12:22 AM | Posted in , ,
I haven't paid a lot of attention to the rantings and ravings of Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton but when I heard about THIS, my only response was to giggle. Yes, that's right, giggle!

Being born and raised in the 7th District (Northwestern Minnesota) I can tell you without a lot of exaggeration that I have NEVER heard an unkind word spoken about Representative Peterson. My father, a middle of the road conservative, who rails against EVERY politician regardless of their party affiliation likes Peterson. My rather large number of farming relatives speak of Collin as if he were their neighbor (I am not exaggerating). In all my years that Representative Peterson has represented the district I have yet to hear anyone speak even the slightest ill of him. As liberal as I may be or may appear, I think Representative Peterson is great and wish he were still my representation.

Now by all means, spend lots and lots of your twin cities money trying to attack Collin Peterson for an innocuous comment and see where it gets you but as my father always told me, "you can sh*t in one hand and hope in the other and we will see which hand gets filled first".

Oh, and given that your friends at MDE screamed out about some article in the Grand Forks Herald, I would like to offer my own:


And now the state Republicans smell blood, and are waiting to pounce what they think is carrion bait.

Well, they’re wrong and it won’t work.


The Minnesota GOP, under new Chairman Tony Sutton, has taken a decidedly negative bend of recent, attacking Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, practically claiming the U.S. Senate election was stolen from Norm Coleman despite a Minnesota Supreme Court decision.

Those tactics won’t work in the 7th District.

Sorry Tony, but the 7th District doesn't work that way...
So I was on the Air America (AM 950) Tuesday for a short segment discussing the 6th District. While I was able to address a few things about the race, there are a couple of points I feel the need to point out.

Currently, we have three confirmed candidates for the DFL in Elwyn Tinklenberg, Maureen Reed, and Tarryl Clark. The last few days have seen quite a lot of chatter throughout the blogosphere about this district and this particular race. In that chatter and in the chatter from my personal sources there seems to be a few themes:

1. With Maureen Reed, every indication I am hearing is that apart from her large fund raising numbers she is dead in the water. Don't get me wrong, I like Dr. Reed and would have no trouble supporting her but for one reason or another the people I have contacts with have already counted her out of the endorsement. Does this mean that Reed is really gunning for the IP candidacy? Will she abide by the DFL endorsement? If she were to lose that endorsement, then will she run as an IP candidate or put her name on the DFL primary ballot?

2. Elwyn Tinklenberg appears to have two hurdles to overcome: First, to convince people throughout the district who recall that big blue paw print on his '08 campaign site touting the endorsement by the Blue Dog Coalition that he is NO LONGER a Blue Dog Democrat. Second, much like Reed, there are increasingly loud questions about why he has chosen to ignore the DFL endorsement and take this race to a primary. All of my sources who might have supported him before are abandoning ship because of this decision. Why would Mr. Tinklenberg tell the entire DFL establishment in the district that he will ignore their decision? Could I support Tinklenberg? Sure, but right now his answers to these questions concern me.

3. Tarryl Clark, from EVERYTHING I am hearing, is the early leader in the initial endorsement process. Her one disadvantage might be her initial fund raising which will have to catch up with her competitors. As she has not been very public yet I do not know what her stance is on honoring the endorsement process but given the questions surrounding Reed and Tinklenberg it would interesting to hear what she intends.

UPDATE: h/t to Blue Man on this one...

The Clark website is up with a youtube video message:

Clark makes it clear in the video that she WILL abide by the DFL endorsement which could be an indication that she has called around the district and all but locked up the delegates she needs to win.

At this point I refuse to endorse any particular candidate and would like to see an honest process with each candidate answering this simple question: What makes YOU the best DFL candidate to win the endorsement and win the district?
10:55 AM | Posted in , ,
Expressing an opinion in the local newspaper letter to the editor section is a time honored tradition that I enjoy partaking in from time to time. While I would not consider myself an expert on writing and developing these letters, I do know what makes for a completely ineffective letter.

Such is the case with this particular letter in the St. Cloud Times today:

We recently returned from a trip to the Middle East along with people from 16 other states. Several well-informed people asked me if I lived in the area that Michele Bachmann supposedly represents in Congress.

Then they said she is a “laughing stock” in the nation and must be and embarrassment to me! They said she talks but doesn’t seem to know the facts and that her sponsors must want people to be confused and not pay attention to the facts.

