Archive for the ‘Marty Seifert’ Category

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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According to a statement issued by Stephen Imholte, raising taxes is what Minnesotans want from their next governor. You’ll forgive me if I’m just a little skeptical of Stephen Imholte’s opinion.

The Minnesota Republican Party is in full desperation mode. Their candidate is sinking, and instead of acknowledging their blunder in selecting an extremist candidate, they choose to go on the attack.

Minnesotans want more from their candidates this year. They want candidates who are addressing the issues of jobs, education and Minnesota’s budget deficit. The survey is available to the Minnesota Republican Party. Perhaps they should use it to understand their candidate’s shortcomings in the eyes of Minnesotans.

If raising taxes is so popular, which is Tom Horner’s prescription to the budget deficit, why didn’t the DFL get their way in budget negotiations this year? After all, their prescription is strikingly similar to Horner’s prescription.

MEMO TO HORNER, DFL CAMPAIGNS: Minnesotans are tired of worrying if their taxes will get raised. They’re tired of government not setting priorities in tune with their priorities.

Capital is leaving Minnesota for other states because Minnesota’s government is hostile to businesses, whether it’s in the form of overregulation, overtaxation or just simply making it difficult to start a business. The obstructionists in the DFL, especially those in the Senate, have prevented many GOP initiatives that would’ve improved government by restructuring government.

As for who’s listening to the people, I’d just remind people of the DFL’s cherrypicked testimony tour and the Horner campaign’s touting an outlier poll as proof that their agenda is Minnesota’s agenda. It doesn’t sound like the Horner campaign or the DFL is listening to everyone. It sounds more like they’re doing selective listening, which is why their agendas are similar in that they’re both out of touch.

Here’s more proof that Horner isn’t about listening to people:

By 53 percent to 42 percent, a majority said they are starting to believe “the problem is not with one political party, but it is with all incumbents.” Based on those responses, Morris said, “People are fed up with partisan gridlock, and they’re looking for alternatives.”

Tom Horner isn’t an alternative to the DFL. He’s just another Arne Carlson liberal who masqueraded as a Republican while it suited him. Morris saying that people are looking for alternatives is partially right in that people are looking for an alternative to the DFL’s agenda of endless tax increases.

In that respect, Horner doesn’t represent an alternative. For all practical purposes, there isn’t much of a difference between Horner and the DFL trio.

As for Tom Emmer and his supposed drop in the polls, I’d suggest that this poll isn’t proof of anything because it didn’t screen for likely voters. The only polls that screened for likely voters show Tom leading.

Meanwhile, an obscure polling company that I’ve never heard of (that’s saying alot because I read tons of polls) says that on obscure politician is getting 17-19 percent of the vote and only trails the GOP-endorsed candidate by 8 points.

Mr. Morris’ polling says, in essence, that the great show of unity at the Republican convention is a mirage, that the Republican Party of Minnesota is hopelessly fractured and that a significant number of Republicans have abandoned Tom Emmer for Tom Horner.

Mr. Morris’ polling would also have me forget the great unifying gesture by Marty Seifert, that Marty’s gesture hasn’t had an effect, that the great displays of unity I’ve seen at other events, like the St. Cloud flyaround visit, were mirages, too.

Sorry, Mr. Morris, but I’ll trust my lying eyes over your polling any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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When Republicans retake the House majority in January, 2010, they’ll do so without 2 of their most promising stars: Paul Kohls and Laura Brod. Here’s Rep. Brod’s statement announcing that she won’t be running for re-election:

Dear Friends,

Over the past 8 years, I’ve been honored to serve as your State Representative in District 25A.

With your support and encouragement, I focused my efforts on the issues that impacted our daily lives. My efforts were directed to policies that I believed fostered an economic climate that was conducive to job creation and economic growth. I fought against excessive regulations that choke investment in our state and undermine the innovation and creativity of our private sector to generate the type of economic climate we need and demand.

Without your support, I could not have enjoyed the opportunity and the honor to serve that I have had for the past 8 years.

My belief has always been that we are a state that values a citizen legislature, and that there comes a time for other citizens to serve their community.

It is my belief that the time for others to serve in the Legislature for our district has come, and my time to find other challenges and ways to contribute is upon me.

