Poll shows anti-D.C. fervor boosting Tom Emmer

An MPR-Humphrey Institute poll confirms what many have thought. Namely, that the drum beat of big-government hysteria, largely credited to the Tea Party, has taken root … with benefits accruing to Tom Emmer. A non-bylined story says: “Among majorities who disapprove of President Obama’s performance and health care reform, 56 percent are backing Emmer. Sixty percent of likely voters who believe that the stimulus worsened the economy are also backing Emmer.” Also: “Twenty-five percent of likely voters support the tea party. An overwhelming majority of this group, 70 percent, favors Emmer. But the tea party has also ignited a backlash that can hurt Emmer. Among the 22 percent who oppose the movement, two-thirds support DFL candidate Mark Dayton. Although the tea party’s aversion to big government is shared by voters in this survey, large majorities of Minnesotans still favor existing programs like Social Security and Medicare that provide substantial, concrete benefits.” … So, as the man said, keep your gummint hands off my Medicare!

Related: CNN’s “Political Ticker” has taken 3rd District Congressman Erik Paulsen off its list of the 100 most competitive House races … because, it reports, he is in no danger of being beaten by DFLer Jim Meffert. “Four freshman and sophomore Republicans, Reps. Brian Bilbray of California, Pete Roskam of Illinois, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, and Leonard Lance of New Jersey, have been dropped from the list. Although they all represent districts President Obama carried in 2008, their opponents have yet to make significant in-roads.”

Well, it was dang near an 11th-hour deal. The U of M and the Met Council announced Wednesday that they had kissed and made up over their noise, dust and vibration issues … days before the deadline for scoring the federal money for the project. Details are a bit sketchy. Jenna Ross files a short piece for the Strib, saying, “According to the Met Council:

• Under the agreement, the U will grant easements required for the project and drop its lawsuit.
• The deal establishes a “framework” for construction, including limits on noise, dust and vibration.
• The pact also outlines testing and monitoring of the effects of the light-rail on equipment.”

Colleague Lori Sturdevant notes the lateness of the hour and says: “I’ll be watching to see how the Met Council and the university settled their most persistent point of contention. It’s the one alluded to with just one phrase in the Met Council’s Wednesday release, which reported that the arrangement “provides for remedies if the standards are not met.” Deciding what would happen, and who would pay, if mitigation measures along the line prove insufficient to protect highly sensitive research proved to be extraordinarily difficult.”

MPR, which has, somewhat infamously, filed its own suit against the Central Corridor project, objecting to the effects of rumbling and vibrations on its underwriting and sponsorship data banks (… kidding!) has Laura Yuen filing a story saying: “Still outstanding are two lawsuits, one filed by Minnesota Public Radio also over vibration concerns and another by neighbors in St. Paul charging discrimination in the Central Corridor planning process. Heavy construction on the $957 million Central Corridor project begins in St. Paul after Labor Day and in Minneapolis later this fall.”

“Illegal immigrants” is all you need to spike up traffic on a story … if you’re Breitbart or NewsMax. But Dave Peters’ story for MPR, reporting on a Pew study estimating 95,000 “illegals” in Minnesota has a twist. Says Peters: “Today, the Pew Hispanic Center put the number for 2009 at 95,000. Actually that’s an estimate within the range of 80,000 to 120,000 and is down from an estimated 110,000 a year earlier. The numbers are deep in a national report that says illegal immigration has dropped for the nation as a whole and that the number of what it calls unauthorized immigrants now stands at 11.1 million for the country. The report’s authors caution that state-level numbers are not precise. Minnesota is well down the ranking of states, home to fewer unauthorized immigrants than other populous northern tier states like Wisconsin and Washington.” That, of course, is no reason to stop heavy fortifications at the border heading toward Winnipeg.

Lady Gaga, who by all reviews put on two pretty good shows at the Xcel, hit the commendably seedy Turf Club up on University in St. Paul after her Tuesday night show. l’etoile magazine’s social site LOL/OMG “reports” on Gaga’s appearance and posts a photobooth shot of the diva with fans: “Sources report that Gaga (who by numerous accounts, was ‘drunk’ — though we take that to possibly just mean ‘Gaga’) was soon dancing around in a bra-top and hot pants, and pausing to take pics with peeps in the Turf’s photo booth. Nice!” Kinda cool.

It’d be nice if someone could report that sales of the St.Paul-made Ranger truck were soaring off the charts. But, with sales figures for every manufacturer but Chrysler slumping badly year-to-date, Gita Sitamariah says:Ranger sales totaled 4,161 in August, down from 7,746 a year earlier. The decline came as Ford truck sales overall rose 5 percent during the month, to 64,265. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle sales in August totaled 157,503, an 11 percent drop from 2009.” Is now the time to tell you about my buddy whose ’93 Ranger lasted 173,000 miles … without an oil change?

