Bill Maher, John Kline, Mike Obermueller and student debt

As interesting as it is that Bill Maher picked one of our congressmen, Rep. John Kline, CD2, for his #FlipADistrict contest, the reasoning is interesting. He explained it on his Sept. 12 Real Time with Bill Maher. The bit I refer to starts around 2:40, where Maher said the issue of student debt inspired most of the votes for Kline, and then he tore into Kline’s record: Continue Reading

Pay attention to secretary of state

Democrats still sometimes ignore elections or secretaries of state (SOS), despite Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004. If you don’t get those references, that illustrates the problem. The problem is partisan secretaries of state can manipulate elections to aid their party. Republicans know this, and make a point of electing partisans seeking to be the next Katherine Harris or Kenneth Blackwell, which may explain why they assume if there was a Democratic SOS, then the Democrats must have won by fraud. The latest example is Kris Kobach in Kansas, overruling his own top assistants to deny former Democratic US Senate candidate Chad Taylor’s request to be removed from the ballot, despite being attached to the campaign of the Republican incumbent, Pat Roberts. Yes, or those not following the story, Roberts is the beneficiary of this overruling. Continue Reading

Republicans having meta-argument over frac sand mining

h/t Politics.mn

So there’s the underlying issue of frac sand mining, and the issue of who correctly construed who, as Republican gubernatorial campaigns go after each other. For the part of the story about Republicans going after each other, Bill Kuisle, running for lieutenant governor with GOP gubernatorial endorsee Jeff Johnson, said it makes sense to delay frac sand mining so the effects can be studied. Continue Reading

The Star Tribune takes a turn screwing up voter fraud story

To be fair to the Star Tribune, they didn’t screw up nearly as much as KSTP. In fact, the egregious mistake was in the headline, “140 voters used single mailbox”. This wasn’t asserted in the article. However, reporters don’t write the headlines, and the Star Tribune did at some point replace that headline on the web version. They’re unfortunately stuck with it in the print edition. It’s a screw up because even Brian Rice and KSTP never asserted 140 people registered using one mailbox. They rented mailboxes from the same mailbox rental business. Yes, quite a bit different. Continue Reading

Democrats need to watch their language

No, that title doesn’t mean Democrats need to stop swearing. Ever been to a DFL meeting? You could broadcast those without a seven second delay; not with much audience except the five Republicans hoping something stupid will be said, but certainly without fear of FCC fines. I’m referring to our actual verbiage. The way we communicate. Continue Reading

KSTP TV spreads voter fraud myth

KSTP TV decided to shock its viewers with the news that 140 Somali voters registered to vote at the same address. OMG, massive organized voter fraud, finally proven! Just like all those other times it was finally proven except, oops, the allegation proved groundless. This are pretty easy to debunk too, at least for anyone who thinks accusations should be accompanied by evidence. KSTP is owned by a major GOP donor, Stanley Hubbard, which often leads to suspicion about its reporting. I’ve usually not seen anything in their reporting that looks like a Fox News wannabe. This looks to me less like partisan bias and more like reporting that is sloppy and sensationalist. Of course, for the people who worked on this story, being sloppy and sensationalist should be pretty embarrassing. I do get how these stories slip through, given the general shoddiness of local TV news that has been the norm pretty much since its invention. Continue Reading

President Obama in Minneapolis Thursday and Friday

President Obama will be making a couple public appearances in Minneapolis this week. On Thursday at 2:10 there’s town hall forum at Minnehaha Park, right near me but I have to work, figures. It’s invitation only and I don’t know how invitees were picked. I’m not one is all I know. Security will be presidentially tight like is normal at presidential events, but living close by, I know how to sneak in along the river and through the woods. I’m kidding!! I’ve been through the security to attend presidential events, and they lose some glamor. If I can’t sit down at some point and get some water, I don’t think I want to do that again. And no, being the local DFL chair doesn’t get me anything in terms of notice or entry or anything. Continue Reading

A way for Minneapolis to reach half a million population

Minneapolis’ population recently reached 400,000 for the first time since the mid-1970′s. That’s not a surprise if you’re a Minneapolis resident, because it’s hard to miss the building boom going on in some parts of the city, like downtown and along the Hiawatha light rail line. The city government’s goal is to increase the population to 500,000, which it reached for a few years at its peak around 1950. Minneapolis has a infrastructure designed to handle a larger population, but costs are being spread among fewer people. So a larger population spreads the costs out more. Being a political person, I can’t help doing some math and noticing that getting to half a million might mean another one and a half State Senate districts, or three State house districts, either measure meaning more representation in the legislature. Obviously that depends on how long it takes to reach that figure, and what growth happens in the state overall, but in general, more people means more political clout. Continue Reading