My answer was the 6th District and Stearns County conservatives don’t care what the rest of the country thinks of them and their representative! They really did vote that woman into office twice.

How embarrassing! Is she stupid? No, she is just singing the song her sponsors want her to do. Voters need to understand she does not stand for us, the people. Her sponsors are big business and coal and gas interests.

... Don’t hold your breath thinking she will support the North Star commuter rail project, affordable health insurance or cutting emissions.

I mean no offense to the writer of this particular work because I am certain she meant well. Unfortunately, if her wish is to see Michele Bachmann defeated (which I wholeheartedly support) then she has taken precisely the wrong tack.

Sure, she embarrasses many in the 6th District and across the country but don't just leave it at that. Tell the people specifically WHY she embarrasses her district and people across the country. Rather than end with a brief sentence about Northstar or Health Care Reform or Climate Change legislation. Give a detailed account of her embarrassing or ill informed statements on these particular issues. It will not help our cause to continue labeling Bachmann an embarrassment or stupid or a liar if there isn't ample documented evidence to back up those assertions. The letters that don't do these things only serve to solidify support FOR Bachmann as they come off as mere personal attacks. She thrives on playing a victim as evidenced by her fund raising emails:

They are reduced to hurling insults and flinging mud at those of us who are standing tall and saying: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

So, by all means, flood the St. Cloud Times and other 6th District newspapers with letters opposing Michele Bachmann but be sure that when you do it is carefully crafted and filled with the facts and ample sources to ultimately prove that this representative has done little or nothing to improve her district.
11:55 AM | Posted in , ,
From the White House Blog:

During the address, the President asks that small business owners and employees give us their comments and questions on the report. What are your experiences with health care as somebody involved in small business, and what are your thoughts and questions on the new CEA report in light of those experiences?
Give us your response here through WhiteHouse.gov, or if you are a member of the social network LinkedIn, go take part in the discussion CEA Chair Christina Romer initiated there. Romer will be answering some of most penetrating responses in a live video discussion on Wednesday at 3:00 PM EDT.

Given that I have not kept up with the weekly address, check out the ones you may have missed:
I will try to keep up in the future...
8:52 PM | Posted in ,
From the WCCO Reality Check series:

For an average monthly premium of about $308, members of Congress get a pretty good bang for the buck.


Lawmakers get some perks beyond regular insurance coverage, too. For an annual fee of about $500, they are entitled to health services at a fully staffed clinic on-site at the Capitol and they can check in for medical care at military hospitals, too.


Meanwhile, the president's health care reform bill would give consumers some, but not all, of the same benefits as members of Congress and their families get.

Congressional leaders said on Thursday that they don't expect any vote soon.

10:52 AM | Posted in
After writing an update yesterday about the continued questions regarding the email usage of Mr. Thul over at Foreign and Domestic I checked my email and found that he had emailed me directly. Mr. Thul consented to me publishing our exchange, so here it is in its entirety:

I am working with the tech support guys at True North to figure out why my military email address is being tied to my posts at True North. As far as I have been able to see, it only appears at True North, and not Foreign and Domestic. I didn't respond to your comment the other day because I assumed you were exaggerating. My email address doesn't appear anywhere on my blog or profile at either site. My mistake, and I apologize.

Once I figure out what the problem is at True North, I will correct it and apologize in a post. I will also alert my chain of command about the situation. Feel free to contact me at this email address or thuljunior72@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Thanks,

Dave Thul

Mr. Thul,

I wish I had checked my email before posting my most recent update. However, if you are willing, I can add this exchange to that post or another post. As I have stated before, my problem is neither with your service nor with your attacks on Congressman Walz although I find the attacks without any merit. You have every right to say the things you say and write the things you write even though I disagree vehemently with them. You should also be commended for your service and honored at every turn for putting your life on the line for this country. I am concerned strictly with the use of the email address used to present these views. If you would, I do have a couple of questions:

1. You stated that you created the blog with the official military email address. Do you continue to use it when logging into blogger or have you transferred over to a different email address?

2. If you are still using your military email to log in, do you know if it is legally allowed to be used in the manner you are using it? For partisan political purposes?

3. Could you direct me to rule or regulation that allows you to use your official military email in this manner?

4. Do you find it at all inappropriate?

5. How would you have reacted to an official military email address being used to attack "conservative" veterans or a "conservative" President?

