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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Talking About Women's Bathrooms At The State Capitol

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 07/11/14 20:16, Edited: 07/11/14 20:19

by Dave Mindeman

The MN GOP sent out one of those bulk emails trying to promote the GOP version of a "we're good for women" newsflash.

I thought this was kind of funny....

We have come a long way from the days when there were no womens restrooms at the Minnesota Capitol.

Well, have we? Current GOP politics wants to go right back to that era.

The bathroom thing came up because the GOP e-mail mentioned the first elected woman State Senator in Minnesota, Rochester's own and IR Republican Nancy Brataas.

In 1975, Nancy Brataas was elected Minnesota's first woman Senator. Brataas, a Rochester Republican, first became involved in her local party by helping with grassroots organizing. She was Republican state party chair from 1963 to 1969. Brataas' election to the Minnesota Senate six years later was so revolutionary that there was a need to build a separate restroom for women at the State Capitol.

My wife and I lived in Rochester many moons ago, but we actually knew Nancy Brataas. Not well, but enough to have a political conversation. She was a very popular Republican Senator in Rochester and championed the local sales tax which has helped Rochester prosper. When she retired, she endorsed Sheila Kiscaden as her successor and proceeded to fight a number of battles within her own party over MCCL endorsements and a takeover by social conservatives. As you know, Sheila Kiscaden ended up moving to the Independence Party and later she became a Democrat to continue her legislative work in representing Rochester.

Unfortunately, Nancy Brataas passed away recently. A real representative in the old school sense in which she always worked across the aisle and looked for consensus on issues. And she was once denied Party endorsement because of her pro-choice views. The internal battle for the local GOP led to Rochester being a DFL stronghold in later years.

So it is interesting that the GOP would use her name to promote their record on women.

The Republican Party is not the party of women. It has worked to limit women's reproductive choices. They have blocked legislation on equal pay. And they still have problems dealing with the definition of rape or finding solutions for rape in the military.

The GOP may try to namedrop the name of great Republican women, but those same women could not be a part of today's GOP.

THIS is the face of Minnesota's GOP:

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CBO Report - Debunktion Junction and Asking Kline To Read

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 02/06/14 14:05, Edited: 02/06/14 14:14

by Dave Mindeman

Look like we have to debunk more Republican junk. This time it is their interpretation of the CBO report. Here is the quote that started a big controversy....

The reduction in CBO's projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.

Carefully notice the wording. It does not say jobs are lost. It does not say lay-offs. It does not say unemployment.

What it is saying is that workers can choose to leave the labor force and many will.

I know that this premise is true because I am one of them.

Obamacare releases workers from having to continue working simply because they require health care. Now, continuing to work is a choice for them. It gives them an option they did not have and many of us are making that choice.

Leaving the labor force is not a bad thing. It allows the individual to stop staying in the healthcare trap if they have the resources to do so. It opens up a job for a new worker. It gives workers a bit more leverage to negotiate with their employer in regards to their value.

But Republicans did not read this report in real terms. They read it to get new talking points. They extrapolated it to jobs. Lost workers for employers is really a jobs issue. Obamacare was messing with employment. It's a disaster. They want repeal - and political points.

The political rhetoric becomes so difficult when you can't just accept information at face value. Now we have to explain the information in ways that Republicans can understand, without jumping to the conclusions they want.

When you hear any Republican analyst say Obamacare is going to cost the country 2.5 million jobs - debunk it!

Note: Already have to debunk John Kline. Here is a quote:

"The President's health care law is destroying full-time jobs," said Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chairman of the House education and workforce committee. "This fatally flawed health care scheme is wreaking havoc on working families."

Congressman Kline - Do you read anything yourself or do you just wait for the GOP memo? Facts are real, John Kline, and you are NOT using them.
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Tuesday Night in January, In A Bowling Alley, With The Tea Party

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 01/30/14 12:49

by Dave Mindeman

A bowling alley.

