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Marriage amendment to be ‘epic fight’?

An “epic fight” is Forum papers reporter Don Davis’ description of the marriage amendment battle coming down the pike: “[I]t mostly has flown under the public’s radar for 14 months. ‘The average Minnesotan is vaguely aware something is going to be on the ballot,’ said Professor Kathleen Hull of the University of Minnesota. But that is changing as Nov. 6 nears. That’s when Minnesota voters will decide the issue. With thousands of volunteers and millions of dollars in hand, this constitutional amendment campaign promises to be an unusually robust one. … Emotions likely will ramp up as the election approaches, and Hull said the campaigns could get ugly.With expectations of heavy advertising on the way, Hull looked into her crystal ball: ‘I do predict people will be sick of this by Nov. 7 … no matter what our position on it.’ ”

Predictably, the lefty website Think Progress is supportive of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s re-naming the two GOP-led amendments on the fall ballot. Zack Ford writes: “In regards to the marriage amendment, the fact that there is now a legal battle over its title demonstrates what a petty venture it is. Its proponents believe that ‘recognition … solely’ is positive-sounding language that voters will find appealing, despite the fact that ‘limiting’ is a more precise [word] … If a few words can make or break whether or not people might support it, that should demonstrate how incredibly lacking in merit the measure is. The law seems to stand behind Ritchie’s decision, which will hopefully make it harder for Minnesota conservatives to dupe voters into enshrining discrimination in their state constitution.”

At the liberal think tank Minnesota2020, John Van Hecke likewise applauds Ritchie, saying: “The altered title represents a sea change. Progressives have ceded language decisions to conservatives for generations. Language matters and conservatives have successfully defined key public policy issues, including some of the most elemental components of the relationship between the government and the governed, as they prefer. Minnesota is worse for the wear. … Many conservative policy titles carry an Orwellian slant. They mean the opposite of what they state. This deception is deliberate, designed to confuse people as to the policy’s true intent. ‘The Defense of Marriage Act’ has little to do with defending marriage but is deeply concerned with preserving economic protections and advantages for a narrow group of people. Last year’s HR 2018, ‘The Water Pollution Regulatory Authority’ bill seems, by its title, simple enough but it would have gutted the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to establish clean water standards, effectively ceding them to the states. Our side has been far less successful on this front. Being right isn’t enough. Moving Minnesota forward requires focusing on what really matters — schools, healthcare and jobs — and then repeatedly making the case for policy change. Truth, to be more effective than deception, must be regularly expressed. It’s our language; let’s take it back. Secretary Ritchie just showed us how to do it.” It’s a consumer society — you gotta package and market this stuff.

GOP operative Tim Droogsma blogs on the “political correctness” on display in the coverage of the tragic death of 16 year-old Clarisse Grime: “[I]t seems that there was quite a bit to like about young Clarisse Grime, the 16-year-old junior-to-be at St. Paul Harding High School, whose life was snuffed out Thursday when a driver — and we’ll get to him in a moment — lost control of his car and ran her over as she sat with her boyfriend, waiting for a bus. … The one person left uninjured was Viveros-Colorado, who was quickly taken into custody, and there’s a story to his life as well. That story includes:

  •  Entering the United States illegally more than a decade ago;
  •  Being convicted of drunk driving in 2001
  •  Never obtaining a Minnesota drivers license
  •  Receiving a series of speeding tickets
  •  Being convicted and fined $100 this past April for driving without a license
  •  Using a false name and stolen Social Security number to maintain his employment

All of which begs the question, ‘What was he DOING here’? How do you spend more than a decade in this country without gaining citizenship, have multiple run-ins with the law, illegally obtain a job while 13 million American citizens are looking for work and NOT get thrown out of the country? Because when it comes to illegal immigration, your government has stopped bothering to protect you, bowing instead to political correctness and the alleged value of ‘diversity.’ ”

