Minnesota Network for Progressive Action

About Comments
The mnpACT! blog welcomes all comments from visitors, which are immediately posted, but we also filter for spammers:
  • No active URLs or web links are allowed (use www.yourweb.com).
  • No drug or pharma- ceutical names are allowed.
  • Your comment "Name" must be one word with no spaces and cannot be an email address.
You should also note that a few IP addresses and homepage URLs have been banned from posting comments because they have posted multiple spam messages.

Please be aware we monitor ALL comments and reserve the right to delete obvious spam comments.

Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites

Listed on BlogShares

site search

Site Meter
  Progressive Political Blog

Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

CD2: Mary Lawrence And Her Personal Campaign Contributions

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 05/22/15 09:26

by Dave Mindeman

I got a message recently, from a local DFL activist, upset about this discovery while searching OpenSecrets.....


Here is a Congressional District 2 candidate who had given money to Mitt Romney during his first Presidential run. I have to admit that it puzzled me as well. So, I had to do some digging.

I did try to contact the Lawrence campaign as I thought there might be a very simple explanation. I left a message - got a brief e-mail from the campaign manager, told them what I was asking about, and then got no response.

So, I went back to digging.

Now Jim and Mary Lawrence have been very, very generous to Democratic candidates. They have been particularly generous in supporting Senate candidates - its a long list. Klobuchar, Franken, Heitkamp, Kaine, McCaskill, Warner...(and not just token contributions, it is often the Federal individual maximum of $2500) they even gave $10,000 contributions to Democratic State Parties in Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia.

But in the middle of all that Democratic money, there sits these contributions to Mitt Romney from both of them. (Along with some small donations to Norm Coleman and Jim Ramstad that go way back - supporting "centrist, establishment Republicans";). I thought, there must be more to it than that.

A little more digging.

So as I looked at the timelines and the biographies, I found a connection that may make some sense - (although it would be nice to get it directly from the candidate). But it looks like James Lawrence at one time worked for Bain. Which, I assume, would mean an individual relationship with Mitt Romney in a working context. Maybe they were friends. Maybe they even argued politics. But giving a donation to someone you know is logical, even if they are from the other party....and even if that person is running for President against a Democrat you support (there are Obama contributions).

So, to me that seems to explain this a bit - and is worthy of acceptance.

As I researched, I found a few other interesting things. It seems that James had been courted by the DCCC to run against Erik Paulsen in the third district for 2014. Minnpost did an article. They even did some of that issue polling....you know, the stuff where they test issues against the incumbent, without naming any names. It would seem that nothing really came of it....or Mr. Lawrence decided against the possibility.

Another curious thing, in the Open Secrets list, is something called Politics Reimagined.

This looks like an individual project that James Lawrence started as a means of breaking through the gridlock. (Both James and Mary seem to focus on Congressional gridlock as a core issue for them.) Politics Reimagined was a SuperPac meant to work in the 2014 election cycle dealing with this goal....

Our goal is to formulate a centrist, bipartisan platform that addresses issues important for all Americans. With your support, we can encourage collaboration over contestation among candidates we support in order to make these goals realized and implemented.

The idea was to help elect "reasonable" people in either party who were committed to working across the aisle. It was clear that both Republicans and Democrats who met the criteria would be helped.

Lawrence initially funded this with $50,000 of his own money.

But as far as I can tell, it never went any further. There are few donations over that initial $50,000 and the project now seems to be abandoned. (Although the website is still here ) The PAC only spent a little over $30,000 during the 2014 cycle.

So, that is what I could glean from what initially seemed like an odd Republican contribution from a Democratic Congressional candidate.

I have been a little concerned, that outside of an announcement at the Congressional District 2 Central Committee, there hasn't been much visibility for Mary Lawrence. Outside of some press releases on Veterans Issues and one on Student Debt, we don't know much about her positions. I know it is early and I guess that shouldn't be a cause for concern - but given this centrist leaning, it raises a question in my mind as to whether or not she will abide by the endorsement.

If the campaign is listening, maybe we could talk?
comments (2) permalink

CD2 Angie Craig: Questions Answered

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 04/28/15 23:34

by Dave Mindeman

DFL candidate for Congress in District 2, Angie Craig, stopped by our local DFL meeting in Apple Valley....and she answered some questions.

I asked her about her position on abortion rights. It may seem like a basic question, but given the fact that so many restrictive abortion bills are popping up in the states...along with abortion restrictive language getting tacked onto a number of Congressional legislation submissions, it seems appropriate that we get this cleared up at the beginning.

