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This morning, Marty Seifert was interviewed by Tom Hauser. One of Hauser’s questions was about Seifert’s speech to his delegates that they could go home. Specifically, Hauser asked how that’s playing.

Seifert said that they’d “travelled to 13 cities by plane and by car”, noting that nobody was worried “about convention adjournment procedures.”

Noticeably missing from Seifert’s statement was how big the crowds were at his stops. Notice that he didn’t say that he was drawing big crowds. The point I’m making is simple. I spoke with lots of delegates to the convention that went there supporting Seifert who aren’t supporting him now.

Please understand that a substantial portion of Seifert’s supporters are fiercely loyal. People I know — friends of mine — wouldn’t abandon his campaign in its worst hour. These people should be commended for their loyalty. Anyone can support a candidate when times are good. People that support their candidate no matter what aren’t that common.

That being said, there were lots of people who supported Marty Seifert because they liked him or his policies. Many of those people got upset when they say that Marty Seifert tried preventing the delegates from endorsing a candidate for governor.

People aren’t upset with Seifert because of “convention adjournment procedures.” They’re pissed at him because he tried to thwart the voice of the delegate.

He’s lost those votes plus the people those delegates talk to. They understand that Marty Seifert was given permission to speak to the delegates with the understanding that he was dropping out of the endorsement fight. It was understood that he’d still run in the primary.

Instead, Marty Seifert tried to prevent the convention from doing its business. He put himself ahead of the delegates, the people who work hard to get Republicans elected, the people who march in parades, drop lit and make phone calls.

That isn’t what a team player does. That’s what a selfish person does. That’s why Marty Seifert faces an uphill fight. He’s facing an uphill fight because he deserves it.

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Former Minneota Gov. Al Quie has endorsed Marty Seifert’s bid to replace Gov. Mark Dayton. Quie was once barred from participating in GOP events, including the 2012 Republican National Convention. First, here’s Quie’s endorsement:

“I have been impressed by Seifert’s ability to connect with Minnesotans all over our state and his unique grasp of the issues that are important for our future,” said Quie. “We need a leader who is dedicated to justice and he will appoint judges and justices who respect the law and the Constitution, have radical integrity, and who will respect the litigants.”

Quie is urging his fellow Republicans to vote for Seifert in the upcoming August 12th primary in order to defeat Dayton.

“Just as I defeated a DFL incumbent to become governor, Marty Seifert has the ability to bring people together and win in November.”

The notion that Seifert “has the ability to bring people together” is only credible if you think he pushed some of his supporters into supporting someone other than him when he tried to prevent Republicans from endorsing a candidate for governor.

Further, a substantial number of Seifert supporters also support judicial elections. Quie is the face of retention elections, which opposes judicial elections.

The reality is that Quie hasn’t been relevant to Republican Party politics for almost a generation. He’s from the RINO wing of the Minnesota GOP. Here’s more on why Quie was disciplined:

MPR reports that delegates to the party’s state central committee meeting voted 59-55 Saturday to bar 18 Republicans from party activities for two years, including the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The list of those who supported Independence Party candidate Tom Horner includes former Govs. Arne Carlson and Al Quie, former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger and donor George Pillsbury.

If Marty Seifert wants Quie’s endorsement, that’s his option. If Quie wants to endorse Seifert, that’s fine, too. The question is whether Quie’s support will have a positive impact on Republicans. I’m betting it won’t because most of the people who will vote in August’s primary don’t know who Quie is because he served before they were born. Here’s Seifert’s spin on Quie’s endorsement:

“Governor Quie has been universally praised for being a public servant willing to take risks, offering out-of-the-box ideas for education and judicial reforms,” said Seifert. “I am looking forward to hearing more of his advice on how to make Minnesota an even better place.”

Now that’s professional spin. Saying that Quie is “willing to take risks”, I suspect, is Seifert’s way of saying he’s supported former Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner’s tax increases and Horner’s candidacy. Nothing says ‘Let’s pull people together’ like getting endorsed by one of the erstwhile Republicans who cost Tom Emmer the election in 2010.

