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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Libel Suits Amongst Blowhards...

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 01/05/06 12:54

by PDW58

The libel lawsuit that Blois Olson has brought against the Minnesota Democrats Exposed blogger, Michael Brodkorb, is one of those legal actions in which you wish they could both lose.

The suit revolves around information MDE managed to get about the 2nd Congressional District campaign of Coleen Rowley. Brodkorb, a former Republican Party employee, had alleged, on his blog, that Olson had criticisms about the Rowley campaign because they had refused to utilize his firm. The reality of this situation is that the only difference between these two characters is the party labels they assume.

You have to wonder what kind of sources Brodkorb is using. It sounds like the information he dug up was reasonably accurate, although the motives he assigns are speculative. Obviously, he has snake-like ties to people -- supposedly Democrats-- who are willing to divulge information that should be kept within a campaign.

As for Olson, well here is a guy who obviously has no clue about how a campaign should be run. He ran a Congressional campaign himself, you know. In 1996, he managed the losing campaign of Mary Rieder, running as a Democrat against Republican Gil Gutknecht in the 1st District. Most Democrats from that area think Olson blew a campaign that had at least a 50-50 chance. But he moved on quickly and utilized the connections he made from that campaign to bluff his way into Almanac stints and now, the co-editor of Politics in Minnesota. He collaborates with Republican gadfly, Sarah Janacek.. and again, it is hard to tell the difference in how they operate. Both are big believers in their own hot air.

So there you have it... a Democratic operative who beats up Democratic candidates suing a Republican operative who will say anything, do anything, and dig up anything that can hurt Democratic candidates.

A legal match made in heaven ... or hell, depending on your perspective.
comments (1) permalink

ANWR: The Thorn in Norm Coleman's Side

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 12/22/05 11:28

by PDW58

I have never trusted Senator Coleman's "come to Jesus" support of preserving the ANWR. He made his pledge, to that effect, in 2002 to get the environmentalists off his back during the campaign against Wellstone. He assumed that when he was elected, his vote really wouldn't matter in future debate and the drilling would be included in some energy bill that would pass overwhelmingly and end the discussion.

But that hasn't happened. The intensity of the environmental lobby has been relentless and public support on the question has moved ever so slowly towards the Pro-ANWR activists. So, he has voted against exploration in Alaska pretty consistently -- but not because it is his "cause".. no, only because his vote would gain so much attention.

Yesterday, during the cloture debate on the attatchment of ANWR drilling to the Defense Appropriations Bill, (Note: The reason it is even in this appropriation is another expansion of Senator Ted Stevens definition of "germane" to the bill), Senator Coleman voted to close debate and leave ANWR in the bill. He then gave us another rendition of his convulted logic.

This excerpt from the Duluth newspaper is typical Norm:

"I'm against the filibuster," Coleman told reporters Wednesday night. "Things deserve an up-or down vote. All this does is delay the discussion. So ANWR will come up again in the energy bill next year." ..... Still, had ANWR remained in the bill, Coleman said he would have voted against it as a protest."But I wanted it to pass," he said. "It would have passed overwhelmingly."

So, Norm would vote against it in protest, knowing there were plenty of votes to pass the bill. Dedicated, isn't he? Norm Coleman is no friend of the environment. Norm is, as he always is, a friend of Norm.

The ANWR provision was pulled from the Defense bill. So ANWR lives another day. But Norm is more disappointed that this discussion must continue. If ANWR drilling had passed with the Defense bill yesterday, Norm would have shrugged his shoulders and publicly stated his disappointment.... but under his breath you would hear the whisper (thank God, that's overwith!)

Sorry, Norm, ANWR lives on to be a thorn in your side. And, Norm...we're watching!
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When 75 Cents Can Cost You $400 million

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 12/22/05 07:13

by Dave Mindeman

Our illustrious governor's linguistic gymnastics have now cost the State a cool $400 million. By playing cute with his "fee" antics, the tobacco tax (that is what it should have been called) was ruled unconstitutional. In order to gain more acceptance for his "fee" wording, the 75 cents was applied to distributors and not directly to the consumers (even though the hike was passed on directly). This makes the tobacco companies the "fee" payers. Thus, the judge said the State broke its contract with the Humphrey Tobacco Settlement.

Republicans have always been playing fast and loose with the tobacco settlement that Skip Humphrey negotiated several years ago. The money has been tapped and now our governor's cutesey fee antics were too closely involved with the settlement language.

Republicans can't just do a budget the right way. If you need to increase revenue to balance a budget, then get a legitimate revenue stream. I am tired of the shifts, the hidden fees, and the wording semantics. Government should at least be up front and honest about how it handles the budget.

Even this so-called surplus that Pawlenty has been bubbling about is not real. A large portion of it is earmarked for funding shifted from education. And the bulk of the rest is supposed to go for property tax relief -- at least that was the intent. Now, with this latest ruling on the tobacco fee (tax, whatever...) we will probably be fighting about cuts again.


So, why not fix it? You can change this "fee" to a tax on cigarettes at the retail level and it will probably be fine. No changes in revenue, no changes in the budget -- just change one 3 letter word for another.

Nope. Pawlenty wants to spend time and money on a court battle. All for a 75 cent "fee". Thanks, Governor.
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