It is in that spirit I announce that I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2010 for the State Legislature in District 25A.

There is a real change going on right now across the country. Finally, perhaps for the first time in thirty years, government is once again hearing from “We the People.”

While I will not be running for public office this fall, I have every intention of being involved in public policy in the future. There are many issues in which Democrats, Republicans and Independents can agree upon and many that have great differences; all of which require a conversation to move our nation forward. I hope to be a part of that conversation in some way, and am proud of the friendship I have developed with you and so many others in this great state we call home. I have a passion to serve, and a strong and resolute belief in the power of the people of Minnesota to build a better state for themselves and their families.

I have been given unbelievable opportunities by you, our party, Governor Pawlenty, and my colleagues in the House Republican Caucus during my tenure. Serving in the minority and the majority, I have seen the importance of every vote and every minute of hard work necessary to ensure prosperity and liberty for our state.

My own parents instilled in me a strong belief that participatory democracy is the cornerstone of our democratic society, and each and every day I served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, I’ve tried to remember their words of encouragement and support.

We truly do live in a remarkable state and an incredible nation. For a kid from New Prague, Minnesota to have been given the honor to work in our state’s capitol, I can’t begin to fully express my appreciation for the past 8 years to serve the people of my community. On behalf of my family, I want to thank you for your support and friendship. We have been honored to be a part of the great experience of public service.

I look forward to continuing to stay in touch and to work and support candidates who share our beliefs in a conservative approach to governance. With so much to look forward to in the days, the weeks, the months and years ahead, I am grateful for your friendship and your support over the past 8 years.

Warm Regards,

Laura Brod

Few people know this but Laura Brod was the person that got me interested in state politics. Prior to the 2006 disaster, if I focused on politics, that focus was almost entirely on national politics. The closest I came to caring about local politics was with U.S. House seats.

Following the 2006 disaster, I resolved to fight a different fight, that I wouldn’t fight for unprincipled RINOs. I resolved that I’d gladly fight alongside principled conservatives every time the opportunity presented itself. Little did I know that Rep. Brod was the first politician that I’d fight the good fight with.

During the first week of the 2007 session, with the House debating tax conformity legislation, Rep. Brod proposed an amendment to cut taxes. Speaker Kelliher, wanting to protect her freshmen from voting against a tax cut, ruled that Rep. Brod’s amendment wasn’t germane to the legislation.

To say that Rep. Brod wasn’t letting it go is understatement. Saying that Laura’s feistiness was a breath of fresh air is also understatement.

That’s when I regained confidence that some Republicans were still willing to fight for time-tested conservative principles. Not being the bashful sort, I emailed Rep. Brod, introduced myself as a blogger in St. Cloud and as a conservative activist who appreciated her fighting the good fight. Within minutes, I got a reply, thanking me for standing with House Republicans in their fight.

A month later, I joined several local BPOU members in meeting Reps. Brod, Dean, McNamara and Greg Peppin in St. Cloud. After that meeting, I was hooked on following state politics.

During those dark days of 2007, I started noticing a strong conservative nucleus emerging in the House, including Reps. Brod, Dean, Buesgens, Emmer, Kohls, Seifert, Severson, Gottwalt and Holberg.

Back then, Republicans I spoke with locally kept living in the past, saying that there wasn’t “a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats.” When I’d hear that, I’d just tell them about this nucleus of conservatives and how they were fighting the good fight. Inevitably, I’d tell the person that they should study what was happening.

Last year, I had the good fortune of meeting Paul Kohls when he was running for governor. Paul struck me as a man with a quick wit and great principles. He’s the first person I heard talking about “living within our means.” Saying that Paul’s conservative credentials are impeccable is understatement.

Now we’re faced with replacing most of that group. The good news is that the candidates that’ve been recruited seem very capable of filling some very big shoes.

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The MNGOP has just completed its responsibilities of endorsing a great slate of candidates. Just before starting the third round of ballots, Candidate Marty Seifert conceded victory to Tom Emmer by requesting that Tom be endorsed with a unanimous ballot.

In so doing, Marty Seifert left this state convention on a most gracious note. While I’ve disagreed with Marty on some things and was upset with him for awhile, I can honestly say that I’m proud of Marty for finishing his run in such a gracious manner.

