Is the tweeting GOP having more fun? Maybe, but the DFL and the numbers dispute the results

Minnesota Republican Chair Tony Sutton and a gleeful Michael Brodkorb, deputy chair, go after Mark Dayton at an opening-day State Fair event.
MinnPost photo by Jay Weiner
Minnesota Republican Chair Tony Sutton and a gleeful Michael Brodkorb, deputy chair, go after Mark Dayton at an opening-day State Fair event.

Why are these men smiling?

And why does Tony Sutton, the chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, always seem to have a quip on his lips and a twinkle in his eyes? Why does Michael Brodkorb, the deputy chair, always seem to be stifling back a smile behind his otherwise steely and win-at-all-costs countenance?

And why, in this digitally-driven political age of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iPhones and BlackBerries, does the GOP seem to have more fun than their political counterparts on the campaign trail?

And has the iconic Republican elephant become a party animal? Is the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party donkey fundamentally more cautious, and, ultimately, less in touch with voters with short attention spans?

Or, in this world of perception becoming reality, does it just seem that way?

Let’s explore.

Right-wing Yippies?
Aided by Mark Drake, the state Republican party’s sly opposition research guru, it sometimes seems as if Sutton, a longtime Republican operative and business owner, and Brodkorb, the one-time muckraking blogger, are the 21st century, right-wing versions of the New Left’s Yippies.

The Yippies — short for Youth International Party — were 1960s theatrical anarchists, such as Jerry Rubin and Abby Hoffman, who used drama and antics to gain attention for their left-wing causes. They were extreme, and they were counter-cultural.

Sutton finds himself battling Minnesota’s presumed political culture. “In this state you gotta be a little subversive if you’re a conservative,” he said. “You gotta hustle. We’re in a state that — I think wrongly — is considered a liberal state. So, just about every day we sit around and say, ‘How do we drive the message?’ “

These days, the GOP message is often pushed digitally. Before this year’s campaign, Brodkorb believed the GOP had fallen behind the Democrats nationally and locally on the social media front, particularly during the 2008 presidential campaign. Indeed, he ran for his Minnesota deputy chairmanship post on a platform of cranking up the use of such channels as Twitter.

In the Minnesota GOP’s case, so far the message has been dissing DFL candidate Mark Dayton, pushing the limits on him being “erratic.” The Minnesota GOP often deftly — even nastily — uses technology in that messaging process.

“We’re talking about his record,” protested communications director Drake. Sure.

GOP scenes
Scene 1: Hours after Dayton won the DFL primary election, there stood Sutton at GOP headquarters in downtown St. Paul with that twinkle in his eye. Next to him stood Brodkorb, the blogger and social media expert-turned-GOP leader.

It wasn’t just the unveiling of an attack commercial claiming that Dayton’s behavior has been “bizarre” that they seemed to be enjoying, but it was Sutton’s zinging rhetoric, talking about Dayton’s “trust fund” and how Dayton’s ex-wife, Alida Rockefeller Messinger, is funding an independent expenditures committee, Alliance for a Better Minnesota. (How can Republicans bash rich people?)

In the hallway after the news conference, Sutton and Brodkorb were noticeably gleeful. With a room full of TV cameras whirling, they had demonstrated their opposition research skills, their talking-points focus and their swiftness in attacking a guy who had officially won the DFL primary just about three hours earlier.

Scene 2: A week later, Dayton conducted a news conference criticizing the GOP’s videotaping trackers.
His campaign posted a video of the allegedly disruptive trackers on its website.

As Dayton spoke — in real time — Brodkorb and Drake were sending tweets into the political atmosphere, mostly geared to media members. Drake, who attended the news conference, frantically tapped away on his smartphone.

As if by magic, Brodkorb tweeted info about Dayton as the reporters’ questions were being asked. One question mirrored a query Brodkorb posted.

Scene 3: Brodkorb, Drake and Sutton pulled a real Yippie stunt. On Day One of the State Fair, with Sutton as the Fair barker, the GOP staged “a Republican fashion show.”

T-shirts were unveiled making fun of Dayton’s call a week earlier to clearly identify trackers. The GOP shirts talked of Dayton’s poor marks as a U.S. senator and his call for higher taxes.

Rather than counter with a lighthearted response, DFL spokesman Donald McFarland, with anger in his voice, denounced l’affaire T-shirt as “a stunt,” which it was, of course, but a cute zinging one at that.

