Archive for October, 2010

In a major development to the Eighth District campaign, IP candidate Tim Olson announced that he’s endorsing Chip Cravaack:

We are fortunate to live in an area of abundant resources. Minnesota’s Congressional District 8 has forests, mining, tourism, seaports, and hardworking people. Yet, our families are forced to move out of this district to find employment elsewhere. We need leadership that will allow families to remain and thrive in this district.

I am the Independence candidate for Congress who wishes to endorse my opponent, Chip Cravaack. We both hold the same ideals and values when it comes to smaller government, reducing the national debt, and protection of our freedoms as Minnesotans and Americans.

After spending much time with Chip, I am convinced that he is the District 8 candidate who will lead Minnesota and our country back to a United States of America that belongs to the people, not to the government. He understands the issues and will represent us well.

I am actively campaigning for Chip Cravaack and encourage your vote for him Tuesday.

This is a big deal. Chip will cheerfully welcome Mr. Olson’s support. When running against an entrenched incumbent like Jim Oberstar, it’s best to grab as many votes as possible.

The fact that Mr. Olson cited his own belief in limited government as a reason for supporting Chip ought to clear a path for Olson’s supporters to switch their support to Chip.

This is feeling very much like everyone is piling onto Oberstar, essentially saying that he’s lost touch with the district. I think Oberstar’s response is the direct result of his thinking of this race as a coronation, not an election.

That’s what happens when a complacent incumbent is challenged by a clear-thinking, talented challenger like Chip.

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I just read a tweet from the MNCRs announcing that UMD is allowing this picture to be posted.

According to the MNCRs, they weren’t allowed to put up pro-Emmer signs. Is this proof that UMD officially means the University of Mark Dayton? It appears so.

It’s time for conservatives to go public with boldness that they’re being treated like second class citizens on college campuses. It’s time that the story got told that the powers-that-be at some major universities think of themselves as above the law.

Earlier this week, MDE’s Luke Hellier posted about Frank Dolinar, a former SCSU professor, destroying Tom Emmer signs:

UPDATE: I confirmed with Ramsey County that the man in question was in fact arrested for

“He was booked for 5th degree misdemeanor arson and disorderly conduct.”

The man in question is Mr. Frank Dolinar. Mr. Dolinar is a former Professor at Saint Cloud State University. His LinkedIn page says his one interest is “electing DFL candidates.”

Why do liberals feel threatened by confident conservatives? More importantly, why do they ignore the First Amendment when the opinions differs from their own beliefs?

Frankly, it isn’t difficult to make the case that progressives are intellectual cowards who can’t win a fair fight. They have to hide their agenda until they’re elected. Even then, they have to concoct silly mantras like “the party of no” in an effort to get people to believe that conservatives are as intellectually bankrupt as they are.

DFL Censorship: It’s already invaded college campuses.

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If the 2010 election has an X-factor, it’s the TEA Party. Pollsters don’t know how big a factor it’ll be, though Doug Schoen, Scott Rassmussen and Pat Cadell have come pretty close.

This op-ed does as much justice to the TEA Party movement. Check this out:

The hostility and jaded news coverage that the Tea Party movement evokes suggests that it must be onto something really big — beyond anti-incumbent attitudes or current-issue debates of Democrats or Republicans.

The Tea Party is animated by powerful enduring ideas expressed in the nation’s founding through the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: freedom, the natural law of inalienable rights and the sovereignty of the people that requires limited government.

Remarkably, the Tea Party movement has gained national prominence with unpaid volunteers in just a year and a half. Its people come from every walk of life from all over the country.

What has brought them together is an acute awareness that Washington has been tone-deaf to the voices of the people. They’ve had it with the posturing of both Democrats and Republicans. Through the Tea Party, the silent majority now has a giant megaphone.

The Tea Party movement provides a fresh and unvarnished combination of candor, authenticity and idealism. In the age of YouTube, politicians are having difficulty in managing their image or their audience through a largely supplicant news media.

The TEA Party movement has been as maligned as the conservative movement was during Reagan’s time in office. In fact, I’d argue that the vitriol towards TEA Party activists is greater than the Democrats’ vitriol towards Reagan.

The Progressive Left’s hatred for limited government is best displayed by their rants. AFGE’s ad is typical anti-TEA Party vitriol. Here’s the text of their ad:

Tea party supporter:

Get government off our backs! We’re going to take our country back!

John Gage:

That sounds good. But is this the time for bumper sticker solutions?

The Republican tea party Pledge to America says, Cut taxes for the rich and cut government. Some have even said, Close the government down. Then what?