Compare that with State Sen. Michelle Benson endorsing Jeff Johnson, the endorsed GOP gubernatorial candidate. Sen. Benson is a talented legislator with impeccable conservative credentials and who’s very much relevant in Republican Party politics.

The latest KSTP-SurveyUSA poll showed Seifert trailing Jeff Johnson and Kurt Zellers by 10 points. There’s no reason to think the endorsement battle will help Seifert close that gap in any substantial way.

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This weekend’s Republican Convention was a study in how 2 candidates handled things differently. Mike McFadden and Marty Seifert both said that they were keeping their options open on going to the primary if they weren’t endorsed at the convention. That’s where the similarity ends.

Friday’s first ballot in the senatorial campaign produced 2 stunners. Julianne Ortman finished in third. Meanwhile Chris Dahlberg came in first. While Dahlberg might’ve hoped for that, there’s no way he should’ve expected that. That result established him as a serious candidate.

It also hurt Sen. Ortman’s standing with the delegates. Had she finished with 35% and in first place, she might’ve played it positive the rest of the way. Instead, they went negative. That hurt her with the delegates.

Through it all, Team McFadden kept grinding away, staying in close contention on each ballot. Then they caught a break after the 7th ballot. The next morning, they were back at it with renewed confidence. They won it before the results of the 10th ballot were announced whe Dahlberg graciously conceded.

Contrast that with Team Seifert. They didn’t lead at any point. When the outcome became clear, Dave Thompson conceded while giving a gracious concession speech. Seifert approached the podium while Sen. Thompson spoke. It was thought that he’d concede, too.

Instead, he released his delegates publicly while telling them to leave the convention so there wouldn’t be a quorum. Without a quorum, there couldn’t be an endorsement. Activists on Twitter didn’t take that well. The convention video shows some people booing while others applauded.

This statement sums things up pretty nicely:

Delegate and Minnesota Tea Party Alliance chair Jack Rogers was blunter. “Marty [Seifert] has just galvanized every faction in this party to work for the endorsed candidate,” he said.

That can’t be what Team Seifert was hoping for. I’d think the fundraising doors slammed shut during Seifert’s speech, too.

Had Seifert accepted defeat or announced outside that he was going to the primary, he wouldn’t have upset the delegates. Instead, he essentially said that if he couldn’t win the endorsement, he’d do whatever he could to make sure nobody was endorsed.

That selfish act won’t play well with people. There’s no question that Seifert has loyal supporters. There’s no question that he’s alienated those who aren’t already his supporters.

McFadden earned a ton of political capital this weekend because he didn’t disrespect the delegates. Seifert lost whatever political capital he had by disrespecting the delegates.

As a result, McFadden’s stock is on the upswing while Seifert’s has ebbed.

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Now that the fishing opener is pretty much history, it’s time to say that the Seifert Fishing Opener was a fiasco. This is what made it a fiasco:

It’s one thing for a candidate to hold a mock fishing opener. It’s a bit gimmicky but people aren’t likely to remember a stunt like that a month from now. It’s another to offer reporters free hotel rooms. That isn’t a gimmick. That’s a foolish stunt that’s sure to get Capitol reporters upset.

Here’s a little insight for Seifert’s campaign: This was foolish on multiple fronts. First, if reporters were interested in attending, they wouldn’t accept the offer for fear that they’d look compromised. Reporters have expense accounts for things like this.

Second, it’s foolish because it’s giving free ammunition to the DFL and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. Even if Team Seifert made a sincere offer, which I believe they did, the reality is that the DFL and ABM don’t care. They’ll highlight this while they’re smearing Seifert.

This too-clever-by-half stunt carried significant downside with it but little upside. Had the Seifert campaign just done the fishing opener, ABM would’ve had to make something up to smear him. Instead, the Seifert campaign gift-wrapped this present for them. The only thing they didn’t do for the DFL is deliver it on a silver platter.

Third, this isn’t a net plus for Seifert with the Capitol press corps. It’s possible it’ll have the opposite effect. The old saying that there’s no such thing as bad press is BS. In this instance, the buzz won’t help the Seifert campaign.

