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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Minnesota District 37B -- Opening Ozment's Seat

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/07/08 18:39

by Dave Mindeman

Down here in the south Metro there will be an open legislative seat this fall in District 37B. This district comprises all of Rosemount, MN and about half of Apple Valley. Moderate Republican Dennis Ozment has held that seat for over 2 decades...often running unopposed. His decision to step down has caused a flurry of party activity in a place that often had been quiet as a church mouse.

Tomorrow we will find out who the party's endorsed nominees will be. On the Democratic side, we have 3 individuals. Phil Sterner, a small business owner, is currently on the Rosemount City council. Kurt Hansen owns a veterinary clinic in Rosemount and has been a long time resident. A late entry comes from Tom O'Keefe, an investment manager, who lost a race for Apple Valley City Council in 2004.

Of the three, only Phil Sterner has had any background in party politics and because of that, probably has the inside track on getting the endorsement.

On the Republican side, Dennis Ozment has not endorsed any particular candidate...but he has made his feelings clear about the only candidate who has won an election in the past, former ISD 196 school board member, Judy Lindsay. Clearly stating in an interview that he considers her "unelectable", Ozment made clear who was NOT his choice. There is bad blood between the moderate Ozment and the religious right wing conservative Judy Lindsay. Lindsay ran a primary challenge to Ozment during one cycle.... and her other district notoriety relates to her opposition to gay student rights.

As for the other two candidates, not much is known about them outside of local party circles. Deb Kaczmarak is a retired teacher and Dan Ganfield is a retired firefighter. There is no clear indication as to which would have the support to win endorsement, but with two of them it may allow Lindsay the opportunity to extend the ballotting. In any case, Lindsay has never been afraid to move to the primary if necessary.

On the Democratic side, it is also not clear if all candidates intend to abide by the party endorsement.

Tomorrow night, we should know more.
comments (0) permalink

Vikings Stadium -- A YES Counterpoint

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/07/08 17:42

by Cliff Baumer

You know I am going to have to disagree with you a bit on this one! I believe that for the good of the community, stadiums and sports teams do need to be taken care of - to keep a strong cultural draw to Minnesota and the Twin Cities communities, especially in an economy like this. I have to agree that the owners do not deserve our money, but Minnesota residents do deserve our support, just as the children in our school system needs our support.

I know that you are aware that one of the main reasons for the recovery from the economic disaster of the 1930?s was the Works Project Act (WPA). If not for the jobs and the influx of that money into the economy, the 1930?s depression probably would have lasted a lot longer. Our economy may not be that bad yet, but Bush isn?t gone yet either. Oil is $105 a barrel and still going up, thanks to our Republican friends. My personal thought is that things are still going to get worse before they get better.

Why? Personal experience. I have been working at a sales job, with a recreational product that flourishes when the economy is strong, and people have disposable income. Well, I will tell you, there are very few people out there at the moment, with a whole lot of disposable income. Many families have pretty much none. They are struggling to pay their bills, put their children through school, buy food, or even have a car to take the family where they need to go. When I sit in the break room at work, I hear sales people who just can?t understand why there is no money! My answer?.the price of oil! But that?s a whole different blog!

Regarding the current economy, people reading this and say ?the WPA!?? The point is that somehow, money needs to be put back into this economy. Big business is bleeding our economy just like they did at the turn of the century to the 1900?s.

I know that it can be argued that there are better things to spend money on than building stadiums. Like there may be a bridge or two out there that need fixing, or a road or two that need repairing or widening. But I do think there is a bigger problem than the sports team owners in this mess. It is a Governor that, regardless of the cost, insists on ?NO NEW TAXES?. I could probably agree with that philosophy, if we were developing the state?s natural resources - which would generate more jobs, a cleaner and healthier environment, and if done correctly, new revenue sources for the state. That would be unheard of by this MN Governor.
One of the lessons of the 1930?s is that one of the things that kept people from going insane when they were losing everything was entertainment. I do believe that baseball, football and basketball do fit into that category. Bottom line, right now people do not feel good about themselves, or about where the county is going. So having something in our community to feel good about is very important.

For some of us that does happen to be baseball, football, basketball or some combination of professional sports. Watching professional sports on T.V. is still fairly free in this country. If we can?t afford a ticket, we can still be part of the professional sports excitement. Having sports teams here is good for MN.
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Bush "Bucking" the Economy

Category: Presidential Politics
Posted: 03/07/08 12:14, Edited: 03/07/08 12:15

by Paul Bartlett

G.W. Bush displays the tenacity of an amorous buck during rutting season as he resolutely leads the nation into recession. Bush and his cronies can stake claim to:

1. Monetary policies that have devastated the dollar, rekindled
inflation, and made China our government's banker.

2. Fiscal policies that have mushroomed our national debt, mortgaged our grandkids' future, and under-taxed the nation's elite.

3. Regulatory policies that have resulted in the subprime and credit
crises, scandalous lending practices, and a devastated real estate

By the time the White House door hits G.W. in the butt next January, our economy will be on full life-support. Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are far more qualified to breathe life back into this near-death patient than GOPer John McCain -- who openly concedes his ignorance of economic issues.

And for that amorous buck, he's in for a far better time than the
American people (unless Cheney shoots'em first).
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