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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Trending Republican? My Butt....

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/18/05 06:16

by Roxanne Mindeman

Who of us hasn't heard some right wing media talking head, or unfortunately of late, some genuine, real deal, comentator, refer to our Minnesota as "Trending Republican"? Well, here's my question, "What the hell are they thinking?" Or smoking, as the case may be.

Haven't they noticed that Minnesota has remained steadfastly blue as the whole mid-west has spent the last 20 years sliping into an ever broadening red sinkhole? Didn't they notice that in spite of their spending enough money to choke a Trojan horse, flying W in and out of this state last fall, he still lost here by almost 100,000 votes? Did they not see the national media coverage of the fact that Rochester Minnesota, the home of the Mayo Clinic, is now represented in the Minnesota House by an almost entirely blue delegation, in spite of having been solid Republican for 30 years? Are they not capable of doing the math to see that Minnesota was the only state in the nation that was more blue in 2004 than in 2000 (4% vs 2%)? Did they fail to notice that in the Minnesota House of Representatives there was a net gain of 13 seats for the Democrats - only 2 short of what is needed to restore a Democratic majority? We'll get 'em next time!

Maybe we need to refer them to Wy Spano, who accompanied his wife, Marcia Avner, to the last mnpACT! Leadership Team Meeting - to provide us with a pep talk and assist us with our strategic planning work. Wy pointed out, as he has previously done on "Almanac", the formerly universal opinion in this state that Democrats will win in the suburbs, "When pigs fly!"! Well, as he went on to point out, "Pigs Flew" - In Edina, no less! And Eagan! Kerry beat Bush in both! And WE, south metro Democrats in Apple Valley and Burnsville - the heart of mnpACT! country - came within less than 500 votes of sending 2 more Democratic Representatives to the Minnesota House! Next time!

Heck, we have pigs in the air everywhere, and lots more on the ground suiting up for 2006. We're thinking about getting "Pigs Flew!" Tshirts - seriously. So lets not let anyone tell us, or the rest of the country, that Minnesota is "Trending Republican". We know differently. Some right winger wrote it in a "talking points" memo and hoped that if it was repeated often enough, it would become the truth. They counted on us saying nothing. Wrong! Write a letter to the editor. Call a radio talk show. And do it NOW! If you've been itching to take a stand against some of this right wing absurdity, this is a perfect time. The facts are all on our side!

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Wingnut Heaven

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/01/05 06:20, Edited: 04/01/05 07:01

by David Mindeman

When the Minnesota courts ended up setting the boundaries for the 2000 Congressional Districts, I wonder if they realized they were setting up "Wingnut Heaven" in District 6. This district encompasses a long narrow line extending from St. Cloud and then across the northern suburbs, into Sherburne and Stearns Counties, and then down through Washington and Wright counties including the city of Stillwater. It's almost like they were looking for every facet of Republican extremism so they could slap it into this district.

The heir to the Republican Senate nomination, Mark Kennedy, is the current congressional legislator there, but his announcement to run for the Senate has sent the looney nuts into a frenzy. For some reason, it seems the GOP assumption is, that if you win the Republican endorsement for this 6th District seat, you automatically become the winner. Aside, from the fact, that this assumption might be a bit premature, it is enough for the whackos to believe it is; and believe me, they are coming out of the woodwork.

Take a look at this list of announced and contemplated candidates. First, we have one of my favorites, Sen. Michelle Bachmann, the die-hard that tied up the Senate so often with an Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment that she pretty much single handedly wiped out the bonding bill last session. Then there is Phil Krinkie. He is so excited about this opportunity that he is willing to move to the district just to run. As you may know, Phil is the "brains" of a House coalition that has decided mass transit is a boondoggle in any form and has twisted enough Republican arms in the House to tie up the North Star corridor-- at least until this year's bonding bill. My guess, he wants to get to Congress so he can cut out the Federal portion of the funding and kill it that way. Sly little devil! Recently, we got the darling of the Education privatizers, Cheri Pierson Yecke, joining the fray. Even though she has never won an election in Minnesota and was never even confirmed for her job as Education Commissioner, Ms. Yecke thinks she can convince enough Maple River Coalition "kooks" to sneak away the nomination. She's not a child,"leave her behind". Another unannounced but very wingnut savvy candidate is Mary Kiffmeyer, the holy see in the Secretary of State's office. Please let us pray for true church-state understanding. Next in this long list, there is State Senator Michelle Fischbach. (Fischbach-Bachmann, what's the difference? Answer: Not Much.) If you're keeping track, her husband is the state director of (wouldn't you know) MCCL. So we can guess, what her agenda will be. Other members of the "peanut" gallery of candidates are Jim Knoblauch, a long time St. Cloud representative, and one of the architects of our draconian style budget cuts as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dan Nygaard, the 6th District GOP Chair, and Jay Esmay, one of the main loose cannon activist crazies in the district, who honestly believes that a 14 year Air Force career is the only requirement needed to be a Congressional Rep.

There you have it. A long list of people I wouldn't want to be represented by. But there is one thing to keep in mind. All of these characters are going to spend a lot of time and money getting the GOP nod and if things get real nasty (and with this cast of characters it is hard to believe it won't) there could be a primary fight. While they one up each other, trying to be more conservative than the other and as far to the right as humanly possible without being a fascist, a Democrat could look like the voice of reason. Keep that in mind as the 6th District antics continue.

Go Wingnuts!
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