Thank You for your time and your service,

Eric Austin
aka Political Muse

you can add to your post from my emails if you want. I thought your post was very fair in any case. The whole issue has been a bit of a misunderstanding, but I'll try to explain it as best I can. When I joined the local GOP in January, I changed several things on my blogger account because I added a blog for the BPOU. One was my posting name. Previously my posts were written 'by SSG Thul'. This was reviewed by the public affairs officer while I was in Iraq, and found to be in line with regulations. But when I added the GOP blog, I had to change the posting name to avoid having my rank appear on a political blog. Second, I changed my Google account to have a gmail sign in, vs the .mil one. I don't use the gmail account as of yet, I just needed to remove the sign in that showed a .mil address.

Using the screen shot of your Vienna program, the tech guy at True North was able to figure out that the RSS feed was displaying my .mil address. I don't use RSS so I don't understand it very well, but he said the email address was entered manually when the RSS was introduced at True North. The .mil address was the only email address I used in Iraq, and on active duty back here in the US. So that is what True North had on file when they set up the RSS.

So I hope you can understand why I had no idea what you were talking about when you said I was using my .mil address to post. In fact, before I read your post from April, I was pretty sure that Tommy was making the whole thing up. Again, my mistake.

I am writing an apology to post at both sites this morning, but you've been decent about this and I wanted to give you a heads up.

If you have any other questions, please let me know at david.thul@yahoo.com as I am trying to keep all blog and political related emails off my .mil address. There is no regulation that mandates this, I just want to keep well away from any other misunderstandings.

Thanks again for your patience and fairness,

Dave Thul

While this certainly doesn't settle what I believe to be baseless attacks on Congressman Walz, my part of this story appears to be settled. I will leave it to others with military experience to address any continued attacks on Congressman Walz. Hopefully, though, we can stop questioning the service of others simply because we disagree with them politically.
2:32 PM | Posted in ,
A couple of days ago I wrote about Mr. Thul and his apparent use or misuse of official military email. In that time a few items of note have surfaced that continue to leave my ultimate question unanswered or at least only partially answered: Is Mr. Thul allowed to use an official military email address to post to a blog when the purpose of that blog is of a politically partisan nature?

Before I begin, though, let me reiterate what I have said previously. The question is NOT whether Mr. Thul should be silenced from speaking his mind or from posting on a blog. Nor is the question meant to attack the service of a veteran who I can only assume served honorably. The question is whether or not it is acceptable to use a military email address to post partisan political attacks.

First, there was this interesting comment left by a "SGT Nate" on my previous post:

SGT Thul doesn't qualify under Section 888. Art. 88 of UCMJ because he is not a commissioned officer. However, being a non-commissioned officer, he should understand that to question one's superiors publicly is not allowable within a disciplined military. All concerns are to be taken up with that person off-line. I assume SGT Thul is a NG member, which means he can participate in political discourse in solely a civilian manner while not on orders. This being said, the display of a military web address is to assign a type of authority to the speaker and his sentiments that he does not have the right to assign. SGT Thul has a right to operate his blog (as long as he is not on state or federal active duty) but does not have the authority to list a .mil or .gov web address for contact about the content of his speech. I believe his unit commander and first sergeant would find his listing of the address as an action unbecoming of a non-commissioned officer.

This comment leads me into the response made by Mr. Thul:

Both claim that I am using my official Army email address to launch these 'attacks'. While it is true that I used my army.mil email to register this blog (I was in Iraq at the time and the army.mil email was simply the safest and most reliable email in a combat zone) it is also true that that information isn't available to the casual reader. In fact, if you look over this entire blog, including my profile, you wont see any Army email address. I have been blogging for 2 1/2 years now, including 12 months of active duty time. This issue has never come up before, nor have I ever been censored by the military in what I say. I do censor myself for OPSEC and military discipline, but I have never been told by the military that anything I have said on this blog was inappropriate.

And I have never been anything but respectful to elected officials when I agree or disagree with them. In contrast with so many bloggers and commenters who regularly use foul language and hurl insults at politicians they disagree with, you will more often than not find me addressing politicians by their titles. Just as I do when in uniform, I respect the rank even if not the man.

Two things that I would like to address in the above response:

1. If Mr. Thul began his blog while serving in Iraq, then does that make his use of an official military email address acceptable even now? It is somewhat interesting that the first postings from this blog (while Mr. Thul was on active duty in Iraq) not only contain light suggestions of invading Iran but also a post going after then Senator Hillary Clinton. Not knowing the protocol, I am asking these as legitimate questions. Is this acceptable use of an official military email?

