. And Bemidji's Ridgewood Baptist Church Rev. David Myers announced his campaign against Rep. Frank Moe, DFL-Bemidji.
Also, Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, signaled a re-election campaign in 2006 by asking to return her to St. Paul for a shot at capturing the majority in the Senate from the Democrats.
"We are so close," she said. "The way the (Republicans) take the majority is for me to keep this seat, and … the DFL does not like me representing Bemidji.
Sviggum, R-Kenyon, has his eyes set on recapturing the House 2B seat, where Sailer beat Lindgren, and House 4A, where Moe beat three-term incumbent Rep. Doug Fuller, R-Bemidji, who isn't seeking a rematch in 2006.
"The House needs two more members from northern Minnesota on the majority side of the aisle," Sviggum said.
He lumped Moe and Sailer with their caucus leader, Minority Leader Matt Entenza, DFL-St. Paul, as "three peas in a pod and that is not Bemidji. … We exchanged the two Dougs (Fuller and Lindgren) for two liberal, leftist extremists, and that’s not Bemidji."
He described Entenza and Twin Cities liberals as "pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-gay marriage, big spending, big taxing," adding that "Sailer and Moe, with a smile on their face, vote with them 90 percent of the time. You give your vote away to the liberals in Minneapolis and St. Paul."
Sviggum said if he told Bemidjians that the urban liberals from the Twin Cities were running Bemidji, "Paul Bunyan would be blushing, and Babe the Blue Ox would turn pink. And that’s what's taking place."
Bemidji needs a more true representation of the principles and values of Bemidji, the Republican leader said. Balance needs to be brought to St. Paul, away from extreme leftist positions.
He asked local Republicans if they remembered what they learned in kindergarten and Sunday school: "Share what you have, play fair, clean up your own mess, put things back where you find them, don't take things that aren't yours, treat people the way you want to be treated … it's a pretty good philosophy of life and it's a pretty good Republican philosophy."
It means balance both in life and in government, he said.
"You cannot and you should not govern from the extreme, radical left," Sviggum said, adding that it should also apply to the extreme radical right. "There’s got to be some room for compromise and cooperation. The radical left have forgotten hard work, individual responsibility, risk, reward, the market, the American dream, the American experiment.
"They've forgotten it, they're whacko, they're left and they're gone,” Sviggum said. “You can't govern from there."
He called the DFL strategy "cynical," as the DFL Senate stymied budget efforts by confronting Republicans in 2004 and 2005 because they didn’t face an election.
The Bemidji area missed $33 million in bonding projects in 2004 because the Senate didn't pass a bonding bill, while House Republicans faced re-election that fall, he said. And this year, DFLers forced a special session and government shutdown just to embarrass GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty, he said.
"From the beginning, it was going to be a special session," Sviggum said. "Their strategy was to embarrass the governor, to someway reduce the popularity that he had."
In the upcoming session, the cornerstones of Republican philosophy have to be faith, family, freedom and work. He labeled debate on a constitutional amendment ballot question that gay marriages be banned in Minnesota as "very, very important."
That also appears to be one of the key campaign issues for Myers, who hopes to unseat Moe next year.
"Frank Moe has done a good job representing his constituents," Myers said. "But he's dangerous if we leave him there."
Important to Myers is the Marriage and Family Act, "which defines marriage as one man and one woman. If you send me to St. Paul, I will work very hard … to try to bring that before the voters."
Moe will not support the act because state law already bars it, Myers said. "He's not going to come out and say that he's for gay rights, because Frank is a middle-of-the-road kind of guy. But I'm not a middle-of-the-road kind of guy … it was the law of the land in Massachusetts
it's the law of the land until the Legislature decides it's not."
It needs to be part of the State Constitution where lawmakers can’t tamper with it, he said.
"We need to try to stop abortion wherever we can," he added. "I will work hard to try to stem the tide. Whenever I get the opportunity to push it back, I’ll do that."
Myers has never run for public office, but said he's worked on several campaigns. He retired four years ago from the U.S. Navy, where he had a 22-year career as a diver.
Lindgren said he enjoyed his only two-year term in the Legislature, and wants to return. His family runs a Bagley service station while he teaches auto mechanics at Northwest Technical College.
"I've got to do it," he said. "Once you get this in your blood, you can't get it out. … I loved my two years being a representative, and I’m going to do it again."
Ruud plans to seek a second, four-year term. Now in the Senate minority, she said she felt hamstrung and that the GOP needs to wrest control of the chamber.
"It was very clear from Day 1 that we were headed toward shutdown," she said of the past session. "There was never an agenda to get anything done."
Even the night of the shutdown, an agreement was close, but Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, adjourned the body, she said. "When you hear the governor shut down the state of Minnesota, it's not true. Sen. Dean Johnson shut down the state of Minnesota.
"Those of us who believe in government and believe we are there to do what’s best for the state of Minnesota, really couldn't believe that politics could be more important than policy and the good of the state," Ruud said.
It's difficult for a minority member to get bills passed, Ruud said, adding that many bills she wanted passed had to be put through DFL authors in order to pass.
"I passed 70 percent of the bills I introduced last year, but the sad thing is most of them don't have my name on them anymore because I'm in the minority," she said.
"It's not all about who gets credit, but I would love for my bills to have my name on them, and the only way we're going to do that is for the (Republicans) to take the majority,” Ruud said.
She urged those at the fund-raiser for their help, especially in letting her know of events to attend locally, and alluded that she has been snubbed from some events.
"If you seen an event, like yesterday's (Monday's), that I should be invited to, or that I should attend, I need you to tell me,” she said."It's obvious I'm not going to find out about those events."
Let her know because she’ll be there, Ruud said. "I've been in Bemidji three, four times a week
I've been here, I've represented this city. … I think I've proven to you I can work hard."
Ruud referred to a meeting Monday between a delegation of Russian local government officials and with Moe, Sailer and Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, at which the visitors learned about state government and politics.
Kath Molitor, Beltrami County Republican Chairwoman, said that Ruud was not invited, even though she was in Bemidji on Monday.
"We need our senator in Bemidji, not someone else's senator," Molitor said. "Why wasn't Carrie invited to talk politics with the Russians? This has got to stop."