Simultaneously, Scott Johnson at Power Line resumes his barrage against the Strib, writing: “When 16-year-old Clarisse Grime was run over by an out-of-control Ford Expedition outside Harding High School in St. Paul this past Thursday, the Star Tribune originally portrayed the accident as an issue of traffic control … In short order, however, police arrested the driver of the out-of-control vehicle — one Carolos Viveros-Colorado — and charged him with criminal vehicular homicide. The Star Tribune headlined the follow-up story reporting the arrest with the news that the driver lacked a driver’s license. Reading a little more deeply into the story one discovers, however, that the lack of a driver’s license is the least of it. By his own account, Viveros-Colorado was suffering from a physical ailment that led to the accident. He shouldn’t have been driving, with or without a driver’s license. Moreover, it turns out that Viveros-Colorado entered the United States illegally more than a decade ago. He is one of those whom the Star Tribune refers to as ‘undocumented.’ ” I’ll keep an eye for either gentleman’s practical plan for “illegals.”

The GleanThe Minnesota Zephyr the dining train is being lifted off the tracks and moved. Says Kevin Giles in the Strib: “The fabled Minnesota Zephyr dinner train, the belle of Stillwater for more than 20 years, is leaving the station. Crews from Salvage Heavy Haul were working Tuesday morning to lift the eight multi-ton cars off their siding on the north end of Stillwater’s Main Street with huge cranes. Because no tracks remain through downtown Stillwater, large flatbed trailers will move the cars south to Andersen Windows in Bayport starting early Wednesday. Owner David Paradeau sold the 5.9-mile train corridor to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) last year for $4.25 million. That land will become the new Browns Creek State Trail, intersecting with the Gateway State Trail west of Stillwater in the city of Grant. The sale was completed this winter. Paradeau hasn’t yet sold the dinner train he assembled car by car and ran for 23 years, serving 1 million customers.”
The consensus seems to be that Amy Senser’s 41-month sentence was fair. At MPR, Madeleine Baran reports: “[Joe] Tamburino, the defense attorney, said Senser’s failure to immediately report the incident likely influenced the judge’s decision. ‘Say all of a sudden Ms. Senser, right after she hit the victim in this case, only drove two blocks and then called the police,’ he said. In that case, although Senser still would have left the scene, the judge might be more inclined to impose probation instead of prison, Tamburino said. University of Minnesota law professor Richard Frase said high-profile cases also offer an opportunity to send a message to the public. Senser’s case attracted extensive media attention, in part because she is the wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser. ‘You don’t get as much expressive and deterrent bang for the buck in most cases because nobody hears about them, or very few people hear about them,’ Frase, who specializes in criminal law and sentencing, said. “This is an occasion to say, ‘Okay, we take criminal vehicular homicide, including the leaving the scene version of it, seriously.’ However, the facts of the case, including Senser’s failure to immediately report the incident, made it unlikely Judge Mabley would have opted for a lesser sentence regardless of the amount of publicity the trial received, Frase said.”

At WCCO-TV, Jason DeRusha asks why felony offenders only serve two-thirds of their sentence behind bars? “Kelly Lyn Mitchell, Executive Director of Minnesota’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission, lays down the rules. ‘Every felony offender who goes to prison serves two-thirds of the time,’ said Mitchell. ‘Everybody gets the same deal.’ Since 1993, a Minnesota state law has dictated that everyone convicted of a felony that isn’t murder spends two-thirds in lockup: ‘You’re gonna always serve that two-thirds, there’s no getting out before that,’ said Mitchell. The other third is spent on supervised release. ‘It’s kind of like probation. You’re under supervision, we’re watching over you, checking periodically, it’s just a period of transition,’ she said. Mitchell said that Minnesota was the first state to adopt sentencing guidelines in 1980. Since then the federal government and many other states have followed suit.”