Well, Angie Craig is firmly in the woman's right to choose camp. Pretty unequivocal in her position - so no doubts on that score.

She is also on record as being against the Trans Pacific Partnership. No hesitation there either. She won't support a bill for which she is not allowed to see the terms and conditions.

However, during her introduction, she gave a personal story about growing up without health care coverage and because of that history, she is firmly in support of the ACA and criticized John Kline for his repeated votes to repeal this important safe harbor for so many Americans.

But her ACA support has a caveat - and it is one that I expected to happen because of her career with St. Jude's medical... and it, indeed, is her position. She is in favor of a repeal of the Medical Device Tax. She was very clear about that point and rightly stated that her position is no different than the rest of the elected Congressional delegation in Minnesota.

But I pressed her on the issue.

How about what to do to replace the budgeting hole this would create in ACA revenue?

She said that she would favor replacing that revenue with some other revenue stream. But she could give no examples of what she would support - and that was disappointing. I would have more respect for that stance if there was a willingness to take a stand on how to find replacement money.

She also said something else disappointing. She said that the Medical Device tax had caused jobs to be lost in the medical device industry.

And I again pressed on that by asking what evidence there was for that assertion?

She had nothing to cite in response. And she even admitted that saying jobs were lost conflicts directly with the CBO report that says the opposite.

That particular type of statement is a corporation position. It has no basis in fact, but makes for a good countering talking point that can be perpetuated.

The fact that she supports the device tax repeal is probably not a deal breaker (at least not for me) but using the corporate tag line about jobs being lost is the more disturbing part.

She also seemed to be trying to re-enforce that position by talking about the Medical Device Tax as an excise tax (which it is) and that excise taxes are considered "sin" taxes...like liquor and cigarettes.

Not sure what that was supposed to mean, but if I were her, I'd probably leave that part out in the future.

All that aside, Angie Craig does seem like a pretty good candidate. She has a compelling biography and has already garnered good support. And, most importantly, she has shown a strong willingness to work very hard. She was at 2 Senate District meetings tonight and has more planned for tomorrow. That kind of activity this early in the campaign is a very good sign.

If you are looking for information on the CD2 candidates, I will try to post what I find on this blog. There is a long way to go, but we also still need to learn a lot more about Angie Craig and Mary Lawrence.
comments (1) permalink

Ask Kline Why He's Against Making College More Affordable

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 04/08/15 19:25

by Dave Mindeman

Sometimes MPR's PoliGraph segment gets caught up in its own semantics.

Today they called a DCCC ad against Kline "misleading" because PoliGraph says it is talking about a Kline vote to freeze Pell grants. Another one of those party line votes that PoliGraph says would be newsworthy only if Kline, as a Republican, voted against the party.

The ad references the Pell Grant vote when it says "last week" - but, regardles of that vote, Kline IS making it harder for students in college in more ways than that.

The ad says...Call Rep. Kline and ask him why he's against making college more affordable

Now there is a legitimate question. Not only is he in favor of freezing Pell Grants....he has also made sure that interest rates will keep climbing.... and he favors For Profit colleges roping students into marketing ploys that increases the borrowing needed to pay for these schools. And Kline blocks any attempt to remedy graduates who have been saddled with debt loads that will follow them throughout their lives.

Yes, why is Kline against making college affordable?

Elizabeth Warren is trying to help students in the Senate. She wants to restructure student loans and wants a tax on millionaires to help foot the bill. She has managed to get 58 Senators to sign on, but is still 2 short of the magic 60 to get it to the floor.

Kline could support that. He could push a companion bill or sign on to one in the House. Nope. He won't do that. And Warren explains a little bit of why....

Warren added that colleges - particularly for-profit schools - should be responsible for federal loans when students graduate and can't get a job. For-profits receive 25 percent of federal aid dollars, she noted, yet are responsible for half of all student loan defaults...."the colleges also need to have skin in the game."

Yes, Congressman Kline why are you against all of this?

Ah, heck, we know why. Look at Kline's campaign contribution list and you get the answer. Corporate shill extraordinaire.
comments (1) permalink
« First « Previous


« May 2015 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Latest posts


(one year)




RSS Feeds

RSS 0.91
RSS 2.0

Powered by
Powered by SBlog
Copyright © Minnesota Network for Progressive Action. All rights reserved. Legal. Privacy Policy. Sitemap.