Sviggum said that he and Pawlenty plan to spend a day in Bemidji doing a variety of activities on Jan. 6. Source: Bemidji Pioneer, November 22, 2005 |W|P|113268761448000207|W|P|SVIGGUM: "YOU CANNOT AND YOU SHOULD NOT GOVERN FROM THE EXTREME, RADICAL LEFT"|W|Pemail@example.com/22/2005 12:10:00 PM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|35 people were all they could attract? Many years ago, I remember a photo of 60 showing up to protest Norm Coleman. The local GOP ridiculed that 60 for being a very vocal but tiny minority.
So, what does that say for the Speaker of the House when he can only gather 35 people in a 70,000 voter senate district on a university campus of 5000? out of that 35, how many were campaign supporters of the people present?
35 is a joke. He's got more staffers in the caucus than that.11/22/2005 12:55:00 PM|W|P|ReaganBlows|W|P|Yep, Steve Sviggum is the Karl Rove of Minnesota... with a mastermind like that running things who even needs to campaign...11/22/2005 01:36:00 PM|W|P|Sean Broom|W|P|The Republicans message for all the storm and bluster seems to be failing to draw much of a crowd these days. In the 6th there was a forum with about 55 people (Mike McIntee and a few Democrats were there as well) and that forum included all of the announced candidates who wanted to take Screech's seat, so you've got to figure Michelle Bachman's strangely effete husband and her brood were there as well as other campaign staffers, leaving an actual crowd of oh... 3 or 4.
Sean Broom11/22/2005 02:21:00 PM|W|P|North Star Politics|W|P|Speaker Sviggum is coming unhinged. Reps. Moe and Sailer "liberal, leftist extremists"? He's lost all perspective. Moe and Sailer are widely known to be two of the most moderate members of the House. Check NSP soon for a post on this subject.11/22/2005 10:48:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
Click on the pictures to view the Hatch Flip-Flop of the Week.
|W|P|113268531195472121|W|P|HATCH FLIP-FLOP OF THE WEEK #1|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/21/2005 08:00:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Since MN Publius is complaining about Governor Pawlenty's disdain for democracy because of when he scheduled special elections to fill legislative seats, I thought I would offer some historical perspective.
In 1994, Dave Kleis was elected in a special election on December 29 to fill the legislative seat vacated by Joanne Benson when she was elected lieutenant governor. 11 years later, the special election will be held on December 27 to fill the legislative seat vacated by Dave Kleis.
Just like in 1994, the 2005 special election will be held on the last tuesday in December.
Nice try, MN Publius.
|W|P|113263300198899017|W|P|BLAME OPTAZ, NOT PAWLENTY FOR TIMING OF SPECIAL ELECTION #2|W|Pemail@example.com/21/2005 08:59:00 PM|W|P|Zack|W|P|MDE, who was governor is 1994. What was his partisan affilation? What the hell is your point?11/21/2005 09:05:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|My point is that you are wrong about your post. You expect a special election to be called before there is an open seat.
As I said: Nice try.11/21/2005 09:14:00 PM|W|P|Andy Smith|W|P|Mary Kiffmeyer is worried about this one as well. http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/5738444.html11/21/2005 09:40:00 PM|W|P|Inside_source|W|P|Looks like the DFL is already trying to create an excuse for losing this upcoming special election.
Given the drubbing the DFL mayor took in the St. Cloud election (notice, not a special election), it appears the GOP in that area is well organized.11/21/2005 11:31:00 PM|W|P|stp_283|W|P|It does seem a little unfortunate that both of the mentioned special elections were after college students went home for winter break...
I think that plays a bit into the decision, eh?11/22/2005 07:02:00 AM|W|P|Brent Metzler|W|P|It does seem a little unfortunate that both of the mentioned special elections were after college students went home for winter break...
What? College students can't vote by absentee ballot? I didn't know that. It's good too know for the future.
Brent11/22/2005 07:06:00 AM|W|P|Kevin from Minneapolis|W|P|The whole thing could have been avoided if Opatz had stepped down sooner, or at least set up some sort of reasonable timetable for his resignation so everyone wouldn't be left guessing.11/22/2005 07:11:00 AM|W|P|ReaganBlows|W|P|I am not surprised, this is typical of T-Paw... hiring a record number of hacks to his administration... calling an election when nobody will show up, instead of waiting until January... what really matters is who wins that seat in 11/06 though...11/22/2005 09:42:00 PM|W|P|Kevin from Minneapolis|W|P|College students are also highly likely to commit voter fraud. With same-day registration, students can show up, register and vote even if they are registered in another city or even state.
So really, calling the election during winter break should have no effect, because students who can vote - those who live in St. Cloud year-round and therefore qualify as local voters - will be there anyway and those registered at their official addresses outside St. Cloud will not be able to become St. Cloud residents for the day.
You would think the left would be happy that this obvious threat to the legitimacy of our elections is removed. Instead they are upset because their tried-and-true methods of election rigging were spoiled.11/26/2005 12:04:00 PM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|party opposite,
Your accusation makes about as much sense as denying middle aged white males the right to teach because stats show that they are the majority of sex offenders.
Its ridiculous. You can't 'pre-emptive' strike some crimes. Crime is not a crime until its done and proven.
Many college students vote on the campus where they spend nine out of twelve months in the year. Most campuses reside on two or more precincts and/or wards to keep student from electing one of their own. This is a trend started in the 1970's after the voting age was lowered to 18. The complete and only goal was to disenfranchise young adults from being represented in the process.
Holding a local election when the campus is cleared does exactly the same thing. Sure they can go home and vote, except the ordinances of Saint Cloud are more likely to affect them than back home. Before you yap about taxes, take a trip to Saint Cloud and see who's working throughout the community.
It's BS. The GOP know that places where intellect are allowed to flourish are not good areas for them. Take a look at the Red and Blue map for reference.11/21/2005 07:35:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Under the headline "One Term Timmy's Political Games", MN Publius attempts to make the claim that Governor Pawlenty "hates democracy" because of when he scheduled special elections to fill open legislative seats.
"What is especially damning about this decision is that Pawlenty had the opportunity to schedule several of these elections concurrent with the general election on November 8th. For instance, Rep. Joe Opatz, who's resignation has caused the Dec. 27th special election in House District 15B, announced that he would leave the House this summer!" Source: MN Publius, November 21, 2005
Governor Pawlenty can't schedule a special election for a open seat that doesn't exist. Representative Joe Opatz will resign his seat on December 15, five weeks after the general election on November 8th.
