GOP blaming big union money, false advertising for losses

Don Davis of the Forum papers continues to follow the GOP’s election post-mortem. He writes: “[Sen. David] Hann and House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, blamed their losses in a large part on big-dollar campaigns, with lots of union money, that they claim included lots of misleading and outright false advertising by the DFL and its supporters. Zellers frequently pointed to fliers sent to the Moorhead area against Republican candidate Travis Reimche. The fliers accused Reimche, who lost to Democrat Ben Lien, of voting to take $2.2 billion from Minnesota schools. That was wrong on two counts, Zellers said. First, since Reimche was not an elected official, he never had a chance to vote in the Legislature. Second, the Legislature voted to delay state payments to schools, not take the money away. And, Zellers added, Democrats have used the same method to fix budget problems. ‘The message used against us was a very misleading one,’ Hann said.”

Andrea Billups of The Washington Times says: “Republicans in Minnesota, as elsewhere, also may have to reconcile the strategic prowess of Democrats, whose organizational ground game made them formidable, with both Ms. Klobuchar and Al Franken in the Senate and Democrats holding five out of eight seats in the state’s congressional delegation for the next two years. In 2014, Mr. Franken and Mr. Dayton will be up for re-election as the Obama agenda, including its health care plan, moves ahead in a second term with a divided Congress. [Larry] Jacobs says the message for Minnesota Republicans is that “voters here do not want a one-party ideological solution. They want pragmatic solutions that fix problems. ‘If the Democrats come back with a ‘taxes-first,’ then social-liberal agenda, then they are likely to get tossed in 2014,’ he said.”

More election factoids from Frederick Melo and Mary Jo Webster at the PiPress:
• In Anoka, a city recently at the center of a dispute over gay rights in Anoka-Hennepin schools, five of eight precincts voted down the marriage amendment. The votes were enough to eke out a citywide ‘no’ vote on the question. …
• In Dakota County, former state Rep. Mike Obermueller, a Democrat, failed to unseat U.S. Rep. John Kline, a Republican, from his congressional seat. Obermueller did win 13 of the 20 precincts in his hometown of Eagan, known as a battleground city for the two major parties.”

It’s not quite “The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser,” but it is an odd story. Dave Chanen of the Strib writes: “Tammy Anquinette Thomas has been a model inmate at Anoka County jail the last four months. When she becomes Jane Doe at her court proceedings, it’s another story. … She’s had no visitors, made no telephone calls and written no letters. She won’t respond in court unless addressed as Jane Doe, and refuses to cooperate when county experts try to determine whether she is mentally fit to stand trial. … As far as police can tell, Thomas had little criminal history until her arrest in Fridley this summer. Even her crime is a bit of a puzzle: She broke into an empty house, changed the locks and put up drapes.”

A Strib editorial looks at bonding authority in light of DFL control of both houses and the governor’s office. “But their majorities are not large enough to overcome one big point of partisan contention in recent years. It still takes a 60 percent vote in both the House and Senate to pass a bonding bill. DFLers are only one vote short of that threshhold in the Senate but are a more challenging eight votes short in the House. … The projects that are high on our list of unfinished bonding business include the Southwest Corridor light-rail project; civic center upgrades in Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud; improvements to the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, and a major renovation of the State Capitol itself. All of those projects stand to benefit much more than their immediate locales. All of them have waited long enough.”

The Duluth area will receive $500,000 in disaster grants from the Margaret Cargill Foundation. In the Strib, Richard Meryhew reports: “The grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation is the largest outside donation to the flood-stricken region, which sustained widespread damage to roads, homes, businesses and parks in a record downpour and flood June 19-21. Of the more than 1,700 homes that were significantly damaged, only 5 to 10 percent had insurance to cover the losses.”

