Posts Tagged ‘Tom Emmer’

Sen. Lourey Afraid to say “Obama” and “Care” in the Same Sentence

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

In the commentary on the Legislative session written by Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL – Kerrick) and published in the local weekly papers, he states that the Legislature fought hard for federal funding for early enrollment in medical assistance (MA). Sen. Lourey further states that this would bring an additional $1.4 million to the state, but the Governor refused this position because he is seeking higher office.

Truth is, what the Democrat majority in the Legislature wanted, and what the Governor was opposed to, is an early opt-in to ObamaCare. The federal health care monstrosity, under the compromise reached at the end of session, will take effect in Minnesota when the Governor decides to opt in. The $1.4 billion of federal money Lourey says will come in from this will most surely be swallowed up by a huge expansion of benefits paid out to more people dependent on the public entitlement system.

This sets up a major issue in the Governor’s race this fall. The Democrat candidate, if elected, will surely choose to opt in, whether it’s Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Matt Entenza or Mark Dayton. Tom Emmer, like Governor Pawlenty will likely choose to not opt in.

In the meantime, Sen. Lourey will avoid the phrase “federal Health care” or “ObamaCare” like the plague.

But let’s face it. That’s basically what it is.

Things Heard at “Simply Right” Thursday Night

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

First let me say that the “tea party” movement has done some good things over the past year. Most significantly, the movement has captured the frustration of conservatives and libertarian-minded people and put that frustration into action, especially at demonstrations and town hall meetings across the nation. This action has been successful in pointing out that the “hope and change” promised to the American people during the 2008 presidential campaign was not the “hope and change” people expected. The overreach and lurch to the left led by Barack H. Obama and Congressional Democrats is unacceptable to the majority of Americans, and the tea party movement has done a good job of shining the light of truth on this fact.

Locally, a group called “Simply Right” has been meeting regularly. I’m not sure whether this group is officially related to the tea party movement, but many of the same people are involved in organizing and attending both events. Simply right is billed as a  group open to Republicans, Democrats and Independents. One of the promoters of Simply Right wrote in a letter to the editor in August that “[t]his is a gathering where everyone can speak their views and no one is shouted down.”

I attended a “Simply Right” meeting for the first time Thursday night in Hinckley. There were very good presentations by gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, State Auditor Candidate Pat Anderson, and State Senator Chris Gerlach (R – Apple Valley). However, as much as I like the purpose of the tea party movement, I’m afraid some of the locals involved with the tea party movement and Simply Right get fast and loose with the facts their exuberance. And since this is the East Central Truth Detector, here are some observations that should be pointed out and corrected.

  • “Oberstar gives his money to Tim Faust and Tony Lourey.”  The Truth Detector grades this one “probably bull”. This was spoken by a local Simply Right organizer, and intended to be a slam against one or two unnamed local Republicans who allegedly have contributed to the campaign of Congressmand Jim Oberstar in the past. I hope the person who said this has proof, because co-mingling federal campaign money with campaign money for state offices is illegal. If the proof is there, a complaint should be filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, and I would be more than happy to help with that process. However, if one can’t prove that Oberstar gives money directly to the Faust and Lourey Campaigns, then it’s probably best to avoid making up stuff like that in a desparate attempt to disparage other individuals.
  • “Life experience. I’m 48 and my [main Republican] opponent is 37.” – Spoken by gubernaotrial candidate Rep. Tom Emmer. He said this shortly after a 21-year-old candidate for State Representative downplayed the importance of expsrience. The Truth Detector will go with Rep. Emmer on this one.
  • “I wouldn’t give money to a political party if my life depended on it.” Spoken by the First Vice Chair of the Pine County Republican Party.  With this in mind, the Truth Detector can’t wait for the campaign finance reports to be released the end of this month. And the person who said it probably shouldn’t be an officer of any political party.
  • “Let’s limit this to questions, not comments, and no more than twenty seconds.” Spoken by the moderator of the Simply Right meeting after trying to ignore, then finally calling on an audience member who the moderator apparently perceived as antagonistic. The Truth Detector grades this as hypocritical, based on the previously stated principal of Simply Right being a “gathering where everyone can speak their views and no one is shouted down.” By the way, the audience member simply wanted to ask about precinct caucus locations, since the subject had been neglected in a previous discussion about caucuses.

The local tea party movement and “Simply Right” has an opportunity to do some good things. But if the leaders of these movements are willing to be hypocritical and deceptive in their rush to belittle others and put them down, it will diminish the significance of their group in a hurry.

Pawlenty Steps Aside – Let the Speculation Begin

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

(This post was updated 3/3/09, because I knew my original post left out some prominent names. Additionally, according to media reports and blogs today, Carol Molnau, Sue Jeffers and Michele Bachmann are not likely to run for Governor.)

Governor Tim Pawlenty announced at a 2 p.m. news conference today that he will not be seeking a third term as Governor of Minnesota. If speculation about his aspirations for national office hasn’t already begun it will now be in full swing. There will be p(aw)lenty of people joining the chorus of speculators on his chances of landing on a national ticket. Closer to home, however, I prefer to start the speculation and analyzing of potential candidates for Governor. Many are called, so I will try to keep my analysis brief . Few are chosen but we won’t know for sure who it will be until summer/fall 2010.

Let’s start with the Democrats. Those who have filed campaign committees up to this point include (in no particular order):

Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner: Experience as a county prosecutor worked for Amy Klobuchar, but she had her father’s name. My sources inside the DFL say Gaertner wearing out her welcome already.

Former U. S. Senator Mark Dayton: Money is no obstacle for Dayton, but his eccentric behavior while a Senator will no doubt come back to haunt him.

Former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza: Like Dayton, money is no object, but his history of opposition research on member of his own party could hurt.