GOP trackers Jordan Hanson and Abby Michaud pose with a cardboard cutout of DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton at the State Fair.
MinnPost photo by Jay Weiner
GOP trackers Jordan Hanson and Abby Michaud pose with a cardboard cutout of DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton at the State Fair.

When asked about the GOP’s tone and tactics, DFL Executive Director Andy O’Leary said, “Honestly, I just think they’re meaner, and they enjoy being mean.”

When asked about the GOP’s mean-spiritedness, Sutton countered: “I guess if you’re on the receiving end, you would think that. I think we’re being pointed with our humor.”

Rapid response
Being quick on the uptake — be it with a tweet or a Fair event — allows candidates and parties to stir things up and react quickly. Dusty Trice,a Twin Cities-based progressive social networking consultant, admiringly praises Brodkorb for being skilled at “disaster messaging.”

“There are two sides to any disaster, and Brodkorb knows how to build it up and make it worse and worse,” Trice said, adding that the GOP deputy chair generally knows where “the line” is of pushing negativity.

For example, in the aftermath of Dayton’s tracker media conference, TV stations aired stories on their 10 p.m. news shows.

At 10:06 p.m. that night, Brodkorb tweeted that University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs used the words “odd” and “unusual” to describe Dayton’s conduct. These are key words in the GOP’s anti-Dayton messaging.

In little more than an hour, seven Brodkorb allies re-tweeted the “odd” and “unusual” notion to their combined total of about 5,000 followers.

“They set up their own echo chamber,” said Trice.

Said Brodkorb, Twitter is the “wild, wild West of politics.”

But Dana Anderson, Dayton’s campaign manager, isn’t wowed by that frontier imagery. She wonders about the value and reach of it all, and the content.

“What are they talking about when they’re tweeting or Facebooking?” she asked. “Are they talking about how the Republicans are going to fix Minnesota? Are they talking about their budget plan? Are they talking about what they’re going to do for education? All that they’re talking about is Mark Dayton, and only in negative response to anything that he’s saying.”

To those who say that Twitter allows candidates and parties to interact with voters, to mix it up, Anderson said: “Our responsibility is to get information to the voters. We need to mix it up with the voters. Mixing it up amongst five people on Twitter is not what our goal is.”

In a sense, the conservative Twitternistas are boys with keypads and wireless toys talking to each other. But they are conducting a conversation that gets blown around in the digital winds. Apparently, there is value in that.

According to state campaign finance records, Dayton paid $28,636 for a social media consultant during his primary campaign. That consultant got Dayton’s Facebook page up and running, with about 5,000 “friends” now. But during the primary campaign, for all the money he paid, Dayton didn’t post a tweet from March 21 until Aug. 14. Still, Anderson said she thinks the campaign got its money’s worth.

The state Republican Party has a full-time “new media” staffer running its social networking operation. The DFL communications staff shares that task, said O’Leary. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner’s campaign has a volunteer and an intern working on social networking and web stuff.

If one were to have put stock in social media in this gubernatorial campaign so far, one would think that the GOP was out ahead — and that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak would have been the DFL’s endorsed candidate.

With two Facebook pages that have more than 12,000 friends and with 7,747 Twitter followers, Rybak is, among DFLers, considered the social networking king.

And there’s the rub. Unlike the Minnesota GOP, which regularly rallies around a candidate and sticks with him or her, the DFL has a tendency to eat its own. Thus, Rybak was running against Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who was running against Mark Dayton, who was running against Matt Entenza. They had different messages, different followers, different Facebook friends.

“The DFL is always sniping at each other,” said consultant Trice.

The tones of the parties and the use of social media could also be a reflection of the party chairs, some say. DFL Party leader Brian Melendez is a corporate lawyer. Sutton is an entrepreneur. Sutton tweets. Melendez doesn’t. Sutton sets the GOP tone.

“Aside from being an incredible strategist and amazing tactician, Tony is also a very funny person,” said Brodkorb. “He knows this has to be fun. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.”

Fun anda little bit mean, or is it “pointed”?

“Whoa — it’s hotter than the inside of Mark Dayton’s car out there today,” he tweeted on Aug. 14, soon after it was reported that Dayton had left his dogs in his car.

It was re-tweeted by five people, and some of them re-tweeted it at least four times, and the echo chamber was filled with a Dayton joke.

“Fun is making Republicans excited and leaving the [State Fair] booth with a smile,” said Brodkorb. “Fun is within the bounds of acceptable political discourse.”

