Team Bachmann: Ex-staffers didn’t write angry press release

MORNING EDITION

Today in Bachmannia:  Remember those New Hampshire staffers who didn’t resign? Well, now Team Bachmann is saying that the angry press release the staff members sent out accusing the national staff of being “rude” and “cruel” and other not-so nice things … wasn’t really written by them. Politico’s Maggie Haberman writes: “In the wake of a blistering press release from the five Michele Bachmann staffers who walked out of her New Hampshire campaign last week — comments that blamed her national operation — her campaign manager is pushing back with a statement saying that it wasn’t real. ‘The unauthorized news release was sent by a person who doesn’t even work for the campaign and has never had authority to speak on behalf of the campaign,’ said her campaign manager, Keith Nahigian. ‘We are not responding to comments made by a person who was not even a staff member in New Hampshire. Our focus is on Iowa.’ “

Oddly, CNN’s Kevin Liptak gets a kind of indirect confirmation of the release from his Team Bachmann source: “[National spokesperson Alice] Stewart characterized the incident as a minor hurdle in what will end up being a long campaign. ‘It is disheartening when members of the staff or volunteers or people who are working with the team decide to communicate with the media as opposed with the campaign,’ Stewart said. ‘We haven’t heard anything from these people. It is unfortunate they chose to make it in such a public way.’ ” But of course they didn’t, you understand. Right after they didn’t resign.

Maybe they’ve just had all they can take. The AP reports: “The number of employees retiring from Minnesota state government has hit an annual record, and some officials worry they won’t be able to replace the skills walking out the door. The executive director of the Minnesota State Retirement System, Dave Bergstrom, said Monday that 2,733 state employees have retired as of this month, up 675 from the record 2,058 who retired in 2010. He said it was a matter of a mature work force and an early retirement incentive offered in 2010. That incentive offered two years of health insurance for employees who retired by June 30, 2011.” The carrot is … health coverage.

The little-discussed facet of the long-term unemployment problem — the lack of skilled workers for the jobs that are open — gets re-illuminated in a new state DEED study. The ECM papers report: “Nearly half of Minnesota manufacturers responding to a survey say they haven’t filled positions because they lack qualified job candidates, according to a new study by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The 2011 Minnesota Skills Gap Survey found that 45 percent of responding manufacturers in the state considered the shortage of skilled workers to be a moderate or serious problem. The biggest shortages were found in skilled production (58 percent of those responding), followed by jobs for scientists and engineers (40 percent of respondents). Shortages were not as severe for jobs in low-skilled production, management and administration, and customer service.”  “Low skilled” and “management.” Heh.

And in that veinBaird Helgeson’s Strib story on Gov. Dayton’s “jobs summit” says: “Dayton has toured Minnesota for months, gathering ideas and hearing suggestions about what the state can do to help businesses grow. People he met along the way will be among 700 participants gathering in downtown St. Paul to share their ideas and begin crafting solutions. Senate Republicans have been touring the state themselves, asking Minnesotans how to improve the state’s business climate. On Monday, they unveiled a proposal to save Minnesota millions of dollars in property taxes and try to reduce government bureaucracy. The proposal, in part, resurrects a plan to phase out business property taxes over the next five years.”  I have a question: If the GOP were asked, ‘How would you cure cancer?” would they say, “With tax cuts for businesses”?

Stribber Lori Sturdevant gives a plug to Stillwater-based author Shawn Lawrence Otto’s new book, “Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.” She writes: “Author Otto points out that science is inherently anti-authoritarian. The new knowledge it generates shakes up the status quo and disrupts defenders of old ideas. It always has. Today’s rejection of climate change science by many Republican elected officials is in keeping with the behavior of authority figures through the centuries. But modern society is more science-dependent than earlier ones, Otto notes. Many modern problems cry out for a science-based solution — from budget-busting health care costs to overpopulation’s strain on water and food supplies. Democracies won’t be equipped to solve those problems if people spurn what science offers, Otto argues. Yet that is what the leaders of one major American political party seem to be inviting citizens to do.”

There might be some painfully unresolved issues here … At the conservative blog Fraters Libertas, “Chad” looks at the Occupy demonstrations and writes of those involved, “It probably should be a surprise to no one that the heavily-nurtured, overly-praised, self-esteem enriched Millennial Generation is having a difficult time coping with the realities of life in a down economy. Nothing in their upbringing has prepared them for the inevitable disappointments awaiting them on the streets today. They’ve been told since birth that if they did the “right” things — went to the right schools, cared about the right issues (the environment), volunteered for the right causes — they would be rewarded with praise, money, and self-fulfillment. No one told them that trying hard wasn’t enough or that simply graduating from college didn’t entitle you to a job. They thought (and were taught) that if they just ‘followed their dreams’ they too would find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You really can’t blame them for being bitter and angry that instead of a pot of gold they’ve barely got one to [bleep] in. Their rage is understandable yet it’s also misdirected. Instead of blaming the banks and Wall Street, they should be pointing their fingers at the ones who filled them with false expectations and lead them down the primrose path: their parents, their teachers, the educational establishment, and large swaths of popular culture.”