At the PiPress, Christopher Magan reports on a new master plan for the Minnesota Zoo: “The plan doesn’t include such details as project price tags or timelines, but it’s ambitious. Amusement attractions are planned; animals from new continents are on the horizon; and the zoo’s worldwide conservation efforts will be highlighted like never before.The work will start at an envisioned ‘crossroads.’ The existing Replay Park will be transformed into Crossroads Park, with a carousel featuring endangered animals, a gift shop and play area. Nearby will be a new Adventure Park that will feature zip lines, a ropes course and a ‘Chutes & Ladders’ play area for children. These attractions are the types of amenities visitors have requested.”

MPR’s behind-the-scenes report on the fight against the marriage amendment is getting good play around the country. It’s worth a listen. Sasha Aslainian and Eric Ringham report, “[K]ey participants focused on these factors:
• Allies: From its beginning, Minnesotans United for All Families sought to build a diverse, nonpartisan coalition. It avoided confrontation and steered clear of blunt words like ‘bigotry’ and ‘discrimination.’
• Faith: Although the side pushing the marriage amendment enjoyed substantial support from Catholic and evangelical churches, opponents of the amendment actively recruited help from other faith communities. Several organizers put it this way: ‘We refused to cede the religious ground.’
• Money: Minnesotans United raised more than $12 million for the drive to defeat the amendment. The campaign dwarfed its opposition, both in the dollars raised and in the number of donors named.
• Time: Opponents of the marriage amendment had a full year and a half to organize and mobilize their supporters. In fact, they had longer than that, because the effort to ban same-sex marriage had made no secret of its existence ahead of time.”

What’s new? The Boss put on another tent revival of a show last night at the X. The age-peer crowd — jabbing fists and singing, “Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run” — never gets old. For the Strib, Jon Bream writes: “You can have Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. And Adrian Peterson and LeBron James. I’ll cast my vote for world’s greatest athlete for Bruce Springsteen. … Peterson may be known as ‘All Day’ but Springsteen is ‘Prove It All Nigh,’ which is what he did Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center — over the course of 25 songs and three hours. Not only was he an extraordinary athlete, but Springsteen was also a singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, showman, ham, preacher, politician (he shook more hands per minute than any candidate running for office), comedian (he joked about having two streets in St. Paul named for him but the names expired after his Sunday show even though he’s playing again Monday), choir director, daredevil (he body-surfed from mid-arena to the stage) and, most certainly, quarterback.” There are reasons why he’s a legend.

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 11/12/2012 - 07:59 am.

    Springsteen…then Morello….

    I applaud Bruce Springsteen but hope Tom Morello, Night Watchman – two who have shared stage a couple times – would make it here in concert soon or sooner.

    Harvard grad, Chicago kid Tom Morello has a fine song that would make God Bless America look almost arthritic…”The Road I Must Travel”…

    …at least I hope Obama sings it in the shower at times to give himself inspiration; to energize him with a embedded sense of revolutionary power and grace… yes indeed.

  2. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 11/12/2012 - 08:29 am.

    I was certain “voter fraud” and “liberal media” would top the list of GOP excuses. Although unions and deceptive political advertising probably makes it a wash.

    Where did the party of personal responsibility go?

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/12/2012 - 08:46 am.

    Fear of liberalism

    This knee jerk fear of liberalism liberals and neutral observers is something to watch. All of these so-called analysis like Jacobs are little more than thinly veiled proscriptions for the status quo at a time when one thing that is abundantly clear is that people are fed up with the status quo. If the Democrats move the state forward, balance the budget, and restore education funding, they’ll win whether they do it with the Republicans or not. If the Republicans continue to promote gridlock, mediocrity, and regression, they’ll continue to lose, no matter what the Democrats do.

    • Submitted by Richard Schulze on 11/12/2012 - 09:15 am.

      The Republicans adopted the Tea Party when they were down in 2009 and the Tea Party looked like a way to win. Now that the Tea Party looks like a way to lose, I don’t think they’ll be tolerated for long. Republicans are nothing if not ruthless.

      • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/12/2012 - 12:03 pm.

        What to do with the tea party?