Food and mine inspection – gone.

Forget about border patrol or keeping terrorists locked up.

And returning veterans? Give them a cheap voucher instead of a quality VA hospital.

Let’s dump in the rivers and pollute the air again.

And the tea bagger chanting, “Keep your hands off my Medicare.” Sorry. Medicare will be whacked hard. The same for Social Security.

Schools, police and fire departments will disintegrate.

So Republican tea party folks, then what?

We’re all angry and frustrated. But when you vote, remember who got us into this mess in the first place.

Announcer:

Paid for by the American Federation of Government Employees at afge.org.

Not a single statement in this commercial is accurate. This over-the-top ad isn’t uncommon. The suicidal left that’s leading the Democratic Party over the cliff insists that they know better.

This Think Progress post is a perfect example of how unhinged the suicidal left is:

After their attempt to privatize Social Security in 2005 was met with widespread public outcry, the GOP’s strategy on Social Security has been two-fold. First, Republicans deny they are interested in privatization. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently told the Wall Street Journal that “no one has a proposal up to cut Social Security,” (his own book proposes doing so), while conservatives in the media have tried to argue that Republicans don’t actually want to privatize Social Security.

The second tactic has been to obfuscate their privatization plans by sugarcoating them in flowery, palatable language. President Bush’s privatization plan is a prime example. In his 2005 State of the Union, President Bush said we needed to “save” Social Security and give younger workers a “better deal” by having “voluntary personal retirement accounts,” the poll-tested language for privatization. Bush now says his greatest failure was not privatizing Social Security.

The Suicidal Left insists that today’s Republican Party is no different than the 2006 Republican Party. In that they’re wrong. They’ll hold Republicans’ feet to the fire if they meander too far from the principles of limited government.

That said, Democrats that hoped the TEA Party would splinter into a third party are now worried that they’re about to get flattened by the TEA Party steamroller.

Welcome to the Ballot Box Revolution.

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A faithful reader of this blog just emailed me a copy of a mailer sent out by State Rep. Ann Lenczewski. Here’s the mailer:

According to Lenczewski’s mailer, she’s the “only candidate with a proven pro-life voting record.” That’s more than a little misleading, if for no other reason than the fact that she’s the only candidate with a voting record.

Based on information included in the Minnesota Family Institute’s voter guide, it appears as though Sanu Patel-Zellinger, Ms. Lenczewski’s opponent, has a pretty stellar record on family issues, including on pro-life issues.

These developments make me more than a little suspicious. If Lenczewski thinks Sanu isn’t a threat, she wouldn’t be sending out this type of mailer.

On the other hand, if this is the type of chicanery Ms. Lenczewski resorts to when she’s facing real competition, that speaks volumes about her character.

In late April, 2009, I wrote this post about Ann Lenczewski’s idea of ‘tax reform’. Here’s what jumped off the page at me about her proposal:

In addition to the tax hikes, Lenczewski’s bill removes a variety of tax breaks for homeowners and businesses. Charitable contributions, the mortgage interest tax deduction and the property tax deduction for homeowners are eliminated and replaced with a tax credit based on income. The bill also eliminates several business tax breaks, like the Research and Development credit and parts of the governor’s JOBZ program.

Look at the list of deductions and credits Lenczewski’s bill would’ve eliminated had it passed. The bill was so bad that most of it didn’t get included in the conference report. I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Ann Lenczewski’s voting record isn’t a picture of conservatism. It isn’t even a picture of moderation. It’s a picture of radicalism.

That’s why it’s time for Ms. Lenczewski to go.

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When Duluth Mayor Don Ness emailed the powers-that-be at the Duluth News Tribune with his views on their endorsement in the Eighth District, he didn’t expect his views to be known to the general public.

At least, that’s his version now that MDE has exposed his email. If that’s the case, why didn’t he say that his comments were off the record? Better yet, why didn’t he use his private email account?

Here’s part of Ness’s email:

The rumor at the Chamber dinner last night is that the DNT was considering endorsing Chip Cravaak. I was hoping to talk directly to one or both of you about this prior to publication, but that request was denied. Let me first acknowledge the obvious, you can endorse whomever
you would like to, and it is not my place to insist that you change it.

However, I feel it both necessary and important to express my concern if the rumor that I heard was indeed true. Given the refusal to meet today and the message that my option is to provide a written rebuttal to the endorsement, I will assume that the rumor is correct and the remainder
of this message is written under that assumption. I do so with the full hope that it was nothing more than an ugly rumor.