This alone won’t prevent Seifert from winning the GOP endorsement. It just means people will enter the Convention questioning if he’ll make other unforced errors.

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According to the Minnesota Morning Watchdog, Tom Emmer got a shot of good news from last night’s precinct caucuses:

6th District Congress (97% Reporting):

Tom Emmer with 67.7%, Rhonda Sivarajah with 17.7%, Phil Krinkie with 10.1%

Only 4.3% of caucus voters were undecided. While this straw poll isn’t binding, it can’t be ignored. Rhonda Sivarajah can’t be happy finishing 50 points behind Emmer. Phil Krinkie can’t be happy that he finished almost 60 points behind Emmer.

I’d be surprised if CD-6 delegates will be impressed with Commissioner Sivarajah’s or Rep. Krinkie’s showing. At this point, I’d argue that both face steep uphill fights to win the endorsement. I’d also argue that the odds of Tom Emmer winning a first ballot endorsement victory seem more likely this morning than they were a week ago.

In other straw poll news, Marty Seifert, Jeff Johnson and Dave Thompson appear to be heading for top 3 finishes in the gubernatorial straw poll. With 96% of precincts reporting, Seifert had 28% of the vote, followed by Dave Thompson with 26% and Jeff Johnson with 17%.

That’s got to put a smile on Sen. Thompson’s face. With a strong finish like that, Sen. Thompson can credibly tell potential contributors that his message is popular.

Marty Seifert has to be pleased, too. He can credibly tell potential contributors that he’s got the experience, organization and name recognition it’ll take to defeat Gov. Dayton.

While this wasn’t the strong showing the Johnson campaign was hoping for, Jeff Johnson must still be considered a top tier candidate. He’s got a solid fundraising team. He’s managing his resources well (he’s got the most cash-on-hand of the candidates) and he’s got a terrific record of being a fiscal conservative.

This couldn’t have been the night that Kurt Zellers was hoping for. Finishing a next-to-last 6th place with 8% can’t instill confidence in potential campaign contributors or in potential delegates.

Based on the results of last night’s U.S. Senate Straw Poll, it’s looking like it’s down to a 2-person race. With 96% of precincts reporting, Julianne Ortman led Mike McFadden by a 31%-22% margin. Finishing in third place was Undecided with 16%, followed by Jim Abeler with 15%.

With that many undecideds and soon-to-be undecided delegates, this is another race to watch.

Last night, I received an email from Jim Kroger, an assistant professor in the Accounting & Business Law department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Kroger had studied the campaign finance reports of the GOP gubernatorial candidates.

This post shouldn’t be interpreted as me expressing my preference for who runs against Gov. Dayton. This post is simply about Dr. Kroger’s studies.

Dr. Kroger’s spreadsheet, which doesn’t translate well into WordPress formatting, gives us some basic information. Specifically, it highlights the fundraising per week and the burn rate per week for each of the candidates. At this point, Marty Seifert has raised an average of $26,029 per week while spending $1,842 per week since entering the race in late November. By contrast, Scott Honour has raised an average of $14,142 per week while spending $14,132 per average week.

Kurt Zellers is raising $13,392 per week while spending $9,894 per week. He’s followed by Jeff Johnson, who is raising an average of $7,041 per week while spending an average of $2,091 per week, followed by Dave Thompson, who has raised an average of $4,559 per week while spending $2,673 per week.

