Archive for the ‘DFL on DFL Violence’ Category

Minnesotans Have Limited Role on Franken’s Staff

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
“If he’s representing Minnesotans,” Wilson said, “why aren’t there Minnesotans there?”

Disagreements among political staff occur often. Way more often than the public realizes. But it’s rare for those disagreements to become public. However, when it comes to Senator* Al Franken, disagreements have become commonplace. Open and public arguments with Senate colleagues, committee testifiers, and republican staff.

Now, however, the friction has manifested itself among Franken’s own staff. A recent dispute ended in a Franken staffer being ushered out of his office by Capitol police. According to this Minneapolis Star Tribune article, Franken staffer Mark Wilson resigned over it. Wilson, a Minnesotan expressed his frustration that Washington insiders were calling the shots, and Minnesotans on the staff were being shortchanged and underrepresented on Franken’s Capitol Hill staff. The article quoted Wilson as saying, “If he’s representing Minnesotans,why aren’t there Minnesotans there?”

The article stated that Wilson was Franken’s top admistrative aide on farm issues, and had worked closely with Minnesota’s agricultural community. Wilson was upset to learn that the composition of a speech on agricultural issues would be farmed out to Jeff Nussbaum, a Washington speechwriter for former Vice President Al Gore.

Now, there may be many issues that a Senator from the Midwest can get away with assigning to a D. C. insider. But agriculture shouldn’t be one of those issues. One would think that even Franken should know that.

I recall that the issue of filling staff with D. C. insiders was an criticism leveled at former Senator Rod Grams when he served in the Senate. Constituents who visited him in his Washington office reportedly came back and told tales of how they were treated as an inconvenience, rather than the reason staffers had jobs in Grams’ office. The theory goes that staff made up of Minnesotans would more likely be a staff more attentive to Minnesotans’ issues and concerns. While it may not be the reason, it is plausible that is was one of the reasons for Grams’ failed reelection bid in 2000.

Here’s hoping Senator* Al Franken meets the same fate when he runs for reelection in 2014.

A Liberal Can’t Change its Spots

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

There have been numerous blogs and a few articles in the mainstream media (such as this Star Tribune article) about financial difficulty in the Minnesota Democrat-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party. A couple liberal bloggers and this blog from Minnesota Democrats Exposed outlined some of the trouble and potential trouble facing the DFL, including potential fines from the Federal Elections Commission, an unresolved tax issue, and internal strife over finances.

The internal financial strife involves annual dues that statewide DFL officeholders and DFL Congressional representatives are requested to pay to something called the United Democratic Fund, which is a special funding arm within the DFL Party. Some of the officeholders are current with their dues, while others have not.

Sen. Klobuchar, Sen. Franken and Congressman Ellison collectively owe $100,000 to the fund. Meanwhile DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez fired out a memo to party leaders stating the fund is about to go broke because of “unpaid partners”.

My personal favorite line in Melendez’s e-mail is, “Unfortunately, we cannot keep spending more than we are collecting.”

Uh, Brian . . . have you seen your party’s office holders in action? Spending more money than what is available is what they do! It stands to reason they expect you to follow suit. Furthermore, Brian, they’re liberals. They are only generous with other people’s money. I’m not is the busines of giving the DFL free advice, but I suggest you don’t hold your breath wating for the checks to arrive.