6:42 PM | Posted in ,
In her latest press release, Tarryl Clark displays just why we need her in the state legislature. She is a friend of the education community and in the few times I have had the pleasure of talking with her during Education Minnesota Lobby Day at the Capitol, she has understood just what we need in this state to keep education strong.

Keep up the Good Work Tarryl!

Clark: We must reform public school funding

At a legislative hearing on Tuesday, educators, parents and citizens from across the state sent a message to state legislators and the Governor: Property taxes cannot fill gaps in state funding for schools.

“On election day, a third of the school districts in the state asked property taxpayers for money to run their schools,” said Senator Clark. “In most places, including St. Cloud, they were asking for funds that should have been coming from the state.”

“Our state constitution says that state government is responsible for providing a ‘secure and thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state,’ said Clark. “Instead, Governor Pawlenty has successfully instituted a system that puts local school districts in the business of begging for money from over-burdened property taxpayers. Schools shouldn’t be running campaigns and elections. They should be educating our children.”

Clark pointed out that two-thirds of referenda passed last November. “That shows strong support, given the fact that homeowners are being asked to vote themselves a property tax increase.

“Property taxes are riddled with inequities. They’re not based on the ability to pay, and are particularly rough on seniors and others who live on fixed and reduced incomes. When you add other factors, like a loss of state funding for local police and fire, ballooning mortgage payments for some and a declining state economy, it creates conditions that makes you marvel that 2/3rds of the referenda passed, and many, like St. Cloud, were very close.”

A bipartisan School Finance Reform Task Force is currently at work at the Capitol to design a better funding system. It plans to present its findings to the Legislature in January.

“As co-chair of the education finance bill conference committee that included the task force in this years funding bill, I hope that we can develop a bipartisan proposal that will restore state government’s constitutionally-mandated role as the primary financier of public education in Minnesota,” said Clark.

Clark asked to consider the options.

“On one hand, we have referenda proponents and opponents spending money - even hiring political consultants – to debate paying to operate schools using a manifestly unfair source of funding. In one district, opponents are even suing to throw out a state law that prohibits lying in election materials.”

“On the other hand, we can fund public education in a way that sets high standards for learning, prepares this generation to meet the challenges of the 21st century and is funded by fair means, based on the ability to pay.”

Unfortunately, under the current system, residents are forced to choose between properly funding education and the rising costs of living. It is understandable why one third of referendums failed as residents simply couldn't afford the increasing costs and it is commendable that other districts were able to take on such costs but it only serves to create a haves and have nots system of education. NO person in this state should have to choose between the benefits of education and the rising costs of living.
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9:03 PM | Posted in
In a rambling response to my recent analysis of his satire, Leo tries to defend drowning people for information, denies that the "decider" had any responsibility for the war, then becomes selectively outraged at the names Democrats have called Bush. It was quite a rant! You have to wonder why a guy would get so defensive if there weren't any grains of truth in my writing.

Leo Pusateri said... What is so sad is the fact that you pull out the ever-present strawmen from the Kos-Kids like "illegal wiretapping"-- WHERE?

Waterboarding-- Do you have any other non-lethal ideas as far as getting information so that our servicepeople don't get killed..


Do you even understand what a strawman is? How have I misrepresented your position or the position of the President? As of right now a judge has declared the wiretapping program illegal and despite what I'm sure will be your ad Hominem claim that this is some terrible liberal judge, I was always under the impression that when a judge interprets something as illegal that it is illegal. Now, given that her ruling was overturned but the higher court refused to declare whether the program is legal or illegal you would have to honestly say that at the very least this program is highly questionable.

If you can find me a study in which waterboarding is proven to work, I would be interested in reading it. However, every bit of evidence I have been able to find rebukes the use of waterboarding. Psychologically speaking, how could you possibly defend the use of such a technique?

War on faulty intelligence? You mean the same intelligence that Kerry, Clinton etc. were privy to when they voted to give the President the power to go to war; you mean the same intelligence that they were privy to when they saw the need to take out Saddam even before Bush became President? Then they do everything in their power since November of 2005 to undermine the war and try to ensure defeat to garner themselves a political victory. There's patriotism for you.


You're right, there are Democrats equally as culpable for this debacle but we weren't talking about them now were we? I believe the topic of discussion was how amazing George W. Bush is and how he is "gracious". If you want to have a discussion about the inequities of certain Democrats, we can do that, but for now let's stick to the topic at hand. Also, I thought George was the "decider"? Doesn't that make him somewhat at fault? Given that he was the one who wanted to use military force, shouldn't he have been the one to make doubly sure his information was accurate? If it was the Democrats job to prove the case, then Bush really should have stepped down and let them do the job.

Incidentally, the last time I checked, we still had a First Amendment and speaking out against something does not make one unpatriotic!

Unwillingness to compromise? You mean when Bush pretty much let the democrats write the education bill?

Yeah, I know--compromise to the democrats means doing everything their way or no way.

Wait, did you just make the claim that one compromise in seven years proves your point? If that is the best you can do, you may have proven my point for me.

But damn it, Bush was so mean spirited as to call the Democratic party the "Democrat party!" For shame!!!

You're right--that's so much more demeaning and mean than the democrats likening Bush to Hitler, or likening our soldiers to the Nazis or Pol Pot.

Calling you "democrats" is so much more partisan than your side calling Bush a liar for acting on the same intelligence they had. It's so much more mean-spirited than Dhimmi Carter labelling Bush as the "worst president ever" (I'll bet ol' Dhimmi never looks in the mirror, does he?)

Yes, the term "democrat party" is so much more hateful than the niceties that the democrats utilize when describing Bush, isn't it?

Yep. Bush said, "democrat." He should have thought about that.

BTW... let me know when you get an original thought in your head.

Should be amusing, to say the least. November 29, 2007 7:52 PM


Ahh, the Politics of Outrage in action! I hope you didn't bust anything after that tirade. Once again, let us stick to the subject at hand and not ramble into defending your guy by attacking the other guys. We can have a discussion another day about all of the stupid things Democrats have done and said but claiming that your guy is great because the other guys are terrible is silly. Oh, and that ending where you impugn my originality, I love it! Have a happy day Leo!
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Blue Man over at Build Our Party Blog raises some red flags about the apparent fast tracking of Elwyn Tinklenberg as the 6th District DFL nominee. It is worth the read!

The Best Part:

Bob Olson will appeal to the Klobuchar Republican's in the 6th, those Republican's who voted for Pawlenty and Klobuchar. It's a key demographic that will swing the 6th and a demographic out of reach for Tinklenberg.