I walked into Bogarts in Apple Valley...down the long hallway next to the lanes. The noises of pins dropping and drinks being served in the background...and found the community room off to the right.

I walked into a fairly sizable room and found a table in the back. The large room had people scattered around and there at the front with the microphone was Sen. Julianne Ortmann making her caucus case.

This was the South Metro Tea Party. The meeting was being held on the same night as the State of the Union. No problem here because none of these people wanted to listen to Barack Obama spout his socialist rendition of America.

Although the room was large, there were only about 45 people in attendance and from the sleepy reactions, Ortmann wasn't stirring any great zeal in the membership.

She talked for about 20-25 minutes....mostly touting her budget balancing principles. Her US budget ideas are summed up with...

a) Use it or lose it budgeting
b) Announce a strong agenda and then have a strategy to pass the agenda
c) Budget for more than 1 year at a time
d) Moratorium on rules and regulations

After her talk, she had a few minutes of questions. During a question on the Middle East, she may have waded into the weeds...She said, "Not our role to protect international norms -- that's the UN's job...let the UN carry out their agenda."

From what I know about the Tea Party - UN references aren't too popular.

Ortmann's reception was attentive but pretty lukewarm. No applause lines and her own somewhat desperate plea for support at the caucuses were the standard for the appearance.

She tried to win them over with some tough EPA talk....said EPA standards using the 1990 Clean Air Act as their authority was highly questionable. Went back to her moratorium on all rules and regs. A few heads nodding - no big reaction.

She was quickly shuffled off the stage at about 7:35, so they could get on with their self promotions. Ortmann left right away....without even working the room. I thought she was popular with these characters?

After that, the nuts and bolts of the organization was discussed. This group is one of 7 local organizations....

South Metro Tea Party (Apple Valley)
North Metro (Mounds View)
East Metro (Lake Elmo)
West Metro (Plymouth)
SE Metro (Cottage Grove)
Lone Oak (Eagan)
Red Wing

They went through a power point on what the organization needed them to do on caucus night. The basic premise? Go to the GOP caucus - get yourself on the BPOU delegate list. Wait for further instructions.

Then they had a short video of an interview with Michael Hayden, former NSA director. The video was meant to show Hayden's "erroneous" ideas on the 4th Amendment....with Hayden pointing out that probable cause is not part of the amendment. A few boos could be heard. What I thought funny about that particular part was that just as they were shutting down the video, you got a glimpse of where the tape came from - it was a picture of Keith Olbermann when he was with MSNBC. Touch of irony...

Jake Duesenberg was the guy orchestrating the agenda. He is pretty much the organizer of most of the metro Tea Party organizations. The local "hosts" of the event took the stage once in awhile to make a local announcement or draw for the raffle (prize is a Bogart's gift certificate). Note: Took 3 tries to get a winning number.

But Duesenberg keeps things moving and keeps control. He had some trouble keeping everybody engaged -- althought the obligatory "how many NRA members are here tonight?" --managed to get half the group raising their hands.

One of the main agenda items was passing out the Tea Party Magazine. It was a freebie tonight with a post card inside exhorting you to a $35 membership...entitling you to 4 more magazines during this election cycle.

I left after that...wanted to catch the last part of the SOTU. But I would say the jury is still out on whether the Minnesota Tea Party is a real force to be reckoned with. They have a foothold and they do have leadership that is motivated. But without that direct Ron Paul fervor, I'm not sure they can be as strong as they were in 2012. They have not latched onto a particular Senate or Governor candidate. Julianne Ortmann is counting on them for her support to the MN convention - but it doesn't look real enthusiastic at this point. State Sen Dave Thompson is counting on their support in the Governor's race -- but that clearly hasn't been evident in his fundraising totals.

I guess it is one thing to gauge the movement on a sleepy, cold Tuesday night in January...in a bowling alley. Its another to watch it in the middle of primary season. So watch this space.
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