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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Strib Endorsement of Coleman Confirms Editorial Move to Right

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 10/25/08 12:53

by Dave Mindeman

The Star Tribune endorsed Norm Coleman this weekend....another symbol of the corporate takeover of the media. The past liberal to moderate stances of the Strib will cause many people to be surprised by this, but a lot of people who have been watching the rapid demise of the traditional newspaper format in the Twin Cities, will not be.

The bloggers at MNPUBLIUS predicted this would happen... they have watched Avista Capital Partners slowly eviscerate the inner workings of the Star Tribune into its new corporate friendly entity and the end result is now pretty clear.

David Brauer at Minnpost has been chronicling this phenomenon. A Brauer tit for tat argument with new Strib editorial board Jill Burcum revealed some of the new dynamics prevalent in the local newspaper community. Traditional papers like the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune are moving right of center to reflect their corporate ownership....while groundbreaking online editions like Minnpost and Minnesota Independent are continuing to espouse a viewpoint that tends to move left.

Granted, hard news items still generally meet journalistic standards in all of them...but editorial viewpoints are becoming clearer.

And, the turmoil is not over yet. Traditional papers have still not found any firm financial footing. And online editions continue to experiment with revenue sources. I would not be surprised by a merger of the two traditional dailies by the end of next year. They simply cannot afford to continue as they are and furthur cutbacks will probably continue to erode their subscription base.

The effect of a Tribune endorsement of Coleman will probably have a slight effect on the political race. But what it tells us about where our local newspapers are headed says volumes more.

Sarah Palin: Boom or Bust

Category: Sarah Palin
Posted: 10/24/08 20:30

by A. Anderson

The vice presidential choice of Sarah Palin was a major decision by John McCain. A decision that seems to be based on instinct and temptation, rather than sound judgment and detailed vetting of the candidate, was hoped to provide a big boost to the campaign. The initial response was definitely a boom, where she was thrust into the limelight and captured the imagination of many voters. She was indeed a woman and had some interesting activities in her background. She was portrayed as a ?maverick?, someone who stood up to powerful interests.

However, in the time since her acceptance of the vice-presidential position, as people got to know more about her, her newness and brilliance began to decline. As one looked at her assets, her charm and attractiveness, her liabilities started to become more prominent. She was a governor accused and later reported by a legislative inquiry to be an abuser of power, in violation of ethical standards. Her hockey mom status became tainted as we learned her family earned more than $160,000 per year, putting her among the wealthier people in the US. She is worth more than $1 million dollars and lives in a house valued at more than $500,000. She apparently cheated on her income tax, not reporting per diem expenses she charged the state as income. She also charged the state a per diem rate for work she did at home. And worse, she charged the state for air fare and lodging for her children as she traveled the country, even when they were not invited to attend. She stayed in hotel rooms costing $700/day. And last, we find the Republican Party spent more than $150,000 on her clothing for the convention and campaign.

This is all over the top. The governor from Alaska started as a boom. But, she apparently has become one of the biggest busts of the current political scene.


Seifert is Longing for the "Tingelstad Days"

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 10/23/08 12:10, Edited: 10/23/08 12:11

by Dave Mindeman

Here's a quote from Marty Seifert:

"We'd be better off if we had her running,'' Seifert said.

The "her" he is referring to is Kathy Tingelstad.... the member of the override six who retired after enduring relentless criticism of her vote on the transportation bill.

Too late Marty. Your ideology won the day back then, but may cost you dearly where it really counts....November 4th.

Minnpost has an article examining the possibility of the House Democratic majority becoming a veto proof majority....and Marty Seifert is nervous. The article talks about Tingelstad:

Only a few months ago, Seifert was blasting Tingelstad for her override vote. She decided not to run for a seventh term because of the attacks she took from fellow Republicans in the Legislature and because she was lambasted at a caucus meeting, where she expected to win endorsement.

Of course, it is still hard to tell whether this veto proof majority can really happen. The DFL has to spread its defensive strategy over a wide area and that will not be easy. But a number of factors are favoring the Democrats:

1) Huge turnout. Registration has set records and turnout may do the same.

2) Obama is running strong. Over the last few weeks, the Obama campaign seems to be breaking away. That will affect everything up and down the ballot. (But a lot can happen in 12 days as Democrats are well aware of)

3) More GOP seats are open than Democratic ones. Incumbancy is still an advantage in legislative seats and when you have a number of open seats to defend, it gets tough.

4) Economy is the main issue. Rightly or wrongly, the perception right now is that Democrats are favored in this economic climate. Does that translate all the way down the ticket? Nobody can say for sure but it is hard to bet against it right now.

I would say that for Democrats, November 4th can't get here soon enough.



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