Tinklenberg 2.0 appears to be a significant improvement over the 1.0 version. However, apply some mineral spirits to the exterior and the true colors appear once again.

It looks like the same old "good ole boys" network, with backroom deals and flip flopping stances being the status quo.

I'm tired of status quo.

Last night on AM 950, Minnesota Matters was talking about the AFSCME endorsement screening that happened late last night. Mark Heaney only mentioned Elwyn Tinklenberg in is discussion of the 6th.

Thank goodness for Colleen Hogan. Colleen called in and set the record straight, that there is another candidate in the 6th, and the only one viable in the eyes of many.

Bob Olson.

I know some in the 6th will be a bit ticked off that I posted this rant about Elwyn Tinklenberg and his past.

I had hoped that groups that endorse our candidates and others would have properly vetted our candidates.

I got into this blogging business to expose the hypocrisy of the likes of Michele Bachmann but I would rather not trade one establishment candidate for another. This blog supports the rant of Blue Man and hopes that others within the establishment of the party realize that crowning a candidate wholesale before properly examining our options is foolish and doesn't necessarily give us the candidate that can beat Michele Bachmann and offer real representation in the 6th District. Ultimately, isn't that the goal?
9:59 PM | Posted in ,
I hope I am not the only one who caught this! Did it seem as though in an interesting series of questions, that the first question was not answered by the candidates but rather by the next question?

Here it is:

(CNN) — David McMillan from Los Angeles, California asks: On a variety of specific issues: gay marriage, taxes, the death penalty, immigration, faith-based initiatives, school vouchers, school prayer, many African Americans hold fairly conservative views. And yet, we overwhelmingly vote Democrat in most elections. So my question, to any of the Republican candidates here is, why don't we vote for you?


And the answer to your question Mr. McMillan:

(CNN) — Leroy Brooks from Houston, Texas asks: What does the confederate flag over here represent? Is it a symbol of racism, a symbol of a political ideology, is it a symbol of southern heritage, or is it something completely different?


The Republican Party, keeping the Southern Strategy alive since 1968!
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7:55 PM | Posted in ,
Even with her favorite voting partner (John Kline) signing on to a letter asking for funds to pay for the upcoming Presidential Conventions in Denver and Minneapolis, Bachmann cannot find the time or energy to support. What is it this time Michele?

Check it out on Minnesota Monitor:

Bachmann Balks on RNC Security Request
by: Andy Birkey
Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 12:52:49 PM

Every member of Minnesota's Congressional delegation signed a letter to U.S. Congressional leaders urging them to pass security funding for St. Paul in advance of next year's Republican National Convention.
Except one: Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Headed by Reps. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., the co-signers urge Congress for advance funding to help defray security costs being incurred before the conventions in St. Paul and Denver. Because both cities are smaller than host cities of the past, receiving funding up front is vital to successful security planning, the letter said.
"The host cities are now incurring security-related costs and have stressed the importance of receiving federal funds as soon as possible. Unlike New York and other large host cities for previous conventions, Denver and St. Paul are unable to absorb security costs in their existing budgets and wait for federal reimbursement," the letter said.

Congress is prepared to allocate $100 million between the two cities with $50 million directed to each. Minnesota's Congressional delegation, minus Bachmann, argues that the earlier the funding arrives, the more prepared St. Paul will be for the convention.

Bill Harper, McCollum's chief of staff, told the Associated Press that only two bills may be available this year that could be used to provide the money. "The number of appropriation vehicles are starting to look limited," he said.

Bachmann's absence from the letter is curious given the support of her Republican colleagues, including Rep. John Kline.

Was she left out of the letter signing? According to Byran Collinsworth, press secretary for McCollum, "Rep. Bachmann was presented with the same opportunity to sign the letter as all other members of the Minnesota delegation."

Does she find the dollar amount too high for a party held for herself and her colleagues? Is she concerned that the funding would come too soon?

Is she concerned the money will be contained in a bill that President Bush finds too expensive? Bachmann signed a pledge to Bush to uphold any veto of a bill that spends more than his proposed budget. Kline signed that bill as well, however.

Will anyone ever know? Bachmann's office did not respond to a request for comment. Should she provide one, I will post it here.

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6:16 PM | Posted in ,
Michele was in Stillwater today, speaking to the Rotary Club. Unfortunately, the rest of us lowly constituents have yet to see our Representative in any type of open forum or town hall meeting. The topic of this meeting was to tout an economy that is apparently just grrreat! Never mind the fact that poverty rates are on the rise, the housing crisis continues to consume communities, and Minnesota has been hemorrhaging jobs for the past four months. With these issues and the ones I have discussed previously, one has to wonder how anyone can take this woman seriously.

Bachmann reflects on nation’s economy, taxes

Yvonne Klinnert Stillwater Courier
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2007

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota’s Sixth District put the emphasis on the country’s economic health and growth when she spoke to the Stillwater Sunrise Rotary group at Joseph’s Restaurant Tuesday morning.

Bachmann noted the improved health of the country’s economy since tax cuts went into effect in 2003, saying that the country’s economy has tripled its growth rate since then. Previous to the tax cuts, the country was losing jobs; now it is adding jobs to its employment rolls, she said. “That’s what happens when you stimulate the economy from the private sector,” she said.

Such stimulation makes an economy “recession proof,” she said, marked by “competition and prosperity.”


Recession proof? I really hope that this comment did not pass without snickers or even outright laughter. If Bachmann cannot even be honest about the realities of the economy and that there is no such thing as recession proof, how can the voters of the 6th District possibly count on her to solve problems.

Bachmann said that her next goal, to help continue along that path, is to work to eliminate the alternative minimum tax, a tax that was imposed in 1969 to keep millionaires from paying no income taxes, but which is now snaring middle-income taxpayers. “The bill that ate New York City,” Bachmann called it.

The 2008 House of Representatives is intent on raising taxes, Bachmann told the group, something that she will fight against. “I don’t think that’s the direction we want to go if we want to maintain prosperity.”

Well, Bachmann has already had the chance to save increasing numbers of people from the Alternative Minimum Tax but chose to vote NO. This vote illustrates one of the key problems with Michele Bachmann and other blind partisans like her. People that refuse to compromise on anything will find themselves accomplishing nothing. Michele may want to get rid of the AMT entirely but others do not and if she cannot compromise we in the sixth district will continue to have a Representative that has little power and little influence.

Other concerns are an energy bill, and a farm bill, which could be written to increase taxes, Bachman said. “It’s easy to go to look for sources of revenue,” she said, without recognizing the implications of what that would do to the economy.