Here are some of Dr. Kroger’s observations:

  1. Seifert’s average weekly individual cash contributions of $26,029 exceed Dayton’s average weekly individual cash contributions of $15,327 by $10,702. Presently, in Republican circles, one of the issues that is discussed is which candidate can raise enough money to be competitive against Dayton. Based on this analysis, which seeks to measure each candidate equally based on when they announced for governor, Seifert is by far the strongest fundraiser outperforming Honour by a margin of nearly 2 to 1.
  2. The average amount of cash burned per week by Zellers exceeds the average amount of cash burned per week by Dayton by 143%. The average amount of cash burned per week by Honour exceeds the average amount of cash burned per week by Dayton by 204% (more than double). In Republican circles it is often said that no candidate will be able to fundraise and spend more than Dayton. Based on how fast Zellers and Honour are blowing their cash and what they are burning it on, I would argue that both of their campaigns are wasteful and simply unsustainable on a long-term basis.
  3. Thompson ended the year with $50,283 cash on hand, but he also has unpaid bills of $28,235. This means that he essentially ended the year with approximately $20,000 cash on hand, which is the lowest next to Farnsworth. Given his monthly expenses, I would argue that Thompson’s campaign is either dead in the water or running on fumes. I suspect that his announcement of a running mate was the last gasp as he attempts to gain momentum and save what appears to be a sinking ship.
  4. Zellers has $44,300 or 11% of his total receipts coming from out-of-state; however, I discovered what may be a red flag issue. Zellers received $21,000 from 38 individuals in 8 states (Missouri, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Washington, DC, New Jersey, and Florida) and ALL 38 contributors listed Express Scripts, a mail-order pharmacy, as their employer. This raised a red flag in my mind. Is Express Scripts funneling money to Zellers through these individuals? What ties does Zellers have to Express Scripts? What will Express Scripts expect if he is elected? Is Express Scripts trying to skirt lobbyist regulations? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but it presents an interesting puzzle.
  5. Honour has $295,847 or 48-58% of his total receipts coming from out-of-state. It is 48% if you include his $101,000 loan to himself in total receipts and 58% if you exclude it. 189 of 368 total contributions to Honour’s campaign are from people outside of Minnesota and, in some cases, outside the United States (Singapore and London). 51% of all individuals contributing to Honour’s campaign are not Minnesotans. I counted 13 contributions from Beverly Hills, CA, 29 from Los Angeles, CA, and 16 from New York City. It appears that bankers, lawyers, and even an actress are the ones who think Honour would make a good governor. If you disregard the $295,847 that came from outside of Minnesota and the $101,000 loan that he gave himself then he only raised $217,919 from Minnesotans, which is less than both Johnson and Zellers. Further, the deep pockets that he tapped from outside of Minnesota often gave $4,000 so they cannot contribute again. I would argue both that Honour is not supported by the people of Minnesota and that his campaign is likely not sustainable due to fundraising concerns and wasteful spending. Having exhausted his out-of-state deep pockets and squandered the money, he must now look to the people of Minnesota or himself to fund his campaign. He ended the year with $14,251 on hand. I would argue that Honour’s campaign is more akin to the campaign of Farnsworth or Thompson and that Honour is nearly dead in the water or running on fumes.

Whether Dr. Kroger’s opinions hold up is subject to the test of time. Another thing that’ll require additional scrutiny is whether Marty Seifert can continue at his current fundraising pace. If he can, then he’ll be a formidable opponent for Gov. Dayton. Jeff Johnson’s figures aren’t gaudy but his burn rate is under control. That will matter over the course of a long campaign.

Each of these candidates would be a significant improvement over Gov. Dayton. It’s difficult to have faith in a politician who doesn’t know what’s in the bills he’s signed and negotiated.

Finally, tonight is precinct caucus night in Minnesota. If you want to shape this election, there’s no better place to be tonight than at your local precinct caucus. If you’ve never attended a precinct caucus, you’ll want to attend. It’s the best place to let your voice be heard. If you don’t know where your precinct caucus is being held, follow this link, then enter your zip code. It’s just that simple.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert is running on a reform-minded platform. One of the reforms he’ll push is elimination of the Met Council. Here’s Seifert’s statement on why the MC should disappear:

Dear Fellow Minnesotan,

As the start of a new year approaches, we can look forward to the opportunity for new leadership in our state in 2014. My campaign for governor is less than a month old, but our message of restoring leadership at the State Capitol is resonating across Minnesota.