It would be impossible for there to be a special election to fill an open seat before there actually is an open seat. If the bloggers behind MN Publius are upset at the timing of the special election then they need to blame Opatz, who waited months to resign.
|W|P|113263191008057325|W|P|BLAME OPTAZ, NOT PAWLENTY FOR TIMING OF SPECIAL ELECTION|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/21/2005 09:14:00 PM|W|P|Zack|W|P|Opatz may have resigned effective Dec 15, but we knew when he was going to resign for months. The election could have been held on Dec 15 (which is a Tuesday), for instance, or after the new year. What do you have to say about the timing of tomorrow's special? You've been silent on that one.11/21/2005 09:16:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I am unaware of a problem with tomorrow's special election.11/21/2005 09:30:00 PM|W|P|Zack|W|P|Tomorrow's special is two days before Thanksgiving. It could have (and should have) been scheduled for the same day as the general.11/22/2005 07:09:00 AM|W|P|Kevin from Minneapolis|W|P|People have been guessing for months at when Opatz would resign. He was waiting until the most politically opportune time to do so and got one upped by the governor.11/22/2005 08:32:00 PM|W|P|lloydletta|W|P|When I talked to Judy Johnson about this at her endorsing convention - before the election was scheduled, she thought that the election should have been on Nov 8....
Republicans wouldn't have lost this seat if they'd let Martha Robertson alone.11/21/2005 06:10:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Politics is often called the "art of compromise", but Hottinger saw advantages for DFLers in not compromsing.
"I didn't want Democrats voting for a terrible budget," he [John Hottinger] said. By avoiding "compromising and blurring things," he added, the accord set the stage for the DFL's gain of 13 seats in the 2004 House election. Source: Star Tribune, November 21, 2005
Hottinger's proud of his no compromise attitude, but then he complains about partisan gridlock at the State Capitol.
"But he said those efforts were greatly hampered by a Minnesota political culture that swung sharply negative during his time in St. Paul.
'It's strategic game-playing as opposed to policy discussion,' he said. When both sides concentrate on personal attacks, he added, 'the only thing the public understands is that we're all bad people.'" Source: Star Tribune, November 21, 2005|W|P|113262620256135657|W|P|NO COMPROMISING FOR HOTTINGER|W|Pemail@example.com/21/2005 02:25:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Look at the picture MPR used for the story about Vice-President Cheney's speech on Iraq intelligence.|W|P|113261195122513832|W|P|CERTAINLY NOT FAIR AND BALANCED|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/21/2005 02:33:00 PM|W|P|John Jordan.com|W|P|I don't know about that. I can understand a web site using a photo like that to attract viewers and attention. It worked, right? :)
Look at the Murtha photo a few inches down on the page. He looks like a wild-eyed sort of guy, too.11/21/2005 03:06:00 PM|W|P|Sean Broom|W|P|I dunno... it seems fair enough to me, if only because he had the temerity to imply the things he did about people like Paul Hackett and John Murtha while Cheney's experience in Vietnam was sitting at home and getting D-dubs.
If you act like the grinch it's only fair that people make you look like one.
And, Mike, just so you know some guy used the name 'H.R. Haldeman' on the Superman post, something that I think you've erased peoples posts for before.
Sean11/21/2005 01:24:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P| Hatch accused of 'legal terrorism'
A jury in Mower County acquitted former Republican Party Chairman Ron Eibensteiner of violating campaign finance laws. Eibensteiner was accused of accepting a corporate contribution.
Corporate contributions are illegal in Minnesota. Just days after the verdict, Eibensteiner appeared on AT ISSUE. He accused Attorney General Mike Hatch of orchestrating his prosecution.
The former chairman of the state Republican party accused Hatch of "legal terrorism," "quarterbacking" the case against him, and called Hatch's staff "legal storm troopers."
Hatch had no comment on the case. Despite the accusations, Eibensteiner said he does not harbor any ill will towards Mike Hatch. Source: KSTP, November 21, 2005
|W|P|113260842603332876|W|P|THE EIBENSTEINER STRIKES BACK #2|W|Pemail@example.com/21/2005 12:02:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P| Hottinger is not resigning, but he will not seek re-election.
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) D-F-L Senator John Hottinger says he won't run for re-election next year.
Hottinger says he's announcing his decision now, so others interested in running have time to make plans.
Hottinger is a St. Peter lawyer who was first elected in 1990. He served as Senate majority leader in 2003.
While he's enjoyed his time in the Legislature, Hottinger says the divisiveness of recent sessions has made the Legislature a less happy place.
As he put it, "We have to find ways to talk to each other.'' Source: Associated Press, November 21, 2005 |W|P|113260347566712784|W|P|HOTTINGER WILL NOT SEEK RE-ELECTION|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/21/2005 11:59:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
This is from the Associated Press:
3 p.m. State Senator John Hottinger, DFL-St. Peter, will make an announcement regarding his political future.
Location: State Capitol, Room 125, St. Paul
Contacts: Sen. Hottinger's office, (651) 296-6153 |W|P|113260328929559805|W|P|IS HOTTINGER RESIGNING?|W|Pemail@example.com/21/2005 09:23:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
Fundraiser note raised a ruckus
Ron Jerich, a Minnesota lobbyist with DFL ties, was at his home in Mendota Heights in
October 2002 as the election season was reaching fever pitch. Jerich was waiting to go door to door for DFL candidates with 20 volunteers. He had no idea that he was about to become a pawn in what he considers an attempt by Minnesota's top legal officer to target political opponents.
Attorney General Mike Hatch, whom Jerich describes as a longtime friend, was among the door-knockers gathering at Jerich's home. Jerich says he showed Hatch a form letter from Ron Eibensteiner, then chair of the Minnesota Republican Party.
The letter thanked Jerich for a donation that one of his corporate clients had made to a national Republican committee.