Rather than look for more revenue, “it’s a matter of priorities,” Bachmann said. “What are we spending money on?”

One question was asked about the national debt, and Bachman responded by noting the difference between the nation’s short-term debt, and its long-term debt, which she defined as the unfunded promises to pay out Social Security and Medicare in the future. “The long-term debt literally keeps me awake at night,” she said.

Finally, it appears as though more and more people are realizing that Michele Bachmann only speaks to organizations that she knows will be friendly and not ask her any difficult questions.

From the comments:

Bachmann's constituents are still waiting for a public forum where we can ask her questions that evidently reporters aren't willing to ask her-- like why she voted against money to rebuild the 35W bridge. Bachmann has yet to hold a public forum where she can face her constituents. Most of us aren't in Rotary and have to work instead of going out for breakfast. Bachmann asks "What are we spending our money on?" For starters, we're spending billions of dollars a WEEK on the war Bachmann has consistently voted for.
Dwight F
Lakeland, MN
11/28/2007 3:37 PM


Cross posted on Dump Bachmann

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7:56 PM | Posted in
Back in September, I wrote about the utter hypocrisy displayed by Representative Bachmann by presenting the Clearwater Fire Department with a grant check despite having voted against the very bill that funds that grant. Well, it looks as though the message has not been received and Bachmann is at it again. You would think that someone in her office or someone at the St. Cloud Times (Larry?) would ask her why she is handing out checks from a fund she opposed.

This time in Sauk Rapids:

Latest: Sauk Rapids Fire Department receives grant
By Jane Laskey jlaskey@stcloudtimes.com

Published: November 27. 2007 12:30AM - Last updated: November 27. 2007 2:30PM


SAUK RAPIDS — The Sauk Rapids Fire Department was awarded a $142,500 grant by the Department of Homeland Security. The City of Sauk Rapids will contribute 5 percent, or $7,500, to bring the total funds to $150,000.

The grant will be presented by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in a ceremony at the fire department at 5:15 p.m. today.

The fire department is using the funds in an ongoing effort to update its equipment. The grant will allow the department to purchase 30 sets of self-contained breathing apparatuses and 30 spare air tanks. SCBAs provide firefighters with breathable air in hostile environments and include a high-pressure tank, a pressure regulator and a face mask.

Unfortunately, I learned of this event too late to attend the event. Who was invited to this event? How did they get an invitation? I would love to attend an event here in the 6th District in which my Representative is in attendance.

I did send an email to Ms. Laskey wondering if anyone bothered to ask our Representative about this contradiction, so we will see what that produces. You can be certain that within days we will see a shiny photo pasted onto her website touting the presentation of this check. Perhaps alongside the photo she could place her voting record concerning these grants.

Here is my email:

Ms. Laskey,

I just read your piece describing the ceremony at the Sauk Rapids Fire Department with Michele Bachmann. I am curious as to whether anyone asked Michele why she is presenting grant checks that she voted against? Also, how might someone get on a list to be notified of such events involving my Representative?

Thank You,

***********


Cross posted on Dump Bachmann
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6:10 PM | Posted in , , ,
Yesterday, in one of the most humorous posts I have yet to see in the partisan blogosphere, Leo Pusateri denounced Democrats for being so mean and bullying the saintly George W. Bush. However, given the situation that the Republican Party is currently facing in both national and state politics it is hardly surprising for Pusateri to put on the blinders. He and my other favorite conservative blogger, Gary Gross of Let Freedom Ring, are trying daily to find some sense of relevance in a country and state that is rejecting the very premise of their arguments.

In an extremely well written and comprehensive article, CQ Politics analyzes the current grim outlook for Republicans heading into the '08 election. Granted, things could change within a matter of minutes but as of right now Republicans are screaming into the wind as the country moves toward larger Democratic majorities, a Democratic President, and in a perfect world, a Bachmann-free Congress.

It’s Looking Like Blue Skies All Over Again
By Bob Benenson and Jonathan Allen, CQ Staff

Just over a year ago, Democrats seized control of Congress because of the voters’ exhaustion with the war in Iraq and disgust at the Republican majority’s increasingly brazen manipulation of the levers of power. Now, less than a year from the next election, little has happened to elevate the voters’ mood — or their impression of the party that ruled the federal government from 2003 through 2006.


Nearly every polling indicator of the last few months displays a move away from the Republican politics of corruption, hypocrisy, and outright lies. While overall Congressional approval remains remarkably low, conservatives don't seem to realize that those numbers include a vast amount of the population tired of the obstructionism of the Republican minority of which our very own Michele Bachmann is a leading member.

Republicans, meanwhile, appear destined for a yearlong internecine battle for the heart and soul of the party. Even if they manage to rally behind a single presidential candidate next spring, it is not at all clear that any of the leading candidates for the nomination can count on the loyal and enthusiastic support of evangelical Christians and other social conservatives who have formed the bedrock of the GOP “base” for more than a quarter-century.

For some time now we have watched the Republican Party splitting into its religious evangelical wing and its socially moderate business wing. Now, however, as the Republican Party tries to reconcile these two factions they both seem to be abandoning the party. As the business community is increasingly up for grabs and Bush feigns fiscal discipline to get them back, the Republican Presidential front runners are driving away evangelical voters. If this exodus continues, Pusateri and Gross may not have a Republican Party to fawn over!

So the Democrats have the institutional numbers in their favor. But do they have the issues on their side and the voting public’s support? Here again, underpinning the Democrats’ advantage are a number of indicators that appear consistently across public opinion polls — even if, in some cases, it’s more a matter of their party being less unpopular than the GOP.

An ABC News-Washington Post survey taken from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 showed Democrats not only leading Republicans by double-digit percentage points on Iraq, the economy and health care, but also leading by 7 points on immigration issues and 6 points on taxes — two matters the GOP is counting on to turn the tide its way. Even on the war on terrorism, the trademark issue for the Bush administration, which Republicans have emphasized since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Democratic Party is now statistically even with the GOP.

But the biggest factor working in the Democrats’ favor continues to be that they are not the Republicans.

The GOP is still reeling from the steep drop-off in public confidence that hurt the party so deeply last November — a result of the waning public support for the Iraq War, economic uncertainties, ethics controversies and other problems that concomitantly turned Bush into one of the most unpopular presidents of modern times.

Republicans have spent much of the year trying to reinvigorate their base by battling Democratic initiatives and are working to polish their “brand” before the election. “We’re in the season of battle and obstruction,” said sixth-term Rep. Charles W. “Chip” Pickering Jr. of Mississippi, who’s one of the GOP incumbents giving up his seat next year but who still harbors statewide political aspirations. “Next year will be the season of defining and developing an agenda.”