Part of leadership is offering bold ideas to address critical problems. The Metropolitan Council is a major problem for the people of Minnesota and I am calling for it to be abolished. For far too long, the Met Council’s unelected bureaucrats have imposed higher taxes, burdensome regulations and “urban planning” without representation and against the will of local governments. This weekend’s Star Tribune called the Met Council a “master of imposition” – I encourage you to read the editorial.

I hope you will visit my website, learn more about the issues I am focusing on, and consider making a small donation to help our campaign finish this year strong. I’m asking for your support to dramatically downsize the size and scope of state government, reverse harmful taxes and regulations, bring real job growth to our economy and halt the damaging implications of Obamacare in Minnesota.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Marty Seifert

No taxation without representation was one of the principles that started the Revolutionary War. Nearly 250 years later, Minnesota politicians think that taxation without representation is a great idea. The DFL and the Met Council’s lobbyists will fight against abolishing the Met Council if Rep. Seifert is elected. In fact, they’re likely to fight him to prevent him from becoming governor.

Here’s what Rep. Seifert said about abolishing the Met Council on his issues page:

Abolishment of three cabinet departments, in addition to complete elimination of the Metropolitan Council. Over a one-year period, the functions no longer required will be eliminated and needed functions will be transferred to local units of government or other cabinet departments.

Assuming that each part of the Met Council is essential is foolish. Ditto with cabinet offices.

Republicans should run on a positive, pro-growth reform agenda next year, whether they’re runnning for the legislature, governor, Congress or the US Senate. Telling the people how electing Republicans will lead to more prosperity with more disposable income and more representative government will sell.

Just telling people that the next Republican administration won’t rationalize a bureaucrat going on a 2-week vacation while her agency is in crisis will highlight the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

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This article puts its finger on why the Affordable Care Act is likely to fail:

A recent Reuters poll found Obamacare may not attract enough young people to keep costs low for others, despite a headline that asserts the opposite: “Poll shows healthy young adults may keep Obamacare afloat.”

The conflict between headline and data represents a collision between the hopes of survey respondents and economic logic.

The poll found that a little more than a third of young adults in its survey had tried and failed to purchase health insurance in the past. It also found that a third hoped to be able to buy health insurance now.

Reuters figured if just half of them do so, “the White House would easily meet its goal of getting 2.7 million young adults, out of about 16 million uninsured 19-to-29-year-olds, to buy Obamacare insurance for 2014.”

Here’s the flaw with Reuters’ optimism:

This group couldn’t afford health insurance before, and Reuters never bothers to explain how they’ll afford it when it gets more expensive.

The other thing that the Obama administration isn’t talking about is how the Affordable Care Act will attract the additional young people over their initial projection to subsidize the additional 50-somethings that are getting kicked off their company-supported health insurance plans.

The initial estimates didn’t figure on businesses dropping their health insurance plans at the rate that they’re actually dropping their health insurance plans. That likely means that the 2.7 million figure needed to float the Affordable Care Act significantly underestimates the number of young people buying health insurance.

After the glitches are straightened out, mathematical reality will hit the Obama administration. The numbers simply won’t add up. It’s just that simple.

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Friday night, former AG Mike Hatch tried playing the ‘raising taxes is inevitable’ card during the political roundtable on Almanac. His argument is that we’ll either raise property taxes or income taxes to balance the budget.

Hatch even cited MMB statistics showing that the GOP’s plan to not raise income taxes will cause “a $428 million property tax increase.” That’s nonsense. Here’s why.

First, MMB can’t assume that local units of government will change their priorities or spending habits even though it makes sense. In the real world, people make different decisions when financial conditions change.

Next, Mr. Hatch apparently thinks that citizens won’t fire elected official who’d rather raise taxes than set intelligent priorities. With money being tight, I think the odds of citizens just settling for that type of representation is unlikely.

Finally, the people who’d raise property taxes would property taxes on their neighbor, their co-worker, their friend or someone they know at church. It’s one thing for someone in St. Paul to raise taxes on people who they’ll likely never meet. It’s another for a person to raise taxes on their neighbor, friend or co-worker. After all, it’s likely that that politician’s neighbor, friend or co-worker will want to have a chat with them if they cast an unpopular vote.