It wasn’t a secret that I’ve supported Tom Emmer almost since he announced his candidacy. To be fair, though, I did my due dilligence. I listened to David Hann, Marty Seifert, Paul Kohls, Pat Anderson and Bill Haas before picking Tom. Each of these candidates would’ve made a better candidate than anyone the DFL picked.

Now starts the dual tasks of keeping the governor’s mansion in MNGOP control but also giving Tom Emmer and Annette Meeks conservative majorities to help them move Minnesota toward a long-lasting prospering economy.

MNGOP Chairman Tony Sutton released this statement following Tom Emmer’s endorsement:

“Tom Emmer will be an outstanding governor for the great state of Minnesota. Republicans stand united behind Tom Emmer and his agenda of lower taxes, limited sensible government, and job creation. Tom will appeal to Republicans, independents, and disaffected Democrats who deserve better than the big spending and big taxes offered by all of the DFL gubernatorial candidates. 2010 is going to be a great year for Minnesota Republicans, and voters couldn’t have a clearer choice this fall. As Republicans unite today, we could not be more optimistic about an Emmer-Meeks victory against a divided DFL Party.”

I’m confident that Tom’s message will appeal to people of all political stripes because it’s a message rooted firmly in common sense, opportunity and prosperity.

Tom’s speach from earlier today set the tone when he talked about the Republican Party being the “Party of Yes.” (Follow this link if you’d like to listen to Tom’s presentation.) In an interview with reporters after the first ballot, a reporter asked Tom about the impact Sarah Palin’s endorsement had. Tom said that he thinks Gov. Palin’s endorsement will help more in the general election because she connects with main street folks so well.

The main goal of this convention was to endorse an impressive group of candidates and to leave united and energized. Thanks to Marty’s gracious concession and thanks to Tom’s impressive victory, Republicans will leave their convention inifinitely more united and energized than the DFL left Duluth less than a week ago.

Tom’s message of reforming government and shrinking its size will play well with Minnesotans because they’ve seen how DC’s Democrats have increased the size of government. People across this state and across this nation want government to stop out-of-control spending ASAP.

Pat Anderson and Dan Severson are proven votegetters who will cause more than a little heartburn for Rebecca Otto and the corruption machine known as Mark Ritchie. Though I don’t know that much about Chris Barden, I’ve heard impressive reports about him. Lori Swanson’s corruption and her unionbusting will make her a vulnerable candidate this November.

Congratulations Tom and Annette. You’ve won a hardfought victory. Congratulations to Marty, too. Marty’s motion to have Tom approved on a unanimous ballot is a classy gesture. Now it’s onto victory this November.

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On this morning’s At Issue, Tom Hauser interviewed Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert on Tom’s DWI conviction in 1981. During the interview, Rep. Seifert was asked about the bill Tom had sponsored.

Hauser asked specifically about the bill Tom had sponsored, saying that Emmer’s bill simply made certain that a person’s license couldn’t be revoked until they were convicted of drunk driving. Hauser then noted that the bill had bipartisan support.

Rep. Seifert’s reply was stunning. In his own words, Rep. Seifert said that just because a bill has bipartisan support doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

I replayed Rep. Seifert’s response to make sure I didn’t hear him wrong. I didn’t. Think about this: Rep. Seifert is arguing that people arrested on drunk driving charges aren’t entitled to the presumption of innocence, that their driving privileges should be revoked without conviction.

Let me be clear about this: Even though I strongly support Tom, if Tom had said that, I wouldn’t hesitate to correct him on a mistake of that fundamental importance.

This isn’t just a mere technicality. This is one of the cornerstones of our legal system,important enough to be included in the Bill of Rights.

I’m not suggesting that Rep. Seifert favors abandoning the Constitution. I’m suggesting that, in this instance, he foolishly said something that he should’ve thought through first. In his zeal to attack Tom, Rep. Seifert put his foot in his mouth instead.