Elsewhere in SenserLand … KSTP-TV reports on stepdaughter Brittani’s appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “28-year-old Brittani is an aspiring singer. During the trial Amy’s attorneys pressed her on concerns she had about her career after the crash. Brittani says she has spent much of the last year hiding and working on music behind the scenes. ‘I’ve had plenty of opportunities to come out and capitalize as they said that I was doing. And in respect for the Phanthavongs, and in respect for my family, and the judicial system, I didn’t think that it was right to come out at all and absolutely am not capitalizing on it whatsoever,’ Brittani Senser said. Brittani has a new song called ‘Straight Jacket’ which has not officially been released. It was inspired by the strained relationship with her family.” Yeah, “Straight Jacket” sends a different message than “Soft Cuddly Blanket.”                                        

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Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/10/2012 - 02:42 pm.


    1. Maybe the scholars over at Power Line can explain to me how being an illegal caused this crash. Or was Amy Senser also an illegal?
    2. And you have to give Brittani Senser kudos for being the only Senser with any integrity. If I have to hear Mark Rosen tell me one more time about what an honorable guy Joe Senser is, I’m gonna vomit all over my shoes.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 07/10/2012 - 10:08 pm.

      No license?

      Maybe it is hard as a non-documented immigrant to take and pass a drivers test where you learn how to drive.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/10/2012 - 02:54 pm.

    Marriage amendment

    This issue is a done deal. The only “epic” ingredient will be the tantrums from the Sand is Food Posse that accompany it’s passage. Should be pretty good entertainment.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 07/10/2012 - 04:43 pm.

      The real entertainment

      Will be when the republican senators talk about the sanctity of marriage to the people after forcing the taxpayers to pay their legal fees arising out of their sex scandal under the dome of the Capitol.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/10/2012 - 05:38 pm.

        Sorry to spoil that fun Logan, but…

        Sen Koch at least had the decency not to run again.

        • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 07/11/2012 - 07:42 am.

          Only you

          Would use the word “decency” for that decision. That was an absolutely expected decision which she still equivocated on at times.

  3. Submitted by Ross Williams on 07/10/2012 - 03:08 pm.

    Treating People The Same is not Political Correctness

    “How do you spend more than a decade in this country without gaining citizenship, have multiple run-ins with the law, illegally obtain a job while 13 million American citizens are looking for work and NOT get thrown out of the country?”

    There are many people who spend their entire lives in this country without gaining citizenship. There are thousands of employers who hire millions of people illegally because they are willing to work hard for low pay. And most of us would be outraged if we were left standing in 100 degree heat by the side of the road while a law enforcement officer checked our citizenship status, as happened to the 97 year old former Governor of Arizona. Its not a coincidence that he was Arizona’s first Hispanic governor.

    In short, this is the price of freedom. If you don’t like it, move to a country where government agents can and do stop you to check your papers whenever they please.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 07/10/2012 - 10:11 pm.

      Death is the price of freedom?

      That’s harsh. Imagine if just one link in the law enforcement chain had taken the step to check a little into the violator.

  4. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 07/10/2012 - 04:50 pm.

    Marriage Amendment

    “solely between one man and one woman”

    Sounds to me that it outlaws polygamy.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/10/2012 - 05:39 pm.


      It’s a two-fer. What’s not to love?

    • Submitted by Clayton Haapala on 07/10/2012 - 09:45 pm.

      That language could also be construed to support outlawing serial monogamy. No where does it say that “one at a time is Okay”.

      Then the Bible bangers would rue the law of unintended consequences.

  5. Submitted by Bruce Bednarek on 07/10/2012 - 06:10 pm.

    Marriage Amendment

    To further add fuel to this ridiculous fire – one man – one woman. Does this mean that no divorce? Once married you have “taken your shot” at either one man or one woman. Once divorced, you are now done since you have burned your “one” of the equation.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 07/11/2012 - 07:45 am.


      Would have heart failure if their rights to serial divorces were destroyed by this sanctity of marriage amendment. Hypocrites.

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