Paul Levy of the Strib turns in a compelling story about … horse abuse in Minnesota: “With only hay shavings and 4 inches of drinking water, and manure packed nearly 2 feet deep on the pen floor, the horses apparently had been starving and without care for some time, according to court documents. But this episode, in Swift County, was different from others involving an estimated 600 Minnesota horses that an investigator says have starved to death or been slaughtered over the past four years. … horses have fallen victim to changing economics and rural demographics. Hay and fuel prices are up, interest in 4-H activities is diminishing and the role of horses in plowing fields is virtually gone. While horse neglect usually runs in cycles dependent on economics, said University of Minnesota veterinarian Dr. Krishona Martinson, this is the first period she can recall in which 300 to 400 Minnesota horses have been found malnourished for several years in a row, with no respite on the horizon. ‘You can sell off beef, dairy or swine, but not horses,’ Martinson said, noting that the federal government stopped funding USDA inspectors for horse-slaughter facilities, essentially banning horsemeat from being processed in the United States since 2009.”

Not precisely related … Wisconsin owes the feds $1.18 billion for unemployment payments. Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes: “Wisconsin still owes the federal government a whopping $1.18 billion it borrowed to pay unemployment benefits to the jobless. Despite the fragile state of the economy, the state is working on ways to repay the federal government. It is doing so in a variety of ways:
•  Special assessments against businesses to pay the interest the federal government is charging states.
•   A one-week waiting period for people seeking unemployment benefits.
•   An increase in the taxable wage base the state uses to calculate what companies owe.
•   A requirement that residents filing new claims register first with the Wisconsin Job Service and actively search for work.
•  Proposed legislation that sharply increases the penalty for fraud.”

Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/25/2011 - 07:40 am.

    It’s a small world and the innertube-netwebby thing is just so damn fast…

    (quote from Boston Globe site)

    The team included New Hampshire campaign manager Jeff Chidester, director of operations Matt LeDuc, field director Caroline Gilger, field director Tom Lukacz, and campaign coordinator Nicole Yurek. The contact person for the statement was Karen Testerman, a former gubernatorial candidate and senior adviser to Bachmann’s team…

    (end quote)

    With her “Iowa only” strategy perhaps Bachmann is really running for governor of Iowa?

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/25/2011 - 07:56 am.

    …Instead of blaming the banks and Wall Street, they should be pointing their fingers at the ones who filled them with false expectations and lead them down the primrose path…

    If only their parents and teachers had told them, “no matter what you want to do, or what education you get, you will most likely end up working part-time in low-wage jobs with few benefits, never being able to buy a new vehicle or a house, always living on the edge of bankruptcy in a series of temporary arrangements…”

    What a great motivation tool to get them up to go to school, get good grades and do their homework.

    Yessir, that’s what made America great!

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/25/2011 - 08:38 am.

    I’m always amused at the Self-Absorbed like Chad who are so able to readily identify the flaws of the Millennials. Of course, I suppose it’s easier when Chad and his fellow Tea Partiers have had the benefit of looking in the mirror.

    Let me slightly re-work Chad’s soliloquy for him….”nothing in the Tea Partiers upbringing has prepared them for the inevitable disappointments awaiting them in retirement. They’ve been told since birth that if they did the “right” things — went to work, were loyal to their employer, supported and voted for those Reagan Democrat candidates that cared about the working man — they would be rewarded with wealth, health and a generous retirement. No one told them that working hard wasn’t enough or that simply reaching age 62 didn’t entitle you to a pension. They thought (and were taught) that if they just ‘followed their dreams’ they too would find a pot of gold at the end of the Social Security rainbow. You really can’t blame them for being bitter and angry that instead of a pot of gold they’ve barely got one to [bleep] in. So the only solution is to rob their children to pay for their selfishness…after all “they’ve earned it”.

  4. Submitted by Pat McGee on 10/25/2011 - 08:46 am.

    I really do wonder what color the sky is in Team Bachmann’s world. I bet it is whatever color they want it to be. Their comments so remind me of little kids. You know, the ones at the stage who think if they cover their eyes and can’t see you, that you can’t see them.

  5. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/25/2011 - 09:00 am.

    Ah, yes, Mickey, when an embarrassing situation arises, lie about it. Then have your staff lie about those lies. Then lie about the lies you told about the lies. In the end, how can anyone trust this candidate with a $5 bill, let alone trust her to be rational, honest, and functional as president of the United States.

    Regarding the “libertas” take on the Millennial Generation: all those “lies” they were told while growing up used to be the truths that made America great. That was right up until, beginning with Ronnie Raygun, the Republicans and fabulously wealthy top tiers of this society decided it made sense to destroy the country to pad their own already-overstuffed pockets.

    Now, of course, the only way to become extremely wealthy is to NOT play by the rules of honest, hard work and fair play, but rather, to play risky games with other people’s money while siphoning large parts of those other people’s hard-earned cash for your own purposes.

    We used to call falling victim to such scammers being “conned.” Now after thirty decades of rule changes regarding how people are forced to save for retirement, we call it “401k” and “403b” “investments.”