"Mike's eyes lit up," Jerich says. "I couldn't understand his interest. He knew I raised money for both political parties, and Eibensteiner's letter was a simple thank you." Jerich thought nothing more about the letter until later that evening, when he searched all over but couldn't find it. It wasn't until months later, Jerich says, when Hatch publicly admitted taking the letter, that "it dawned on me that Mike had taken the letter when I wasn't looking."
Last week, Hatch spokeswoman Leslie Sandberg said Jerich gave the letter to Hatch.
Eibensteiner is convinced that Hatch saw the letter as political gold, and waited for an opportunity to use it to maximum advantage.
About five months later, Hatch's office provided the letter to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, according to Hatch's own testimony. It served as the basis for a story suggesting that Eibensteiner might have broken campaign finance laws and that the administration of Tim Pawlenty -- by then the new governor (and Hatch's political rival) -- may have entered into a sweetheart deal in settling charges against Jerich's corporate client, a Florida insurance company.
At a subsequent state Senate committee hearing in March 2003, Hatch testified that he had shown the letter to state Commerce Commissioner Glenn Wilson and urged him to avoid such a settlement, though Wilson vigorously denied this. A legislative auditor's probe in May found no evidence of wrongdoing by the Pawlenty administration, though it did criticize aspects of the settlement. Meanwhile, the report pronounced some of Hatch's behavior in connection with the case "troubling."
Some months after this, Jerich's purloined letter surfaced again, becoming the principal evidence in a criminal case against Eibensteiner.
The case featured many curious elements. Its venue was Mower County, something of a DFL stronghold along the Iowa border. "Mower County was targeted as the venue of the complaint," says Bill Mauzy, Eibensteiner's attorney, "and the presentation to the grand jury was results-oriented for an indictment against the insurance company and the Republican Eibensteiner."
Hatch was a star witness against Eibensteiner, who describes the attorney general as "consumed with rage and vindictiveness on the stand."
The jury took three hours last week to reach a verdict of not guilty.
"The story here," Mauzy says, "is the abuse of office of the attorney general to satisfy his own ambitions and go after his political enemies."
Sandberg, Hatch's spokeswoman, declined to comment on the attorney general's role in the case.
Mauzy's is a serious charge, but Hatch has for years been making serious charges in this matter that have not been found to have merit.
"Ron Eibensteiner did nothing wrong," Jerich says. "Now he's faced with trying to salvage his good name. I want my letter back."
Eibensteiner sees things a little differently. "It wasn't my reputation that was lost at that trial," he says. "It was Mike Hatch's." Source: Star Tribune, November 21, 2005
|W|P|113259414106406751|W|P|MIKE HATCH IS A THIEF|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/21/2005 10:07:00 AM|W|P|DJ|W|P|If any of the media outlets have the balls to dig into the testimony from the trial and report on the truths of what really happened here, Mike Hatch's decade long campaign for Governor would finally come to an end.11/21/2005 01:25:00 PM|W|P|Sean Broom|W|P|I think that highlighting Eibensteiner's description of Hatch is a little untoward; don't you Mike? I mean if some (preferrably nutral) journalist would have described Hatch like that it would carry a little bit of water. But the defendant? But of course bias has never gotten in your way.
I think that this is a bad scene for Mike Hatch. Gotcha' politics only serves to screw those who bring it, or those who don't deserve it (Bob Livingston).
Sean11/20/2005 07:50:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|It seems Tom Rukavina is upset with State Senator Tom Saxhaug for jumping ship to support Kelly Doran for governor:
"'[Tom] Saxhaug had told [Mike] Hatch he was supporting him and then he shows up at that kick-off,' Rukavina said." Source: Mesabi Daily News, November 19, 2005
Please read my post from last week on this subject. |W|P|113250206581566164|W|P|HATCH'S CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR LOSING SUPPORT #2|W|Pemail@example.com/20/2005 07:35:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|DFL State Senator Tom Bakk made it clear why he is supporting Kelly Doran instead of Mike Hatch:
"'Kelly [Doran] doesn't bring all the baggage to the campaign that [Mike] Hatch does. To win, we will need some support from the business community and I think with Hatch that would be tough. He's taken plenty of businesses on and so support for him will be problematic,' the Cook senator said regarding Hatch's litigation against several companies, especially in health care." Source: Mesabi Daily News, November 19, 2005|W|P|113250168121683159|W|P|DFL STATE SENATOR: HATCH'S BAGGAGE A PROBLEM|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/19/2005 01:14:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|In the short history of Minnesota Democrats Exposed, I have rarely posted material unrelated to exposing Minnesota Democrats.
But the teaser trailer for "Superman Returns" is too good to pass up.
P.S. Recognize the voice heard in the trailer?
|W|P|113243542754464970|W|P|COMING SOON|W|Pemail@example.com/19/2005 06:35:00 PM|W|P|Segretti|W|P|come on, mde... stick to exposing the liberals, not exposing your dorkiness...11/19/2005 06:48:00 PM|W|P|John Jordan.com|W|P|come on, mde... stick to exposing the liberals, not exposing your dorkiness...
C'mon, indeed. Leave MDE alone. Don't like him talking about a passion, don't read it. To post a personal shot like that was uncalled for and immature.11/19/2005 07:31:00 PM|W|P|H.R. Haldeman|W|P|Is this an apt SAT analogy?
Superman : Clark Kent ::
MDE : ???11/19/2005 08:35:00 PM|W|P|North Star Politics|W|P|Something those of us from all across the political spectrum can agree on.11/18/2005 07:19:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
I just received this email from a dedicated reader of Minnesota Democrats Exposed.
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 7:04 PM
Subject: FW: Hopkins Schools S.O.D.
I received this email.
It has big implications for SD43 DFL Candidate Terri Bonoff, who has been touting her impact on Hopkins Education [.]
The Superintendent of the district (Michael Kremer) who had the message sent out on his behalf seconded Terri's nomination at the SD43 DFL BPOU convention and her campaign manager is the treasuer of the board!
Below is an email I just received stating that Hopkins Schools were operating at Statutory Operating Deficit (SOD) for 2004-2005. This is huge. Explains why all three School Board incumbents did not run this year.
It's also potentially huge considering Terri Bonoff and Barb Klass have been Co-Chairs of the LAC over the past five years or so. Furthermore, Barb Klass has also been a current school board member (has been for many years) and as you also know, Barb Klass is also Terri's campaign chair.