I will also acknowledge that I am far from an unbiased observer. I worked for Jim for many years and I know, first hand, the quality of his character, the importance of his service to our area, and how deeply and profoundly he loves our area. Jim Oberstar has dedicated a lifetime to fighting for the people of our area, he gives every ounce of his person and his energy to public service, not only to the people of Minnesota, but for the betterment of our nation.

My first question is simple: Does that sound like a mayor speaking there or an activist? I’d argue that it sounds like an activist.

Now Ness insists that his email shouldn’t have been made public. If he wants something off the record, he should’ve said that it’s off the record AND it shouldn’t sound like it was written by Rep. Oberstar’s publicist or a DFL activist.

I’d also argue with Mr. Ness’s talking about “the quality of [Oberstar’s] character.” When Rep. Oberstar got earmarks for bike trails subtracted from the Highway Trust Fund, was that a picture of “the quality of [Oberstar’s] character”?

During the debate, the Congressman attempted to settle his supporters, with a calming motion with his hands. Cravaak, made no such attempt. Moreover, Cravaak’s sound-byte answers seemed to be designed to do just the opposite: to incite the crowd into rally type responses.

If the two of you can look me in the eye and with all honesty and integrity tell me that you believe that Chip Cravaak is the better person, the better man, the best person to represent the people of the 8th district for the next two years when Duluth has so much at stake, then I will be astonished, but I will simply respectfully disagree.

But, if there is something else going on, if there is some sort of effort to use this endorsement to meet some outside agenda or objective, then I believe the people of Duluth and your readership deserve to know what that agenda is and who is actually making these endorsement and
explain their criteria for making these decisions.

Maybe it’s the libertarian in me that’s overreacting but having a politician question a journalist’s integrity rubs me the wrong way.

The other thing that’s rubbing me the wrong way is Ness’s insisting that Duluth’s economy hinges on Oberstar’s ability to bring home the bacon. If that’s true, then it’s probably time to consider the possibility that Duluth needs to head in a new direction that doesn’t rely on government handouts.

This paragraph tells me alot about Ness:

Cravaak seems like an intelligent person, he is impressively polished, and he is well-practiced at tea-party and Karl Rove sound-bytes. But there is no conceivable way that an independent, unbiased assessment of these candidates could possibly bring you to the conclusion that Chip
Cravaak would be better for the residents in your readership area than Jim Oberstar would be. If I am mistaken on this point, then everything that I know about public service, about the importance of national leadership, and about the issues and challenges facing our region must
be wrong.

Anyone that doesn’t know that TEA Party speakers are more about substance than sound-bytes isn’t informed. The TEA Party movement is the most powerful political force and will be for the next 2-3 election cycles.

Politicians like Mayor Ness and Rep. Oberstar are so tuned into government that they haven’t noticed that the people they serve have changed their priorities. Perhaps Rep. Oberstar would’ve noticed had he met with his constituents more often.

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And it might eat it again.

With all the treacherous weather we’re experiencing, it was predictable that I’d have connection difficulties. MOBsters experiencing similar difficulties should blame them on Cindy of Ladies Logic since that’s where the storm hit first.

I could’ve recited much of Tuesday’s Michele Bachmann-Tarryl Clark debate in my sleep. It was that predictable. Three things shined through though. Two of the three items were said by Tarryl.

Tarryl denied that she’d vote for EFCA, aka Card Check. She’s been endorsed by every alphabet union imaginable. Ditto with organizations like EdMinn and the Teamsters.

Should I believe that the biggest item on the unions’ priority list isn’t a priority anymore? Should I believe that Tarryl told a great big whopper? It isn’t that she’s stood up to the unions before.

The other thing that stood out was Tarryl’s repeating her contention, which I’ve debunked before, that she’s kept taxes low “for 97 percent of Minnesotans”? I debunked that myth in this post.

If Tarryl voted for tax increases that increase progressivity and tax increases that reduce progressivity, doesn’t that mean that she has’t “consistently kept taxes low for 97 percent of Minnesotans”?

The other thing that stood out for me was that Michele mostly stayed on offense without engaging Tarryl. In fact, at one point early on, Tarryl said that Michele “isn’t running against Nancy Pelosi.”

Michele stuck with talking about how she’d voted against Obamacare, the stimulus and other reckless spending initiatives. When you’re part of a small minority, the best you can do is prevent bad things from happening. That’s what Michele has done.

I said months ago that Tarryl’s biggest problem was that she’s a terrible fit for this district. I haven’t changed my mind.

Tarryl needed a game-changing slip from Michele. Tarryl didn’t get what she needed.