Republicans have ballyhooed the universally negative congressional job approval figures as an indication that Democrats are poised for a fall next year. (Congress’ most recent approval ratings were 19 percent in an NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey taken Nov. 1-5, and 28 percent in the ABC-Post poll of the week before.)

Yet in the accompanying questions about how voters view each party in Congress, there is much, much less for the Republicans to cheer about. True, 36 percent in the ABC-Post poll approved of the Democrats, and 58 percent disapproved. But the figures for the GOP were worse: 32 percent approval and 63 percent disapproval. When asked a broader question about the parties, 51 percent said they have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, while only 39 percent said the same about the Republicans.


Despite grasping at straws, partisans such as Gross and Pusateri really have nothing to lose. It is really the Democratic Parties election to lose. If they play their cards right and don't screw up ala Republicans over the last decade they will be sitting pretty in 2008. However, if they don't find ways to continue showing that they are willing to work together and that it is the Republican Party which refuses to do so, then they may find themselves with the short end of the stick. There are those at True North who have already packed it in and it is only a matter of time before the rest of the loyal lemmings see the writing on the wall and stop grasping at straws.
7:49 PM | Posted in , ,
I enjoy a good laugh as much as the next guy, and Leo Pusateri over at Psycmeistr has got one of the most humorous posts I think I have ever seen in my entire life. Granted, Leo may not have intended it to draw the "laugh at me" crowd with this one but the mere premise of his argument is so partisan and so out there that one can only read it as humor ala Stephen Colbert. If I didn't know any better I would have assumed that he was one of the greatest satirists this country has ever seen.

Go ahead, share a laugh with me on a Monday:

Monday, November 26, 2007
Class... vs. no class.

From inviting Teddy Kennedy for movie night, to allowing the democrats to write his education plan, President Bush has bent over backward to implement the "new tone" he set to implement in Washington.

I'm just curious, Leo, but would that new tone be creating war with faulty intelligence, playing politics with the Justice Department, an unwillingness to compromise, or simply insulting Democrats at every turn? I could go on with issues such as waterboarding, illegal wiretapping, and the like but I think we get the purpose of this "new tone".

Yet, the money line comes next:

"Say what you want about Bush, but he has been gracious in all things, resorting to criticism of his opponents in only the most dire of situations. Despite attack after virulent attack, President Bush, honoring his office, has again and again taken the high road, not allowing his office to wallow in the pit of hyper-partisan politics."
If what I have seen from this administration over the last seven years is taking the high road, I would NOT want to see what that low road is all about!

Thank You Leo! You made my Monday a little brighter with your amazing satirical skill!

This one's for you Leo:

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7:20 PM | Posted in ,
H/T to the Biden Blog on this one:

Minnesota Public Radio has a survey you can take that will use your answers to identify the candidates that hold similar views. I will place a widget of the survey at the bottom of the blog so that you can conveniently take it without navigating to MPR.

How does it work?

From the FAQ:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does Select A Candidate tell me who to vote for?

A: Absolutely not. Its main purpose is to introduce you to the candidates who are running and their positions on the issues.

Q: How did you come up with these questions?

A: The questions mirror the campaign. There might be issues we are interested in that haven't come up in the campaign so far, and those aren't listed here. Should they come up -- and we have a mechanism for your interests to be part of the campaign -- they will be added to Select A Candidate. The choices from each question mirror positions that candidates have stated. If no answer is close to your position, do not answer the question, for there is no candidate with that position.

Q: How does the scoring work?

A: Each candidate gets 1 point for each question that matches your answer. If you indicate that an issue is very important to you, the candidate gets 3 points. If you indicate that the issue is of no importance to you, the candidate gets 0 points. In this way, the "match" is weighted to reflect those issues on which you decide elections.


If you already have a candidate, chances are your choice will be confirmed. If you don't already have a candidate, this can be one way to narrow down the field of candidates you should research further. Either way, let us know who you were matched with in the comment section.

8:25 AM | Posted in ,
Brian Melendez, Chair of the Minnesota DFL, writes an excellent piece in the St. Cloud Times today about the varying hypocrisies of Representative Michele Bachmann. Obviously, a true telling of those hypocrisies might take an entire newspaper in and of itself but this is a start.

From the St. Cloud Times:

Your turn: Bachmann chooses Bush over her constituents
By Brian Melendez Minnesota DFL Party

Published: November 24. 2007 12:30AM - Last updated: November 24. 2007 12:47AM

By now, it's a story we're all too familiar with: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann consistently stands by President Bush at the expense of her own constituents. We've come to expect this kind of bad judgment from Bachmann. But we deserve more from her than hypocrisy.

On Nov. 14, Bachmann once again put Bush and the Republican Party first when she voted against a bill that included the $195 million for rebuilding the Interstate Highway 35W bridge that the federal government has promised to Minnesota.

The bill, H.R. 3074, was a compromise between the House and Senate for funding the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Minnesota taxpayers have been waiting for this money for months. But Bachmann voted no.

With the same vote, Bachmann also opposed the $55 million needed to finally get Northstar commuter rail under way. The people who drive Interstate 94 every day to work have been waiting to get this project started for years. But Bachmann voted no.

This vote against Minnesota comes as no surprise because we've seen it before. Whether in opposing the renewal of the State Children's Health Insurance Program or in constantly offering Bush a blank check for his failed strategy in Iraq, we've learned we can't count on Bachmann to put Minnesota first.

If these were votes of principle — even if the principle amounts to bad judgment — it might make them easier to understand. But it turns out that these are votes of hypocrisy. And we deserve more.

Bachmann said she voted against the bill with the Northstar and I-35W bridge funding because it contained, in her words, "excessive, pork-barrel spending." This explanation might make sense if she hadn't sponsored "earmarks" of her own in the very same bill. ("Earmarks" are personal requests from members of Congress to fund specific programs in their districts.)

In the transportation bill Bachmann voted against, files from the House Committee on Rules show she sponsored two earmarks: an $820,000 earmark for buses in St. Cloud and a $500,000 earmark for improving Minnesota Highway 241 in St. Michael.

Bachmann must have believed these projects were worthy because she sponsored the earmarks for them. So why did she turn around and vote against her own earmarks?

It looks like an effort to fool her constituents into thinking that she's working for them, while she's really just trying to keep Bush happy. It's giving with one hand, but taking away with the other. And it isn't even the first time this month that she's tried to pull a fast one.