----- Original Message -----
To: LAC Steering Comm Group
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 07:02
Subject: 2004-05 Audit
Dear Members of the LAC Steering Committee (this message is from Superintendent Michael Kremer),
Recently, we learned that Hopkins School District 270 is in statutory operating debt (SOD), which is based on the preliminary findings of the fiscal year 2005 (2004-05 school year) audit. This audit is still being completed and will be presented to the Hopkins School Board, Thursday, Dec. 15. We discussed this situation with the School Board publicly, Thursday, Nov. 17, and wanted to share it will all of you as soon as possible also.
The preliminary audit findings indicate that the District ended fiscal year 2005 with a negative unreserved general fund balance of -$4,329,464, which is a –5.4 percent of operating expenses. Under Minnesota law, a school district enters statutory operating debt when it spends in excess of a –2.5 percent unreserved general fund balance.
At no time is statutory operating debt acceptable. As your superintendent, I accept full responsibility for this situation, and want to assure you that over the next weeks we will be aggressively working to develop a plan to correct it.
As you know, the Hopkins School District has had six consecutive years of difficult budget decisions, resulting in more than $18.2 million worth of reductions. The Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) and School Board have recommended sitting on the edge of statutory debt since 1999. For the 2004-05 school year, the District intentionally adopted an unbalanced budget fully expecting to end the fiscal year with a negative fund balance. This was done to maintain the District's educational program as much as possible in the wake of no additional funding from the state, and being prevented from seeking additional operating levy authority from residents. There is risk involved with having no fund balance, but the District intentionally chose to spend money on programs and services for kids. However, that negative fund balance slipped further than expected, and now the situation needs to be corrected.
Due to multiple employee turnover in the District's Business Office, the increasing negative fund balance was not detected until this year’s audit of the 2004–05 budget. Had we known about it earlier, we would have done something about it earlier.
Some of the corrective work has already started with a series of recommendations from the District's Citizens Financial Advisory Committee. This volunteer group annually reviews the District's financial picture, and recommends expense limits to the Hopkins School Board. This year's recommendations include:
* Suspending the School Board's policy of maintaining an unreserved general fund balance of between 3 percent and 5 percent of operating expenditures in order to maintain the quality of the District's programs and services, and establishing a goal to work within current policy parameters within five years.
* Being clear of statutory operating debt status within three years.
* Completing annual audits by October 1st of each year.
* Creating and implementing an improved financial monitoring system, allowing budget managers to review revenue and expenditure data in a just-in-time manner. This includes generating reports for all budget managers on a monthly basis, and negotiating appropriate budget adjustments.
* Providing comprehensive fund balance reports to the Board on a monthly basis, and updating the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee on a quarterly basis.
* Suspending the Program-Based Budgeting system for fiscal year 2007 (covering the 2006-07 school year), and directing the superintendent to work with staff to prepare a draft of a budget to deliver to the full Board in late December, and to share with the community for review and comment thereafter.
* Restructuring the Business Office to meet current District needs.
* Continuing to seek alternative non-traditional revenue flows, creating new positive revenue streams into the District, not reducing expenditures.
CFAC members have already looked at multi-year budget simulations designed to gradually bring the District out of SOD in three years. The District's plan to remove it from SOD must be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Education for approval before Jan. 31, 2006.
After Thanksgiving, I will begin developing a draft 2006-07 budget with the District's budget managers. This draft budget will be presented to the School Board on Dec. 15. It then will be presented to District staff, parents, and other community members in a series of meetings to be conducted during January. Information about this budget draft will be available on the District's Web site, and in a news release sent to local media. The District also will establish a budget comment voicemail line and email address that people can use to provide their feedback as well.
Throughout the budget considerations and decision-making, the District will strive to maintain its educational programs and services. Our top priority will be to minimize the impact of any additional budget adjustments on classrooms and our education programs. We remain focused on delivering the best, top quality, education program. This is our commitment to our students and their parents, our staff, and our community.
If you have any questions, please contact your building principal. I will be doing everything humanly possible to keep principals up-to-date with the best information available. Please remember, that the budget profile aligned with SOD is 2004-05. We have been blessed with good news since that time such as a successful referendum, new state aid, and Q-Comp, and our budget picture heading toward 2006-07 has improved considerably. So please don’t hesitate to ask questions, and know that we will provide you with updated information when it becomes available.
|W|P|113237038356925129|W|P|BONOFF'S EDUCATION RECORD QUESTIONED|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/19/2005 01:25:00 AM|W|P|indep|W|P|this has absolutely nothing to do with the election. bonoff has been a leader in securing funding for the district. the only thing this letter shows is that the Tim Pawlenty has cut education so much that even a district with such high standards as hopkins cant secure sufficient funding. if hopkins cant make the grade how are we to expect urban and rural mn to have sufficient money to keep our kids competitive. we need a senator such a bonoff that will be an advocate to ensure emails like this never have to be sent in our great state11/18/2005 04:24:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|North Star Liberty has been doing an outstanding job of following (and exposing DFL shenanigans in) the special election in SD 43.|W|P|113236046150519326|W|P|DFL SHENANIGANS IN SD 43|W|Pemail@example.com/18/2005 03:53:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|According to highly placed sources in St. Paul, former Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Ron Eibensteiner appeared in studio today for a taping of Channel 5's "At Issue." The vindicated Eibensteiner addressed the politically motivated case brought by DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch and the dismissal of all charges against him.
Developing...|W|P|113235830962397848|W|P|EIBENSTEINER ON "AT ISSUE"|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/20/2005 07:26:00 PM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|That was too long. What's your point MDE?11/17/2005 05:33:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Does the Minneapolis Police Chief have nothing else to do than defend Amy Klobuchar's horrible record as Hennepin County Attorney?
This is *ucking ridiculous!
MINNESOTA: WHO KNEW THE MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF READS THE; Hotline?
Minneapolis Police Chief William McManus faxed a letter to the Hotline, referencing our 11/2 edition, which quoted an NRSC release stating that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (D) "blasts" Hennepin Co. Atty. Amy Klobuchar (D). Rybak, at a 10/30 debate:"70% of the people who committed homicide in Minneapolis last year were on Hennepin County probation. The county and the city need to work together, but the county needs to step up" (11/1).