I guess we can officially transition from the mayor of Mankato’s DUI to … the CEO of North Memorial hospital’s prostitution bust. Stribbers Mary Lynn Smith and Chen May Yee tell the story: “David Cress, 60, was released from Hennepin County jail Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 15 on the misdemeanor charge. Cress was one of about a dozen men who were arrested at a Richfield hotel during a day-long vice operation, said Richfield police Lt. Jay Henthorne, the department’s spokesman. Additional details weren’t available because the case is under investigation, he said.”

You can relax … the Gophers will retain their opportunity to kick Badger butt every year under the new, two-division Big Ten football set-up. The story in Bleacher Report says: “The East will consist of: Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana. The West will be: Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan State, and Minnesota. The guaranteed cross-divisional rivalries start with Michigan and OSU. On top of that, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Illinois and Northwestern preserve their annual rivalries.” You noticed how I said “opportunity,” right?

A commentary in the Strib, by Ben Riechers of Coon Rapids, sings the praises of speed in government processes — like permitting, which is a trendy topic on the campaign trail these days. Riechers takes the familiar attitude that private business leaders are shrewd, decisive, bold and visionary and that government types (because of genetic damage, perhaps) are dull, dithering and incapable of decision-making: “Politicians seem to think that the profit motive will overcome any bureaucratic hurdle, and the concept that time is money is not even on their radar screens. Businesspeople expect smart, clear and well-thought-out regulation, but politicians and their bureaucracies have created a maze of regulators and regulation with often-conflicting priorities — an unknowable and needless constraint on economic growth. Every CEO talks about speed, innovation and productivity — how quickly the company can bring a new idea to market, and for what cost. Being first to a market is incredibly important. Speed is often the difference between success and failure.” And sometimes the difference is quality of the product and service and adequate investment in such.

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Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by B Maginnis on 09/02/2010 - 10:38 am.

    Social Security and Medicare are for American citizens who have WORKED to earn the benefits.

    The blatant socialistic restribution of wealth, dis-incentification of business (jobs) growth, and take-over of private (healthcare) industry are not the appropriate role of our government, and fortunately the jig is obviously up on the “current administration”.

    That is essentially why you’re gonna be singing the blues come November, while the rest of us get our “hope” back.

    (I am sure even you have noticed the growing number of Emmer signs in, gasp, Edina?)

  2. Submitted by Brian Simon on 09/02/2010 - 11:05 am.

    “Poll shows anti-D.C. fervor boosting Tom Emmer”

    Which goes to show you just cannot underestimate the average voter. Emmer’s campaign ad talks about needing to change direction; which at a state level I entirely agree with. But that argument shouldn’t work in Emmer’s favor for anyone paying attention: our state budget problems have been exacerbated by the budget gimmick tax-averse policies of Palwenty, which Emmer would not merely continue but increase. That is a bad idea.

    But, those pesky voters seem to buy into the argument that the economy is the Dem’s fault (Obama’s specifically), and that electing an unqualified idealogue as governor would somehow fix that problem. The mind boggles.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/02/2010 - 11:27 am.

    Mr. (Ms.?) Maginnis has been paying too much attention to Congresswoman Bachmann, and wouldn’t recognize socialism if it hit him between the eyes.

    The past generation has, indeed, seen a massive redistribution of wealth – from the lower and middle classes to the top 5 percent in the country. The CBO and GAO, not to mention several general-circulation magazines, have documented this phenomenon in detail. It could be seen as socialism, I suppose, but it’s been socialism for the rich, capitalism for the rest of us.

    Along that same line, outside of right wing “think” tanks, there’s no evidence business growth has been “dis-incentified” by government. Banks have been having problems, but those problems are largely self-induced. Auto companies, aside from Ford, have had much the same story – their problems are self-induced. Foreign auto companies seem better prepared to survive an economic downturn. Meanwhile, Apple Computer seems to be doing reasonably well. Medtronics appears to be reasonably prosperous locally. And so on. We’ve seen plenty of examples in finance, the Gulf of Mexico, and recently in eggs what “getting government out of the way” does for us.

    When I was a child, and even in college, health care in the U.S. was a public service. Health care insurance was offered to the public by nonprofit entities, most people could afford it, and hospitals were similarly nonprofit. The “take-over” of health care has been by the private sector, which has turned it into yet another field of endeavor driven by corporate thinking and executive greed. Nothing the CEO of United Health will do in his lifetime will justify his 2009 compensation of more than $100 million, though that figure alone may have had at least a small effect in raising the cost of health care for United Health “patrons.”

    Mr. Maginnis may well be correct that those of us to his left will be singing the blues in November, and right-wingers may get their “hope” back, but if that happens, my hunch – which is just as viable as that of Mr. Maginnis – is that the hope will be short-lived, and if Mr. Emmer is elected, it won’t just be DFL stalwarts that are singing the blues after a while.