(Fun is the MesabiDayton Twitter account. This one bearing the name of one of Mark Dayton’s dog, he of the alleged hot car episode. The Republican Party said it knows nothing of it.)

But DFL and Dayton campaign leaders say fun doesn’t only come wirelessly. They said going door-to-door to meet voters and making 2 million phone calls to potential voters before the primary was fun, too. The ground game is about boots on doorsteps, not tweets on smartphones. Retail politics still comes down to face-to-face contact.

“I went to 110 community meetings — that’s my idea of fun,” Dayton said recently. “My idea of fun is going all over the state and meeting real people and solving real problems. That’s fun.”

More numbers
For all the GOP noise, the data support the DFL and its digital outreach.

Save for Tom Emmer’s lead in Facebook friends over Dayton (7,968 to 4,998 as of Sunday night) with Horner (1,371) trailing, the DFL leads the Republicans on other sites. However, U.S.Rep. Michele Bachmann, with a national following, has lots more “friends” and Twitter followers than challenger Tarryl Clark.

The DFL Party has 3,831 Facebook friends to the GOP’s 2,955. The independent expenditure group, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, has 1,620 Twitter followers, more than any local GOP-leaning group. For his lack of tweeting in the early summer, Dayton has far more followers (2,632) than Emmer (1,857) or Horner (899). And the DFL owns a wide margin of Twitter followers (2,249) over the Minnesota GOP (1,320). But Brodkorb himself (1,724) has more followers than his own party.

“I absolutely disagree that we are behind,” said the DFL’s O’Leary, who notes that Brodkorb and his other “blogger buddies” and fellow tweeters, such as Luke Hellier and Mitch Berg are building “their own brand” while the DFL’s social networking channel is, when all is said and done, more unified.

Targeted Victory, a Republican-leaning consulting firm, tracks tweets, Facebook friends, YouTube posts and web traffic to political parties and candidates. According to its regular reports, in almost every category, DFL linked sites outdo the GOP. And the DFL in Minnesota is doing better than Democratic parties in most other states.

Counters Brodkorb: “The Democrats may have more followers, but we use it more. We use it more effectively and a couple of times a day. If you’re not using it a couple of times a day, it will get stale, and people won’t pay attention.”

A check Sunday night shows that the GOP has tweeted more than 1,500 times since starting its account; the DFL, 600 times. Brodkorb himself has posted 3,300 tweets.

In the end, of course, votes count, not stunts or T-shirts, not Facebook friends or tweets.

To the opening question, “Do Republicans have more fun?” the DFL’s O’Leary answers tartly: “How can they? We’ve got two U.S. senators, five members of Congress, massive majorities in the Legislature, two Democratic mayors, every statewide office — except the governor — and we’re gonna win this one. I don’t see how you can say they’re having a lot of fun.”

But they are having fun. The final question is this: Will it matter come November?

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Comments (27)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 08/30/2010 - 10:52 am.

    The Republicans just aren’t funny. I thought it was a mistake for Dayton to make an issue of the trackers, and still do, but watching them in action reminds us how creepy they are.

  2. Submitted by Dimitri Drekonja on 08/30/2010 - 11:18 am.

    I recognize the irony of using an electronic comment section to say this, but who really cares about whether one party is out-tweeting the other, or how many people sign up as “friends” on facebook? We have real problems to address, and thankfully I think there are enough voters who are looking for real solutions, such that the combination of vapid tweets and a candidate who won’t (or can’t) say how he will adress a 6 billion dollar deficit will be quickly passed over.

  3. Submitted by Ginny Martin on 08/30/2010 - 11:53 am.

    I doubt that Minnesota voters are looking for fun and humor in this election, nor do they give a rip about statistics about outtweeting or outtwittering each other. Minnesotans want answers to the state’s budget problems and deterioration as “a state that works” which it no longer does.

  4. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/30/2010 - 11:57 am.

    Gee, if the GOP is so happy about how things are going, why is Dayton creaming Emmer in the polls? Even the notoriously right leaning Rasmussen polls. Sutton and Broadkorb remind me a lot of Eddie Haskell. I find it amusing that Ms. Michaud didn’t know manure from Shinola, until MAK sweetly pointed it out to her.

    Only one thing is going to count in the end, here, folks. Votes in the ballot box in November. He who laughs last…

  5. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 08/30/2010 - 12:05 pm.

