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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Mike McFadden Says YES To Chinese Steel

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 08/09/14 16:04

by Dave Mindeman

Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing when Mike McFadden kept quiet and wouldn't talk about the issue....because lately he has been talking and it hasn't been pretty.

Which makes it a little strange that the Washington GOP invited McFadden to give the weekly address. He stayed on message with a careful script. But it was a recent off the cuff question from a reporter that has opened up a can of worms....

...a question put to McFadden was: If the cheapest steel comes from China, is that OK? "I would love to see us use U.S. products when we can," McFadden said. "But it must be cost competitive. I am a supporter of free and fair trade." So, Forum News Service pressed, would Chinese steel be OK? "Yes," McFadden replied, "If it is not being subsidized by the Chinese government."

Scoring play? Error- McFadden.

I'm not sure how McFadden can pander to the Iron Range interests on the issue of Polymet and then botch the steel question so badly.

You could even get around the issue while promoting "free and fair" trade because the Chinese are always stacking the deck on steel. But McFadden used the "YES" word. Chinese steel OK? YES.

Survey says? Bad answer.

McFadden is being heavily promoted by the Republican Senate caucus and Norm Coleman has put all of his political capital into a McFadden campaign. But as media scrutiny increases the number of unforced errors coming from McFadden show us clearly that he is a novice on Minnesota issues....and that his business acumen clearly does not translate into political acumen.

What is even worse for the GOP is that the steel comment could start to reflect on the rest of the ticket and the 8th District inroads that the state GOP has been cultivating could be lost in translation.

The more McFadden talks, the bigger Al Franken's smile gets.
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McFadden Loves Coal - That's The Problematic Emotion Here

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 08/06/14 19:11

by Dave Mindeman

Mike McFadden is not a very thoughtful candidate. If he were, he wouldn't be so quick to embrace coal as an energy policy. He made a curious statement in regards to energy policy....

"We need arguments that are based on science and not on emotion," he said. "I'm very concerned about the war on coal that has taken place. I support all forms of energy."

I have never really thought of coal as an emotional issue. And the science is clear - coal is bad for the environment.

Coal is a cheap form of energy and that has kept it in play despite our efforts to move beyond it. It is all economic.

And there is this effort to promote "clean coal" technology as an excuse to continue to keep it at the forefront. Clean coal is still a dream as an affordable means of utilizing coal. Although it is possible to sequester the carbon underground or in the ocean, it also creates its own set of additional problems. Especially ocean sequester which could change the pH of the water and damage sea life.

Coal is just dirty. Plain and simple. It needs to be replaced and there is bipartisan resistance to do that because coal has political clout in some important states.

But the science is clear (even if opaque to McFadden) and a future of renewables has to move away from coal.

It is not an emotional issue - it is a matter of earth friendly science.
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The Mysterious McFadden Horserace Story

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 08/04/14 22:43, Edited: 08/05/14 09:43

by Dave Mindeman

There is this constant attempt to make Mike McFadden a blockbuster competitor to Al Franken. Each tidbit of news seems to have an exaggerated response.

For instance - The US Chamber of Commerce endorsed McFadden today. A surprise? Absolutely not. In fact, if the US Chamber hadn't endorsed him, that would be the real news.

The U.S. Chamber, though, said it likes McFadden "because he is a problem solver who can bring real world common sense solutions to Washington," according to Rob Engstrom, the group's national political director. "Mike's private sector background and pro-growth agenda make him the clear choice in the Minnesota Senate race."

I still fail to understand what evidence there is that McFadden has any idea about actual "common sense" solutions. His commercials, although kind of clever, offer no evidence of such an ability. In fact, if he really cut out his own kid's stitches to save a buck, well, that doesn't sound like common sense at all.

But there seems to be this media frenzy to "create" a race here. The 2014 narrative about the Senate is that it is all about the south. That is the battleground and will be right into November. But the media narrative seems to want a northern equivalent. (Beyond the Montana and South Dakota assumptions) Why? To nationalize the politics? To extend the horserace? I don't know. But Franken and Jean Shaheen, the Democrat from New Hampshire (opponent is Scott Brown) seem to be the ones on the radar.

Cook and Rothenberg seem to be itching to put Franken in the "vulnerable" category whatever the cost.

But the evidence continues to go the other way. Recent polling on the Franken race already assumes that McFadden is the opponent. And the numbers aren't all that good for the challenger.

There have been 4 polls done since April on this Senate race and in only one of them (the KSTP Hubbard Survey USA) does McFadden get into single digits (48-42). And in the latest one (A CBS/NY Times) poll ending on July 24th, Franken is up by 14 and hits 55% (55-41).

PPP Franken +11 (June)
Suffolk Franken +15 (April)

The reality to it all seems to indicate that the SurveyUSA poll done by Hubbard is an outlier. Yet, the media continues to portray this as a close race and gives it a ton of media attention.

Why this continues is somewhat a mystery.
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