    Having just barely survived 8 years of a right-ish ideologue in the Governor’s chair, Emmer promises us “a new direction.” Since we know he’s not going to move us “forward” from a ”conservative” administration, which might be costrued as “liberal,” I’d guess the new direction will be back.

    Way, way back.

    The wealthy may like it – hence the Emmer signs in Edina – but for the rest of us, it will merely be one more burden to bear, along with Mr. Maginnis’ Social Security benefits. That’s because those benefits will consume all of Mr. Maginnis’ contributions within 3 years. After that, his benefits are – gasp, socialism!! – being paid from the pockets of other workers who are still on the job.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/02/2010 - 12:17 pm.

    I don’t know how much credence I’d place in that poll. I can’t believe that only 70% of Tea Party supporters also support Tom Emmer. I mean, as opposed to who? Dayton? Horner? I don’t think so.

  5. Submitted by Stephen Dent on 09/02/2010 - 12:26 pm.

    Mr. Schoch…thank you for your posting. I could not have said it better.

  6. Submitted by Lora Jones on 09/02/2010 - 12:36 pm.

    Ditto. I Heart Ray Schoch!

  7. Submitted by B Maginnis on 09/02/2010 - 01:47 pm.

    Komrad Ray, let me boil it down for you:

    The economy is the worst since ’32 and going nowhere.

    Barry has /is doing nothing but try to jam his radical socialist agenda down our throats.

    It’s wrong, you’re wrong, and we’ll see you at the polls.

    I’ll be the one with the American flag pin on.

    PS: With a name like Shoch, you may want to look into what Germany is doing these days, economically speaking,.

  8. Submitted by Brian Simon on 09/02/2010 - 02:11 pm.

    “The economy is the worst since ’32 and going nowhere.”

    The question remains, then, what to do about it. Though, first, lets be thankful that the economy is only stagnant, and not worsening. Where were we? Oh, yes, the economy stinks. But the problem is less in the corporate sphere (profits are up!) than in the jobs arena. Which somewhat begs the question: what is the president, or government generally, supposed to be doing that they’re not? Conservatives tend to argue that tax cuts will stimulate the economy – but is that true? Looking again at corporate america, we see not only that profits are up, but cash reserves are enormously high – in fact there has been an increase in buyout activity, apparently out of companies’ desires to 1) grow through acquisition; 2) take advantage of cheap credit; and 3) use up some of that excess cash they’ve been accruing. What they haven’t been doing is hiring. If they’re sitting on cash, the possible explanation is that there’s not enough demand for their products and services to require additional employees, so they’re not hiring. That’s a pretty simple decision, come to think of it. So, knowing all that, I have to ask again: why would anyone think tax cuts would stimulate hiring if corporate america is already sitting on significant cash reserves – and isn’t hiring?

    Perhaps the solution lies elsewhere.

  9. Submitted by Lora Jones on 09/02/2010 - 02:46 pm.

    And, besides, we’ve had historically low income tax rates for the last 30 years (insanely low the last 8) and it has neither stimulated job growth (unless you’re talking about the “ya want friest with that” variety), kept jobs from being sent overseas or increased worker wages (and thereby demand).

    What the cash reserves prove (as if there needed any more proof than we’ve already been given) is that companies do not “create” jobs because they have the money, or because their CEOs pay lower taxes on their millions, or lower taxes on their capital gains. All that cant is just the kool-aid talking. Companies create jobs, and grow, and succeed because their is a demand for their product and/or service — and at the end of the day, Henry Ford had at least this much right — you need to pay people enough to be able to afford that product. All lower tax rates on the upper brackets and non-working classes scooping up capital gains does is disincentivize (horrible word but spelled right this time BD) companies from paying their workers more. Why do that, when you as CEO can scoop up more lucre for yourself?

  10. Submitted by B Maginnis on 09/02/2010 - 08:15 pm.

    And what the radical socialist policies implemented by community organizer Barry and crew prove is that the government’s job (as the founders clearly assayed) is not to “create” jobs, nor to hinder liberty, justice, and the free markets.

    The banks and the smart companies are sitting on the cash because they do not trust the abilities or motivations of the “current administration”. Nor should they.

    Go ahead and get those spelling jabs in, Lora, because you (and your, let me guess, government-based job)will be faced with a return to the productive capitalist values and principles that made this country the greatest in the world in November.

  11. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 09/02/2010 - 08:37 pm.

    Yes, as one who avoids both Fox News (don’t have cable, so I don’t watch MSNBC either) and AM radio (I don’t like to listen to talk of any variety on the radio, so no KTLK and no KNOW-FM either), I actually get my information from reading, and my reading tells me that

    1) Taxes on the upper income levels are the lowest since the 1920s. They’ve been going down-down-down for nearly 30 years. Where are all the jobs that low taxes were supposed to create? Could it be that wealthy right-wingers are pulling the wool over the eyes of people who don’t understand that hiring people actually LOWERS a company’s taxes?