    FUN DAY AT THE FAIR…Politcs-On-a-Stick

    If one had a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Tony Sutton…where would one suggest it appropriately be placed?

    Certainly not in the political arena…that would be quite a stretch…

    Yet, falls right in line with the silly-belly kids stuff making the scene on this Sate Fair sideshow.

    But got to admit,too, Repubs are a laugh a minute…not much else center stage…you work with what assets you have I suppose…

  6. Submitted by Brian Simon on 08/30/2010 - 12:09 pm.

    The real question for political analysts needs to be: who’s connecting with voters? While measuring that by facebook ‘friends’ or twitter followers is an interesting exercise, I suspect its a mistake to use it as a proxy for a politician’s popularity. For instance, in this article we see that Brodkorb has more followers than their party and almost as many as their candidate – which to me implies that perhaps twitter followers is not a good metric for determining grassroots support. For one thing, we’re not in 2008 any more – while the Obama campaign used new technology very effectively to win the Dem primary, the technology is now at a different maturity level – the example of journos picking up a Brodkorb/Sutton meme when questioning Dayton demonstrates that pretty effectively. And casts doubt on journalists’ ability to do their job effectively, I might add.

  7. Submitted by Julie Sandburg on 08/30/2010 - 12:49 pm.

    Of course they’re mean, that’s their entire ideology. They subscribe to faulty logic such as the just-world fallacy. If they were sensitive to the concerns of others, then they wouldn’t be mean and they also wouldn’t be GOP.

  8. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/30/2010 - 01:35 pm.

    It’s important to remember the smaller percentage of Republicans now. How enthusiastic doesn’t matter beyond enough to get up and go to the polls.

    For me the needle is moving back towards the center, but I’m still more enthusiastic about voting against Republicans than I am for voting against Democrats.

  9. Submitted by Claire Ackerman on 08/30/2010 - 01:45 pm.

    The term “invincible ignorance” is applicable here. It means that no matter what the facts, some people will not believe the truth or change their flawed logic and opinion. It’s like someone telling the federal government to keep their hands off their Medicare! The GOP is a party of many “invincible ignorants”! Complex serious problems require complex serious actions – not juvenile actions.

  10. Submitted by chuck holtman on 08/30/2010 - 01:48 pm.

    Republican politics has two chief characteristics: (1) It is not about making decisions to improve society, it is about being true to an ideology; (2) Consistent with the Republican worldview of “us” vs. “them,” it is about defeating the other side. Put these together, and you have a situation where the pleasure is all in the combat, and the consequences – to individuals, our society or the world – don’t matter. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, easy to laugh. Conversely, those toward the left understand politics to be about making careful moral and pragmatic judgments to try to create a decent society for our children. The trench warfare and politics of destruction is seen as a tactical distraction from substance, meant to drag citizens down to the level of their atavistic instincts rather than raise them toward self-actualizing and other-regarding capacity, and when it is propagated by those who couldn’t care less about the the world my daughters will have to live in, I’m just not that amused. Otherwise, I like a good joke just as much as the next guy.

  11. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/30/2010 - 02:12 pm.

    C’mon, we ALL recognize these sleazeballs for what they are, no matter what medium they’re using. They’re the same bullies that used to cause trouble on the playgrounds in the middle schools we attended.

    They thought is was fun to identify the kids with the most troubles in their lives (poor, troubled families, perceived to be “gay” etc.,) then attacked those kids mercilessly and made their lives hell on earth.

    When caught by adults or called out, they always complained loudly about the authority figure that caught them or tried to blame somebody else, and were NEVER, EVER capable of acknowledging that they might have been out of line.

    They’re a bit more subtle, now, but they’re still doing the same schtick.

    After two terms of King Timmy, who like the cool kid standing on the side of the playground, sent the bullies out to do his bidding; who was the kid who called the shots, but never did the dirty work himself, and NEVER got caught, the non-bully people of the state recognize Timmy’s henchmen for what they are: selfish, self-serving, slimeballs whose only purpose in life is seeking to gain as much for themselves as possible (as they can get away with) while making everyone who might stand in their way as miserable as possible, attempting to use lame humor to cover their tracks and distract the rest of us from how deeply they covet ownership of our state and our individual fortunes.

    The lingering question, however, is whether these naughty little boys will ever grow out of 8th grade and become useful citizens? My bet is that they never will.

  12. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/30/2010 - 02:33 pm.