McManus, in his letter: "Your publication recently reported on suggestions from some quarters that the Minneapolis Mayor criticized the Hennepin County Attorney when he cited a statistic from a study of Minneapolis homicide suspects in 2004. ... Even though a review of the Mayor's comments shows that he never even mentioned the County Attorney or the work of the County Attorney's Office, I would like to clarify the record because the statistic in question has been misinterpreted. For the record: Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar has a very good reputation with law enforcement. In particular, she has a strong record on the prosecution of repeat and violent offenders. ... The County Attorney's Office does not run probation and is not responsible for supervising offenders on probation. That is the job of the Community Corrections Department. ... In the final analysis, only 11 of the 60 individuals charged for Minneapolis homicides in 2004 were on probation for felony cases. A review of these 11 cases shows that they were handled appropriately by the County Attorney's Office. I hope these points will help to correct the record" (11/14). Source: The Hotline, November 17, 2005|W|P|113227767267998129|W|P|MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF PLAYS POLITICS INSTEAD OF SOLVING CRIMES|W|Pemail@example.com/17/2005 06:47:00 PM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|Well,
The Cheif clears up all of the bullshit the Right was running with and admits that she is good with law enforcement and you guys want to know why does he have time to do this?
Just like the Washington Republicans, kill the messenger if the mesaage debases yours.
Too funny, but good for you MDE for even posting what is close to a retraction.11/17/2005 06:52:00 PM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|MINNESOTA: WHO KNEW THE MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF READS THE; Hotline?
He spent a lot of his career as a DC cop up to Deputy Cheif of police in DC.
e may have an understanding of politics, afterall, his departments funding rise and fall with the politicians at the head.
Or, the Klobuchar folks saw this and figured what would be the best strategic way to handle the smear. Having the Cheif of Police set the record straight works well.11/17/2005 09:02:00 PM|W|P|North Star Politics|W|P|Maybe, just maybe, the police chief of the city of Minneapolis believes that the best thing for his department and the citizens of Minneapolis in the reduction of crime would be a Sen. Klobuchar. Mr. McManus is apparently looking for a safer Minneapolis, and he's also apparently not willing to let Republicans take cheap shots at his department's partner in stopping crime.
What this says is: looking for a safer Minnesota? Vote Amy Klobuchar for Senate.11/18/2005 09:16:00 AM|W|P|Abrogans|W|P|I look at it as more of a rebuttal to your inaccurate statements than a defense of Amy Klobuchar.
Are you just mad because this particular wad of mud wont stick?11/17/2005 03:35:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I was at a funeral today and during a break between events, I checked my voicemail. I had received a phone call from the Office of the General Manager for Domains by Proxy informing me I was facing a lawsuit for copyright infringement. I was told on the message that I needed to contact Domains by Proxy ASAP.
I returned the call and was told that a representative from Inside Minnesota Politics had contacted Domains by Proxy because I used a picture from their website. The representative from Domains by Proxy that I spoke with was very professional and helpful.
The picture I used showed a hat being passed at Mike Hatch's announcement speech for governor. Click here for post with the picture removed.
In my opinion, the representative from Domains by Proxy was surprised I had not been contacted directly by Inside Minnesota Politics regarding my use of their picture. If I had been contacted by a representative from Inside Minnesota Politics, I would have removed the picture from my blog without incident.
I informed the representative from Domains by Proxy that I was at a funeral, but that I would remove the picture tonight. According to the representative from Domains by Proxy, my removal of the picture would end the problem.
For the record, I did source the picture and provide a link to Inside Minnesota Politics.
But rather than contacting me directly to remove the picture, representatives from Inside Minnesota Politics decided to file a lawsuit. In my opinion, the goal of this legal action was to force Domains by Proxy to reveal my identity.
I am a fan of Inside Minnesota Politics, even though it is run by DFL activists.
In the future, if anyone has a concern about my use of a picture, don't waste your money hiring an attorney. Just send me an email and I will address your concerns in a timely and professional manner.
It would be mistake for anyone to think I am intimidated by threats of lawsuits. I removed the picture because it was from Inside Minnesota Politics, not because a representative from Inside Minnesota Politics tattled on me and I am scared.
Even as I type this post, I can't stop laughing about the fact a representative from Inside Minnesota Politics didn't contact me directlty about the picture.
Just relax kitten, it's going to be O.K.
|W|P|113227178930558837|W|P|A MESSAGE FROM MDE: COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT?|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/17/2005 06:40:00 PM|W|P|John Jordan.com|W|P|It's amazing just afraid of you they are, MDE. They'll stop at nothing to try to neuter you.
Take it as a compliment of you good work.11/18/2005 09:09:00 AM|W|P|Abrogans|W|P|Here's a thought. Why don't you simply get permission before using copyrighted material?
That is how it supposed to work. Take a look at the law books if you don't believe me.11/18/2005 11:24:00 AM|W|P|Abrogans|W|P|By the way, your original comments were reckless and baseless, unless you had some actual knowlege that someone stuck of wad of money into those plastic top hats.
Most fundraisers have some sort of basket in which checks are placed. Instead of a basket they used top hats. I like it. Kind of cute.
You then take a copyrighted photo and place it on your website, so that you can smear someone without and proof. I think this sort of thing leaves a bad taste in everyones mouth.
I can't believe that you have the audacity to cry foul.11/18/2005 02:06:00 PM|W|P|Tracy|W|P|Wow, a blogger copied a photo and made fun of it. That never happens! It called satire or political commentary.
There used to be a time when people believed in free speech, even people on the left. Then the right found a voice and the left decided that free speech wasn't so cool.11/18/2005 08:10:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|There was no copyright listed and I sourced the material. Mr. McIntee, your agenda in this instance is clear.11/18/2005 10:10:00 PM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|You know Tracy, a page down, MDE and fellow Rightees were complaining about the image of Snoopy's doghouse on one of her fundraising letters. This letter was a parody that it came from a dog. Parody Schmarody. The Rightees talked about contacting the Charles Schultz estate to see if she got copyright permission for her parody letter that had a picture of Snoopy's doghouse.
So a few posts later, MDE is called for and you guys try to play it down.