Walter Scott Hudson spoke of the importance of “principled governance” rather than outcome-based governance. Mitch Berg’s post questions Rep. Seifert’s logic this way:

Drunk driving is an emotional issue – made all the more so by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the rest of the drunk driving lobby. It’s understandable; anyone who’s lost a loved one to a drunk driver is justifiably motivated to seek change. But the .08 blood alcohol level limit is a ludicrious waste of resources, and the resources spent on hammering on first-time, only-time offenders with low levels of intoxication are largely a complete waste.

Question: Does saying the above mean I “support” or am “soft on” drunk drivers and drunk driving?

If you said “yes”, how hard to you have to waterboard logic to get to that answer?

It’s ludicrous to treat attempts to make the system fairer and more rational as “sympathy for drunk drivers”. Almost as ludicrous as assuming two mistakes made a generation ago are defining traits about a late-fortysomething guy’s judgment.

Saying that someone should have a drunk driving conviction hanging over their heads for the rest of their life after they’ve proven that they’ve put that behavior into their past isn’t reasonable, in my opinion. What’s worse is saying that we should abandon one of the cornerstones of our judicial system because it’s an emotional issue.

That’s the position Rep. Seifert put himself in in making that ill-advised remark. Let’s hope he realizes his mistake and admits that he’s wrong for saying that.

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Last night, after I learned about Team Seifert’s attempt to smear Tom Emmer, the candidate I’m supporting, I wrote a post expressing my outrage with Seifert’s tactics. After pondering what I’d written, I deleted that post.

First, I want to make several things clear: I can’t imagine the pain that Mrs. Berg and her family have gone through. From this day forward, I’ll pray that her son and her husband make complete recoveries and their anguish will eventually disappear. Second, it’s important that everyone understand that I don’t condone drinking and driving. In this post, you won’t hear me attempt to rationalize Tom Emmer’s actions decades ago.

Rather, what I will do is ask Rep. Seifert’s supporters if you feel comfortable with supporting a man who would use a family’s grief for political gain. That’s what Team Seifert is attempting to do, though they won’t admit that’s what they’re doing.

Mrs. Berg’s letter didn’t expose some deep, dark secret. According to the factsheet that Mrs. Berg referenced, the Star Tribune wrote about this a year ago. Late last night, I spoke with a friend who is a casual activist and a reliable conservative. When I told my friend what had happened, my friend said that that didn’t seem like news because it was reported a year ago.

Tom answered questions honestly and forthrightly when the Strib article broke a year ago. Though I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable for Tom to answer those questions, it was important that he answer them. That he took the heat then is a testament to Tom’s honesty.

Hardcore activists, like me, heard this information long ago. Still, it isn’t surprising that some conservative voters hadn’t heard about it.

In her letter, Mrs. Berg said that the DFL likely would’ve used that information against Tom in the general election. I agree. The DFL wouldn’t have hesitated in using this information. In fact, I’m betting that they’ll attempt to use it this fall.

The question I want Seifert supporters to ask themselves is whether they can trust a man who plastered this on his website:

Any Seifert for Governor campaign employee or member of the Seifert for Governor team that engages in negative campaign tactics of a personal nature against any opponent of either party will be fired or removed from the campaign should those charges be proven.

The letter sent to select delegates to next week’s state convention was sent out on Seifert for Governor stationary. It represents the vilest type of personal attack I’ve seen in a decade.

Let’s remember this important fact: the letter wasn’t sent to all state convention delegates. If Team Seifert thought this was a big ethical issue, why didn’t Team Seifert send it out to everyone? Might it be because their real goal wasn’t to express outrage but to win over undecided delegates? I won’t accuse them of that but that’s a distinct possibility.

My question for Seifert supporters is this: is this the type of campaign you signed onto? I suspect it isn’t. If you’re tired of this type of dirty politics, then isn’t it up to you to put a stop to it? Isn’t it up to you to let Rep. Seifert know that he’s gone too far?

When the DFL tries personal attacks against a Republican candidate, we come together and reject the politics of personal destruction. If we want credibility, don’t we need to reject it when Republicans cross that line?

Whether you continue to support Rep. Seifert or not, isn’t it your responsibility to demand he stop with the personal attacks? Isn’t it time you told him that you’re rejecting the politics of personal destruction and division?

I sincerely hope that Rep. Seifert apologizes for engaging in this type of politics. If he doesn’t, he should be told in no uncertain terms that he’s gone way too far this time.

