The Eighth District’s Mystery Candidate

March 31st, 2008 – 5:27 PM by Bob von Sternberg

What if a political party held a convention and its designated congressional candidate passed on making his candidacy public?

It happened last Saturday in the Eighth Congressional District, where party bigwigs were prepared to bestow their endosement on a candidate to take on Rep. Jim Oberstar but held off “because he chose not to announce,” said Justin Krych, assistant district party chair. “He just wasn’t ready to pull the trigger.”

In a week or two, the presumptive candidate plans on a public announcement, after which the party’s endorsement will follow, Krych said.

Krych declined to identify the candidate, saying only that he approached party officials, indicating a willingness to run. “He’s an outstanding candidate, one who’s had a successful business life,” Krych said.

He added that it is not former Sen. Rod Grams, who was thumped by Oberstar nearly two-to-on in 2006. “He’s not expressed any interest this time,” Krych said.

For their part, Oberstar’s staffers said they’re in the dark about who their boss will face in his 18th run for what is possibly the most Democratic seat in Minneosta. “We haven’t heard anything either so we’re just taking care of our own business,” said campaign manager Blake Chaffee.

Anyone out there heard who it might be?

76 Responses to "The Eighth District’s Mystery Candidate"

Justin C. Adams says:

March 31st, 2008 at 5:46 pm

What an odd convention that must have been.

Does that not work like my State Senate or US House District convention on the DFL side? How do you mean “party bigwigs”?

The delegates chosen at caucus don’t get a say? They all voted to elect only party officials as their delegates to a kind of super-caucus?

Hmmm.

dare2sayit.com says:

March 31st, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Not sure who it is, but it’s Oberstar’s time to go.

chester says:

April 1st, 2008 at 7:33 am

After the last couple months, I think more Republicans should be hiding their faces.

If they don’t tell us their name, we won’t be able to send them thousands of emails pleading with them to become conservatives.

O.T. says:

April 1st, 2008 at 9:29 am

the media is p*ssing me off with their anti-troop bs. for months, th report nothing, then this week they say we are losing. then three days later with the IRAQI army leading the way, al-sadr cedes to them and it is page eight samll story time again. also chaeck this out:

reported “Iraqi death toll climbs sharply”

A total of 1,082 Iraqis, including 925 “non-combatant” civilians, were killed, up from 721 in February…

Although most victims appear to have been civilians, the rise in death rates among Iraqi troops and police was comparatively higher.
But, when you get down to paragraph 8 you find this out:

“The government says 641 suspected insurgents were killed.”
Did you get that?
641 of those deaths were terrorists according to the Iraqi government.
If you check out the MNF-Iraq website you get similar numbers for March.
Maybe this explains why things seem calmer in Iraq?

Rather than reporting that there were 641 terrorists or insurgents killed in March the mainstream media twists the story to make it sound like the Allies and Iraqi forces are losing.
The media has officially swapped sides in Iraq.
Sadly, this is no April Fool’s Day joke.

Les says:

April 1st, 2008 at 9:39 am

I see on the main page that Jesse says ‘Never say Never” to the Senate race…
Could he be a new Repbulican??…..:-)

Les says:

April 1st, 2008 at 9:42 am

You know, when you read this BQ opener:

What if a political party held a convention and its designated congressional candidate passed on making his candidacy public?

Isnt that sorta what Obama did in Michigan and Florida? His name was not on the ballot, therefore he was not a candidate in those states..

Justin C. Adams says:

April 1st, 2008 at 12:57 pm

My son is a year old today. But his birthday is tomorrow. That’s my april fools, courtesy of the leap year.

Jesse’s news is so funny.

On the other hand, he did beat Norm Coleman one other time among the same electorate.

Did the Independence Party keep its designated ballot spot, or didn’t Hutchinson get enough votes?

And have they endorsed a US Senate candidate yet?

A primary between Jesse and another IP candidate would have to go to Jesse, wouldn’t you think?

And the news cycle would love it. But I think he’d be embarrassed in the general. I honestly think that he, and most any IP candidate, would take more from the GOP incumbent in this particular race, so I encourage him to go for it. (I’m for Al, myself).

O.T. We did not get that at all.

Of 1.082 Iraqis killed, 925 were civilians and 147 were Iraqi military personnel.

641 suspected terrorists are not included in the “non-combatant” total, as suspected terrorists are combatants. They also are not represented by the 147, as the sums don’t equal.

The 1,082 are the good guys that we were trying to help, including 147 who actually signed up to get shot at. The 641 are a totally other group, the bad guys.

I don’t see where the media presented the argument that we can find out who is winning a war by calculating which side has suffered less death – that point seems just under your argument.

Maybe I’m wrong, and your point was that just because more allied Iraqis died doesn’t mean we’re losing. I don’t see where ‘the media’ said we were.

Les,I don’t think that a mystery candidate is anything like Obama in MI and FL – everyone knows that Obama is running for president, but nobody knows who is the GOP candidate for the US House in the 8th district.