On Nov. 6 and 8, she voted against another bill — H.R. 3043, a House/Senate compromise for funding the departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services — that contained three earmarks she sponsored, including $350,000 to help Northland Medical Center in Princeton buy equipment.

After Bush vetoed that bill, she voted Nov. 15 to uphold his veto, once again voting against aid for her district that she requested. But at least she was keeping her promise to Bush.

On June 13, the right-wing Republican Study Committee announced that Bachmann had signed a letter to the president pledging that she would support his veto of any spending bill that he said was too expensive, no matter what was in it — even help for Minnesota, even help for her own constituents.

So let's try to get this straight: Bachmann had the chance to vote to rebuild the bridge and get Northstar started, but didn't because she said the bill was too expensive — even though she added to the cost of the bill by sponsoring earmarks in it for her district.

And she voted twice against another bill that she put earmarks in, then supported Bush's veto of her own earmarks — because she put a hasty promise to him ahead of her duty to her district.

Bachmann has never seemed to get that Minnesotans elected her to represent them, not George Bush. Bad judgment is one thing. But hypocritically trying to pull a fast one on us is just too much.

This is the opinion of Brian Melendez, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.


Other Bachmann hypocrisies include:
Interestingly, these are examples from the last thirty days of Michele Bachmann saying one thing while doing another with her votes in Washington. From photo-ops to constituent services to her voting record, Michele Bachmann has proven herself to be woefully inadequate at representing the interests of anyone other than President Bush and Dick Armey from Freedomworks.



Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
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1:23 PM | Posted in ,
On Wednesday, I received an email from Brendan Steinhauser (Freedomworks Federal & State Campaign Director). Apparently, Michele was unable to attend the most recent Liberty Summit on November 14th and 15th.

Just for accuracy's sake, she was not able to attend the latest Liberty Summit.

However, he did offer to answer some of the questions we had about Michele Bachmann and Freedomworks. At no point had I called or emailed Freedomworks for information so this email exchange was initiated by Mr. Steinhauser. The reason I bring that up is because on Monday, I called Heidi Frederickson with very similar questions and have yet to hear back from anyone in the Bachmann office despite being told someone would get back to me.

The Questions:

1. Is Michele a member of Freedomworks? Or, is she simply a supporter who shares the same goals as your organization?

SHE IS NOT A MEMBER OF FREEDOMWORKS, BUT A SUPPORTER AND CONGRESSMAN THAT SHARES OUR VALUES.


We here in the district are wondering when she will be a supporter of us and represent our values as vehemently as she seems to represent Freedomworks.

2. Michele has supported or sponsored legislation that appears to be coming from or advocated by Freedomworks. Can you explain the connection? Unfortunately, Michele has not had any (to my knowledge) town hall meetings or open forums here in her district which is a primary concern I have.

I DON'T KNOW SPECIFICALLY WHAT MOTIVATES REP. BACHMANN TO GET BEHIND THESE IDEAS, BUT I HOPE THAT WE HAVE HELPED TO CONVINCE HER TO DO SO. OFTEN, CHAIRMAN ARMEY ENCOURAGES LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT OUR MISSION, AND THAT CERTAINLY CAN PERSUADE LEGISLATORS TO GET BEHIND OUR AGENDA. BUT I THINK THAT YOU WILL FIND A LOT OF SUPPORT FOR THESE POLICIES IN HER DISTRICT, AS WELL. THIS SUPPORT COMES FROM FREEDOMWORKS MEMBERS, OTHER VOTERS AND THE PUBLIC AT LARGE.


Herein lies a huge part of the problem. An organization such as Freedomworks, with Dick Armey leading the way, should NOT have more influence over a Congress member than the citizens of that members district. Unfortunately, given that Michele has done so little to reach out to her constituents and given that the main issues she is pushing are those of Freedomworks, it gives the appearance of a Congresswoman working less for her district and more for an organization with little connection to the majority of that district.

3. Did Michele give a reason for not being at the most recent event? It appears she was scheduled to be there.

I DIDN'T ASK, AND THEREFORE CAN'T ANSWER THIS QUESTION. THESE EVENTS ARE HARD TO SCHEDULE DUE TO THE BUSY SCHEDULES OF EVERYONE INVOLVED. WE WERE PLEASED TO HAVE AS MANY CONGRESSMEN AS WE DID. OFTEN, LEGISLATORS HERE IN D.C. HAVE MULTIPLE PLACES TO BE AT ONCE. I'D SUGGEST ASKING HER OFFICE ABOUT THIS QUESTION. BUT TYPICALLY, IT IS JUST A QUESTION OF TIME OR TIMING.


I have called Heidi Frederickson (before this email exchange ever took place) and politely asked someone how Michele was involved in Freedomworks and when she would be holding meetings in her district so that we might have access to her as well. However, I have yet to hear from anyone in the office concerning these questions. It speaks very poorly of my Representative that a Campaign Director for a national organization is more responsive to questions than her very own staff.

4. Do you happen to know how many Freedomworks events Michele has attended?

I KNOW OF THE THREE EVENTS YOU MENTIONED. HONESTLY SHE HASN'T SPENT MORE THAN A TOTAL OF A FEW HOURS AT OUR EVENTS OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. THE AMOUNT OF TIME WE SPEND WITH LEGISLATORS IS QUITE SMALL COMPARED TO THE TIME THEY SPEND VOTING, AT HEARINGS, OR HOLDING CONSTITUENT LISTENING SESSIONS IN THEIR OFFICES.


As has been documented by myself and the rest of the Dump Bachmann team (here, & here), Michele has done very little to reach out to her constituents (unless you are radio shock jock or a supporter). I am not aware of any event that Bachmann has attended in which any constituent across the district is invited. Also, it smacks of hypocrisy for Bachmann to claim that she would like to spend more time talking to regular folks here in St. Cloud but only do so in unpublicized "listening sessions" from the comfort of her Washington DC office. So, her "few hours" spent with Freedomworks is actually quite large when compared with the amount of hours she has spent with her constituents. This story still has some additional questions that ought to be answered by Heidi Frederickson or others in the Bachmann camp.

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
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12:55 PM | Posted in ,
In another glowing LTE for Michele Bachmann, the writer proclaims that it is a great thing that Michele is doing by sacrificing the health coverage of millions of poor children because there might be that off chance that an illegal immigrant might get treatment.

Letter: Illegal immigrants should not get drivers’ licenses
Julie Larson Otsego

Published: November 23. 2007 12:30AM

Recently, the governor of New York announced that illegal immigrants might be allowed to obtain New York state drivers’ licenses. According to news reports, the only required documentation an illegal immigrant would have to present to obtain the driver’s license is a valid foreign passport.