Also appearing on the panel were Fritz Knaak, Marty Seifert and Denise Cardinal. One thing that’s apparent is that Ms. Cardinal was outclassed by Mssrs. Hatch, Knaak and Seifert by a significant amount.

Marty made a number of substantive suggestions on how Minnesota could save money, including unfunded mandate reforms and privatizing things. He specifically mentioned sending printing jobs to a private company several years back rather than using the in-house print shop.

Bids were taken. Predictably, the government unions complained about losing jobs. The job was done by a private company for a cheaper price than the job would’ve cost had they kept the project in-house. It took less time.

Most importantly, Minnesota’s Main Street didn’t notice the change. Had they noticed, I’d bet they would’ve been fine with the change because it saved the state money, which means citizens could’ve kept more money in their wallets.

The thing that stood out most to me was when Fritz Knaak said that, this week, it became apparent to him that the DFL was the party of the status quo, that they weren’t the party of ideas. I didn’t realize that Mr. Knaak hadn’t noticed that before tonight but it’s nice that he’s noticed.

I’ve written for the past 3 years that the DFL was an obstructionist majority and that Sen. Berglin’s HHS committee was “where good health care reforms go to die.” This isn’t news to GOP activists. It’s a bit of a yawner, in fact.

The reality is, though, that the DFL is stubbornly wedded to the status quo because too many government unions rely on the status quo.

DFLers Hatch and Cardinal apparently didn’t notice that voters rejected their policies in rather significant numbers this past election. It wasn’t just a matter of the DFL losing a few seats in both houses. In the Senate, the DFL lost one-fourth of their members, dropping from 46 seats to 30. In the House, Democrats went from 87 seats to 62 seats, a drop of almost 30 percent.

Cardinal hasn’t shown that she’s figured that out yet, replying that the GOP majorities will have a difficult time governing. That’s foolishness. Thus far, the GOP majorities have kept one promise after another in terms of streamlining the permitting process and cutting spending.

DFL legislators shouldn’t heed the advice of pundits like Ms. Cardinal. If swing district legislators listen to her, they’ll soon be former legislators.

Hatch is right about this though. Something is inevitable. That inevitability just isn’t what he said. Change is what’s inevitable. It’s just a matter of whether the DFL listens to the people or whether they’ll get hit with the political equivalent of a steamroller.

Based on their actions thus far, I’m betting it’s the latter.

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Former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer deserves special thanks for writing this op-ed because it gives the felons who voted illegally in the 2008 election an identity. Here’s the identity of a few of the felons who voted illegally:

  • Theresa Marie Barslou (known to police by this name and six others): priors for multiple check forgeries, multiple instances of giving a peace officer a false name, and malicious punishment of a child.
  • Karen Louise Burrell McKinney (known by this name and five others): multiple priors for check forgery, wrongfully obtaining assistance, and malicious punishment of a child.
  • Antoinette Davida Molinar (known by this name and four others): priors for drug possession, giving a peace officer a false name, wrongfully obtaining assistance, aiding and abetting theft, and fifth-degree assault.
  • Donald James Diamond: multiple priors for issuing dishonored checks and theft.
  • Dustin James Norring: multiple priors for disorderly conduct, aiding and abetting theft, and third-degree assault.

Minnesota Majority has identified other felons but that should suffice in proving that felons voting.

What’s shameful is that it was Minnesota Majority that investigated the story, not soon-to-be-former Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Ritchie has said on more than one occasion that voter fraud didn’t exist in Minnesota. This group of felons, uncovered in Minnesota Majority’s investigation, says that Mr. Ritchie is wrong.

What’s notable is the prevalence of identity theft-related offenses. Anti-reform special interests like Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and the misnamed Citizens for Election Integrity in Minnesota will say there has never been an instance of a voter impersonating someone else prosecuted in Minnesota. But there is no system even to detect that activity.

I’ve said it before but I’ll repeat it again: it’s impossible to find what you refuse to look for. Mark Ritchie isn’t interested in making sure the voter rolls are kept updated. Based on what I’ve seen, election integrity isn’t a priority with him.

