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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Rep. Kathy Tingelstad: Rational Thought Must Be Punished

Category: Transportation
Posted: 02/23/08 22:00, Edited: 02/23/08 22:01

by Dave Mindeman

Rep. Kathy Tingelstad, R-Andover has committed the ultimate crime against the Minnesota conservative base.

She has rational thoughts.

She has the audacity to look for solutions. To feel that her district needs actual help and not more delays. She has the unmitigated gall to vote as an individual and not as a collective, mindless, partisan gang of naysayers.

The nerve.

It is obvious that she needs to be punished. District 49B activists are willing to oblige. No endorsement for you, until you repent!

Maybe the GOP in District 49B has some unusual insight into the voters of their district. Obviously, it is a different reading than Rep. Tingelstad has been getting.

When she announced her re-election bid in 2006, it stated:

However, what she?s best known for is being the leading advocate in the Legislature for the Northstar Commuter Rail project. This year, the legislature approved $60 million for Northstar, the final state contribution to the rail project, which will begin service through Coon Rapids in 2009.


She actually wants to bring District 49B into the 21st Century. How can the GOP stand for such forward thinking, rational ideas?

They can't.

So, they must punish this problem solver. They must set an example, so that any other rational and clear headed thinkers can be chastised back into the program, and become the partisan automatons they were endorsed to be.

The voters of District 49B be damned.

comments (4) permalink

Mike Ciresi -- The Money is Late

Posted: 02/23/08 03:13, Edited: 07/03/13 19:46

by Dave Mindeman

When it comes to running for the Senate, I'm not sure Mike Ciresi has the right book regarding "How to Win Friends and Influence People". He is kind of doing it backwards.

Back in April, 2007, Ciresi talked about his Senate run in this way (via Star Tribune report):

Franken and Ciresi have both pledged to abide by the DFL endorsement process (if one is endorsed, the other will not run in a primary), although Ciresi hedged his commitment slightly. He said he will reconsider if the calendar for the caucuses and endorsement is changed from its traditional schedule of holding caucuses in March and a convention in June of the election year. The Legislature is considering moving those dates up.

That was nearly a year ago. The legislature did move the March date back to February, but it was done early enough that all candidates should have been able to adjust for a one month early caucus.

I have talked to some Ciresi workers and I have always voiced my concern that Mike was lagging too far behind the others in fundraising. I was always given the assurances that, as the campaign publicly states.... Ciresi has maintained throughout the race that his campaign would have all the resources needed to be competitive.

As caucuses approached, the Ciresi campaign had no major cash infusion. He made some effort to get supporters to the caucuses, but despite some dedicated staff people, it is obvious that Franken beat him to the punch on organization.

Now, this: (Pioneer Press)

Democratic Senate candidate Mike Ciresi today loaned his campaign $2 million, according to his campaign spokeswoman.

If a $2 million cash infusion was in the works, why didn't it happen prior to caucuses? If he planned to aggressively seek the endorsement, the money was needed last December or certainly in January of this year. I guess the only conclusion to be made from the timing of this, is that Ciresi plans to run a primary challenge.

There are a few problems with that....first, he will probably solidify the Democratic activist base behind Franken (or Pallmeyer). Second, he is probably going to run against a well financed opponent -- meaning that both of them will be draining cash reserves and giving Norm Coleman a chance to quietly (and perhaps gleefully) watch and build up his war chest. And one more thing...two well financed primary opponents almost always go negative at some point.... giving Norm the chance to be "above the fray".

I'm not sure I understand the political strategy of Mike Ciresi. He is a smart guy and seldom makes big mistakes. But in both of his Senate runs, he never seems to understand how to connect with the activist base. I suspect that comes from a lack of experience in the "trenches" of Minnesota politics.

Mark Dayton bested Ciresi in that previous run in 2000. That was a year when moving directly to the primary seemed to be the preferred method. But a lot of money was burned up in that campaign....and this one may make that one look cheap.

I hope that Ciresi is looking carefully at his options. Dumping money into a persuasion campaign prior to the convention is a tough call. The delegates to the county unit or Senate district conventions are already leaning one way or the other. Setting out on a major primary campaign against an endorsed candidate is sometimes quixotic as well. Al Franken is NOT Jerry Janezich; and if Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer were to secure the endorsement, that kind of momentum would make him formidable as well.

The strategy is puzzling.... but maybe there was a long range plan all along. If there is... I will be curious to watch it unfold.
comments (3) permalink

From Most Minnesota GOP House Reps: We Get Nothing

Category: Transportation
Posted: 02/22/08 13:06, Edited: 02/22/08 13:12

by Dave Mindeman

Reading some of the quotes from yesterday's transportation bill debates and commentary, looks like a case study in denial.

Republicans got their scaled down bill. The Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bill. The Legislative Auditor's report outlined the needs in gruesome detail. And yet, here we sit, looking at another veto pen from Governor Pothole -- and everything depending on the actions of a bunch of excuse makers.

I mean listen to some of this:

Dennis Ozment, R-Rosemount: ?It?s got some earmarks and stuff in there that makes it very disturbing for me ? I don?t like legislation that I feel people bought off on,? said Ozment, speaking off the House floor.

How long have you been in the legislature, Dennis? 20 plus years? And you have never seen special projects used to make a bill more palatable to the wavering? C'mon! I used to have some respect for our representative from Rosemount, but that was the lamest excuse, yet. I guess you can move on to your retirement with yet another "non-accomplishment" on your wall.

Ozment made another comment: "It doesn?t smell right to me,? he said, adding he would support the governor?s veto should the House attempt an override.

Smells like bailing out on your constituents to me.

Denny McNamara, R-Hastings: McNamara has one of the most controversial bridges in Minnesota in his district, the Hastings bridge. ?I wanted the referendum,? said McNamara. ?I wanted the sales tax to have a vote of the people,? he said.
?There was a lot of things I liked about it (the bill) ? my citizens know I support the gas tax and I support the license tab tax ? it was the sales tax without a referendum,? said McNamara of the final straw.

Sure, big guy, it all hinged on that sales tax vote for you. I hope your Hastings Bridge commuters will buy that one. Good luck explaining that one in November. Hey, Denny, our bridge still isn't fixed? Oh, sorry, I'm still waiting for referendum language. Right, McNamara, maybe you can pull a "Brooklyn Bridge" number on somebody, too.

Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville: Former House Transportation Finance Committee Chairwoman Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, argued the bill was at cross-purposes, though thought the Chamber endorsement was meaningful. She didn?t know whether there would be enough votes for an override, she opined.

The key words here are "former Transportation Finance Committee Chairwoman"... We have a transportation mess largely because Holberg's committee never fixed, or moved, on anything... they kept passing the responsibility on.

The Chamber had never supported a funding bill for transportation by Democrats before. Holberg says its "meaningful"? And what does "cross purposes" mean? More double talk? Holberg has always been a coward on revenue.... no change here.

I should say that there were a few acts of courage yesterday. Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, put himself completely on the line. But when he looked at the final vote, he could only "burn the House carpet" as he watched many of his colleagues lose their nerve.

All he could say...."Why did forty-five Chamber endorsees ? why didn?t they pay attention (to the Chamber),? he said of the almost exclusive list of Republicans voting against the bill. ?I thought for sure we would pick up ? I just thought there?d be more (votes),? he said.

We know why, Rep. Abeler.

In the words of author Elbert Hubbard:

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

From our Republican representatives that is what we get.
comments (0) permalink


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