2. There is the issue of his military address not being prominent to the "casual reader". Does the fact that the email is not listed on the blog make a difference? In his latest piece on this topic, Two Putt was able to pretty quickly find examples of the military email address on prominent display. I took a screen shot:

You will notice at the bottom of the image that the official military email address is displayed pretty prominently below the attack piece he wrote about Congressman Walz.

In the comment made above by "SGT Nate" there was the implication that it was improper for this military email address to be displayed. However, its display does only happen through the use of an rss reader or on a google blog search. Does this help the case of Mr. Thul? On the other hand, "SGT Nate" also mentioned that National Guard members were allowed to engage in political discourse "while not on orders" but it is clear that Mr. Thul has been engaging in political discourse even when on orders.

Finally, there is this image:

You will notice that Mr. Thul happens to run TWO blogs. Why is this important? Well, the only way that blogger would display both of these blogs on one profile is if the exact same email address was used to create both. That means that Mr. Thul is using his official military email to sign in to and post on his own blog as well as a blog titled "Steele County Republican Party". That brings up the question of whether this particular blog is the OFFICIAL blog of the Steele County Republican Party. If it is, does this make matters worse for Mr. Thul?

Again, I ask these questions because I feel as though there has not been a definitive answer as to whether Mr. Thul is using official military email improperly. Did the attacks on Congressman Walz precipitate these questions? Sure, because they brought Mr. Thul and his blog more attention. However, I would also like people to remember that I have been wondering about this issue ever since it revealed itself to me in April.
Category: ,
6:26 PM | Posted in ,
Back in April, I noticed something that I found somewhat unusual. A contributor to True North and his own political blog, Foreign and Domestic, was using an official military email address to post to those sites.

I took some screen shots and wrote about whether or not this was an appropriate use of an official army email address. Since that time I had almost forgotten about the issue and given that no one really seemed all that concerned, I let it go. However, in the last couple of weeks this same blogger along with the new Brodkorb free team at Minnesota Democrats Exposed has begun going after Congressman Tim Walz and questioning his military record.

Not being a veteran myself, I will leave it to others who are veterans to defend the military record of Mr. Walz. What I would like to know, though, is how someone who is active in the military can legally utilize an official @us.army.mil email address to post partisan political commentary about the Commander-in-Chief as well as members of Congress? Is this not a misuse of military resources?

I went directly to the source, Mr. Thul, but he doesn't seem very eager to address my questions about the proper and improper use of military email. Mr. Thul tried to pin this back on myself for not addressing his post but as I told him, my inquiry into the use of military email resources dates all the way back to April of this year so his argument that it is just a way to avoid addressing his particular issue doesn't hold much water. You can click on the image to the left or click on the above link to see that Mr. Thul has yet to answer any of my questions.

After going to the source, I took to the internet to see if I could find some official statement by the military on the proper and improper use of military email. While I did not find exactly what I was looking for and would love to hear from people within the military as to whether this is an issue or if it is acceptable, I did find a couple of interesting references:

First, from the DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY I found a pdf regarding the use of email. From page 6 of that pdf I found this:

It clearly states that use "official email systems" for "political transmissions that advocate the election of a particular candidate" NOT permitted. Isn't Mr. Thul using his email for exactly the purpose which this document forbids? Now, this is a document that I found from Fort Hood so I suppose there is a chance that this regulation applies specifically to that base. Yet, it seems likely that these or similar regulations apply across the army establishment.

The other document I found from the Federal Voting Assistance Program site. The pdf (DoD Directive 1344.10) on this page outlines the dos and don'ts of political activity for members of the armed forces. Allow or cause to be published partisan political articles, letters, or endorsements signed or written by the member that solicits votes for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause. This is distinguished from a letter to the editor as permitted under the conditions noted in subparagraph

If Mr. Thul is on active duty and utilizing his military email account to "publish partisan political articles", is he violating these regulations?

As I said months ago, I respect the right of Mr. Thul to believe the things that he believes despite disagreeing vehemently with them. He has every right to write and express his opinion. What I want to know is whether or not he should be expressing these opinions through an email address provided to him by the military.