Like many Americans, I support legal immigration, but I oppose rewarding those who come here illegally. I’m very concerned about the impact of this proposal and the message it sends.

The strain caused by illegal immigration on our social programs is a serious problem. Often, illegal immigrants make the difference — from a cost standpoint — as to the levels of service that can be offered by state and local governments.

The governor of New York is not alone.

Congress just passed legislation eliminating a requirement that applicants for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program prove their citizenship with identity documents, like passports or birth certificates. I was not surprised to learn Sen. Hillary Clinton supports the governor’s plan, or that she supported the SCHIP bill. But I was surprised when local lobbyist El Tinklenberg said in the Times, “Suppose a few children of illegal immigrants manage to slip through the system. Is that a reason for denying millions of U.S. children health care?”

That kind of dismissive attitude is exactly what’s wrong with Congress.

I want real solutions to our nation’s health-care crisis, not political games or policies that open the door to illegal immigrants receiving social services at the expense of Americans in need.

More members of Congress should display the same courage as Michele Bachmann by demanding clean polices that do not reward illegal behavior.


Ron Ohmann provided a response in the form of a Write Now letter:


Write Now: Letter only fuels polarization

Published: November 23. 2007 12:30AM - Last updated: November 23. 2007 9:29AM

We have another thinly veiled letter of anti-ethnic xenophobia in the Times. (“Illegal immigrants should not get drivers’ licenses,” Friday.)

First, El Tinklenberg is not a “local lobbyist.” He is a candidate for Congress from the 6th District.

The claim of this candidate having a “dismissive attitude” by nuancing support for health coverage of poor children in the context of immigration is evidence of the callous, black-and-white posture of Rep. Michele Bachmann and her supporters. The congresswoman mirrors the xenophobic stance of many southern GOP congressmen, being even more radically right than the president.

Other GOP congressmen like Jim Ramstad take a more nuanced, compassionate position on this tangled issue, but not Bachmann. She and this writer have totally abandoned any pretext of “compassionate conservatism.” This type rhetoric inflames the polarization of our district and our country, but unfortunately, that seems to be their political strategy.

Ron Ohmann

Fairhaven


Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
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5:19 PM | Posted in ,
Recently, on the now defunct Andy Barnett program, Michele Bachmann was heard to make these comments about having to work an arduous five day work week:

What’s, what’s really been missing, unfortunately, is our ability to be home, in St. Cloud and in our local districts to be able to meet with people, and talk with people. And after all, that’s really where the answers are, is back home, and I’d much rather be able to be home a few days a week and meet with people there, and, um, then when we get to Washington, get down to business and get the work done.

DL: Well, that goes against the philosophy of the left, uh, Michele, they, they think they know everything, and they can do everything from Washington, don’t they?

MB: That’s right, and Don, the other thing they want is they want to make sure that we’re here in Washington where the lobbyists can feast on us all day, and-

DL: I’m a huge advocate of you guys stayin’ home.

MB: That’s right. It’s much better to be with normal people, people back home in our districts.


Yet, no more than two weeks after these statements deriding being in Washington and having lobbyists "feasting" on her, Michele was in attendance at a Liberty Summit put on by an organization run by Dick Armey called Freedomworks. What is Freedomworks? Well, it is a conservative lobbying group whose mission includes:

FreedomWorks fights for lower taxes, less government and more economic freedom for all Americans.


And the agenda for the Liberty Summit?

Thursday, November 15

8:30am-9:45
Breakfast and Lobbying Briefing

Speakers: FW Staff
Location: Petits Plats Restaurant
2353 Connecticut Ave, NW
(directly across from Woodley Park Metro)


9:45
Depart for Capitol Hill.

10:30-12:00pm
Guided Lobbying on the House and Senate Sides

12:00-1:00
Lunch at Longworth Cafeteria

1:00-2:30
Lobbying Cont’d

2:30-3:00
Break/travel to Heritage


As this story is still developing and there are a few questions that need to be answered, I gave Heidi Frederickson a call with the following questions:

How is Michele involved in Freedomworks?

This is not the first Freedomworks event Michele has attended. Back in March, she attended another event hosted by Freedomworks. Something interesting to note here is if you scroll down through the pictures you see that Bob Murray (Utah Mine Disaster) was also in attendance that day. Also, it appears to me that many of the issues Bachmann has been touting (AMT, SCHIP, TABOR, etc) are the products of Freedomworks. I am able to find at least three instances where Bachmann attended Freedomworks events and one has to wonder how much influence Freedomworks has over Michele Bachmann. That is not to say that anything illegal has transpired. However, it is interesting to see that Michele spends much more time hanging out with Freedomworks in Washington than she does here in her own district where she claims she would like to be. This story is still developing and hopefully Heidi Frederickson can clear some things up for us.

What was her role in the November 14th and 15th Liberty Summit?

Given that this event had an entire day planned for lobbying, if Michele decided to let them "feast" on her, shouldn't she explain to us why she said that she would rather be in St. Cloud with her constituents? Also, given that she hasn't had a single constituent forum or town hall meeting to my knowledge, shouldn't she give us here in the district the opportunity to influence her vote?

As of right now there are many more questions than answers, and I will keep digging. If you happen to have any answers to these questions, let me know at (political_muse@hotmail.com).

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
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4:49 PM | Posted in
It is the birthday of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden. If you have spent any time at this blog you know that I believe Joe Biden is the best hope we have for putting this country on the right track.

Keep fighting Joe, we need your voice and your experience!
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4:28 PM | Posted in ,
Apparently, Gary Gross has acquired psychic powers. He has an interesting post describing his hatred of taxes and projects his beliefs onto the whole Minnesota voting populace. Interestingly, though, Gary doesn't explain how Minnesota has lost jobs for the fourth straight month given that Tim Pawlenty and Republicans have "held the line" on taxes for the past five years. Somebody really ought to tell Gary that simply saying it doesn't make it true.

DFL Misreading the Voters

Tarryl Clark uses this press release to essentially place all the blame on Minnesota’s weakening economy on Gov. Pawlenty’s shoulders. The sad truth is that the DFL should accept responsibility for attempting to ruin Minneosta’s economy by proposing crippling tax increases to pay for their unsustainable spending increases. Here’s one paragraph that got a chuckle out of me:

“Minnesota’s economy continues to struggle, but the governor refuses to do his part to lend a hand,” said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud. “Each month, Minnesotans are seeing more and more job opportunities disappear. It is imperative that we do whatever we can to jumpstart our state’s economy.”