    2) The top 10% of Americans are doing fantastically well. The rest of us have been running in place since 1979. Yes, we may have splashier and cheaper electronics, but costs for housing, education, cars, and health care, to name a few, have gone up much faster than employee earnings.

    3) Anybody who claims to be worried about the deficit but was for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan is a hypocrite. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars per day since 2002 is what is bankrupting this country’s general fund and adding to our deficit (i.e. borrowing from China).

    And yet conservative pols (Democratic and Republican conservatives) ALWAYS declare that they want to “strengthen defense.” News flash: The U.S. already spends more on the military (I refuse to call it “defense”) than the next ten countries combined. That’s more than Russia, China, and all the other major countries COMBINED.

    Anybody who calls for deficit reduction and “a strong defense” with the same mouth is betraying his real agenda: a hatred of social programs.

    By the way, last time I looked, everything in the general fund that wasn’t the military or interest on the national debt–most of which comes from our overgrown military–amounted to 15% of the budget.

    (Social Security is not funded by income taxes and is not in deficit, so putting it in the federal budget is an accounting trick to make it look as if SS is responsible for the deficit.)

    Anyway, these are FACTS, and if they differ from what Fox News, AM radio, and megachurch preachers are telling you, you have to ask yourself, why are you listening to people who are either stupid or lying?

  12. Submitted by David Willard on 09/02/2010 - 11:21 pm.

    MinnPost Fire up the “Angry White Man” meme when the Republicans take over the House and maybe the Senate. It’ll be so comfortable for you to say that. Instead of the fact that Obama is a bad president.

  13. Submitted by Brian Simon on 09/03/2010 - 08:36 am.

    david willard writes
    “the fact that Obama is a bad president”

    and BD Maginnis writes
    “what the radical socialist policies implemented by community organizer Barry and crew prove is that the government’s job … is not to “create” jobs, nor to hinder liberty, justice, and the free markets.”

    BD & david, I’m curious by what metrics you’re alleging that President Obama is ‘bad’ or a radical socialist. The health care reform act is very similar to a proposal put forth by the GOP in the 90s, under the leadership of Newt Gingrich, who is hardly thought of as a radical socialist. The TARP program was actually signed by President Bush, not President Obama, so you can’t really claim that the Obama admin deserves the blame for that one.

    So, David, what specifically do you think President Obama didn’t do, but should have; or did do but should not have – resulting in his being a ‘bad’ president? And BD, what Obama programs are radical socialism?


  14. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 09/03/2010 - 01:46 pm.

    #1 BD Maginnis

    Social Security and Medicare taxes are deducted from the paychecks of undocumented workers who are hired by American companies, either knowingly or because someone has sold them phony Social Security cards.

    Unlike the rest of us, however, none of these folks will get either benefit in return for their contributions because they are not (or are not yet)American citizens.

    Most of the people we call “illegals” come here because of American trade policy. When Mexico agreed to sign on to CAFTA, it also agreed to open its markets to US agricultural products. Our agribusiness giants soon flooded the Mexican market with underpriced beans, corn and rice — staples of the Mexican diet. When this tactic had driven about 15 million Mexican farmers out of business, our corporate “friends” raised their prices so high that citizens of Mexico City rioted in the streets.

    It is from this group of 15 million ruined farmers that Mexican migrants seeking work — any work to help keep their families from starving — enter the US. They are worthy of our respect and help for risking their lives on such a dangerous trip for the mere possibility of work.

  15. Submitted by Kathleen M. Lake, MA on 09/03/2010 - 02:26 pm.

    OH Minnesota, place of my birth, the place that nurtured my family and made us proud Americans. Minnesota that created a bronze star Army Captain buried at Arlington, that gave a new home to an RAF decoder and naturalized citizen, my mother, that bred a Marine, lots of cops, a National Guard platoon leader and a working class army of patriots… Minnesota… how could you even consider a bigot like Tom Emmer for governor? Welcome to “GlenBeckistan” where everyone different from you is a threat. Where anyone of a differing race, religion, sexual orientation, political leaning or state of mind is dangerous to you. Welcome, my precious Minnesota, to GlenBeckistan.

    I love my home state. I love Minnesotans. There are better Republican or even Tea Partiers than Tom Emmer. This man donates to a hate group that advocates the murder of American Citizens. We are much better than this. Don’t let your anger at DC make us into a state ripe for a new American Nazi party. We are better than hate… we are better than Tom Emmer.

  16. Submitted by Kathleen M. Lake, MA on 09/03/2010 - 03:16 pm.

    OK so… since the monitors blocked my last comment… I will try it another way. Some folks will never accept the fact the we now have a biracial president.

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