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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

CD2 - Mary Lawrence: Pro-Business Candidate

Category: John Kline
Posted: 06/29/15 21:56

by Dave Mindeman

It is hard to figure a candidate's positions from fundraising letters, but they often give clues to what kind of a legislator they might be should they get elected.

Here is a quote that came in a campaign e-mail regarding the Mary Lawrence for Congress campaign (via her husband Jim Lawrence)....

For more than 50 quarters as CFO of Northwest Airlines, General Mills and Unilever, I sweated through the last few days of the quarter-end. Sales orders need to come in, and the guys and gals in the warehouses need to work long hours to get the goods out the door. (Slightly different in the airline business, but you get the idea.)

Now, I am sweating for my wife, Mary, who needs your dollars before midnight tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30.

This is not a letter to persuade you to contribute. This is a call to action!

If you believe that a centrist, pro-growth, pro-business congresswoman would better serve this country than a far-right (or left) partisan ideologue, then we need action today.

That last paragraph is interesting. It was subtle but what is said in parentheses is probably a veiled attack on Angie Craig. And the nice little code words of "pro-growth" and "pro-business" give us a little more insight into what kind of Congressperson Mary Lawrence aspires to be.

Lawrence is attempting to position herself as a "centrist" candidate. And that's fine, if you think replacing John Kline with a very slight twist to the left from his right wing positions is the only way to win in the 2nd District.

And while Lawrence doesn't make a direct reference to Craig as a leftward partisan ideologue - it is hard to imagine that there is anyone else on the horizon who could remotely bring up the (or left) subject unless Lawrence sees something out there that the rest of us don't.

It is getting more clear that Lawrence is going to run and legislate as a Blue Dog Democrat. Let's just say-- more of a Collin Peterson than a Betty McCollum. And, frankly, that's OK if you think that is what it will take to beat John Kline.

Personally, I'd rather see a more transparent and complete ideological change from what Kline has been delivering. Moving from a Congressman who is owned by the corporations....to a person who has a corporate ear...is probably not enough for me...but that's just me.

Jim Lawrence gives us a corporate view for the Mary Lawrence campaign and I doubt this would be "paid for" by the Lawrence campaign unless that is clearly where she stands as well.

To be fair, I think Angie Craig has pretty close corporate ties as well. After all, she comes out of the Medical Device industry with their device tax repeal agenda. But Lawrence aspires to get that corporate sympathizer label all to herself.

Pro-growth and pro-business. Pro-growth depends on where that growth goes and we all know it is NOT going to the 99%. And if being pro-business is the way to get there....well, we have heard enough of that from the other party. Don't need to dump Kline to get that.

Mary Lawrence applauded the Supreme Court's same sex marriage ruling, supported the Obamacare ruling, and is a strong advocate for Veterans.

But if pro-business is your method of fundraising in the Democratic base, then more questions need to be answered.
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Trying To Figure Out The Roberts Dissent

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 06/27/15 17:45

by Dave Mindeman

Same sex marriage won its court case. That much is over.

But Chief Justice John Roberts did not agree with the idea that gay marriage should be an option as the law of the land. He wrote a dissent....and to me it is raises questions about Roberts thinking on the subject.

Take this for instance:

[T]his Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise "neither force nor will but merely judgment.

If Roberts truly believes the above paragraph, then why did the Court overturn the Voting Rights Act clause that protected voters in certain states. That clause was renewed by Congress in overwhelming votes, both in the House and the Senate - yet the Court did away with that clause and changed the law.

Another quote:

Stripped of its shiny rhetorical gloss, the majority's argument is that the Due Process Clause gives same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry because it will be good for them and for society. If I were a legislator, I would certainly consider that view as a matter of social policy. But as a judge, I find the majority's position indefensible as a matter of constitutional law.

Except Roberts omitted and important truth. It is not just about social policy. And the right to marry is not just "good" for the couples involved and for society....it is also about fundamental marriage rights. Rights for wills....rights for Federal benefits...rights for property assignments.....rights for joint ownership. These are basic rights that follow the recognition of legal marriage. And Chief Justice Roberts seems to dismiss what is universally recognized as part of the marriage contract.

And then Roberts goes into the marriage "purpose"....

The premises supporting th[e] concept of [natural] marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation. The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations between a man and a woman. When sexual relations result in the conception of a child, that child's prospects are generally better if the mother and father stay together rather than going their separate ways. Therefore, for the good of children and society, sexual relations that can lead to procreation should occur only between a man and a woman committed to a lasting bond.

I would challenge Roberts to tell us where in any marriage contract or construct that procreation is a fundamental part of the language. You do not have to be married to procreate. You do not have to be married to raise children. You do have to have a marriage contract in order to deal with the legal status of your family as defined in state laws. What makes the same sex marriage decision so important is that legal status needs to be equal for all and the due process of contracts involving couples who wish to exercise those legal contracts available to all without fear of discrimination.

Roberts seems to have a different view of how marriage actually works in society. He minimizes its value and diminishes its legal status.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and viewed marriage in its proper context. Thank goodness this will be the prevailing authority.
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Love Wins - Tomorrow, Back To Work

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 06/26/15 14:27

by Dave Mindeman


Same Sex Marriage is available to anyone who seeks it. The Supreme Court has ended the debate once and for all.

I still have a tough time wrapping my head around the idea that it was just a narrow 5-4 decision. I have a terrible time understanding the dissent.

The argument seems to be that it should be up to the states to decide - and that makes zero sense to me. How can a same sex marriage couple get married in Minnesota....then move to, say, Texas, and then NOT be married? How would that not be a clear violation of equal protection?

But I guess that point is not worth going into now. 5-4 or 9-0, the result is still the same and the availability of Gay Marriage is now the law.

It is amazing to look back on how this issue has progressed over a very short time span. It was not long ago that public opinion was heavily against the legality of same sex marriage...but there has been a seismic shift in that opinion and it gives hope to the idea that progressive principles can ultimately win in the end.

We all know that the fight will not be completely over. Civil rights has had to continue its journey....and so it will be with gay rights. Even though gay marriage is no longer blocked, we still have laws that clearly discriminate against sexual orientation in the workplace and elsewhere. Unfortunately that struggle still continues.

But there is renewed hope that the end of legal discrimination against anyone is within reach.

Hard to imagine that a country that professes equal rights for all has had so many skirmishes that seek to achieve that grand bargain.

Today we celebrate. Love can and does win.

Tomorrow - back to work.
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