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This morning, Tarryl Clark took her whopper tour to WCCO studios for what’s likely to be the last time this campaign season. Here’s what she said in her first response to Esme Murphy’s reading the Strib’s editorial:

TARRYL: Well, that’s certainly what we’re hearing around the district. The St. Cloud Times endorsed me earlier this week as well. The ECM papers have as well. A number of papers around the district have endorsed me. Veterans and Military Families for Progress, firefighters, police officers, the Committee to Protect Social Security, they all agree that Michele Bachmann’s not working for the Sixth District. They know I’m going to go out and fight for people every day.

If a person wasn’t a good listener, they wouldn’t have caught Tarryl mentioning 2 national organizations, the Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare and Veterans and Military Families for Progress.

The board of directors and other prominent members of NCPSSM are staffers from the biggest progressives in DC. For instance, Barbara B. Kennelly, the president and CEO of NCPSSM, is a “former ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security.” She “was Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus”, too.

Catherine Dodd “currently serves in San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s cabinet as Deputy Chief of Staff overseeing Health, Human Services, Workforce Development, Aging Services, Community Courts and Civic Engagement. Prior to joining the Mayor’s staff, she was District Chief of Staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

The point is this: What would a high level staffer for Gavin Newsom know about Minnesota’s Sixth District? What would any of these board members from NCPSSM know about Minnesota’s Sixth District?

The Veterans and Military Families for Progress is another national progressive organization. Again, what would they know about Minnesota’s Sixth District?

It’s worth asking Tarryl why she cites these organizations as experts of this district. It might sound impressive as she’s rattling their names off but they’re clueless about Minnesota’s Sixth District.

Here’s Tarryl’s response to Esme Murphy’s next question:

TARRYL: Well, first off, I can’t tell who that person is on TV. I just know it’s not me…$187,000 she’s spending a day to attack me, to make up false and misleading things.

Tarryl, did Michele tell the truth that you cast the 67th vote on a $435,000,000 tax increase? Did Michele tell the truth that the vote was tied at 33-33 before you cast your vote? Did Michele tell the truth that it was your vote that passed that tax increase?

In case you forgot or don’t want to admit it, the answer is Michele told the truth in each of those instances.

The next question was about taxes. Taxin’ Tarryl talked herself in circles on this one:

TARRYL: I have always fought to keep taxes down for over 97 percent of Minnesotans. And, ironically, while Congresswoman Bachmann’s going to come up here and tell you some false and misleading things about me, she ironically voted against tax cuts for those very same people. So I think the real question the people of the Sixth District should be asking what the heck she’s done for them.

First off, Tarryl voted twice for increases in the most regressive taxes in the state when she voted for the Transportation bill. That’s hardly always fighting “to keep taxes down for over 97 percent of Minnesotans.”

Second, Sen. Clark’s saying that she’s worried about shrinking the deficits doesn’t ring true in light of the fact she’s a huge proponent of the stimulus bill, which added hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficits the past 2 years.

That’s where the ‘tax cuts’ that Tarryl’s talking about come from. Tarryl can’t have it both ways. She can’t say that she’s for cutting the deficit while voting for a bill that explodes the deficits.

Tarryl is noted for trying to have things both ways. That won’t work this year. That won’t work this year.

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I DVR’ed this morning’s edition of @Issue With Tom Hauser as I do each Sunday morning. Each week, I’m amazed at how oblivious Ember Reichgott-Junge is towards that week’s news.

This week, Chip Cravaack had about as good a week as anybody in politics could expect to have. His opponent, 18-term incumbent congressman Jim Oberstar, insulted his constituents, called them “part of the Flat Earth Society” and exposed himself as an out of touch angry man who isn’t interested in what his constituents want.

Ms. Reichgott-Junge’s stated opinion on the state of this race: He got 68 percent in 2006 and 62 percent in 2008. Chip Cravaack has run a good race but he’s gonna lose.

HINT TO MS. RICHGOTT-JUNGE: There are races all over the United States where incumbents won in 2008 with 70+ percent of the vote and who are now in deep trouble. People really hate Obamacare. People really think that the stimulus is a gigantic waste of money. People really think that the bailouts were excessive, the spending too monstrous.

There’s another thing Ms. Reichgott-Junge is foolish to ignore, namely Cap and Tax. Miners know that Cap and Trade will cripple their industry, not because of the price they’ll pay for exceeding their carbon credits, but because the coal-fired power plants that supply mines like Minnorca will have to charge 40-50 percent higher for their electricity if Cap and Tax is implemented.