He may not have been a candidate in those states, but again, this is different as this person apparently is a candidate in our state — we just don’t know who he is.

Some GOP leaders, leaders who appear to control an actual spot on the November ballot — they know who he is. Few enough people that they can keep the endorsed candidate a secret between them.

It just seems like the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, a bit, to me. I’d think the people of the 8th district, or the Republicans, anyway, would get to have a say. And if the secret were between all the Republicans in the 8th district, it wouldn’t be a secret.

Les says:

April 1st, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I dont know Justin, if a “designated candidate” isnt on a ballot, it may not be a secret that he was running, but he or she in fact did pass on make thier candidacy known in that jusrisdiction.

That sentence says nothing about the individual being SECRETLY selected by the party “bigwigs” for endorsement.

And what about Dem superdelegates from FL and MI? If they endorse Obama, who wasnt on either ballot for consideration, aren’t they doing what the eigth district GOP bigwigs are doing? Endorsing a candidate that wasn’t up for consideration by the rank and file.

Lady Lucy says:

April 1st, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I think it shows how arrogant we all found the 8th Congressional Leadership to be at the convention on Saturday. Bunch of Good Old Boy Republicans that know whats best for us poor grass roots delegates

SgtPendleton says:

April 1st, 2008 at 10:58 pm

What’s interesting about the 8th district is that if you remove the labor issue, that whole Iron Range is actually pretty socially conservative. Another problem is that Oberstar does one hell of a job bringing home the bacon. Oberstar will go when he damn well wants to.

It’s just a gimmick…what else can they do?

Justin C. Adams says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 8:18 am

Les, it’s the previous sentence:

“What if a political party held a convention and its designated congressional candidate passed on making his candidacy public?”

I think that maybe the word ‘convention’ is being used very loosely. Conventions give party endorsement, whereas the bigwigs might just be giving individual endorsements, which have no power under law.

The party endorsement at convention is half of what a candidate needs to get a certificate of nomination, the actual ticket to the November ballot. If a convention had endorsed someone, he or she would get that certificate as long as no one else filed for the office as a candidate of that party.

If they did, then they’d have a primary, like Dick Day is doing in the First.

So. Is there a primary fight looming for a seat that is impossible for the GOP to pick up without a plane crash? Is the bigwig’s choice trying to convince other potential candidates not to run in private?

Because that’s dumb. In the 8th, the race between republicans is not newsworthy. It’d be like covering Alan Fine extensively. Speaking of whom, has anyone else here actually read his self-help book? Kind of amusing… but not bad for what it is.

Anyway. As a result, the convention endorsement would be decisive – it would take a lot of resources to compete in such a large rural district and the chance of success in the general election would make it not worth it for anyone rich or famous enough to win the party’s nomination in a primary.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 8:21 am

I think it shows how arrogant we all found the 8th Congressional Leadership to be at the convention on Saturday. Bunch of Good Old Boy Republicans that know whats best for us poor grass roots delegate.

Lady Lucy, you were a delegate there?

So how did it go down?

How exactly does a convention endorse someone without revealing who it is? Did delegates vote to support the leadership’s decision somehow?

Justin C. Adams says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 8:21 am

I think it shows how arrogant we all found the 8th Congressional Leadership to be at the convention on Saturday. Bunch of Good Old Boy Republicans that know whats best for us poor grass roots delegate.

Lady Lucy, you were a delegate there?

So how did it go down?

How exactly does a convention endorse someone without revealing who it is? Did delegates vote to support the leadership’s decision somehow?

Justin C. Adams says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 8:27 am

You just voted to adjourn and then reconvene at a date certain, with written notice from the chair, I suppose. That’ll keep people home and give the bigwigs most of the votes?

Yep.. That must be what happened.

I think candidates should collect signatures to get on the ballot, and that the primary should be totally open, with all candidates (who collected the required signatures) on the primary ballot, regardless of whether they’re Republican or ‘Stars and Fairies’ party. Top three get on the general election ballot.

That’s how I’d do it.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 8:30 am

that should read ‘or with written notice’

Les says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 11:37 am

Justin;
I guess I was looking at more like a caucus than a convention..

either situation, The MN 8th endorsement of Mr. X, or the Dem FL/MI conundrum are examples of plain stupidity.

Jay says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 1:43 pm

maybe its Bill Bieloh and he wants to announce his candidacy at Moondance Jam.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Plain stupidity, to be sure.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Plain stupidity, to be sure.

SgtPendleton says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Pfft….It’s so obvious. Carolyn Luoma-Gentilini. Am I the only one paying attention???

bsimon says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 5:10 pm

“Carolyn Luoma-Gentilini. Am I the only one paying attention??? ”

Apparently. Who’s that?

On a similar subject, Chris Cillizza, who writes ‘the fix’ for the wash post had a similar story last week. He was writing about the NJ Senate race; the NJ GOP found a candidate, who couldn’t interrupt a ski vacation to attend the party’s event. Then it came out that we wasn’t yet a legal resident of the state. There are a couple other amusing details.

Point being: the GOP is having a hard time recruiting this year, nationwide.

bsimon says:

April 2nd, 2008 at 5:13 pm

“And what about Dem superdelegates from FL and MI? If they endorse Obama, who wasnt on either ballot for consideration, aren’t they doing what the eigth district GOP bigwigs are doing? Endorsing a candidate that wasn’t up for consideration by the rank and file.”

Its not really the same thing, but you raise an interesting point. I imagine if the DNC had dictated that superdelegates would be stripped of their privileges – as well as the two states losing their pledged delegates – they would not have moved their events before the designated date.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 7:14 am

That’s an interesting point bsimon, though the legislatures in Florida and MI don’t consist of national super delegates.

Before the designated date. Bsimon, that’s a crock – I know it’s not your crock, but ‘designated date’.

Doesn’t that upset you on constitutional grounds, that the states somehow are wrong to set the rules about when to hold elections?

The power is reserved to the states expressly in Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 sub 4 of the US constitution.

Every voter in Michigan and Florida should have exactly as much say in naming the nominee as every voter in Minnesota. If my vote were invalidated by the action of a group like the DNC, I would be extremely upset, and probably do what I could to really annoy someone responsible.

It’s totally a crock. Designated date the party said was ok. Again, is this the Soviet Union or China? When did “THE PARTY” get to be the thing instead of “THE PEOPLE”. When it comes out that there’s a conflict, it makes me so mad that the courts decide in favor of Party rights over People’s rights.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 7:20 am

I don’t think it’s the super-delegates fault, and I think it would be hard for them to organize and disband themselves… that might require a 2/3 vote of all party members or who knows what.

But something needs to be done about this problem. People deserve representational government.

Les says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 8:44 am

Justin:

While I understand and sympathize with your point about the “party”, I’m not sure I fully agree. The issue in Florida and Michigan was “who are we going to support in the Dem convention” not ‘Who are we voting for for President” (or dogcatcher). I dont think that a given party should be prevented from making their own rules for endorsement.

For example, although he didnt run, what was keeping Obama supporters in FL and MI from writing him in? (maybe that’s not allowed???), Still wouldnt count, but they’d a had thier say.

Further, the voters in those states knew what the consequesces of their actions were, and still chose to move forward. They now have a chance to punish those who did this to them in the polls.

You state: Every voter in Michigan and Florida should have exactly as much say in naming the nominee as every voter in Minnesota”

In Minnesota, “every voter” does not get a choice for party nominee. They get a choice for ONE PARTIES nominee. If you like candidate A in the GOP but perfer candidate B in the independent contest, your screwed.

To get to where you’re headed, we would need a statewide contest with the several candidates from every party on one ballot. And maybe that’s not such a bad idea.

bsimon says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 9:16 am

Justin asks
“Doesn’t that upset you on constitutional grounds, that the states somehow are wrong to set the rules about when to hold elections?”

Not in the least. What upsets me is that taxpayer dollars are used to fund what are political events. There is no taxpayer benefit to the state holding primaries for political parties. There is no Constitutional provision for determining whom the parties nominate to run for office, or how its done.

Les says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 9:17 am

Justin wrote:
Again, is this the Soviet Union or China? When did “THE PARTY” get to be the thing instead of “THE PEOPLE”.
—-

Based on this, I’d like to hear your take on the electoral college system.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 9:43 am

Les:

The electoral college system is more justified, in my opinion, because there is the problem of proportioning the vote among the states and historically it served an important function.

However, at the present date, I think it’s outdated and should be abolished. I also think Senators shouldn’t be directly elected, but that it should be done the old way, by state legislatures. I also think people should always have a say in selecting candidates, and that governments without this feature aren’t republics and fail to meet the criteria which justify government in the first place, probably best summed up in the Declaration of Independence.

So, you know. I’ve got my crazy ideas.

Les says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 10:11 am

Crazy for sure. lol.

I agree with you on the electoral college. It served it’s purpose in the horse and buggy and gutenberg press days, but is mostly an anacrhonism now.

A direct popular vote would also minimize the ‘big state-little state’ issue to some degree.

I’m not sure I agree with you on the Senator selection process though. To what end would placing the decision in a group of political hacks hands benifit the voter?

John E Iacono says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 10:20 am

Let’s see if I have my facts right here:

The general election, where everyone has a vote, is not at issue here. So any comments that relate to the ELECTION of candidates do not apply.

Two particular states scheduled their party endorsement procedures at a time prior to the earliest allowable date set by ONE party. (Last time I heard, the parties did not control (by custom, law, or any other means) the actions of states.)

At least one candidate honored his party’s wishes and did not campaign in those two states. As a result the one who ignored party wishes won big there.

Now the candidate who ignored party wishes and allowed the state to control wants to make the party give her the votes she thus gathered in those states.

The candidate who honored his party’s wishes understandably does not think that would be a fair resolution.

If my facts are correct, I have the following thoughts about the situation:

>No party has the right to overrule any states actions.

>When one candidate honored his party’s wishes and the other did not, the one who honored their wishes should not be penalized by the party.

>The only fair way to determine the actual wishes of party members in those two states would be for them now to have the opportunity to express them.

>Because this is a party thing, the entire cost of this procedure should be born by the ones who brought it about: the party.

bsimon says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 10:21 am

Justin wrote
“People deserve representational government.”

then Justin wrote
“I also think Senators shouldn’t be directly elected, but that it should be done the old way, by state legislatures.”

and immediately followed it with
“people should always have a say in selecting candidates, and that governments without this feature aren’t republics and fail to meet the criteria which justify government in the first place”

Justin, I see a couple inconsistencies in your statements, above. If state legislatures are selecting US Senators, doesn’t that conflict with your stated preference for the people having a say in their government?

Perhaps the hope is naive, but least under the current system, its possible to support a 3rd party candidate for Senate – VT & CT have 3rd party Senators now. But under the old system, party hacks would be appointed instead. No thanks.

John E Iacono says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 10:45 am

On the electoral college:

Although many would like it to be different, we are a republic, NOT a democracy.

We chose, in our Constitution, to be governed by elected representatives (chosen by the people) and not directly by the people.

The complex structure by which this representative government is managed (terms short or long, staggered or all together; term limits in some states; electors vs sheer vote count;division of powers, fixed numbers from each state vs numbers based on population; and on and on)were carefully put in place to allow for a system that has provided a stable, balanced political process for more than two centuries.

It is my considered opinion that it was not just the ability to communicate quickly that motivated the founders to employ an electoral college. Rather, they wished to have the ability to moderate the sometimes excesses of the general public by allowing persons the people had chosen in other elections to prudently adjust “spur of the moment” electoral decisions.

It is my view that those who would change this are not simply urging a new procedure, but rather are lobbying for a means to upset the whole complex structure and convert us to a French style “democracy.”

Contrasting the guillotine days of the French revolution and their frequent changes of government over the centuries with our relatively stable history, I would firmly oppose any such change in the form of our government.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 10:52 am

Sorry… really long.

Bsimon

The constitution does not deal with the parties at all. But the federalist papers warn us about them, calling them factions. We also note that the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and Federalist Papers, stress the accountability of government to individuals, on a representative basis.

We would expect this. We have a neoclassical form of government that predates JJ Rousseau’s “The Social Contract”. We come out of the movement that ended absolute monarchy. We have a revolutionary government, of the non-french variety.

Jefferson, Adams, and some others subsequently warmed to a more communalist or what we’d call ‘pluralist’ form of government, but that idea wasn’t around in the US, or at least very certainly not the prevailing idea, at the time of ratification. They had something more ‘majoritarian’ in mind.

The Soviets and China are/were authoritarian regimes that brutally murdered large numbers of their own people in the 20th century entirely on purpose, so perhaps that was out of line.

My point is this. Jefferson tells us that people have the God given right to a form of government in which they are equally entitled to representation.

Publius tells us that the remedy to faction is far worse than the disease – that we wouldn’t want to limit people’s ability to assemble into faction, as that would destroy liberty itself.

But he didn’t say we had to give the factions the power to make all our decisions for us.

Madison promised us a republican form of government, empowering the Federal government to force our States to meet this requirement. He reserved to the states the power to ensure representation for their citizens.

But he gave the federal government the power to fix it when the states failed to do this.

I think they should. It’s unfortunate it will cost taxpayer money. It should have been fixed long ago.

I have a perfectly reasonable proposal to eliminate the ‘party function’ aspect of primary election. Everyone who collected enough signatures, a percentage of the electorate, with the requirement that the candidate themselves carry the ballot, appears on the same primary ballot. Top three (or two, if you wanted to require an actual majority) go on to the general election, regarless of what the candidates wrote on the ‘party’ line of the affidavit of candidacy.

Endorsement would just be informal approval by a group of people who were dedicated to a slate of principals. No ballot access would be involved.

Use of the term ‘endorsed’ on a printed ballot could be reserved for one candidate per under the current major and minor party rules, so if two ‘republicans’ won the primary, one would be on the general election ballot as Republican and the other as Endorsed Republican. If not a major party, no word signifying ‘endorsement’.

But actual nominating power. That should be the most safely guarded asset of any citizen of a representative government. Without it, you’re just a subject.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 11:19 am

I don’t have a problem in general with delegated votes, and I do see an appearance of inconsistency there.

The 3rd party guys you’re talking about had to switch. Access to those offices is controlled by the parties now. I do see, though, that people’s opinions of state legislators are low, too, seeing them as party hacks. Some certainly are party hacks.

That said, they are the easiest public officials to throw out. Only about 35,000 people live in each MN House district. And very, very importantly, it is possible to get anyone you really want on that ballot. It is possible to un-endorse a sitting legislator working through even the party process, at the State House level.

So, representation is least diluted, and equality is best protected, for state representatives. As a result, they’re the best proxy delegate.

Point 1. above

Point 2. States Rights have been neglected and the federal government has grown too powerful. It is responsible for things it won’t be able to deliver. States need the power to deliver when the Feds don’t. I think giving state government direct access to one of the houses will protect state’s rights.

Some people think that causes nothing but problems. Civil rights were held up due to states rights concerns, they might say.

I say voting with your feet is very underrated these days. If we’re going to have irrational laws, couldn’t we at least just have them in some places and not others?

Point 3. Perhaps this is overly idealistic, but the state reps deal with the other politicos all the time, they know who all the experts are in the state, and they have a lot of friends. I just think it might be more meritocratic than a public election, for just one of the houses, if the guy with the most money didn’t always win.

And John

I think that we should check the president’s power and give him a popular election rather than safeguarding excessive power with an old system that is just burdensome and provides no practical advantage, especially considering this discussion of how nomination for the presidency is completely out of the hands of the citizenry at large and in the hands of a party elite, anyway.

Les says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 11:26 am

Why this requirement?

-
with the requirement that the candidate themselves carry the ballot,
-

It’s doable on a small scale, but totally unreasonable at a state and federal level.

Les says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 11:37 am

John;

I understand the “we know better” argument for the electoral college, but what do you think would happen if a candidate of either party, who “earned” enough elecotoral votes on paper based on general election returns, was not elected by the college, but rather the second place was??

I think it would make the 2000 election look like a cake walk.

If you bind electoral college votes to the state returns, then the actual “vote” of the college is not required.

All you preserve with the electoral college is unequal “value” of each voters vote.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 11:38 am

It think food shortages and a violent struggle basically over labor rights, not an accountable chief executive, are responsible for France’s history of frequent revolution.

I do like our stability. It is interesting that you also brought up france, as I hadn’t seen that when I was making my remarks.

SgtPendleton says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Electoral college needs to go. If the 2000 election hadn’t been contended the way it was, there’d be a pretty good shot of getting rid of it now…but the reality is, the powers that be like the way things are done now because it gives them the most influence on the outcomes.

Bsimon, CLG (Carolyn Luoma-Gentilini) was the popular and effective mayor of Virginia, MN from 1995 or 1996 up until last fall. She’s pretty middle of the road (and I don’t think she’s “out” as GOP)…but if anyone could go against Oberstar, it would be a younger populist woman. I think CLG would be ideal — the only problem is she’s at best a borderline conservative. Still she’d get the support of the influential Mesabi Daily News for sure.

GO CLG!

Les says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Not meaning to change the subject, but I have to know if anyone here as heard of any effort to lower the MN drinking age? this ABC report says we are considering it.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/Politics/story?id=4577105&page=1

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 7:43 pm

http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/17126506.html

Dr. Kahn wants to do it, which means it is a good idea, because she’s a genius.

But according to the link, its DOA again this year.

She’s also kind of a dreamer.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 7:57 pm

On the question of why have candidates carry petitions themselves.

I agree there is no way it is workable for the presidential candidates to do this. Statewide, Us House District, State Senate District/County, State House District – I think all these candidates could do it with a reasonable percentage requirement and a reasonable length of time to do it.

Decrease the current to about 2% and give the candidates with larger constituencies more time.

They should be talking to this many constituents if they’re running for office anyway.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 7:59 pm

The answer to “Why” is because it gives an individual a path to power through which they are responsible to their own conscience and to the constituents they’ve talked to, rather than monied interests and/or cronies.

O.T. says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 10:14 pm

A biker is riding by the zoo when he
sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage.
Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff
of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the
eyes of her screaming parents. The biker jumps off his bike, runs
to the
cage, and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch.
Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl,
and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him
endlessly.
An NYT reporter has seen the whole scene
and, addressing the biker, says, ‘Sir, this was the most gallant and
brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life.’
‘Why, it was nothing, really, the lion
was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I
felt right.’
‘Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go
unnoticed. I’m a journalist from the New York Times, you know, and
tomorrow’s paper will have this on the first page. What motorcycle do
you ride and what political affiliation do you have?’
‘A Harley Davidson and I am a Republican.’
The journalist leaves.
The following morning the biker buys The New York Times to see if
it indeed
brings news of his actions, and reads
on the first page:

REPUBLICAN BIKER GANG MEMBER ASSAULTS
AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH.

O.T. says:

April 3rd, 2008 at 10:33 pm

this pretty much sums up the dems:

Here is what Pogemiller said in response to questions about a tax hike in Minnesota:

“I think it is simplistic and naive to say that people can spend their money better than government… The notion that everybody can individually spend their money better than government, I just think is trite wrong-headed and anti-democratic.”