Given the tactics currently being used by Mr. Thul, would it be appropriate for myself or someone else to go to the Steele County Republican Party offices in order to get some answers. Or, perhaps if we went over to the place at which Mr. Thul is stationed to inquire about the proper use of military email.
Category: ,
3:32 PM | Posted in
Elwyn Tinklenberg announced recently that he will NOT abide by the DFL endorsement in the 6th district. Tarryl Clark has yet to make any type of run official or even semi official. Has Tink already destroyed his chances at winning?
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed
Eric Black reported this statement from Tinklenberg Campaign Manager, Dana Houle, in a piece about the seemingly imminent entrance of Tarryl Clark to the 6th District race:

[My question to Houle: Assuming Clark does get in, how does it change the race:]

“It would distract us from running full-time against Michele Bachmann, which would be unfortunate, but if we have to fight for the nomination, that’s what we’ll do.”

First, what do you mean by running "full-time against Bachmann"? As far as I can tell and as far as I have seen the only thing that Tinklenberg has been doing is sending out fund raising emails. In fact, there hasn't even been any official announcement that he is running for 2010. Now I recognize that I am not in the upper echelon of the DFL and you may be doing some networking of which I am not aware but at this point what I see is a nationally driven campaign without much local support.

Second, you already have competition in Dr. Maureen Reed so I am not sure I understand how one can claim that a third competitor makes your path to the DFL endorsement any more distracting. Are you planning to ignore Reed?

I see, apparently you are...

Finally, as a voting member of this district I find it somewhat offensive to suggest that choice is somehow a bad thing and that we ought to just all get out of the way and let the person who has previously lost the endorsement once and lost the general election once to try for a third time.

As I have indicated previously, I am not getting behind any candidate right now but if an attitude of entitlement is what Tinklenberg and his people are going to portray when it comes to the DFL endorsement then we can quickly cross him off the list.
With yet another election cycle upon us, it is time once again to choose a candidate for the 6th District that can compete and win against one of the more infamous conservative representatives anywhere in the entire country today.

If the rumors I am currently hearing are true, we will find ourselves with a three way race between perpetual candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg, Dr. Maureen Reed, and current Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark. So, who would you choose?

With Tinklenberg you have a candidate who received national attention and loads of national money after Bachmann opened her mouth and denounced Obama and "certain members" of Congress as Anti-American. Couple that with what appears to be the addition of a big name campaign manager which Tink hopes will seal the deal and you have an organization which could be tough to beat for the DFL endorsement. Yet, for all of his national attention I am not hearing a lot of local excitement about another Tinklenberg v. Bachmann race. Are the rank and file interested in a different direction?

In Dr. Maureen Reed you have a moderate former Independence Party candidate who has been bringing in staggering amounts of campaign cash since she announced her candidacy. With all of that cash, can Reed overcome the advantages currently held by the Tinklenberg Campaign? Given the support in the DFL community for health care reform which includes a public option, how will the Reed noncommittal stance play throughout the caucuses?

Finally, there is the potential entry of Senator Tarryl Clark. At this point it is all hearsay but my anonymous sources tell me that at a recent Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation meeting she was asked and said that she "hadn't announced" but this source also said it was "pretty clear". Clark has proven that she can compete and win having been elected twice. More importantly, she won handily in the more conservative half of her district whose current representative is the ultra conservative Steve Gottwalt. With all of these electoral advantages, could Clark overcome the current money disadvantage she would have coming into the race?

At this point in the process I am not putting my endorsement on ANY candidate (I made that mistake before). So, 6th District DFLers, what are you looking for in 2010 that will defeat Michele Bachmann? Have you decided on a candidate? If yes, what makes your choice the answer to flipping the district blue?

4:39 PM | Posted in ,
If you have never heard of Auto-Tune The News, check them out HERE. In the meantime, here is their latest installment which includes our very own Michele Bachmann:

Category: ,
4:50 PM | Posted in , ,
With the ascendancy of Tony Sutton and Michael Brodkorb to the top of the Republican Party in Minnesota, the promise appeared to be one of rebuilding the party and regaining a majority in the Minnesota legislature. Just recently, Sutton proclaimed that there were "hopeful signs" for the party as it heads into the 2010 election cycle. Perhaps someone should have told Representative Marty Seifert...

During one of his gubernatorial kick off events in St. Cloud, Seifert heralded the belief that Minnesotans enjoy political balance in their government. It was for this reason, he claimed, that we needed a Republican Governor (presumably the Republican he is speaking of is himself).