Sad. Typical. Boring.11/19/2005 05:46:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Be careful with the facts St. Paul DFLer, I never complained about the doghouse. I just posted the letter from Wetterling's dog.11/19/2005 07:17:00 AM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|My bad, MDE.
Upon further reveiw, it was not MDE but a couple of other posters of the Right-of-center persuasion.
I sure do get a lot of warning from you. Where's the love? For once, how about an attaboy? "Good job St Paul DFLer, too bad you're not on our team anymore!"11/22/2005 07:48:00 PM|W|P|Edwin|W|P|MDE, the fundamentals of copyright law appear to be beyond your understanding. One does not need to list a copyright in order to have one. For example, this post is copyrighted by default and owned by me. Obviously by posting this here I am giving you permission to publish it on your site, but if you were to write a book you could not use my entire post without my permission. The "fair use" doctrine would let you use some quotes. The fact that "no copyright was listed" is your excuse is a poor reflection on you.11/22/2005 08:03:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Edwin: I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be an expert on copyright law.
Thanks for the clarification.11/17/2005 08:13:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|It has occured to me that if Mike Hatch is now claiming that he had nothing to do with the investigation/has no criminal jurisdiction of Ron Eibensteiner, etc. then isn't his original taking of the thank you letter from Ron Jerich's home just plain stealing?
There was no subpoena, and apparently he wasn't acting under color of law, and the letter sure wasn't his (as Jerich would probably testify to, but has already stated publicly).
He can't have it both ways... |W|P|113224408952204557|W|P|DID HATCH BREAK LAW BY STEALING LETTER FROM RON JERICH?|W|Pemail@example.com/17/2005 09:22:00 AM|W|P|John Jordan.com|W|P|He could claim he was being sloppy and just misplaced the note in his pocket.11/17/2005 10:26:00 AM|W|P|Mary Allaire|W|P|Did you see Bill O'Reilly of Fox News yelling about sex abuse and week democrats.
He did it because Fox news was hit w/ people asking about www.powmadeak47.com.
The site was written by Todd Ouellette.11/17/2005 10:42:00 AM|W|P|Sean Broom|W|P|I have no idea what so ever about what that website stands for, is angry about or who they don't like.
Anyone care to translate?
Sean11/16/2005 12:41:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|
|W|P|113217434515243812|W|P|MDE EXCLUSIVE: HATCH SPINNING IN OVERDRIVE|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/16/2005 01:22:00 PM|W|P|anon95|W|P|MDE breaks his word! "Exclusive" It couldn't have been more than a couple weeks ago you claimed you would "never" use the phrase again. How can you be trusted ever again after breaking your word so quickly after making the pledge? You have lost all credibility.11/16/2005 01:37:00 PM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|I thought this was a safe bet.
I received this first-hand account of a converstion Mike Hatch had with two reporters last week in Rochester. The person who sent me this information witness the conversation and I consider this sorce "unimpeachable."
Mike Hatch had just testified and he then walks outside the courtroom into the courthouse sitting area and is immediately approached by two men. The two men identify themselves as "Channel 6 reporters." The following is the conversation reconstructed, to the best of my recollection. The two reporters will be reported as one individual.
Mike Hatch: "It would really be inappropriate for me to comment on the case at all - remember all the trouble we got into over [inaudible]. I can tell you this - everyone thinks this is all about me running for governor but it's not."
Reporters: "Can you say anything, how was it in there? What's the feel?"
Mike Hatch: "I think the jury's taken aback at the amount of money that the Republicans sent to Minnesota and to Pawlenty - I mean, it's a staggering amount of money. The defense was standoffish, I think they're going to have a hard time."
The reporters asked one or two further questions concerning courtroom dynamics.
Mike Hatch: "You know, and I was just talking about this in the office the other day, no one in the press had made the Austin/Austin connection. You know, Austin Texas and Austin Minnesota. It's the same program of Republicans sending money, and I think that people would be interested in knowing that and reading about the Austin/Austin connection."
Then he paced the floor for about 15 minutes until a young woman came out of the courtroom, and he left with her.
Notice how quickly Hatch went from saying he shouldn't comment to then commenting. Hatch is unbelievable.
Relax cupcake, it's going to be o.k.11/16/2005 01:54:00 PM|W|P|John Jordan.com|W|P|Talk about overblowing something.
Try valium, it feels great. Not as good as morphine but either will help you in this condition.11/16/2005 03:37:00 PM|W|P|The Lady Logician|W|P|We could only hope that there is an Austin/Austin connection!!!! Preferably with similar results.11/16/2005 10:24:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Republican Party of Minnesota Responds to DFL Attempts to Downplay Hatch Role in Eibensteiner Smear
"Mike Hatch has the DFL attack machine doing his dirty work for him now that his smear against Ron Eibensteiner has failed. While Mike Hatch may be running away from his dominant role in this shameful incident, no amount of DFL spin can change the facts of the case.
"Mike Hatch has long tried to ruin those who hold different political views. His vilification of Ron Eibensteiner is part of a larger pattern of angry and destructive partisanship.
"Through his obsessive and reckless conduct, Mike Hatch has brought dishonor upon the office of Minnesota Attorney General." - Ron Carey, Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota
DFL Spin On Mike Hatch's Obsessive Role In Smear Of Ron Eibensteiner DFL Chairman Brian Melendez: "Our Criminal Justice System Is Set Up In Such A Way That The Attorney General Has Very Little To Do With Prosecution At This Level." "'Mike Hatch was a witness in the case. The Mower County attorney made the decision to prosecute. Hatch did not,' [DFL Chairman Brian] Melendez said. 'Our criminal justice system is set up in such a way that the attorney general has very little to do with prosecution at this level.'" (Mark Brunswick, "Former GOP Chairman Not Guilty Of Fund Charge," Star Tribune, November 16, 2005)
Hatch Spokeswoman Leslie Sandberg: "It Wasn't Our Trial." "Hatch spokeswoman Leslie Sandberg said the attorney general's office would have no comment. 'It wasn't our trial,' Sandberg said." (Mark Brunswick, "Former GOP chairman Not Guilty Of Fund Charge," Star Tribune, November 16, 2005) Source: Republican Party of Minnesota press release|W|P|113216589642482731|W|P|DFL ATTEMPTS TO DOWNPLAY HATCH ROLE IN EIBENSTEINER SMEAR|W|Pemail@example.com/16/2005 09:28:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|In Case You Missed It
Former Hatch Ally Said Hatch "Perpetrated" Entire Investigation To "Get Republicans." "Contacted after the verdict was announced, Jerich, a former friend and ally of Hatch's, expressed anger that Hatch took and kept the Eibensteiner thank-you letter from Jerich's home after Jerich showed it to him: 'This thing should have never been brought to trial in the first place,' Jerich said. 'There's no doubt in my mind that Hatch perpetrated this whole thing to get at the Republicans.'"(Mark Brunswick, "Former GOP Chairman Not Guilty of Fund Charge," Star Tribune, November 16, 2005.) Soure: Republican Party of Minnesota press release|W|P|113216234831256992|W|P|HATCH "PERPETRATED" ENTIRE INVESTIGATION|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/16/2005 10:23:00 AM|W|P|Shark.bait|W|P|Let’s not forget another important lesson learned from all of this…Mike Hatch will do ANYTHING he can to gain more power, including screw over his friends.