Jim Oberstar knew this and he voted for it anyway. Oberstar and Reichgott-Junge think that they’re fine, that people won’t get upset by Oberstar’s vote. WRONG. He voted to kill the biggest industry on the Range. Now he thinks he’ll skate because he’s always brought home the bike trail bacon.

That’s a fool’s bet, one which I wouldn’t take if my life depended on it.

Ms. Reichgott-Junge is saying that a candidate will always win once they’ve won with 60-65 percent of the vote. Dynamics change. Votes matter.

It’s to the point where I don’t know if Ms. Reichgott-Junge is that clueless or if she’s constantly spinning things in the DFL’s favor.

One thing I’m certain of is that Jim Oberstar’s desperation is showing following his losing the DNT endorsement. His desperation showed in this statement:

Oberstar immediately shot back, blaming the endorsement switch on the paper’s owners, Forum Communications. “They have dictated this outcome. It is one that fits their philosophy. It does not represent that of the Northland,” Oberstar said in a statement.

There’s just one major problem with Oberstar’s statement. It isn’t the truth:

Worth noting: DNT has endorsed Oberstar twice since Forum bought the paper in 2006.

That isn’t the sound of a confident incumbent. That’s the sound of someone who’s losing it.

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Earlier tonight, I sarcastically titled a post BREAKING NEWS. This time, I’m posting an endorsement as truly breaking news. This morning, the Duluth News Tribune is endorsing Chip Cravaack over 18-term incumbent Jim Oberstar:

The brake pedal of fiscal responsibility is needed in Washington now as much as ever. Although Oberstar voted in 1993 for the biggest debt reduction in post-World War II history, the 17-term incumbent is hardly the embodiment of financial restraint and new direction.

His opponent, on the other hand, Republican Chip Cravaack, represents what Congress, including Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, needs at this critical crossroads in American history. A pro-business, fiscally conservative, former Navy captain, with a master’s degree in education, Cravaack has smarts. He is articulate, reasoned and composed. More critically, he has specific and promising strategies to pull the nation out of its financial funk.

“This is clearly unsustainable,” Cravaack said last week of our nation’s mounting debt and free-spending ways. “The best thing to correct the situation is to create a business-friendly environment where the private sector creates jobs.”

Clearly, Jim Oberstar isn’t a fiscal conservative. Clearly, Rep. Oberstar will vote for any tax increase that reaches the House floors. He’s certainly been on a 4-year spending binge.

As awful as his record on fiscal responsibility is, that isn’t the biggest strike against Rep. Oberstar:

At the candidate forum last week at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Auditorium, Cravaack’s character shone. Not once did Cravaack respond to the unruly crowd.

Oberstar, meanwhile, retorted at least eight times to some of the rudest of the 1,800 in attendance, provoking even more catcalls. Among the things Oberstar said: “I gather they don’t like to hear the truth.” “I read the bill!” “There they go again.” “Come on.” And, “My goodness, no civility at all.” At one point, when a moan went up over global warming, Oberstar said, “I’m sorry if the flat-Earth society over here doesn’t believe it.”

If you haven’t watched the video from Tuesday morning’s debate, you’ve missed pictures of a man unhinged. Rep. Oberstar was totally unhinged.

Meanwhile, Chip Cravaack was the picture of poise. He made his points in a concise, efficient manner. Chip Cravaack looked like the poised veteran, Oberstar like the rattled lunatic.

The stunning point came when Oberstar called people who called him out on global warming “part of the Flat Earth Society.” People in the audience gasped in amazement. They couldn’t believe that they’d just seen a meltdown of that magnitude.

As much as I could rattle off other things that Eighth District voters should hold against Rep. Oberstar, that would be a disservice to Chip Cravaack. This paragraph from the DNT endorsement states the case for Mr. Cravaack nicely:

Speaking at a candidate forum in a packed Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Auditorium, Cravaack vowed to lower taxes paid by businesses, especially smaller businesses, and to remove government regulations and restrictions that impede economy-stimulating private-sector activity.

“You have to get rid of the gridlock,” he said. “What we need to do is invest in business in the United States … so they can invest in themselves and create this great thing called jobs. Then we have money in our pocket and we create further demand and it is a great spiral and we get a robust economy.”

People in the Eighth District have come to learn that Chip Cravaack will be their advocate in Washington, DC. They can’t be certain that Rep. Oberstar will represent anyone other than his cronies and lobbyists.

Eighth District voters need more than just a porkmeister. They need a full-time advocate who looks out for their interests 24/7.

The only man who fits that profile is Chip Cravaack.

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