Readers of this blog know that I’m part of Tom Emmer’s Steering Committee because I’ve worked hard to not hide that fact. This post isn’t an attempt to defend Tom. He’s perfectly capable of doing that himself. Rather, this is written solely from the perspective of an activist who expects better behavior from conservatives.

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Tuesday night, I attended a great event hosted by the SCSU CR’s. Featured guest speakers were Steve Gottwalt, Rhonda Sivarajah, Barb Davis-White, King Banaian, Sondra Erickson, Dale Walz and Craig Westover.

The first speaker was Steve Gottwalt. Steve started by explaining why he is a conservative before explaining to the CR’s why “younger people” should be, too. Steve emphasized the point that the college students in the Atwood Cascade Room should work on recruiting more students to adopt conservative principles. Steve also said that people of the CR’s age group would be hurt by the excessive spending currently happening in St. Paul and DC.

The next speaker was Rhonda Sivarajah, Marty Seifert’s pick for his lieutenant governor running mate. Ms. Sivarajah said that she wasn’t affiliated with a political party when she started running for an open seat on the Anoka County Commission. She said that the turning point for her came when a strong conservative from the area asked her what she believed in. After some questioning, the gentleman who was asking her the questions said that it was obvious she was a conservative and that she needed to be a Republican.

The most interesting part of Sondra Erickson’s presentation focused on how her father taught her about the importance of free markets. She said that her family ran a grainery that competed with a co-op. She said that the family business relied on selling the farmers’ grains at top prices, thereby assuring the farmers and the business of a profit. She said that that experience served her well in the legislature. She told the audience that she’d once again gotten endorsed to be the GOP candidate for HD-16A.

King followed Sondra Erickson to the podium. The lesson King taught was illustrated by a pencil. He said that the pencil was a great illustration of an important economic principle because no one person put the pencil together. If I understood the principle behind the illustration, I think what King was teaching was how command and control economies couldn’t do the things that free markets could.

Another important lesson taught by the pencil illustration is that free markets allowed people to flow to their areas of expertise, which allowed a group working on a shared goal to accomplish something that a command and control structure couldn’t manufacture.

Barb Davis-White’s presentation was electric, which is the standard for her. Saying that she’s got mad speaking skills is understatement. She talked about how freedom and conservatism can’t exist without each other. Barb talked about the importance of understanding and trusting the Founding Documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist papers.

Before Craig Westover’s presentation, people in the audience spoke about why they were conservatives. I was the last person in the audience that spoke. I said that I’m a conservative because conservatives are the only people who trusted capitalism. I then said that capitalism is nothing more than betting on human nature. I said that trusting human nature is the best way to get people to make the right decisions.

Finally, Craig Westover spoke about the difference between conservative values and conservative principles. Craig illustrated his point with the Minnesota GOP party platform. He said the standing platform was a great illustration of the party’s values.

Craig then made the case that teaching conservative principles was more important than agreeing with the GOP’s values because principles will help people think things through before reaching a decision. He said that two conservatives might have different values but that they might make the same decision because they applied the right principles.

Based on comments made aftwards, I’d judge the event to have been viewed as a success. Young collegians were taught great lessons by some of the state’s most articulate conservatives. After the event’s final speaker, the collegians and guests spoke about everything from economic theory to “Natures’ God” to the importance of trusting eternal truths.

Based on what I heard, I’m optimistic that this nation will be well-served by the next generation of conservatives. I’m optimistic, too, that they’ll be more disciplined with fiscal matters.

I commend Samantha Walz of the SCSU College Republicans and Jacquie Silseth of the SCSU Young Americans for Liberty for the job they did introducing the speakers and for putting such a great roster of guest speakers.

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After reading this article, I’ve spent a little time wondering what its purpose is. Here’s what PIM is reporting:

Minnesota GOP kingmaker Bill Cooper today endorsed Marty Seifert for governor.

Cooper is a former Minnesota Party chairman. He is chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based bank TCF Financial Corp.

This isn’t news. Team Seifert announced on Oct. 1, 2009 that Bill Cooper was part of their team. Here’s their announcement:

ST. PAUL – Representative Marty Seifert is proud to announce his campaign “Leadership Team” in advance of this weekends Minnesota GOP convention. This team is made up of supporters of leaders from every corner of the state who are energized by Marty Seifert’s message of common-sense conservatism.