While it may be true that Minnesotans like some balance within their government which many of us believe leads to better results through compromise, it is also somewhat strange for the leader of a party to openly concede that his party will not regain a majority and that their only hope is the Governor's office. So, at this point the argument set forward by Seifert is because we are not going to win the legislature back we really need to elect ME as Governor in order to provide that balance. One wonders, if the legislature were to be retaken by the Republican Party, then would Seifert still be heralding balance and the need for a Democratic Governor?

Also, does anybody wonder if Tony Sutton and Michael Brodkorb have given up on the legislature for 2010?
2:39 PM | Posted in , ,
Yesterday I ventured out to the St. Cloud Public Library in order to hear and video one of a series of Marty Seifert gubernatorial kick off events. Given that it is relatively early in the process, the attendees were a collection of conservative party activists and officials ready to hear from one of their own.

Seifert, for his part, made a point to work the room before his prepared remarks by meeting and briefly talking with nearly everyone that was in the room. What resulted from this meet and greet were a couple of rather interesting overheard conversations.

First, there was the man pictured above who suggested to Seifert that if he ultimately gained the Republican endorsement that it would be a good idea to get Governor Sarah Palin to come to the state and campaign with him. A good idea? Perhaps among the base, a bring in Palin strategy would work but given her rather low standing among Independents and the nature of the Minnesota electorate it may lose more votes than it actually gains.

Second, was the interesting back and forth with someone else in the back of the room in which Seifert mocked the artwork of Lucy Slivinski. When told that it was actually a piece of artwork, Seifert chuckled and proclaimed that he would make sure not to bring it up.

From the Great River website:

Slivinski designed the screen of the art primarily of automobile exhaust pipes and lenses from traffic signals. The entire model is used from recycled materials and the display will incorporate vines draping over the complete piece of art. Slivinski assembled the entire sculpture in her Chicago studio; she then transported the art in four separate truck loads to St. Cloud.

"My art will enhance the existing architecture," said Slivinski, "by creating fluid energy on this corner of the building and being further enhanced through the course of the seasons with a growing vine."

It's amazing what you overhear when waiting quietly for a press conference to start...
From the inbox this morning, it appears as though potential 6th District candidate, Maureen Reed, has raised over $230,000 in roughly 8 weeks:

Congressional Candidate Maureen Reed announced today that she raised over $230,000 in the first eight weeks of her campaign. Reed’s announcement sets a sizzling pace for DFL fundraising in the Sixth District Congressional race.

“When I talk to residents in the sixth district, it’s clear they are ready for a change and want a candidate who has the energy, commitment and dedication to improve their lives,” said Reed. “When folks see a way they can change things for the better, they are generous with their time, energy and money. I am grateful that so many people believe I am the person who will change things for the better.”

Reed added that after traveling the district and talking to numerous people from all walks of life, she found that people “…want business expansion, job growth, increased home ownership and lower health care costs, and that’s exactly why I’m running for Congress.”

Maureen and her husband, Dr. Jim Hart, have lived near Stillwater for almost 30 years. They have volunteered with the Washington County Medical Reserve Corps for several years. As a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, Maureen was part of a team that provided medical care to victims in the aftermath of the I35W bridge collapse.

In addition to practicing medicine in the Twin Cities, Maureen served as President of Aspen Medical Group and Medical Director of HealthPartners, and chaired the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Dr. Reed was born in southern Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota undergraduate and medical schools.

Reed is challenging incumbent Michele Bachmann and seeking the endorsement of the DFL and the Independence Party. The campaign will file its official results with the Federal Election Commission by July 15.

Reed continues to bring in impressive fundraising numbers. Time will tell whether those numbers translate into endorsement and a competitive race with Bachmann...
8:31 PM | Posted in
Last year around this time I held my first fundraiser for this site with very few expectations about whether people would want to help me continue building the resources of this blog. By the end of that effort I was pleased to raise $215 which helped to purchase some updated video and audio equipment. With those new resources I have been able to expand the video capabilities of Liberal in the Land of Conservative to bring you events such as the first glimpse at potential 6th District candidate Maureen Reed, discussions about the recent legislative session, and even the response by Representative Marty Seifert to allegations that he is conducting a smear campaign against Representative Laura Brod.

While I did not reach all of my goals from last year, my hope this year is to continue building on the video coverage I was able to accomplish through donations from last year. Ultimately, I am working towards extensive video (including interviews) of the upcoming 2010 election contests for the 6th District, State House and Senate contests in this area, and the Governor's races.