Ron Jerich is a lobbyist known for close ties to powerful legislators, especially Democrats, and Hatch stole from him. Talk about burning your bridges!11/16/2005 08:43:00 AM|W|P|Minnesota Democrats Exposed|W|P|Terry Morrow of St. Peter will announce he is running for Ruth Johnson's seat. Morrow will have a press conference at 3:oo p.m. at the St. Peter Community Center.
I found this article from Nick Coleman about protesters which quotes Morrow.
Just what's happened to plain old dissent?;
Peaceful protesters are no longer welcome at political events
Three times in the last three weeks, I have recounted stories of partisan assaults on free speech:
A trio of teenage brothers arrested in Duluth after a presidential campaign stop; a Coon Rapids man forced to fortify a display of his beliefs with concrete and steel after repeated acts of vandalism by opponents of his views; and a Mankato National Guard member - recently returned from duty overseas - threatened with arrest and interrogated about his political views before being admitted to a presidential campaign rally.
There are probably many more such incidents to come. Minnesota is a "battleground" state in this year's election, and the emphasis is on "battle." And we're not alone: Free speech is in trouble across the country. Peaceful protesters are being forced away from political events; average citizens are being required to sign "loyalty pledges" stating that they support a candidate before being permitted to attend rallies; others have been arrested for simply wearing T-shirts expressing contrary views.
Many of these incidents are not even reported. But there seems to be a pattern: Thursday's New York Times mentioned an incident during President Bush's July 13 visit to Duluth (the same event at which the three teens were arrested). It seems that Secret Service agents posted photos of men not welcome at the Bush rally. One was a local homeless activist. Another was a pointy-headed professor and Green Party activist named Joel Sipress who apparently ended up with his face plastered at security checkpoints just because he helped organize (openly and legally) an anti-Bush rally six blocks away.
When the Secret Service puts your picture up, you get a little nervous.
"It's troubling," says Sipress, 40, a professor of American history at the nearby University of Wisconsin-Superior who ran for the Minnesota Senate in a 2002 special election and got 37 percent of the vote. "There are periods in the history of this country in which dissent comes to be viewed as subversion. I don't think we're at that point yet, where people need to be in fear of speaking out. But there are signs we might be headed in that direction."
He's got company. Another college prof named Terry Morrow agrees that free speech is taking a beating. Morrow, chairman of Communication Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., is preparing a scholarly article on the subject for a law review. And he says the assault on speech is across the board, and all across the political spectrum.
Morrow says that the presidential campaigns have adopted a three-prong strategy to suppress protest and sanitize their political events so that only true believers get near the candidates.
First, many political events that once would have been considered public and part of an open campaign for the highest public office in the land are now dubiously held on "private" property. This allows organizers to screen attendees and keep out anyone not firmly on the bandwagon.
Second, a "no-protest" zone is created around the event, an area where police and the Secret Service allow virtually no free expression whatsoever, which is why two teens in Mankato were barred from a Bush rally when an organizer discovered that one of them had a Kerry campaign sticker in his wallet.
Finally, an ersatz "free-speech zone" is established off-site - out of camera range and sometimes behind barbed wire and fencing - where anyone who so wishes may go and howl at the moon, and with about the same effect.
These anti-democratic strategies help guarantee Stepford-Wife crowds where candidates see nothing but adoring faces and anyone with a differing view who somehow makes it into the event and is foolish enough to raise his voice can be isolated and removed - as happened to a lone protester who infiltrated Bush's Duluth rally.
If this is democracy, it is wobbling.
"The very purpose of protest is to make audiences aware of the issues," says Morrow, who's on the free speech committee of the National Communication Association, a nonprofit group of educators and students. "By its nature, protest is meant to send messages that disturb an audience. That's essential to getting the message heard."
But America has hung a new sign on this election: "Do Not Disturb."
That explains why anyone who stands up in public holding a "No War for Oil" sign may get his free-speechifying backside busted, as happened to a guy named Brett Bursey in South Carolina during a Bush visit in 2002.
The president and other candidates for the most important job in the free world absolutely must have careful and tight security. Those who object to true security measures should have their IDs checked carefully. But how did we get to the point where what's on your T-shirt -or even on your mind - can prevent you from participating in the public forum?
Comedian Lenny Bruce used to say there was no justice in the halls of justice. Sadly, perhaps, there's no public forum left in public.
"In a free society, dissent is a good thing," says Morrow. "It's good to let people speak their minds rather than being forced to bottle up their thinking. But we're not letting people relieve the pressure. And all that does is push some to violence."
That's the "safety-valve" theory of the importance of free speech. But there's something even more precious that we may be losing when dissent is stifled and protest silenced.
We may be losing the opportunity to change our minds.
"If those who disagree never get to listen to the other side, they lose the opportunity to change their opinion," Morrow says. "What if someone listened, and changed their mind?"
Always with the jokes, those professors. Change our minds?
It's easier just to arrest the other guys. Source: Star Tribune, August 14, 2005|W|P|113216071305511609|W|P|PROTESTER TO RUN FOR HOUSE SEAT|W|Pemail@example.com/18/2005 04:37:00 PM|W|P|StPaul_DFLer|W|P|Or...Practinioner of the Bill of Rights run for office.