“Over my 30 years of involvement with the Republican Party, I know we’re most successful when we stick to our principles,” said George Cable. “Marty Seifert never wavers from his convictions and I’m confident he is the strongest candidate to lead the Republican Party of Minnesota forward.”

The campaign has been to 104 events since announcing in July and recruited over 1,000 volunteers.

“Marty has a conservative 7-point plan that Republicans will get excited about,” said Lisa Weik. “With the political tide turning, this plan will bring new people to the Republican Party next fall.”

“I am very proud to have the support of such a diverse group of people,” Seifert said. “These people represent a broad cross-section of Minnesota and the Republican Party.”


George Cable – Former MN GOP Deputy Chairman, Lindstrom
Bill Cooper – Former MN GOP Party Chairman, CEO TCF Financial, Wayzata
John Daley – Second Congressional District Activist, Chaska
Kurt Daudt – Isanti County Commissioner, 8th Congressional District Vice-Chair, Zimmerman
Brent Frazier – Seventh Congressional District Activist, Pelican Rapids
Norma Friedrichs – Third Congressional District activist and SD 33 BPOU Chair, Hamel
Representative Steve Gottwalt – State Representative, Saint Cloud
Harold Hamilton – CEO Micro Control, Coon Rapids
Heidi Huckleberry – Third Congressional District Activist, Brooklyn Center
Jim Knoblach – Former State Representative, Saint Cloud
Rory Koch – Former Fourth Congressional District Chairman, Saint Paul
Darrin Lee – Fifth Congressional District Activist, Bloomington
Ryan Lorsung – Third Congressional District Activist, Brooklyn Park
Rene Ramirez – Fifth Congressional District Activist, Richfield
Michelle Rifenberg – Former State Representative, former GOP Deputy Chair, La Crescent
Judie Rosendahl – Former Seventh Congressional District Vice-Chairman, Madison
Eileen Tompkins – Former State Representative, Rosemount
Lisa Weik – Washington County Commissioner, Woodbury
Jennifer Wilson – Eighth Congressional District Activist, Duluth
Lori Windels – Former Fourth Congressional District Vice-Chair, Saint Paul
Dr. Scott Wright – First Congressional District Activist, Rochester

Did Team Seifert think that people forgot that he’d announced Bill Cooper as a supporter last year? If they did, then they aren’t giving GOP activists enough credit. This is what the Lady Logician talked about in this post:

The sad thing, for many of us, is that the Seifert campaign is running the type of campaign that lost the MNGOP seats in 2002, 2004, 2006 and culminated in 2008 with a comedian becoming the Junior Senator from MN over a sitting senator that, like him or not, had a policy gravitas that neither current Senator will ever HOPE to obtain! Many of us activists have begged and PLEADED with the MNGOP establishment to please, please PLEASE give up their penchant for slash and burn campaigns! Some have learned the lesson….apparently Marty Seifert and his surrogates have not.

If this is the kind of campaign that Rep. Seifert intends to run in the General Election he will lose to whoever the DFL puts up, just as Norm Coleman lost in 2008….just like John McCain lost.

Instead of laying out a positive vision for Minnesota, Team Seifert opted for gimmicky press releases that don’t inform the activists or the general public. That’s the type of pre-internet communications that won’t work in today’s information-starved environment.

The public doesn’t approve of communications that don’t inform or, worse yet, that talk down to the people. Team Seifert’s re-announcement of Bill Cooper as a supporter should be viewed by the activists as Team Seifert talking down to the activists.

It’s time that the Seifert campaign returned to fight on the battlefield of ideas instead of putting out too-clever-by-half press releases. Minnesotans are thirsting for leadership. That isn’t the message being conveyed by the Seifert campaign.

Team Emmer has taken a different approach, eschewing gotcha communications and opting for consistently communicating a positive vision for Minnesota. That’s what this campaign should be about. It shouldn’t be about cute press releases to make it sound like a campaign just got a new shot of energy.

DISCLAIMER: I’m a proud member of Tom Emmer’s Steering Committee.

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