    If it is the case that many, if not most conservatives, Mr. Brodkorb and Mr. Sutton, for instance have lost the ability to realize, let alone respond to the needs of people who are struggling and in pain, demonstrating the psychology of the average middle school bully, perhaps it is also the case that too many liberals have lost the ability to demonstrate the strength necessary to stand up to such bullies (lest the strong, clear actions necessary to puncture the conservative B.S. with undeniable truth make someone feel “bad”).

    Pretending a bully doesn’t exist and/or trying to protect yourself by staying away from him or her, lest they make you their next target, never works. Standing up to bullies is the only successful way to back them down.

  13. Submitted by Mitch Berg on 08/30/2010 - 02:34 pm.

    Pointed? Nous?

    That the DFL – the party of Bill Maher and Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert – is whinging about people having fun while flensing them in the marketplace of ideas, says all you need to say about this campaign.

    The DFL’s operation is very top-down, very by-the-party numbers. Even the “satirical” bloggers and tweeters on the payroll of the DFL and/or “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” read like institutional corp-comm talking-points-bots, while the right-leaning wags (I guess I’m one of ’em) are having a LOT more fun, and eating the lefties’ lunches to boot.

    Will it matter come November? Yeah, I do believe so. Fun is contagious. And the DFL, in whatever guise – on Twitter, on the street, in the blogs, in the media – is about as fun as a women’s studies class.

    (I have a “brand?” Who knew?)

  14. Submitted by Mitch Berg on 08/30/2010 - 02:39 pm.

    By the way – simply counting friends and followers is more or less meaningless. The real interesting stat would be tracking several generations of follow-on followers – the people who follow the people who follow the people who follow, say, Luke or Michael.

    If you follow the ripples out from Brodkorb, Hellier, Duke Powell or any of a slew of other conservative tweeps, you will see movers and shakers, people who lead other people to conclusions and convince others – from radio audiences to their neighbors and co-workers – how to look at things. Follow a few generations of DFL followers; you see the same hive creatures that follow *everything* the DFL tells them to.

  15. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/30/2010 - 03:49 pm.

    Oh boo hoo, Sandburg. It’s not our faulty ideology that says you deserve half of my earnings because it’s only fair.

  16. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/30/2010 - 04:24 pm.

    Mitch, your over the top tail wagging is almost funny.

    “The DFL’s operation is very top-down, very by-the-party numbers.”

    And who got the DFL endorsement? And who is the DFL candidate? Very top-down? Only a right wing wag (your self characterization) could make such a statement.

    “you will see movers and shakers, people who lead other people to conclusions and convince others”

    Making a statement like this in view of the facts is absurd.

    As O’Leary pointed out: “We’ve got two U.S. senators, five members of Congress, massive majorities in the Legislature, two Democratic mayors, every statewide office — except the governor — and we’re gonna win this one.”

    Tom Emmer for cripe’s sakes? What were you folks thinking of? This guy thinks the minimum wage is socialism and doesn’t understand that he can’t pass legislation to make following federal laws optional? And these absurd positions are just the tip of the iceberg. The guy has a laundry list of misconceptions that would embarrass Barry Goldwater.

    How can you support this guy?

  17. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 08/30/2010 - 05:12 pm.

    “And the DFL, in whatever guise – on Twitter, on the street, in the blogs, in the media – is about as fun as a women’s studies class.”

    If the women’s studies class gets me out of listening to GOP talk radio, it’s worth it.

  18. Submitted by Jean Schiebel on 08/30/2010 - 06:09 pm.

    “the party of Bill Maher and Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert”

    Better then the party of Rush Limbaugh,Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly.

    Tom Emmer has not shared one thing he will do to balance the budget.
    Just like the National Republican Party he has no
    solutions other then saying No to any intelligent ideas.

  19. Submitted by Kevin Whalen on 08/30/2010 - 08:27 pm.

    I’ve got to hand it to Mr. Weiner for that photo. Brodkorb looks like a young Mr. Burns and Sutton looks like, well… Sutton. THE GOP– THE PARTY OF FUN.

  20. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/30/2010 - 09:15 pm.

    That’s a young “Montgomery Burns” of “The Simpson’s” fame.

    And I do believe that Mr. Sutton, thought not quite the same size and shape, looks as if he shares the same sycophantic attitude toward those more wealthy than himself than “Smithers” shares with his boss, “Mr. Burns.”

    And somehow, these folks think they have Bart, Lisa or Maggie on their side (or will in the future)?