I emailed Tarryl a couple weeks ago with the suggestion that the DFL work with Gov. Pawlenty to cut taxes next session. I still haven’t gotten a reply from her on that, nor do I expect one considering the subject matter. The DFL hates GOP-proposed tax cuts almost as much as Superman hates Kryptonite or vampires hate wooden stakes.

Essentially placing the blame? Gary, perhaps you could put down the partisan blinders for a moment and read the release objectively. Clark never blames Pawlenty for the weakening economy, an economy, by the way, that has seen no tax increases yet still is losing jobs. What Clark does say is that Pawlenty has not done enough to WORK WITH the overwhelming majorities built by the DFL in the state House & Senate to solve these economic woes. Also, how does one honestly blame the DFL for ruining an economy that has seen NO job growth in four months and in which they have gotten none of these taxes passed? At what point do you place any blame at the feet of the man who has been the head of state for over four years?

I’d just like to second Gov. Pawlenty’s quote about maintaining Minnesota’s prosperity:

“What my DFL friends don’t understand is you can’t government your way to prosperity. You have to have a real economy,” he said. “So their answer is ‘We’d have a better economy if the governor would spend more government money on projects and raise taxes’?”

While platitudes are wonderful things and make us all feel warm and fuzzy inside, perhaps Tim could provide us with an actual plan to get our economy rolling again. If the Governor spent as much time working with the legislature to come up with a compromise as he does coming up with funny slogans with which to slam Democrats we might not have seen 27,000 jobs disappear in the last four months.

Please tell me how this Transportation Bill will create a net a 60,000 job increase. How will it accomplish that when people will be leaving the state in droves? The message from the school levy elections wasn’t nuanced. It was quite clear. It said that voters were tired of the annual tax increases & that they weren’t going to take it anymore. They were tired of being treated like the DFL’s ATM machines.

The DFL is free to ignore that message but they do so at their own peril. The DFL is attempting to ignore the message that Rockville citizens are sending, too. That’ll lead to their demise:

Excellent question, however, you may want to explain first how you know that "people will be leaving the state in droves". I do enjoy how you have made the opinions of the people of Rockville, however important they may be, the opinions of people across Minnesota. An honest assessment of the levy votes this year shows that roughly TWO-THIRDS of all levies passed on all questions while only ONE-THIRD failed outright. How this can be a clear message of opposition to levies or taxes is beyond me, but you keep believin'! I was always under the impression that 66% win is a pretty hefty victory.

Last session’s tax bill would’ve created the highest marginal tax rates for small businesses in the nation. It would’ve driven up state commercial property taxes, too. There isn’t any doubt that those tax increases would’ve driven small businesses out of the state, too. Despite all that, Tarryl wants us to believe that the DFL tax increases will create prosperity? I won’t buy into that.

When Bill Clinton increased taxes in 1993, the economy was growing. Increasing taxes when the economy is weakening isn’t smart policy. Increasing taxes at that time will hasten, deepen & lengthen the coming recession.

During W’s first term, Democrats complained about the middle class squeeze. If they were to pass, the DFL’s tax increases on small businesses would be the ultimate middle class squeeze because it’d drive up unemployment. If you want to see what massive tax increases does for an economy, just look at Michigan’s. The only thing preventing Michigan from sliding into a deeper recession is the new $600 million business tax cut to draw new businesses to the state.

Well of course you won't buy that Gary, you show just how blindly partisan you are in the above paragraphs. The economy under Clinton, not his doing and the economy under W., super awesome! This economy, under the tutelage of President Bush and Governor Pawlenty, has seen little progress for anyone other than those at the very top so if you could please explain to me when this magical time will come when these low taxes and massive tax cuts for wealthy will "trickle down" to the middle class I would be very much appreciative. You speak in only hypothetical's when referencing the tax increases proposed by the DFL (which, by the way, are interestingly labeled taxes for DFLers and user fees for Pawlenty) but we have actual data on the state of things in an anti-tax climate and it ain't looking so good.

Gary, you can hate taxes all you'd like, but it really doesn't do you any good to assume that others around you share your fear of government "investment". You know what happens when you assume, don't you?
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4:22 PM | Posted in , ,
From the Sherburne County Citizen:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Big Lake man files to run against Olson

By Gary W. Meyer
Editor

A Big Lake man this week announced his candidacy for the DFL party nomination to oppose Mark Olson for his Minnesota Legislature position in next November's general election.

Steve Andrews, 47, Big Lake Twp., will seek the DFL District 16B nomination, which if successful would lead to a campaign against Olson, who has announced his intention to run for re-election.

Olson has won election to the local House seat for seven terms. He was first elected in 1991.

Andrews in a prepared statement termed himself a "moderate and committed to effective investment of our tax dollars."

He and his wife of 15 years, Mary, own a Seattle Suttons Healthy Eating outlet in Maple Grove. He serves as vice president of technology at Fintegra Financial Solutions in Minneapolis.

He is a graduate of St. Johns University. The couple has two elementary-age sons.

The West Sherburne Tribune has an article with more quotes from Andrews:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

BL man seeking Olson's House seat


Steve Andrews announced his candidacy for election to the Minnesota House of Representatives. He is seeking the DFL nomination in District 16B.

"I'm an average person who holds higher than average expectations of the Legislature on behalf of the citizens it serves," Andrews said. "I'm your neighbor, I'm a moderate, and I'm committed to effective investment of our tax dollars."

"Over the next year I am going to speak a little and listen a lot to concerns, ideas and solutions that people offer. We are facing complex issues involving education, health care, the state's transportation infrastructure, and taxes. How are we going to allocate funds the most effectively, without waste? My focus and commitment to the people of 16B is genuine and my agenda will be set by the citizens I will represent at the Capitol," Andrews said.

Andrews has been active in various community organizations, including service on the Monticello Housing and Redevelopment Authority prior to moving to County. He is a graduate of St. John's University, Collegeville, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government and Social Science and a secondary education minor.

He is employed by Fintegra Financial Solutions in Minneapolis as Vice President of Technology. He and his wife, Mary, are co-owners of a small business, Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating of Maple Grove. The Andrews' have been married for 15 years and have two elementary age sons. They live in Big Lake.


*Hopefully, the people of 16B will come to their senses and vote Mark OUT! Incidentally, when did the 16B seat in the state legislature become the ownership of any one person? Whomever wrote this article really ought to remember that seats in government are owned by the people and NOT by those that sit in them.
12:50 PM | Posted in ,
While I am all for being positive and looking on the bright side of life, a statement made by Michele Bachmann recently struck me as so out of touch with reality that one can only wonder who is giving her data on the economy that the rest of the country is not seeing.