Les says:

April 4th, 2008 at 7:18 am

Justin:

Thanks for the info on the drinking age, Should have figured it was a “kahn-job”.

“Dreamer” isnt what I’d use to label her, but that’s another story.

On the petition for nomination thing, How does a personal plea from the candidate reduce fundraising from traditional sources? Maybe I missing part of your proposal, but I dont see how requiring a candidate to personally collect signatures would have much affect on their fundraising activities.

dare2sayit.com says:

April 4th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Anyone else going to the Tax Cut Rally this Saturday at the capitol?. I think it’s more important than ever to have a large turnout, with liberal democrat spending going out of control the way it has been.

SgtPendleton says:

April 5th, 2008 at 6:32 am

Let’s see…spend time with my family, or spend the day with a bunch of angry people who don’t want to pay taxes…Hmmmmm

Have fun d2!

Justin C. Adams says:

April 5th, 2008 at 7:37 am

An Anti-Tax Rally! Oh Boy!!

Maybe we can get David Strom’s autograph!

DTSI, and maybe this is too fine a point, but wouldn’t you be better off at an anti-spending rally, if you’re so concerned with spending being out of control?

I do see some things in the budget I’d take out. I hope the Governor uses a line-item veto as suggested in the recent Strib editorial.

On Kahn’s bill, if I were there, I’d have to vote against it. The federal money is too badly needed and it’s not something of such a moral imperative that it’d be worth it. I thought you might like the word ‘dreamer’ there.

I didn’t explain very well, regarding my crazy idea about ballot access. The key point of the proposal is to make nomination to the general election ballot a public rather than a party function.

The outcomes of general elections and primaries are likely to be dominated by the same factors which dominate them now.

The point of my ‘carry it yourself’ provision is to stop candidates from paying others to apply the elbow grease for them. The idea being that then ever single citizen would have what it took in order to at least put their name before the public on a primary ballot, assuming they could get people to sign their petition (which wasn’t the very easiest thing I’ve ever done, I should say).

In the end, for the elections themselves, fundraising would still be important in the traditional way. But for the nominations process, no small group of bigwigs could choose a US House candidate without telling anyone else who it was.

dare2sayit.com says:

April 5th, 2008 at 9:16 am

Liberal democrats are addicted to spending and have never seen a Tax Increase they didn’t love. We need to have an intervention a week from today. Jason Lewis is organizing this event with American Patriots like Michele Bachmann and John Kline speaking. I think there will be a very impressive turnout!

John E Iacono says:

April 5th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Les says:
“I understand the “we know better” argument for the electoral college, but what do you think would happen if a candidate of either party, who “earned” enough elecotoral votes on paper based on general election returns, was not elected by the college, but rather the second place was??

>I think it would be political suicide for the electors from that party. On the other hand, if the primary candidate had died in the meantime, it would be functioning as intended.

“All you preserve with the electoral college is unequal “value” of each voters vote.

>Which, I believe, was intentional on the part of the framers, to prevent the big population states from tampling the little ones.

Justin C. Adams says:
“It think food shortages and a violent struggle basically over labor rights, not an accountable chief executive, are responsible for France’s history of frequent revolution.

>I think if you go back over the entire two centuries in France the issues you list cover only some of the changes.

Cash N. Carey says:

April 5th, 2008 at 10:31 pm

The latest intelligence report continues to prove the success of the surge:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-04-04-iraq-intel_N.htm

God bless you President Bush!

O.T. says:

April 5th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Members of Congress have as much as $196 million collectively invested in companies doing business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the onset of the Iraq war, according to a study by a nonpartisan research group.

The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake.

In 2006, for example, Democrats held at least $3.7 million in military-related investments, compared with Republican investments of $577,500.

Les says:

April 7th, 2008 at 8:33 am

O.T.;

Those numbers dont make any sense.

You must have left something out, If I read it correctly, Dems and Repubs had a little over 4.2 million invested, but the total is 196 million.

Independents have 192 million invested??

Les says:

April 7th, 2008 at 8:46 am

John wrote:
All you preserve with the electoral college is unequal “value” of each voters vote.

>Which, I believe, was intentional on the part of the framers, to prevent the big population states from tampling the little ones.


I see it doing exactly the opposite,
A win in the CA election is worth 53 votes, in MN 10. Tending to make smaller states irrelevant in the process.

A single vote in CA is worth 5.3 times as much as one in MN. Doesn’t balance.

In a natinal popular vote election, the vote in MN is worth a much as the vote in CA.

True, you could say that everyone in CA can outvote the entire state on MN, but lets be real about it, OK.

At least we should change it so the electoral votes aren’t winner take all, but apportioned based on the percentage of votes recieved each candidate in the state.

Applied statewide, That would remedy the current situation here in MN where the Twin Cities, Duluth, and a couple of other population centers speak for the entire state.