    More likely the Flanders kids and Ralph Wiggum (although they probably lost the Flanders kids after Maude died).

  21. Submitted by AJ Winn on 08/31/2010 - 01:09 am.

    Yuk it up, keep things light and fun, it’s only a $6 billion shortfall. Maniac Mark wants to raise taxes, it’s something he really likes to do; it’s not to balance the budget, maybe sign a bill passed by the legislature on time without raiding local aid. Sounds erratic… tweet tweet, more like cuckoo. But when it’s time to get serious, Tom Emmer can seriously decline to give that concrete plan (which wouldn’t pass the legislature, anyway). As a lawyer, he knows how to make the case without the evidence, as long as he gets his. Sure it’s to replace Pawlenty, and Emmer is well to the right of Reagan, but he has Facebook fans and 7 kids.

  22. Submitted by Mitch Berg on 08/31/2010 - 07:19 am.

    “And who got the DFL endorsement? ”

    The highest bidder. As usual.

  23. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/31/2010 - 09:07 am.

    Highest bidder?

    Oh, really, Mitch.

    Do you just make stuff up as you go along? You have to be careful, or maybe you don’t. This is not talk show radio.

    Who is Matt Entenza and how much did he spend on the race? And how well did he do spending all that money.

    Again, you don’t have a decent candidate in Emmer, so all you can do is attack Dayton. Should we elect a guy who thinks the minimum wage is socialism? Should we elect a guy who thinks the constitution is optional?

    I asked you these questions before and you ignored them. All you’ve got is a smart-alecky response that isn’t even factual.

    You should thank your lucky stars for employment and talk show radio…

  24. Submitted by Mitch Berg on 08/31/2010 - 10:24 am.

    OK, let’s give this another try.

    “really, Mitch.

    Yes. Really.

    “Do you just make stuff up as you go along?”

    Nope. Never – unless it’s clearly satire, which this is not.

    “This is not talk show radio.”

    True. Typical talk radio audience is better-informed.

    (Nope, not making it up. A Pew study in 2008 showed that Rush’s Dittoheads were better-informed on news and current events than the general public, and equal to NPR listeners).

    As always, your conceits will trip you up.

    “Who is Matt Entenza”

    Lois Quam’s husband and tax writeoff.

    ” and how much did he spend on the race? And how well did he do spending all that money.”

    Not as much as Mark Dayton, alone and via his surrogates at “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” (which during the primaries got 2/3 of its funding from various Dayton family members and ex-members).

    “Again, you don’t have a decent candidate in Emmer,”

    Untrue. Emmer is a very decent man, the best stump speaker in Minnesota politics today, and with Annette Meeks will totally shred the DFL on policy grounds this November. I say 3-4 points.

    ” so all you can do is attack Dayton.”

    Nope. I attack Dayton because he’s a weak candidate with lousy policy (that’s DOA at the Legislature and thus a waste of everyone’s time) and who, honestly, is nothing but an electoral front for Mike Hatch anyway.

    ” Should we elect a guy who thinks the minimum wage is socialism? Should we elect a guy who thinks the constitution is optional?”

    Wow. The DFL chanting points have certainly sunk in thoroughly!

    “I asked you these questions before and you ignored them. All you’ve got is a smart-alecky response that isn’t even factual.”

    Because, with all due respect, it was a dumb question. It still is. But I’ll dignify it with an undeserved straight answer; Emmer doesn’t believe minimum wages are “socialism”, but he does believe – correctly – that they destroy jobs. And the idea of state pre-emption is the EXACT OPPOSITE of “thinking the Constitution is optional”; it makes the intent the the Tenth Amendment mandatory.

    “You should thank your lucky stars for employment and talk show radio”

    Oh, I do! I thank God every day, often, for my job – which I love! – and my weekend talk show; being on the air is kinda my happy place.

    Thanks for the concern!

  25. Submitted by Mitch Berg on 08/31/2010 - 10:24 am.

    The shorter MinnPost comment section.

    “Look! (A Republican) looks stupid!”.

    I live to serve.

  26. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/31/2010 - 11:03 am.

    My short response – a longer one just isn’t worth it…

    So when someone nails you (Emmer: minimum wage = socialism) you just blow it off as “DFL chanting point.” This point is well documented Mitch, and you know it.

    Lord love a duck…

    Don’t get any manure on you at the State Fair, Mitch. Ask your stalker friend – she can help you.

    See you in November, Mitch.

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