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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Mike McFadden Is NOT Good For Minnesota

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 09/29/14 19:14

by Dave Mindeman

Mike McFadden has been trying to raise his profile ahead of his debates with Al Franken. And judging by what he is putting out there, Mike McFadden is either the most naive politician Minnesota has ever had or simply unable to understand the facts.

His OP-ED, which I caught in the Duluth paper is concerning in regards to his ability to represent us in the US Senate. It is statements like these that cause that concern....

No one party is to blame for what's happening in Washington. Republicans and Democrats seem to view politics as the art of the pure when it should be seen as the art of the possible. Minnesotans deserve more; they deserve a problem-solver with practical, real-world experience who will shake up Washington and get this country back onto the path of growth and prosperity.

McFadden is a Republican and as a Republican, how can he look us in the eye and say that the GOP has not epitomized his statement..."seem to view politics as the art of the pure when it should be seen as the art of the possible."

The GOP Senators have shunned the "possible" on every occasion and defined the "art of the pure" as the art of the filibuster. Yes, Minnesotans do deserve more, but sending one more Republican to Washington to continue this policy of obstruction is not even close to an answer.

What makes anyone think that a rich, naive Republican Senator can go to Washington and problem solve in an atmosphere that only obstructs. No progress is wanted - no solutions are sought.

But McFadden thinks he is optimistic....

I am ready to head to Washington, roll up my sleeves, and work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who will help change the direction this country is headed by working to address what I like to call the "three E's" of energy, education and effective government.

Again, a naive view that is dangerous. You can't possible deal with E for Energy without adding the more important E for the Environment. Those two have to work in tandem or a temporary fix in supply will collapse in yet another round of environmental disaster. McFadden would do well to look at China in this regard. While he is accessing their cheap steel, maybe he should look at the people walking around in smog with filter masks over their mouths. China uses short cuts. They bypass regulation. But look at the result.

And as for education....despite repeated calls from Obama for changes in No Child Left Behind, Republicans, led by John Kline, block it at every turn. Special Ed is still waiting for promised fulfillment on funding increases that were promised years ago. And the GOP talks about the achievement gap only in terms of how many teachers they can blame. And McFadden adds his voice to the complainers who offer no fixes.

And when it comes to "effective government", McFadden's answer is to get rid of regulatory agencies which will lead to the same kind of oversight nightmare that brought us the bank meltdown of 2008....or the acid rain of the 60's and 70's....or the ozone layer depletion that we have finally come back to fix by restricting fluorocarbons.

And you can add McFadden's ideas on healthcare to that list. He wants to get rid of Obamacare and keep the popular aspects of it -- without any of the cost management needed to cover them. What business model could work with that?

Mike McFadden thinks he has "new" ideas. The truth is, McFadden is just a revamped version of Norm Coleman without the Kazeminy suits.
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The Politics Of The Absurd

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 09/23/14 15:39, Edited: 09/23/14 18:57

by Dave Mindeman

It is amazing sometimes how far political spin will go to try and establish ulterior motives. You can't just say "I support someone" without an opposing view about why you do it and who you are associated with. Michael Brodkorb does some pretty odd accusations and Mike McFadden is foolish enough to respond, in regards to a gun issue mailing by Americans for Responsible Solutions. This add uses the words of a Sandy Hook parent talking about gun violence and promoting Al Franken as someone working for solutions.

Brodkorb labels his column, The Politics of Fear. Pretty ominous title but in truth, putting this in a fear category is a gross distortion.

The mailing piece is shown here....

I urge you to look at it. If you can make out the words, read them.

How that can be interpreted as a "fear" piece is beyond my comprehension.

The father talks about his grief. He ask for solutions to the gun problem. He supports Franken's efforts on closing the gun show loophole. He encourages the reader to support Franken.

Nowhere on that piece is Mike McFadden mentioned. Nowhere on that piece are Mike McFadden's own stances on gun issues. Nowhere on that piece is one single negative assertion about Mike McFadden.

Yet, McFadden felt the need to respond....

McFadden campaign chair Molly Cronin said in a release today:

Senator Franken's allies have reached a new low by exploiting the tragic death of children for political gain. As a mother, my heart goes out to the parents of those who have lost children to gun violence, but using a school shooting as a political prop is beyond reprehensible...Senator Franken needs to do the right thing and denounce this group for using victims of a massacre for political gain.

Really? McFadden's campaign extrapolated all of that out of that mailing?

A school shooting as a political prop? How? Exploiting the tragic death of children for political gain? Really? Is this father not allowed to express his grief?

Why Senator Franken would ever denounce this group is just unfathomable to me. The NRA exploits school shootings almost every waking day. Should that be denounced? Would McFadden talk about that? No, he wouldn't and he doesn't need to.

These are third party entities who can pretty much say anything they want. Al Franken has no control over them. Mike McFadden has no control over them.

The McFadden response and Brodkorb's take on this mailing say more about their discomfort with their own feelings on the matter, than any outrage about supposed "exploitation".

McFadden used to agree with the idea of universal background checks. Now he is outraged that Franken is praised for exactly the same position.

This isn't the "Politics of Fear" - this is the Politics of the Absurd.
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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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