Applied nationwide, that addresses the imbalance between vote values in CA and MN.

bsimon says:

April 7th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Les writes
“You must have left something out, If I read it correctly, Dems and Repubs had a little over 4.2 million invested, but the total is 196 million.”

My guess is that those numbers are averages. i.e. 10 dems have an average of $3.7 mil, totalling 37 mil. ~70 Repubs have $577 K invested, totaling the other $155 million. Or however the details work out, my numbers are made up.

bsimon says:

April 7th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

“A win in the CA election is worth 53 votes, in MN 10. Tending to make smaller states irrelevant in the process.”

But, electoral votes are allocated based on congressional representation. House reps are allocated based on population, Senators are just 2 per state. So a Senator from Dakota territory represents fewer people than a Senator from California – meaning smaller states get a disproportionatly large say in the outcome.

Les says:

April 7th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

True, but the senators dont exist in a vacuum, the election isn’d decided by Senate based electoral allocations alone.

We’ll see just how valuable they think ND’s votes are in comparision to CA when we witness thier campaign visits this fall.

Les says:

April 7th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

My guess is that those numbers are averages. i.e. 10 dems have an average of $3.7 mil, totalling 37 mil. ~70 Repubs have $577 K invested, totaling the other $155 million. Or however the details work out, my numbers are made up.

probably a good guess….

O.T. says:

April 7th, 2008 at 1:05 pm

If you read closer, you would have seen the 196 is for companies with contracts with pentagon. the other numbers are military contracts, hence the dem and repub numbers. thanks for playing….

bsimon says:

April 7th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

“We’ll see just how valuable they think ND’s votes are in comparision to CA when we witness thier campaign visits this fall.”

Les, here’s a quick summary. CA has the country’s highest population, WY the lowest. I’ve divided population by # of electoral votes to calculate what each EV ‘represents’ for CA, MN & WY:

CA: 36,553,215 / 55 = 664,604
MN: 5,197,621 / 10 = 519,762
WY: 522,830 / 3 = 174,277

(population figures from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population )

So in WY 522,000 people determine where 3 electoral votes go, whereas in CA, 522,000 people are worth only a fraction of 1 electoral vote.

The ‘attention’ paid a state is due more to their likelihood to be a ‘swing’ state, than the number of electoral votes. CA gets visited for fundraisers, but is typically not challenged for its electoral votes – as its a reliably Dem state. Same for NY, another big reliable blue state.

Les says:

April 7th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Sure OT, love to play.

Would have been a lot clearer it you’d posted a link to the report…

Your not even being consistent in your characterizations.

“doing business with the Defense Department” and “contracts with the pentagon” are not necessarily the same thing……Batter up.

O.T. says:

April 7th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

The Pentagon is a big place and I would imagine it having a lot of contracts( laundry, janitorial, food service, copying, etc). The emphasis was on who is making money off of this war and it doesn’t appear to be the repubs- it seems as if the dems are the war profiteers.

O.T. says:

April 7th, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I guess I just equated the pentagon with the defense dept, it doesn’t say pentagon.

bsimon says:

April 7th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

OT, your creative interpretation conflicts with your earlier statement that “The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake.”

As Les notes, perhaps a link to your source would clarify the meaning. Frankly, at this point, you don’t appear to understand what you posted.

Les says:

April 7th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

O.T. says:

April 7th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

The Pentagon is a big place and I would imagine

Yes it is, I noted that on my many visits to the NMCC from HQ SAC and HQ ACC.

You should be less defensive, I’m not Dora, I really didnt “get” your numbers earlier and was just asking for clarification.

Bsimon wrote:
So in WY 522,000 people determine where 3 electoral votes go, whereas in CA, 522,000 people are worth only a fraction of 1 electoral vote.

OK, point taken, I still think the states EV shouldn’t be winner take all. It’d be messier with percentile allocation or pure popular vote, but may be fairer..

O.T. says:

April 7th, 2008 at 5:26 pm

slip of tongue (defense dept:pentagon) = not understanding what I posted in libsomon’s world. doesn’t make the truth any less valid that dems are war profiteers.

grad says:

April 7th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

“The emphasis was on who is making money off of this war and it doesn’t appear to be the repubs- it seems as if the dems are the war profiteers.”

It’s not that clear. As the report says, “Giant corporations outside of the defense sector, such as Pepsico, IBM, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, have received defense contracts and are all popular investments for both members of Congress and the general public. So common are these companies, both as personal investments and as defense contractors, it would appear difficult to build a diverse blue-chip stock portfolio without at least some of them.” The 196 million figure is from investments in these very large, diverse companies.

More importantly, the report later adds, “While Democrats are more likely to advocate for ending the Iraq war sooner than Republicans, as a group they have more of their own money invested in America’s military efforts. In 2006 Democrats had at least $3.7 million invested in the defense sector alone, compared to Republicans’ $577,500. More Republicans, however, held stock in defense companies in 2006—28 of them, compared to 19 Democrats.”

http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID342#Links

O.T. says:

April 7th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

pretty much sums up my point grad. if the dems have 3.7 mil invested compared to 577,500, then it only makes sense they would profit more off of the war, even though more repubs are invested, they have put in alot less cash.