State Represenattive Paul Thissen of Minneapolis: A congenial fellow, but outside of Minneapolis it’s Paul Who?

State Senator and 1994 DFL gubernatorial nominee John Marty. Republicans to Democrats: “If you can’t give us Ole Saviour this time, please give us our second choice, John Marty.”

State Senator Tom Bakk (DFL – Cook): Probably the most original of the DFL bunch, but that’s not saying much. His Iron Range sensibilities make him a little different, which could be a negative when it comes to getting his party’s endorsement.

Democrats who have not filed a campaign committee but being mentioned as potential candidates:

Finally, Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher is considered a potential candidate, although she has not filed a campaign committee yet. Speaker Kelliher had been considered a potential front runner up until the end of the 2009 Legislative session. Most observers and experts viewed the 2009 session as a loser, strategically and politically, for Democrat Legislative leaders, including Kelliher. She may have a tough uphill climb if she gets in the race.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak have been mentioned as potential candidates, although they are both running for reelection to their current positions this year. Coleman, in particular has been traveling around the state, presumably to elevate his name recognition. Being known in the population center of the state is a plus for either of these potential candidates. However, once the frivilous spending  in their cities (that will cause people in Greater Minnesota scratch their heads)  is revealed, people will wonder why they whined about having to lay off firefighters and policemen when their Local Government Aid was cut.

Now, the Republicans, in no particular order. (Even if it appears that I have an early favorite, I am decidedly neutral at this point. These comments are simply my brief description and analysis.):

Sue Jeffers, 2006 GOP primary opponent to Gov. Pawlenty: Former owner of Stub & Herbs a downtown Minneapolis bar, Ms. Jeffers was an adamant opponent to the statewide smoking ban. Her libertarian views will appeal to some factions in the GOP, but it remains to be seen how much wider her appeal will be. Ms. Jeffers still has a campaign committee from her 2006 challenge to Gov. Pawlenty.

Brian Sullivan, Republican National Committee National Committeeman: You may remember that Sullivan was Pawlwnty’s main challenger for the GOP endorsement in 2002. The memorable state convention that year went until the wee hours in the morning as it took 13 ballots for Pawlenty to garner the 60 percent vote required for party endorsement. Sullivan was gracious in defeat, and many observers commented at the time that his demeanor will help him as a future candidate. Sullivan has been known as a staunch conservative, but more recently, some have tried to pigeonhole him as a party establishment insider. Sullivan, a successful businessman, could self-fund his campaign, but financial independence is a double-edged sword for GOP candidates.

House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, Marshall. Seifert is resigning his position as Minority Leader, and considering a run for Governor. Siefert has successfully held together the House Republicans in sustaining the Governor’s vetoes (well, except for that annoying little gas tax,  license tab fee and metro sales tax increase passed in 2008). Seifert is known for his quips and using illustrative word pictures to get his point across. May be the most fun candidate to watch and listen to.

Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem, Rochester: One of a diminishing number of Republican legislators from the Rochester area. Senjem is an affable fellow, but isn’t known for his leadership skills.

State Representative Tom Emmer: The conservative lion of the Minnesota House. Emmer is known for fiery speeches on the House Floor. He has the type-A dominant personality to be the CEO of the state. His challenge will be to put together a coalition of supporters beyond the GOP base to get there.

State Representative and former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer: Has statewide name recognition and experience running statewide campaigns. Does she want to return to statewide service, or has she found her niche as a legislator?

Former State Auditor Pat Anderson, like Kiffmeyer, has statewide name recognition and campaign experience. Anderson is a product of the “Eagan Mafia” that produced prominent GOP politicians like Pawlenty via the Eagan City Council.

State Labor Commissioner and Former Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum: Sviggum was a great promoter of fellow GOP House candidates when he was his caucus leader. However he has never junped into the arena of statewide campaigns himself. Will 2010 be different?

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: Bachmann certainly fires up the conservative base. However, her propensity to spout controversial things at inopportune times has caused the GOP to divert precious campaign dollars from targeted races to bail her out in a district that should be safe for Republicans.

State Representative Laura Brod: The feisty representative from New Prague has established herself as an expert on far-ranging issues from taxes to Health and Human Services. She handles herself well in House Floor debates. Lack of statewide name recognition could be a problem. However, she is a fresh face and could have the best chance of anyone to earn the support of all factions of her party.

Let’s not forget U. S. Senator Norm Coleman: Yes, Norm’s main job right now is to keep Al Franken to from getting seated in the U. S. Senate. Coleman has always considered himself an executive more so than a legislator. While Minnesotans may have Norm fatigue at the moment, the number of candidates potentially getting into the race could cause campaign fatigue in the coming 12-15 months. As the plethora of candidates line up, and as people find flaws with each one of them, Coleman’s stature as a U. S .Senator may leave hin the last one standing. After all, isn’t that how Sen. McCain got to be his party’s nominee for POTUS in 2008? Norm’s revival coud be a mere 12-15 months away. You read it here first.

Another name mentioned in the media is former Congressman Jim Ramstad. Ramstad’s stature and broad appeal would make him a favorite to defeat any Democrat on the ballot. Given his moderate views and voting record, his challenge would be to find his way to the general election ballot via the GOP nomination.

Others have been mentioned such as State Senators David Hann and Geoff Michel,and even former State Senator and former chief of staff to Pawlenty David Gaither.

One State Senator that at least one fellow legislator is encouraging to run is Sen. Julie Rosen. A potentially attractive candidate, but like most GOP state senators it will be difficult to cite accomplishments and  demonstrable leadership skills as reasons to elect her Governor.

That’s it for now. I’m sure I forgot some names. Others will appear unexpectedly. Many are called. Few are chosen. The speculation and analysis will continue. Stay tuned.