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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Nick Coleman Has Questions - We All Have Questions

Posted: 11/30/07 12:22

by Dave Mindeman

Nick Coleman has some questions for Carol Molnau. It's too bad he has to ask them from his column rather than being granted an interview.

But the questions keep coming and the answers seem shrouded in secrecy. This department needs changes.... big changes; mostly at the top.

But, if we do start to get some of Nick Coleman's questions answered, I'd like to add a few more:

1) What exactly was Sonia Morphew Pitt's job? What was it she was supposed to be doing? besides traveling a lot?

2) Inspection reports indicated that roller bearings that releived stress from heat and weight were unusable. Did MnDOT ever consider replacing them?

3) Carol Molnau headed the department while still a part of the Governor's administration as Lt. Governor. Isn't that a conflict of interest when MnDOT budget requests need to be addressed? How does Molnau separate her responsibilities to the department from her loyalties to administration policy?

4) How well can we expect light rail authorizations to be carried out when Molnau has been a life long opponent and is in a budget squeeze?

5) Sonia Morphew Pitt headed the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Dept. What does this department do and what is the annual budget?

6) Molnau and McFarlin said that the Crosstown bidding process, in which contractors were asked to use their own money for financing, is done in other parts of the country. If so, give some examples and were any of those projects as large as the Crosstown?

7) How was the bidding process for the new bridge construction arrived at? Who determined the extra criteria beyond money and time?

8) If the NTSB investigation is a fully independent one, why is it that the firm hired by the administration has become a virtual partner with full participation? yet, none of the lawyers for the victims can get the same access?


I would hope that if the Senate takes up Molnau's confirmation next year, that they will take the opportunity to ask them all.
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Re: Mark Ritchie -- GOP Pushing the Envelope

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 11/29/07 21:49, Edited: 11/29/07 23:51

by Dave Mindeman

As usual the Minnesota Republicans are pushing the envelope on making a point. Mark Ritchie may have made a mistake but for the GOP to request Ritchie to step aside for the special election???? what a crock.

I also found it a little ironic that Sen. Chris Gerlach should be the one quoted:

?This is not meant to be punitive, this is not meant to be another round of gotcha politics. This is meant to be a balanced measure, a fair and reasonable response to real concerns about a serious issue.?

Translation: This IS punitive....and we gotcha big time! Maybe we can ramp up this "reasonable" response into a big enough pile of bull that we can squeak out another win.

The reason I find Gerlach's voice ironic is that 4 years ago, he was the winner in a special election in Apple Valley. For some mysterious reason, Kiffmeyer's Secretary of State site, that helped you find your polling place, shut completely down. After some frantic calls we learned that there was a "computer glitch".... everything was fixed....but it was after the polls closed. Of course, this was merely a coincidence, I'm sure, but still has a touch of irony. The vote wasn't close enough for this to make any difference, but it was still a bit of an oddity..... and we will leave it at that.

Frankly, if the GOP state party would be thinking more clearly, they would want Ritchie to be completely involved. He is going to make certain that nothing goes wrong -- because he knows everybody is watching.

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GOP Presidential Candidates: The Word is Weird

Category: Presidential Politics
Posted: 11/29/07 20:25

by Dave Mindeman

A brief look at some of the GOP Presidential candidates from other Internet voices:

Tom Tancredo: (A quick bio from Rolling Stone 2006 list of the 10 Worst Congressmen) Elected to the House in 1998, Tancredo has not only led the fight to deport every undocumented worker in America -- a proposal that would cost at least $200 billion -- but has called for halting all immigration, legal and otherwise. In one unforgettable move, Tancredo wanted to deport the family of an undocumented high school boy who was profiled in The Denver Post for his perfect grades.

The grandson of Italian immigrants, Tancredo traces his interest in politics to the eighth grade, when he played Fidel Castro in a class assignment. He urges America to reject "the siren song of multiculturalism" and depicts Islam as "a civilization bent on destroying ours." In September, when Pope Benedict XVI sparked riots by condemning Islam as "evil," Tancredo urged him not to apologize. Even the right has noted his unbridled looniness on the subject: In July, when Tancredo proposed that America respond to any future terrorist attack by bombing Mecca and other holy sites, the National Review came to an unavoidable conclusion: "Tom Tancredo is an idiot."

Ron Paul: (story in Washington Post) As if Ron Paul's supporters needed any more motivation to storm the battlements and wreak havoc on the Republican presidential primary, now comes this: the feds are trying to take away their money.

Federal agents on Wednesday raided the Evansville, Indiana headquarters of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Codes (NORFED), an organization of "sound money" advocates that for the past decade has been selling what it calls Liberty Dollars, a private currency it says is backed by silver and gold stored in Idaho, with a total of more than $20 million in circulation, according to the group.

NORFED officials said yesterday that the raid occurred just as they were preparing to mail out the first batch of about 60,000 "Ron Paul Dollars," copper coins sold for $1 and decorated with the craggy visage of Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman, Iraq war opponent and sound-money advocate who has sparked a surprisingly vigorous insurgent campaign for the GOP nomination. The group says that it in recent months it already shipped out about 10,000 in silver Ron Paul dollars that sold for $20.

(Note: These coins are selling on EBAY for upwards of $300 each)

Duncan Hunter: He is the favorite of this person. Need we say more? But we can... Hunter voicing an opinion on Columbia?s invitation to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California has even introduced into Congress the ?Restore Patriotism to University Campuses Act,? a bill with a deceptively general name whose expressed purpose is ?to prohibit Federal grants to or contracts with Columbia University.?

Mitt Romney: check out this video from Crooks and Liars.
And this one about his "varmint" hunting.

Fred Thompson: Here is one person's opinion about Fred:

Look, the truth is that I would like to see your campaign catch fire. Conservatives all over the country are hoping you catch fire. But you can't catch fire if you don't even carry a match or any kindling. You come across as unprepared, soporific, and vague. And you are blowing an excellent chance to inspire a movement on behalf of making you president of the United States.

Stop coasting, sir. Start sharpening your language. Start working on your delivery of formal speeches: What works in one-minute radio commentaries and on radio talk shows does not work from behind a podium. What works from the back of a pickup truck does not work in front of people in suits eating dinner.

Can you still win this nomination? Definitely. But right now you are squandering not just your own presidential aspirations, but the faith that conservatives put in you this past spring when you assured us that you were "the one." It's called "running" for the presidency, sir, and right now all you're doing is ambling. You can do better. And you better start soon.

Published by Quin Hillyer, a senior editor for the conservative magazine, The American Spectator. Ouch!

............That's enough for now... we'll tackle Rudy, the Mac Attack, and the Huckster another day.
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