So, take a moment and click on the Chip in button found in the sidebar, give what you can, and if possible drop me a line with any suggestions or advice on how to continue building this blog into a political force in Central Minnesota and possibly throughout the state of Minnesota.
Yesterday I noticed that potential gubernatorial candidate, Marty Seifert, would be appearing at the St. Cloud Public Library as part of the kick off for his campaign to replace Governor Pawlenty in 2010. As soon as I made it known that I would be there and hoped to ask questions of Representative Seifert, email messages and twitter messages came to me with potential questions to pose to the candidate.

One of the frequently suggested questions was about the growing story that Seifert and his allies may have been engaged in a smear campaign behind the scenes and throughout the blogs to discredit potential Republican competitor, Representative Laura Brod. For the backstory on these allegations, you can visit both Brian Falldin and Dusty Trice who have done some great work digging into this interesting series of events.

Seifert took very few questions at the event and indicated to me that my question would be next. However, on the sidelines Jim Knobloch began whispering with Steve Gottwalt and gesturing in my direction and as Seifert was about to call on me Knobloch abruptly ended the news conference and shuffled Seifert out of the room. Luckily, I was able to catch up to him out in the hall and get this response from him:

When I returned home I also learned that Representative Brod, due to health concerns, has chosen not to run for Governor. Does this only increase speculation that the smear campaign was ultimately successful or does it put this story to rest?

While I do not know Representative Brod, I wish her the best and hope for a speedy recovery...
With every passing day the field of potential gubernatorial candidates grows on both the left and the right. It is still far too early to predict clear front runners, but it is never too early to dig through the archives for potential footage of candidates.

First, we have top tier candidate, Marty Seifert, who has already gone through a bit of a firestorm with accusations swirling that he and his team are coordinating an attack on potential challenger, Representative Laura Brod.

From the archives, I dug up this little gem in which Seifert likens himself to Luke Skywalker and speculates that Larry Pogemiller could be his father. Who knows, in this convoluted little analogy Laura Brod might be Princess Leia but at this point it is clearly speculative.

Does Seifert truly believe that he is locked in a battle between good and evil and if so, has he been putting the moves on a woman who he later found to be his sister? Where does Steve Gottwalt fit into the picture? Is he Chewbacca or perhaps C3PO? Would anyone be terribly offended if we made Mark Olson Jar Jar Binks?

More importantly, who is yoda in the minority party? I'm taking suggestions...

Second, we have long shot candidate, Mike Jungbauer, who has barely registered on the radar thus far.

The only reason I have any knowledge whatsoever of Jungbauer is from a global warming denial forum he hosted in April of 2008 with disgraced representative, Mark Olson. Highlights of the event included the implication that Al Gore is, in fact, a Nazi propagandist and other such denial nonsense. You can read the full series of posts on this particular forum HERE.

Jungbauer didn't speak much apart from a brief introduction where he provided an interesting statement about never dreaming that he would get to the Capitol and be a major advocate for the poor.

what was particularly interesting was the constituency Jungbauer claimed to never think about working for in the state legislature. What might that constituency be? Gays? Liberals? Minorities? Nope, Mr. Jungbauer NEVER thought that he would be working for the poor when he got to the legislature.

So, on the one hand we have a candidate who sees himself in a mythical battle between good and evil while on the other hand there is the candidate who never thought that his public service would involve helping the poor.
11:22 PM | Posted in , ,
The Birthers, a small collection of conspiracy theorists desperate to delegitimize the Presidency of Barack Obama have been busy creating their own citizen grand jury with the hope of bringing charges against the President and presumably removing him from office.

You wanted the BIG time Obama — well, you got your wish from the Patriots at American Grand Jury. 172 Grand Jury members worked night and day for 10 days in session to hand down the presentments against our arrogant Usurper.

While I would not normally post on something as ludicrous as this motley collection of fools, it seems as though they have been in contact with our very own Michele Bachmann. Apparently, Bachmann was issued a "presentment" by the group:

5:44pm Presentments delivered to Senate Minority Leader McConnell, TX Senators Hutchinson and Cornyn, Ron Paul, and Michelle Bachmann [Emphasis Mine]

It begs the question: Why Bachmann? While the others hold some high level position or another, Bachmann stands out as a relatively low level Congressperson. Do these people believe that Bachmann is a sympathetic ear? IS Bachmann a sympathetic ear?

I sent off some emails and will update accordingly...