        In the beginning the Republican leadership couldn’t figure out if they should cozy up to the tea party or not. They now have their unequivocal answered, a resounding NO. The tea party has taken the Republican Party right to its knees with the likes of Bachmann, West, Wilson, and add your own list. The tea party is nothing more than the extreme radical fringe of the Republican Party. The Fox News story line has been decimated. The Republican base is out wandering in the vast political wastelands not knowing which way to go or even who they are. The Republican Party doesn’t have any leadership (hasn’t had for several years). Lets see if the Republican moderates grow a spine and return to help our country work it way out of the mess the Republican’s left it in.

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/12/2012 - 09:59 am.

    Arrested Adolescence

    When any of us, conservative, liberal or moderate, have, for whatever reasons, had their emotional/psychological development arrested at a certain stage of adolescence,…

    it leaves us with a certain petulant, hypersensitive-to-criticism, view that we and we alone (and those who agree with us) have full knowledge of the absolute truth of all things.

    This is an inherently insecure position because, no matter what we do, life continuously batters us with things that not only don’t match what we hold to be absolutely true, but things which do not fit any of the categories and concepts into which our absolute truth is carefully divided and cataloged.

    It takes tremendous courage to step away from whatever absolute truth was rigidly taught us by those who loved us: our families, friends, communities and communities of faith in order to take a clear-eyed, open-hearted look at the value and accuracy of what they taught.

    If we do so, we’ll likely find much of value, much that even after careful consideration we’ll continue to value highly,…

    but we’ll also find some things, perhaps even some very important things that don’t stand up to such examination.

    Sadly, our Republican friends seem to be too fragile and insecure to undertake such a clear-eyed examination of what they believe. Consequently, what we see in this post election period is the equivalent of the adolescent who, after explaining their perspective on why they should be allowed to do something that they clearly are not yet ready or responsible enough to do,…

    receives a negative response from their parent(s), and responds in turn by protesting, “you never listen to me!” or

    the typical response of such an adolescent after something gets damaged or broken or they get into trouble at school, “It wasn’t my fault!”

    Kids get locked into this perpetual “true-believer” approach to information (automatically filtering out and not allowing to enter their awareness anything with which they disagree) including the internal perspective that if everyone else would just listen to them, they couldn’t HELP but agree,…

    as the result of parents and other authority figures in their lives who, rather than demonstrating patience and love in the face of adolescent drama, while maintaining the necessary firm boundaries (loving attitudes even in the face of the repeated, sometimes seemingly endless need to set limits),…

    figuratively (or literally) beat those struggling hormone-crazed adolescents into submission and silence (implying if not stating outright that love will be withheld if not completely withdrawn, and punishment applied if the adolescent even dares to question the boundaries set and information provided by those who are raising them).

  5. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/12/2012 - 11:03 am.

    You gotta love the GOP

    The Republicans have forever had the inability to look inward for their problems. Things like the message and the messenger. It is always somebody else who is the cause of their problems. I recommend they stay on their current path and see how long it takes before the voters replace them with people who are willing to work for the good of all Minnesotan’s. You can’t legislate just for the special few, based on false pretenses, and expect to win. I’m stunned at how out of touch the Republicans are. Out of touch to the point they thought they were going to win in a rout and instead got routed by the opposition. Let’s base the Republican loss on the silent majority. No matter what ethnic group, religion, gender, or pigeon hole you have stuck the voters in you don’t want to mess with the voters because they will send you packing. You can only tick off so many people before it becomes impossible for you to win. Now grow up and become adults and work the good of all Minnesotan’s. Thank you voters you made the right choices.

  6. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 11/12/2012 - 11:04 am.

    Blech Larry Jacobs

    I think the DFL are likely to get tossed in 2014 regardless of what they do the next two years. That is how elections work; they’re like pendulums.

    That is why it’s imperative for the DFL to pursue an aggressive, ambitious agenda NOW.

  7. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 11/12/2012 - 12:50 pm.

    Boy. Minnesotans have just elected Democrats as majorities in the legislature, to go along with the Democratic governor. Can we please not start saying that Democrats, who care about people, not try to enact laws that help people–i.e., why must we say that they not be Democrats?

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