Though Mr. Ritchie’s efforts are disgraceful, what’s worse is that political hacks like Nick Coleman are providing cover for Mr. Ritchie:

Nick has…made up “facts” (for example, in his July 19 column, saying that I started the nonprofit public policy organization Minnesota Majority. I did not, though I did help as a consultant).

Looking back at the 2008 U.S. Senate recount, in his usual sarcastic and sophomoric way, Nick takes about 800 words to belittle the people at Minnesota Majority who painstakingly did due diligence where Secretary of State Mark Ritchie did not, discovering problems with our election system, specifically, that felons were allowed to vote in 2008.

Nick Coleman hasn’t payed attention to details in ages. Let’s not forget his anti-Pawlenty diatribe following the collapse of the I-35 bridge in which he declared as settled fact that Gov. Pawlenty’s no new taxes pledge had caused the bridge collapse. Months later, the NTSB said that the gusset plates were defective.

Coleman stated authoritatively that the I-35 bridge collapse was caused by Gov. Pawlenty’s no new taxes pledge, an absurd accusation that Sarah Janacek called him out on in this article. First, here’s Coleman’s accusation:

For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been No New Taxes. It’s been popular with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase, the first in 20 years, last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road repair. And yes, it would have fallen even if the gas tax had gone through, because we are years behind a dangerous curve when it comes to the replacement of infrastructure that everyone but wingnuts in coonskin caps agree is one of the basic duties of government.

Here’s Sarah’s rebuke of Coleman:

The $3.3 million price tag was being paid mostly by the federal government ($2.97 million) and not the state ($330,000).

The National Bridge Inventory conducted by the federal government in 2003 reported that the bridge had a “sufficiency” rating of 50% on a scale of 120. That’s not great, but that’s where about 80,000 of the country’s bridges stand. The significant finding of that Inventory, however, was that structurally, the bridge “meets minimum tolerable limits to be left in place as-is.”

The federal government didn’t flag structural issues; neither did MnDOT.

Pawlenty could have raised the gas tax $50 a gallon and nothing would have happened. The structural condition of the bridge was not on anyone’s radar screen. At this point, that appears to be the real issue: All levels of government may have failed us.

The point is this: if liberals are whining about an issue, Nick’s reliably there to amplify their whining whether the facts support them or not. (FYI- more often than not, Coleman’s whining hasn’t been supported by the facts.) Here’s Coleman’s logic-free column on the felons voting issue:

I believe that felons voted illegally in the last governor’s election, helping Tim Pawlenty defeat his crime-busting DFL foe, Attorney General Mike Hatch, by less than 1 percent of the votes in the 2006 contest, the closest Minnesota governor’s race in years.

I have not one jot or tittle of evidence to support my suspicions. But a lack of credible evidence did not stop Pawlenty when he used one of his frequent national TV appearances, where he is seldom pestered by journalists with actual knowledge of events on the ground back here in Flyover Land, to renew the stench of uncertainty over the Al Franken-Norm Coleman U.S. Senate recount.

Mary Kiffmeyer wrote a response after reading Coleman’s column. Unlike the professional columnist Nick Coleman, though, Mary Kiffmeyer’s op-ed included real information, including the names of felons who voted illegally.

I’d call for Coleman to resign but that’s just a waste of good bandwidth. I’d call for Coleman to do a little research before writing his latest diatribe but that’s another waste of good bandwidth. He is who he is: a loudmouthed jerk who can’t be bothered by factchecking and doing his due diligence.

Mark Ritchie is much the same way. Obviously, he isn’t interested in doing his due diligence. Obviously, he can’t be bothered by doing even the minimum amount of research and investigation required to do his job.

The bad news is that I can’t do anything to get Nick Coleman fired. That’s beyond my control. The good news is that I can play a vital role in getting Mark Ritchie fired this November. That’s my intent. Mr. Ritchie willfully ignoring of one of his most important responsibilities is all the reason I need to vote the bum out of office.

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