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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Cong. District 3 Gaining Importance

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/12/08 22:42

by Dave Mindeman

In an indication of a strong committment to the Minnesota District 3 race, the DCCC has committed a substantial amount of reserved ad time for the campaign.

In fact, they have purchased $1.4 million in time....the 8th largest ad buy in the country. It looks like CD3 will be getting a lot of national attention.

And with the strong fund raising showing from Republican candidate Erik Paulsen, it would seem that it will be a priority for both sides of the Congressional aisle.
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Politicians for Sale At the National Convention

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/12/08 15:19

by Dave Mindeman

I hate big money in politics. I didn't like it when the Republicans had the big advantage and I still don't like it now that the Democrats have the upper hand.

It is corrupting and it is ugly.

But I have learned to live with it. And, now that we have a Supreme Court that is buying into the argument that political money is free speech, we might as well get used to it for long time.

There is one barrier that used to be paramount. That was keeping corporate money out of political influence. But loopholes have been spreading on that, too. Corporate PACs skirt the regulations and bring vast sums of influence buying into political campaigns.

And, yet another path around legality is on display for the Republican National Convention.... corporate donations to the convention fundraising committee.

A list of the corporate donors (a Who's Who of corporate Minnesota) is in this Pioneer Press article. And, surprise, surprise....there is Norm Coleman's favorite landlord, Jeff Larson (as well as Coleman himself) -- right in the thick of it.

Some corporate donors have been a little skittish about giving. Even they are dubious about the obvious perceived influence peddling this amounts to. Yet, the giving goes on....in large quantities. The convention committee will have over $100 million to work with when the gala affair gets underway.... half of it coming from Coleman/Larson's taxpayer acquired security money of $50 million.

The "politicians for sale" sign has many connotations. Politico
made note of this RNC tidbit:

In Minnesota, Pawlenty and Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) are leading the Minneapolis-St. Paul host committee?s fundraising drive.

The Republicans initially offered donors of more than $5 million a private dinner with Republican congressional leaders, a ticket to a private reception with Pawlenty, Coleman and the local mayors, and ?golfing with Republican leadership? during the convention.

After a public outcry about the exchange of access for donations, the offers were withdrawn. But big donors still can stop by state delegation parties, which are typically attended by House and Senate members from those states.

Although that particular "sale" didn't wash, you know that more of the same is happening. The high rollers are in town and they are in the "politician market".

And the Democrats in Denver are doing the same. It is a bi-partisan sale to the highest bidder.

And they ain't cheap.

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Norm Gets Ready for The Strib's Visit

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 07/12/08 13:56, Edited: 07/12/08 14:31

by Dave Mindeman

Quick! A newspaper reporter is going to come to your apartment and do a report on your pad -- what do you do?

Norm Coleman had such a dilemma as the Star Tribune sent one to Norm's Washington "bungalow".

Hard to imagine what kind of preparation was involved, but what the heck...this is a blog, so let's speculate. Let's imagine what was running through Norm's head as he got things ready.... and then you'll see what the Tribune reported.....

Norm's Inspection Tour: OK, couches...hmmm, get rid of the Maxim magazines. Brush away the pork rind crumbs... pick up the Pepsi cans. Check the crease on the couch....Hey, might find some loose change in there....yeah, 2 quarters

Star Tribune Report: Two couches and a TV fill the far end of the living room. LeRoy Coleman said the senator may use the couches occasionally.

Norm's Inspection Tour: OK...wet bar. Empty the darn wine cooler. Take that chardonnay to the office...party! Should I put something in there? Naw...better leave it empty. Maybe even wipe it down. (sniff..sniff) Yea, smells OK. Make sure cupboard looks pretty bare...Special K? Naw....just scrub the sink...

Star Tribune Report: Sen. Coleman doesn't have a kitchen, but his wet bar lines the back of the living room. It includes a small sink, cupboard space and an empty wine cooler.

Norm's Inspection Tour: Hmm..fridge. Beer has to go....more stuff for the office....party! Take out burritos...hey, might as well have one now (burp)...."Jeez, LeRoy, who put the ham in here? They know I'm Jewish, dummy!" Let's see, the pumpkin pie has to go..whoa, that whipped cream is still in there....that was close. "LeRoy....get some bottled water and yogurt. That'll look a lot better." Hmmmm, pick up candy bar wrappers. Dump that bag of Whoppers and Twizzlers. "Hey, LeRoy, while you're at it, get some of that granola crap. Makes me look healthy." Leave the iron and ironing board out...but need to remember to get rid of that stack of dry cleaning receipts on the table...."LeRoy! The valet doesn't come till Wednesday, right?"

Star Tribune Report: The mini-fridge was well stocked with bottled water and yogurt. On the marble counters were granola bars and other snack food and the senator's iron and ironing board.

Norm's Inspection Tour: OK, bathroom. Clean...clean...clean. Hmmm...get rid of pills. Office? Party! Jeez...there's a bra hanging behind the door. Laurie's? I think that's her size. No time, I'll figure that out later. OK, just wipe everything down. "LeRoy! I'm out of TP again!"

Star Tribune Report: A few steps down a cramped hall is the bathroom, just big enough for one person to turn around.

Norm's Inspection Tour: Bed...ok...put bunch of pillows on bed. Makes the place look even smaller. Let's see. Better check under the bed...just in case. Wow... Playboy Mag? "Hey, LeRoy, was Drake doing more oppo research in here?"....hey, I found a quarter....hey, if I keep finding money, I might have enough for next month's rent pretty soon (heh, heh). Whoa, (whew) old cheese....Hmmmm, what's this? Looks like some report...says, "Investigation into Oil for Food Scandal Involving American Companies"..... oh, yeah, I knew I tossed that somewhere.....

Star Tribune Report: Turn the corner and the senator is within leaping distance to his tall full-sized bed, covered with a mound of pillows. The bed almost fills the 10-by-10 space, leaving only a several-foot-wide walking space between the bed and the closet.

Norm's Inspection Tour: OK, photos. Do I leave the Bush one up? Yeah, better leave it....it's with the family anyway. They'd expect one. Whoa...me and Cheney. That one is outta here. Better take that autographed photo of Larry Craig outta here, too. Maybe I'd better burn it. Jeez, more Maxims on the bench. Laptop needs to be outta here, too. Might start snooping.

Star Tribune Report: Photos, including one of his family alongside President Bush, line the walls. Squeezed between the end of the bed and the wall is a bench with a table and laptop dock in the corner.

Norm's Inspection Tour: OK, closet. Keep it simple. Suits and shirts stay.... Woodstock and "I'm With Stupid" T-Shirts gotta go... bermuda shorts -- gone....sandals -- gone. Hmmm...another box of reports... top one says, "Investigation into Halliburton Excesses in Iraq" -- Jeez, I was wondering where those all went. Should have unpacked more thoroughly.....OK, I'll dump that somewhere else. Now, need a book sitting out....want them to think I read. I saw Feingold reading "The Great Upheaval", must be intellectual. Put some dogears on the pages..... "Jeez, LeRoy, whose comic books are these?"

Star Tribune Report: The neatly organized closet was all business: collared shirts, dress suits and a pile of black shoes on the floor. Jay Winik's "The Great Upheaval" sat on the makeshift bedside table.

Hey, who knows what Norm's really thinking?

Just kidding...we like to kid.

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