O.T. says:

April 7th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

This is funny, this AP reporter obviously either has no idea what Operation Chaos is or is attempting to skew the story. I guess Obama is swinging over 8% of the republican in long held republican districts in PA. I doubt that- Rush is having a great time with this and no, I do not listen to his show but I do know about his project.

bsimon says:

April 8th, 2008 at 9:54 am

OT writes
“slip of tongue (defense dept:pentagon) = not understanding what I posted in libsomon’s world.”

You make me laugh. That ‘slip of the tongue’ was like Hillary’s ‘misremembering’ whether she’d ever been subjected to sniper fire.

mark says:

April 8th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

“In a natinal popular vote election, the vote in MN is worth a much as the vote in CA.”

What if in CA they decided that 16 year olds could vote, or that illegal immigrants could? Then is a vote in MN worth as much as a vote in CA?

“At least we should change it so the electoral votes aren’t winner take all, but apportioned based on the percentage of votes recieved each candidate in the state.”

Each state legislature is free to determine method of electoral vote allocation. THere is a reason why almost every state in the union uses winner take all and that is because it creates the most leverage for the state in the presidential election.

Les says:

April 8th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Mark wrote:
What if in CA they decided that 16 year olds could vote, or that illegal immigrants could? Then is a vote in MN worth as much as a vote in CA?

That’s moot, any changes they make apply to winning the EV’s as well as a popular vote.


Mark wrote:
Each state legislature is free to determine method of electoral vote allocation. THere is a reason why almost every state in the union uses winner take all and that is because it creates the most leverage for the state in the presidential election.

I think it has more to do with PARTY leverage than state leverage. Therin lies the problem.

mark says:

April 8th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

“That’s moot, any changes they make apply to winning the EV’s as well as a popular vote.”

Absolutely not.. If one state expanded the voting rolls by reducing criteria that would have severe consequences on a popular vote election. Suddenly one states voters are not the same as the other states voters. Now, the changes in voter qualification is contained within a state.

“I think it has more to do with PARTY leverage than state leverage. Therin lies the problem. ”

But both parties and others, have been in control state legislatures. Neither party when they had control has seen fit to change how electoral votes are allocated. I think only two or three states have anything differnet than winner take all.

The electoral college was set up to account for the apportionment of slaves in the early republic. In that sense it is a relic. However, because it is part of our constitution it would require the process of amendment to change.

Our constitution has both national and federal element. One of the federal elements is amendments to the Constitution. To change, STATES must ratify any proposed amendment. Since any change to the presidential electoral process would be a transfer of power from many, less populated states to a few, heavily populated state any changes in the process are unlikely.

But, I think that should be the end of the discussion. Not every element in the Constitution is democratic. Some of the structure, such as the US Senate, are part of the federal construct of our nation. To tolerate two senators representing each state but oppose the electoral college means that your argument is inconsistent.

Les says:

April 8th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Well, I’m glad to hear your the offical moderator, and determine when discussions end here.

Let’s just say your coments about state voting changes are bunk. It matters not if the change affects 55 EV or Millions of individual voters. The effect within the state is the same. You also assume these changes will occur. I submit there is only one Phylis Kahn and she is mostly powerless despite the nutcases that keep returning her to office.

I’m also impressed to see you think there are only 10 amendments to the constitution, Must be, as you seem to think a constitutional amendment is impossible to pass…

Equal representation for each state in one body of our legislature is one thing, Stating that supporting that requires supporting the EC system to select a president is another. Amending the constitution to change the EC can and should have no affect on the Senate.

But you cant see that from inside your box, can you.

Have a nice night

mark says:

April 8th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Whatever “box” you claim I am in, the logic behind changing the electoral college and changing representation in the US Senate is essentially the same. That is, they are an undemocratic. Hence, it is inconsitent to argue about one and not the other.

Regardless, as I stated before, changing the Consitution and eliminating the electoral college is a massive transfer of power from the many small states to the few large states. Any state with fewer than 10 electoral vote would be idiotic to vote to ratify any such change. States will vote in their best interest and such a chance will have no chance to pass.

Therefore, it is just a fools mission to want to make such a change.

Les says:

April 9th, 2008 at 8:00 am

The logic behind changes to the EC and the Senate makeup are the same.

To you.. That dont make it so for the rest of us.

Think about it for a minute. One is a lawmaking body, the other is a selection process. Apples and Oranges. The fact that every state gets exactly two votes in the Senate when voting upon bills need not have anything to do with the selection process, in which you conviently forget to add the congressman, who outweigh your senate argument 5 to 1.

I wonder if the women’s suffrage folks had your same attitude about constitutional ammendments?

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