    Or, running the Wall Street retirement scam boiler rooms are not to your taste, you can make even more money playing fun games buying up or at least taking over management of successful companies as if you were playing “Monopoly,” destroying those companies, then leaving with a multi-million dollar severance package, or selling what’s left to some other schumck who will try to do even more of the same thing.

    Finally, after so many months of the miraculous work of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, how is it possible that there is ANY unemployment?

    I thought the man could walk on water, (politically speaking) or at least appear to be doing so while standing on the backs of his sycophantic cronies in the Wisconsin Legislature. Perhaps not.

    Perhaps the people of Wisconsin have now come to realize that Gov. Walker is nothing more nor less than the latest wannabe wealthy traveling medicine show huckster whose Randian economic snake oil promised to make them feel fantastic (well, at least it made the dysfonic Randians feel like “winners” for awhile).

    The painful hangover of reduced circumstances and severely damaged state infrastructures that they and their fellow citizens are increasingly waking up to are, only now, beginning to tell the tale.

    Walker wasn’t bringing them miracle cures. He was just getting them drunk on good tasting, intoxicating, and, ultimately, toxic promises of everything for nothing (if you’ll just hand me and my friends a LOT of money and power).

    In the popular “Wheel of Time” series of books, such people are identified as “darkfriends,” the most powerful of them as “the forsaken,” and suffice it to say that they are not the least bit interested in serving us regular common folk. They are only interested in jockeying for position and consolidating their own power in order to work more destruction on the general population.

  6. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/25/2011 - 09:32 am.

    I think Bachmann is suffering from the born again psychology. Once you are born again, Christ covers all your faults with his blood so it is as if you have no more faults, so you don’t have to admit to any, so any bad things that happen are the faults of others, who are in league with the devil, and if they try to blame you they lie because the devil is a liar, hence you are a martyr for Christ. So in the view of Bachmann and her so called Christian followers, she is taking the high road and forgiving us for our wicked, burn in hell, evil selves. Thanks, Michelle.

  7. Submitted by John N. Finn on 10/25/2011 - 10:02 am.

    “……responding manufacturers in the state considered the shortage of skilled workers to be a moderate or serious problem. The biggest shortages were found in skilled production (58 percent of those responding), followed by jobs for scientists and engineers……”

    Don’t they mean a shortage of (job applicants) under 50 years old and currently employed in their field?

  8. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/25/2011 - 10:08 am.

    Say, Bri & all?

    The last member of the scary smart, reality based community that tried to match wits with the Fraters crew was Nick Coleman, back before he was reduced to the lonely, tear squirtin’ wreck out there trying, and FAILing, at the social media he used to mock.

    Meanwhile, they’re still having (way too much) fun, and I’m guessing their web traffic is quadruple anything Coleman could imagine.

    They’re pretty quick on their feet.

    Just sayin’…..

  9. Submitted by Susan Lesch on 10/25/2011 - 10:53 am.

    Regarding: “‘Shortages were not as severe for jobs in low-skilled production, management and administration, and customer service.’ ‘Low skilled’ and ‘management.’ Heh.”

    Dear Mr. Lambert, thank you for reminding me why I come to MinnPost to read your column every day.

  10. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/25/2011 - 11:05 am.

    #8

    Ooohhhhh, scary…

    I guess everyone else should just shut-up and turn off their computers when these boys are in town.

  11. Submitted by chuck holtman on 10/25/2011 - 11:35 am.

    Chad’s comment only displays again the psychological projection that reliably colors the view from the Right. To Chad and his fraters, participation in civic life is just a Hobbesian “war of all against all” to grab what you can for yourself. Therefore the folks protesting must just be trying to get their hands in someone else’s pocket. However, to the left, civic life is a project to construct and maintain a social structure that affords the greatest potential for self-determination (a/k/a “freedom”) to all, in accordance with certain basic principles of equity and responsibility. This requires that one set aside one’s own circumstances in thinking about and advocating for social policy (also known as the Kantian “ideal legislator” or the Rawlsian “veil of ignorance”). OWS protestors may speak in terms of their own experience but they are protesting the pathology of the political/economic system and how it deforms and deprives all of us. Those like Chad, raised in such a drumbeat of cultural messages promoting selfishness, are unable even to conceive of approaching civic participation from this stance.

  12. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/25/2011 - 01:51 pm.

    “However, to the left, civic life is a project to construct and maintain a social structure that affords the greatest potential for self-determination (a/k/a “freedom”) to all, in accordance with certain basic principles of equity and responsibility.”

    Shorter chuck: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

  13. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/25/2011 - 03:52 pm.

    Shorter right wing: “We’ll never be satisfied until we’ve stolen it all from the rest of you (and then we STILL won’t be satisfied because we’re psychologically incapable of experiencing satisfaction).

    Taken to it’s logically dysfunctional ends, the “right” becomes the swarm of creatures who were traveling the universe stripping other planets of their resources in the movie “Independence Day.” After all, what are they going to have left to steal after they’ve stripped the earth down to nothing?

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