On the now defunct Andy Barnett show, Michele proclaimed:

"Because our economy has been enjoying robust health for the last 40 quarters. There’s some segments of the economy that are hurting. Real estate no doubt is hurting right now, sub-prime mortgages and all, all the rest. But for the most part the economy has been booming..."

Booming for whom?

*Is it booming for the working class?
Between 2000 and 2006, the average income of the lowest fifth is down 4.5%, the middle fifth is down 2.5%, and only the top fifth is up, by 1%. Similarly, today’s report revealed that the share of income going to the top fifth of households was 50.5%, the highest share on record going back to 1967. The middle-income share was 14.5%, the lowest on record. The bottom income share has been 3.4% since 2003, also an historic low.

The study shows that the amount people spend on gasoline as a percentage of their income has about doubled since 2002. In that period, gas prices have tripled and oil prices have soared nearly five-fold. Nationally, Americans spend 3.8 percent of their income fueling one vehicle, versus 1.9 percent in 2002.

The paper reports that while average family income, adjusted for inflation, has continued to advance at a good clip, that has been helped by gains by the top wage earners.

The paper says that about nine out of 10 workers have seen inflation that has outpaced their pay increases over the last three years, according to the Labor Department. That includes workers earning up to $80,000 a year, a level that puts them in the 90th percentile of wage earners.

On Tuesday, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Minnesota lost 6,600 jobs in October, the fourth consecutive month of job losses in the state. According to DEED, these new figures reveal that between July and October, Minnesota lost nearly 27,000 jobs.


Unfortunately, these rose colored glasses have led Bachmann to vote in favor of the folks for whom the economy is booming and against the very people for whom the economy is failing.

Michele voted NO on increasing the minimum wage.

Michele voted NO on increasing access to health insurance for children.

In more recent news, Michele decided that rather than compromise and provide a fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax, she would stick people with the existing AMT.

Finally, on Thursday, Michele had the opportunity to provide solutions to something even she recognizes as a problem ("Real estate no doubt is hurting right now, sub-prime mortgages and all, all the rest."). However, on H.R. 3915, Michele chose to vote against a solution.

H.R.3915
Title: To amend the Truth in Lending Act to reform consumer mortgage practices and provide accountability for such practices, to establish licensing and registration requirements for residential mortgage originators, to provide certain minimum standards for consumer mortgage loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Miller, Brad [NC-13] (introduced 10/22/2007) Cosponsors (27)
Related Bills: H.RES.825
Latest Major Action: 11/15/2007 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 291 - 127 (Roll no. 1118).
House Reports: 110-441

MAJOR ACTIONS:
10/22/2007 Introduced in House
11/9/2007 Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Financial Services. H. Rept. 110-441.
11/15/2007 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 291 - 127 (Roll no. 1118).


So, Michele, for whom is the economy booming? It doesn't appear to many of us that it is booming for the citizens of the 6th District that elected you and asked you to serve their interests.

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
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11:23 PM | Posted in , ,
Here is roughly the second half of the debate from last night. Due to some mechanical glitches I was unable to get the last few questions. However, the questions I have up represent a fairly good cross section of topics that highlight the views of both candidates.

Question #6: As a college student I frequently worry about tuition and other costs. What would you propose to lift the burden?




Question #7: What is your platform on changing unfunded mandates, specifically NCLB and Special Education, and not passing new mandates without funding?




Question #8: Despite her promises in August, Michele Bachmann voted this week against the bill that would fund the 35W Bridge replacement and other Minnesota transportation projects, including Northstar Commuter Rail. How do you respond?


Special Note: I have to offer my apologies concerning this particular video. I hit the stop/record button, realized seconds later, and restarted filming. The gap, while noticeable, appears to be fairly short and the essence of the answer appears to be intact.


Question #9: At a time of war, we are losing critical soldiers just because members of the military are gay and lesbian. This includes Arabic language specialists which are in critical supply. What will you do to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and strengthen our military with fairness and justice.




Question #10: What is the role of government in addressing domestic abuse and prevention?




Question #11: What reforms would you make to campaign finance laws?




Final Analysis: Both candidates presented themselves well and should therefore be commended for their efforts. As I have always believed, it takes a brave man or woman to place themselves in the public eye and request to be judged. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and was pleased by the turnout on a Thursday evening this early in the cycle. It speaks to the commitment of DFLers in the area to choose a candidate that can run an effective campaign against Michele Bachmann and bring representation back to the 6th Congressional District. Hopefully, these video clips can provide an even wider audience with a first glimpse at the choice we need to make for the DFL nomination. Good Luck, and happy campaigning!

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
7:34 PM | Posted in ,
I love this video! Why this man continues to lag in the polls is absolutely beyond me.

NEW VIDEO: “Joe Is Right”

November 16th, 2007 by Erin Medlicott

Nov. 16: The Democratic presidential candidates agree: “Joe Is Right” Take a look at this quick 1 min. 30 sec. video clip proving they ALL think Joe Biden is right! - with background musical score by Randy Newman.

The video begins: “The Democratic candidates had a lot to say about their friend Joe Biden last night in Nevada…..”




So, if Joe Biden is applauded consistently by his opponents, haven't we already figured out who the most qualified candidate is to lead this country?

From Chris Cillizza:

WINNERS

Joe Biden: We can't help it, we like the guy. Biden is regularly the life of these debates -- launching self deprecating one-liners one minute and riffing on how he was introducing legislation before some of the candidates on the stage were even born the next. Biden is at his best when talking foreign policy and he got plenty of opportunities to do that last night. He spoke eloquently about the dangers posed by Iran and scored points on Pakistan by noting that he had spoken to both President Pervez Musharraf and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto before President Bush had.


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6:38 PM | Posted in , ,
This is a partial list of questions and the answers given by each of the candidates. I have attempted to provide the questions in their entirety so as to give appropriate context to the answers. No editing was done to the answers of either candidate to preserve their integrity and remain unbiased.

Question #1: Will you be abiding by the DFL endorsement?




Question #2: I feel in the last election our candidate was overly defined by her opponents with television and other ads. How can we avoid this and how can we help you?




Question #3: What is your farm policy?




Question #4: What specific steps do you think our country should take to cut CO2 emissions and how would you make this happen?




Question #5: Our children and grandchildren are going to be forced to pay for this war. How will we address this issue?



Check back for more Q&A!

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann