Sunday, February 28, 2010


If you wake up in the middle of a dream, you tend to remember it. Vividly. It's not surprising that I keep dreaming about the governor's race since I'm spending so much time attending events, forums, debates and conventions. And spending so much time writing about it.

I'm not even sure how many DFL candidates we really have. Every now and then another one shows up on the list. I have no idea who Felix is. And Ole Savior doesn't really count. So there's nine that we can take seriously.

After hearing the candidates speak at these events, and after adding up all the input I've had since last fall, I've come to some conclusions. I'll list the pros, cons, and tips for improvement for each candidate.

Tom Bakk - A lot of people like Bakk. He has a lot of knowledge about Minnesota's tax situation. After all, he's the chair of the committee. It's his job to know. The problem with Bakk is that not nearly enough people know who he is. Even a lot of people who follow politics don't really know. My tip to him is to hone his presentation so his audiences are clear about what he's going to do. We already know what the problems are. He should give us a clear plan on how he's going to fix the budget and what his focus will be regarding taxes. In reading comments on various Facebook pages and in talking with hundreds of people on the street and at work, it's obvious that at this time what's wanted is more information about each candidate's plan for success in fixing Minnesota.

Mark Dayton - He started out last year geared up and ready to go. His chances of winning were excellent. He's still got a good chance. Something's going on with the Dayton campaign, though. A lot of people have noticed it. One man told me he wasn't sure if Dayton really wanted to win. I think he does. But whatever is going on over there, he needs to fix it. He's got a young, energetic, enthusiastic staff. Brian Klaas is the best policy director that any campaign could hope to have. Katie Tinucci is a fantastic addition to the staff. Dayton's got the financial means to run a hard campaign. Something's missing now, though, that wasn't missing before. I've heard so many people comment about it. Someone made a comment on his Facebook page shortly after his 87 X 87 campaign started. I always wondered what the commenter meant but never wanted to ask because it didn't sound good. It had to do with something that happened at one of his county meet and greets. Dayton can still win the Primary, but he needs to revamp his campaign and his self-confidence in order to put his chances back up where they were before. He can do it! As we all know, I've always supported Mark Dayton. I heard him say that I and his son Andrew were his biggest supporters ever. So I can say that if he wants to win, he needs to fix whatever's wrong.

Matt Entenza - I didn't hold much hope for him winning the governorship previously. I've changed my mind. I aways thought he was too soft-spoken, too mellow, to enthuse the crowd enough to win. One thing about Matt is that he listens to others, and if he agrees with what he hears, he implements changes. I definitely think that Entenza can learn the dynamics of how to rouse a crowd. He does have good ideas with his Green Energy. Audiences want to know more details about how and when he will fix the problems of the budget, education, jobs, infrastructure, etc. When will we be able to drive down the road without having to swerve constantly to avoid potholes? I'd also recommend just a wee bit more humor. My son Charlie chuckled yesterday at the "Entenza is Norwegian for governor" joke. That was the first time he'd heard it. After talking with Entenza several times now, I have to say that, inspite of what some people say, he actually is a kind man.

Susan Gaertner - I just can't figure Gaertner out. There is no way she is going to win the endorsement. She indicates that she's going to the Primary anyway. No one thinks she has a chance of winning the Primary. She thinks she can. She's sure of it. There must be some reason for all that self-confidence. What isn't she telling us? I get the feeling that she has some kind of plan up her sleeve. I would not totally disregard her prospects yet. It's true that most people don't know who she is. As we all know, good PR can fix that. She better get moving on it.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - She's actually got a good chance of winning the endorsement. She and R. T. are running neck to neck. She's got a ton of endorsements. She's not my top choice for governor, but if she wins the Primary I will definitely support her. Her main drawback is that people perceive her as not being very effective in standing up to Tim Pawlenty at the Capitol. There is also that little campaign finance matter. The Republicans have already pounced on that. Can she stand up to them?

John Marty - It's amazing how many people want to support John Marty. There's a growing number of Minnesotans who like what they hear and like what they see. Marty is an ethical and upright progressive candidate. If he became governor, this would definitely be a better Minnesota. Much better. So why isn't he doing better at the conventions? Why doesn't he have as many delegates as Rybak? One gentleman told me that it always sounds like he's preaching. Personally, I don't have a problem with that as long as his preaching remains positive and passionate. John Marty is a good guy. While Mark Dayton is like the Lone Ranger, John Marty is more like Matt Dillon. He stands his ground and makes sure that justice is upheld. Everyone knows that Marty would make an excellent governor. Too many say they won't vote for him because they don't think he can win. My son Charlie has a vocal opinion about that. He stated that he will vote for the candidate who will stand up for what he believes and not be wishy washy like the Democrats in Washington. He said that he will vote for the candidate who upholds the progressive values whether he thinks he can win or not. Because if we all vote for the one who has these values, then he will win. If he's the most progressive (and he did get the endorsement of the Progressive Caucus), then we should all get behind him and make sure he wins.

Tom Rukavina - Oh Tommy, Tommy. You gotta love Tom Rukavina! He tells it like it is. He's, I mean refreshingly...honest. Many think that he's the only candidate who can stand up against the Republicans. He's got a refreshingly sharp tongue when need be, too. Yet he's got a heart of gold. He's also accomplished lots of good things in the last 24 years at the legislature. He's got progressive values. He's the old farmer labor part of the DFL. He'd be a wonderful friend for anyone to have. He's got a quick wit and a compassionate longing to help the poor and the downtrodden. If Tom Rukavina were governor, there would never be a dull moment at the Capitol or at the Governor's Mansion.

R. T. Rybak - He seems to be the favorite among the delegates. Almost everyone likes Rybak. He brings excitement into a room. He takes an interest in each person he shakes hands with. People always feel that he is very interested in them and their ideas. He's got enthusiasm and charisma. People applaud him as he comes and as he goes. His speech presentations are excellent. Rybak doesn't need notes. He can think on his feet and do it quickly and effectively. His best selling point is his executive experience as the Mayor of Minneapolis. He always tells the audience what he has accomplished there. The list is long and impressive. If Rybak gets the DFL endorsement, which seems likely, he has an excellent chance of winning the Primary. It's my feeling that he can win in November, as well. I think he can carry the crowd far better than either Emmer or Seifert. That means most of the Independent vote would go to Rybak.

Paul Thissen - He has risen fast. He's still a major contender. Because he's fresh and new, he'll get the votes of all those who are tired of the same old, same old. There's a lot of voters who are tired. They want someone new who can lead Minnesota into a new era. Many think that Paul Thissen is that candidate. He's an excellent speaker. He listens to others. While he's listening, you can tell that he cares. He's done some fantastic things at the legislature, including the passing of a bill to give health care access to more kids who didn't have it. Thissen can win the Primary and he can win the General. He's one of reNEW MN's three endorsement candidates. If he doesn't get the DFL endorsement, I'd sure like to see him go to the Primary anyway. Thissen would make a very good governor.

Ok, that's all the DFL candidates who actually have a chance of winning. What an exellent group of people. The biggest challenge is to pick just one.

To refresh your memory on some of the issues, here's the video from the Major Party Debate in Bloomington in January 2010.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Charles Downey, Tom Rukavina and Me

Today I attended the SD46 Convention with my son Charlie. He lives in that district so he was willing to go with me. He's very interested in politics, and he has always voted DFL. He is, like many of us, fed up with Blue Dog Democrats.

Compared to the SD53 Convention, I thought SD46 had a rather low turnout. Plus they didn't have a boxed lunch, so people had to leave and then come back if they wanted to eat.

I met a new person. Her name is Eve. She's a delegate but was uncommitted/undecided. By the time it was her turn to subcaucus, I saw her with a MAK sign. I asked her how she made her decision. She said she got roped into it.

Candidates were given the opportunity to speak throughout the day as they arrived. Some candidates just couldn't make it so had a proxy speaker.

The first speaker was Bev Scalze. She's the SD54B state representative. She spoke on behalf of John Marty. She said that John Marty is the candidate for ethical leadership. He's the author of the Minnesota Health Plan. He's the only candidate who doesn't take PAC money or money from lobbyists. He has a reputation for being able to work with others to get things done. Scalze was an excellent speaker. She did a great job for Marty.

Next, Mike Nelson spoke for Tom Bakk. He emphasized that Bakk was a carpenter all his life. He told Tom's story of when he lost his job and had to figure out how to support his family. He said that Tom's big push is jobs, jobs, jobs. He will create jobs. (How? Charlie said that statement was way too vague. I commented that John Marty's speaker was much better than Bakk's. Charlie responded that Scalze had more to work with than Nelson did.)

Next there was a long boring discussion of convention rules with motions, more discussions and votes. Yawn.

Then R. T. Rybak showed up and everyone woke up. He got quite a bit of applause right away. He sure has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. He brings enthusiasm and excitement with him wherever he goes. He was at his usual best today. He said we need a governor who is a strong manager and a progressive leader. That would be him. Look what he did in Minneapolis. He reminded us of all the successes he's had. He has chief executive experience. He loves to campaign. (The audience wildly applaused at this point. Rybak is going to get the DFL endorsement.)

Matt Entenza obviously reads my blogs, or his staffers do and then tell him about it. He listened. As a result, his presentation today was superb. He put passion and excitement into his normally mellow voice. He also emphatically told what he did in the House to stand up to Pawlenty, even though it was an unpopular move at the time. Entenza rose up ten feet in my estimation today. Not only for listening to darn good advice, but for carrying through with his speech delivery. Way to go Matt! Keep your eye on him as he prepares for the Primary. Also, Kudos to Matt for telling me that I have a really good blog!

Jim Meffert is running for Congress in the 3rd District. I was in the ladies room when he spoke so I'll give Charlie's comments about him. Charlie said he didn't have much to say for himself and he sounded whiny. He said that he loves his kids and joined the PTA. This wasn't enough for Charlie. My son was very interested in the race between Meffert and Hackett because whoever wins will represent Charles and Becky. Charlie has decided that he will vote for Hackett.

Maureen Hackett is someone I didn't previously know very much about. However, I met her when I was in the ladies room. She seemed a bit flustered about her glasses. Apparently she couldn't find the glasses that make her look younger so she had to wear a second pair she has. She wasn't happy. I could relate to her because I don't like looking older than I did when I was 28, either! Hackett told the audience that she's a physician as well as a forensics psychiatrist who is often called upon to testify. She's also an Air Force veteran. She can get things done. Charlie and I both like her. Charlie can vote for her. I can't, since she's not running in my district.

Mike Freeman had a stand-in speaker. I didn't catch his name. Freeman is running for Hennepin County Attorney. He wants to keep kids in school. He also works with DNA evidence, both for proving guilt and for proving innocence. He has worked hard on domestic abuse issues to make sure that the victims are heard.

Several people spoke up for Linda Scheid. The first was another woman named Linda. She told us how Scheid had served in the Peace Corps in Africa and that she works with children and teens. She wants to work to eliminate racial inequality and poverty and wants equality for all.

Dan Ryan also spoke up for Linda Scheid. As a speaker, he was not as good as the woman named Linda who had just spoken. He merely read his speech and stumbled over it. He should speak from his heart and not from the printed page. He was a boring speaker but could be helped immensely by joining Toastmasters. On the good side, he spoke up for a candidate he really believed in.

Linda Scheid then spoke for herself. She is running for reelection as State Senator from SD46. She knows about education. She knows about the achievement gap. She's working to eliminate it entirely. She thinks that education spending is a smart investment. She believes that health care is a right, not a privilege. She is bipartisan in her ability to work together with GOPPERS to get things done while still adhering to DFL values.

Bill Davis had a man named Tim speak on his behalf. Davis is running against Scheid for State Senator. Tim told us that Bill is a friend to labor and that he is a good listener.

Next, Mattie Davis spoke. She's the mother of Bill Davis. She raised him to be a good citizen with values. The audience liked her. They applauded loudly for her.

Bill Davis then spoke up in his own behalf. He had excellent voice projection. He has two masters degrees. He was taught to get a good education and to work hard. (Bill, throw away the written speech and talk directly to the audience right from your heart. Just like Rybak does.) Davis said that he believes in giving people a hand up, not a handout. He wants to make people responsible for their actions. I thought he had good ideas for what to do with Brookdale Mall, which is mostly empty now. He wants to make it into a big Technological Center with several schools, including Dunwoody, Brown and some others. (Charlie liked Scheid's idea better of putting in businesses that would cater to Brooklyn Center residents. Charlie said that if it's made into a school, there would be no retail area for Brooklyn Center to speak of, except for Kohls. Charlie said that he will vote for Scheid because she has seniority and is already the chair of some committees. Davis would have to start at the bottom.)

Margaret Anderson Kelliher said that our best days are yet to come. She's a proven effective leader. (Huh.) She is emphatic that education needs funding. She will make sure it gets it. She believes in progressive taxes. (Charlie was not impressed with her presentation at all.)

Richard W. Stanek is the current Hennepin County Sheriff. He's running for reelection. As a speaker, he was very good. He made excellent use of his floor space. He did not use any notes. He spoke from his heart. He's been a Minneapolis police officer for 25 years. He has successfully worked to reduce violent crime. Charlie and I both liked him.

Karen Thissen spoke for her husband Paul Thissen. She's an excellent speaker. I can't say enough good things about her. She said Paul is clear on leadership, on health care and on education. She emphasized all the reasons that we should vote for Paul. One of the reasons is that he can win. I really liked Karen and think she would make a great First Lady of Minnesota. (I've never met any of the other candidates' wives.)

Tom Rukavina arrived after the subcaucusing had already begun. He was still allowed to speak when the subcaucus round in progress had finished. He had already been to seven conventions already. After this one he would attempt to reach two more before they closed. Tom gave his usual speech with the references to union made and to the lovechild of Paul Wellstone and Jesse Ventura. That was the first time Charlie had heard him. Kudos to Rukavina for greeting me with a big smile and a big hug. He sure has a lot of enthusiasm. He knows that he can win this race. He might be able to if he can only get his name out there.

Let me give out a few awards now:

Best improvement in presentation:  Matt Entenza

Best speakers of the day:  R. T. Rybak, Matt Entenza, Richard Stanek, Karen Thissen and Tom Rukavina

Best ability to work a room:  R. T. Rybak
Linda Scheid won the endorsement over Bill Davis.

Then it was time for the subcaucus routine. There were 23 called. Here's the scoop. These are the number of subcaucuses at the first round, not the number of delegates.

Uncommitted - 10
Rybak - 5
Kelliher - 3
Entenza - 2
Bakk - 1
Marty - 1
Thissen - 1

After the first round and after Rukavina's speech, Charlie and I decided to leave. We were getting hungry. We met Rukavina in the foyer so I was able to introduce them to each other. Charlie liked him. He also likes Marty, Thissen, Rybak and Dayton. Hey, that's all the ones I like. Could it be genetic?

I took pictures, but unfortunately, I left my camera in Charlie's car. He might bring it over tomorrow. Then I'll post them.


     Me at Lake Superior

Here's my take on what the new DFL governor needs to do as quickly as possible.

1. Implement the Minnesota Health Plan

2. Revamp Minnesota's educational system. Talk to actual students about what works and what doesn't work. Get input from the students themselves on how to change things. Talking to the students will be more effective than getting all ideas for change from teachers and administrators. There's a huge gap in how the two groups see things. Above all, treat the students with respect. Treat them as the young adults they are, not like prisoners. Seniors in high school will soon be able to put their lives at risk in the military, will soon be able to vote, and will soon be out on their own. Many school administrations don't treat their students with the respect they deserve.

3. Find ways to get people back to work. The money we just got for high speed rail will help bring jobs to Minnesota. There is no doubt a ton of ideas for creating new jobs. We need to implement those ideas. Once the economy is up and running again, more and more jobs will open up. Meanwhile, encourage people to find nontraditional ways to bring money into their lives, such as internet and outside sales, writing, public speaking engagements, motivational seminars, pet walking/grooming. The imagination knows no bounds.

4. Find ways to get more doctors to keep up with the latest medical research so that they can better treat their patients. Some doctors are so far behind current medical knowledge because the requirements for furthering their knowledge are too lenient.

5. As soon as feasibly possible, put back the things that Pawlenty took away, especially as it pertains to Minnesota's poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

6. Expand a few of the sections at MDH.

7. Don't forget to stand behind and promote Toastmasters for state employees so that every employee can be an effective communicator and excel at leadership.

8. One of the top priorities should be fixing the roads. We have way too many potholes. Have you driven on Highway 61 through Maplewood/White Bear Lake lately? That road has been extremely bad for years now. The same holds true for almost every road in Minnesota.

9. Look for new ways to conserve energy and make buildings more energy efficient. Find other sources of energy. About 15 or 20 years ago I knew a senior citizen gentleman who had invented a device that attached to an engine part in a car. This device increased gas milage up to 100 miles/gallon. He told me that everytime such an invention is created, the oil companies come along, buy it out and bury it.

10. Promote CAM as a way of improving health.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Mark Dayton, Tim Pawlenty and Me

As most of you who read this blog know, I was an ardent and very enthusiastic Dayton supporter. I did an incredible amount for his campaign on my own time. I put in many hours per day glorifiying his campaign everywhere, both in the physical world and online. Lots of people have asked me what happened.

As many of the DFL gubernatorial candidates have told us, the Governor sets the tone at the Capitol. Do you know that candidates also set the tone? They set it at the forums and debates, they set it on their Facebook pages and on their webpages, and they set it by example for their staff and supporters. What tone has Mark Dayton set?

Generally, it's pretty good. However, part of his tone is to fling mud at Governor Pawlenty. We can't really blame him. Look at all the mud the Republicans keep flinging on Dayton. They must really be scared that he's going to win the election. 

Governor Veto has done horrible things for Minnesota recently. T-Paw shows no compassion, mercy or humanity for Minnesota's poorest and most vulnerable citizens. Yet candidates need to be careful when setting a tone and revealing their attitudes.

For example, on his Facebook page and in the video shown below, Dayton is adamant about how he views our current governor. No one has to second guess his feelings. It becomes even more clear in the video below. Watch it then read my comments below.

This, as I've said before, is an excellent speech, full of passion and a call for action. He excites the crowd and motivates them. You can tell that AFSCME members agree fully with what Dayton has to say. When he starts in on Pawlenty, he is setting the tone.

I picked up on that tone and blogged something about Pawlenty. Luke Hellier, the Republican who is out to target Democrats, picked it up immediately and posted it on MDE (Minnesota Democrats Exposed). I was appalled, because of course Hellier misrepresented the intent of what I had said. Next thing I know, Dana Anderson from Dayton's campaign is sending Hellier an email, which he also posted. She stated that the Dayton campaign did not agree with what I had said. Well of course they didn't. They probably would have if this was the 1950's, because back then everyone would know that it was just a metaphor anyway. It was to be taken figuratively, not literally. In view of Dayton's opinion of Pawlenty, you'd think he'd have been just a tad more vocal to Hellier about his opinion of the Republican agenda. I guess it's no big secret, though. Still, he once said that he hoped I knew that I had his support. What happened to "I say what I mean and I mean what I say?"

Well, I guess they needed a scapegoat. Never mind all the times Dayton used the word "evil" in the same sentence as "Pawlenty." That's ok. I can be a scapegoat. Goats are better than sheep. If me being a scapegoat will help him win the election, I'll agree to it.

What I didn't like was the insults. Deleting my highly complimentary posts, and even pictures that Facebook directed to his website was perceived by me as vaguely insulting. After all the good things I did for him. You know, I looked for the missing posts three times. I looked for each missing post three times. And then I took action. I said I could no longer support him. Well, of course that was the old Aries temper flaring up. And of course it flares back down again almost as quickly. I got my feelings hurt, too. Really bad.

Several months ago I accepted his apology. He doesn't accept mine now, though.

One of his staffers emailed me to say they gave me more attention than anyone else in Minnesota. Wow, that's a lot of people. More than anyone? Really? (grin)

I did more for his campaign than anyone else in Minnesota (not financially, but with time and enthusiasm). So tit for tat. The staffer told me it was clear that the attention they gave me was never enough. I couldn't get enough of him? ROFLMAO! Too funny.

"Tough titty," said the kitty, "cause the milk tastes bad!"

So here I am, sometimes grinning at the absurdity of everything, and thus still blogging good stuff, and then down into the depths of despair and tempted to blog everything I know. That's when I appeal to my higher self.

You'd think the Dayton campaign would want me to keep doing what I was doing, which was spreading good PR everywhere.

The thing is, I know people. I know a lot of people all across Minnesota. I relate to average Minnesotans and they relate to me. Why? I'll post my autobiography on this blog next and you'll see why.

Tomorrow, if my son Charles doesn't have to work, we're both going to the SD Convention at Brooklyn Center High School. Charles lives in that district. Therefore he's very interested in what's going on. He'd like to talk to the candidates.

Maybe I'll see some of you there.

Colleen Morse, Friends, Life, Life Review

Me and my cousin Diana. She's four years older than me.
She was my best friend growing up.

Me and my friend Jon Rude.
There is definitely such a thing as platonic friendship.

Me and Mark Champlin. He's the dad of my son Marcus.

Me and Mike Jonak

Me and Friends at a birthday party at the park for Marcus.
I'm the one in purple with red shoes.

My life is flashing before my eyes...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Musings: Praise and Commendations, Weight Loss, Definition of Dork, Politics

Me and my cousin Diana visiting Grandma Downey at Bethesda Lutheran Infirmary.

Several things of note happened today. Do you want to hear about them? No? Well quit reading this then.

If you're still here, I guess you want to know what I have to say this time. Ok, here goes.

This morning I went to my appointment at St. Paul Radiology, next to United Hospital, for my biannual ultrasound. They always do a thorough job. They image the liver, pancreas, spleen and kidneys. They check the portal vein. The technician said that it looked about the same as it did six months ago. The radiologist will look at it and then give the results to MNGastro. I'll find out all the details on March 11. The technician said that there weren't any kidney stones. Whew! I've had five of them and they are no fun. One was so bad that I ran into the ER screaming for Dr. Kevorkian. They just laughed at me and said, " must have a kidney stone." That's how bad the pain is. If you've never had one, count your blessings. Some are silent, but I've never had one of those. Mine always make their presence fully known. Kidney stones have been known to make grown men fall to their knees.

This is Thursday, so I attended Golden Rule Toastmasters. That's the best Toastmasters club ever! I started this club and we still have several of the charter members. We've got people from MDH, people from Commerce and some from the investment company on the first floor. These are dedicated Toastmasters, some very new, and serious about improving their communication and leadership skills. We always have great meetings with humor and laughter as well as some formality. Today I gave a speech on a research article I read about a research team that injected human liver cells into a mouse. Then they injected hepatitis C and hepatitis B cells into the liver. This study is so incredibly fascinating as well as being cutting edge research. For more information, here's the article.  The second speaker, Andy Bahn, gave a very inspiring speech about his garden. 

Iit was wonderful getting praise from today's Toastmaster, Mat Spaan. He commended me for always stepping in to fill roles that were vacant because someone was sick and couldn't make it to the meeting or because they were swamped with work or had a work-related meeting to attend. He also commended me for dealing with the challenges that come with having a chronic disease. The rest of the group applauded. I felt good. One thing about Toastmasters is that everyone is so supportive. Sometimes we DFLers support gubernatorial candidates so much that we forget we need support, too. Some candidates don't seem to care about that. They're too busy relentlessly pursuing their political ambitions.

During the Table Topics segment today, Greg Doyle, the Table Topics Master, passed out Chinese proverbs. Then he called on people to give an impromptu brief speech on what they thought the proverb meant. Joe Batkiewicz was called upon. His proverb said, "Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom."

I liked Joe's answer so much that I wrote it down. In part, he said that it's not how you get knocked down, but how you get up. Make every challenge and every occasion of getting knocked down an opportunity to learn and to grow. That hit home for me, cause I've been knocked down hard during the last week or so.

Someone else got "He who acts in haste repents at leisure." I should have got that one. We try to call on people who haven't had another opportunity to speak at the meeting. Table Topics teaches Toastmasters how to think on their feet. This comes in very handy in real life, particularly during job interviews. It's our belief that everyone who is having a hard time finding a job should join Toastmasters.

This week I have felt like I lost a friend. It's been making my solar plexis have an empty, hollow, gnawing feeling. I have not eaten anything at all today. I just couldn't. I did go to Lifetime Fitness after work, though. I lost another five pounds in two days.

The friend I lost keeps engaging in dorky behavior. Guess I shouldn't have said so. I told a couple of friends at work about it. They all asked, in separate conversations, why I thought the person was dorky. I told about the Alan Grayson incident on Facebook. They all said, "Yeah, that's dorky. What else?" So I gave some examples and they grinned and said I was right.

Dorkiness can be very endearing at times. Laura, my son Marcus' girlfriend, said to him, "You're such a dork. But I love you anyway." 

So what does dorky mean? I looked it up. In popular culture, here's the definitions. These are from various people.

Someone who has odd interests and is often silly. A dork is also someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks. One expression is, "You are such a dork."

Someone who sits around, writing the 500th definition for a word in the Urban Dictionary, as if anyone will ever read them all. I'm such a dork for writing this.

Someone who does things that are kinda silly and not neccessarily cool but always cute. "He's such a dork. I love dorks."

Often used interchangeably with nerd or geek. Dorks are typically more noted for their quirky personality and behavior rather than their interests or IQ which may or may not be on level with traditional geeks or nerds. They tend to be more humorous and extroverted and don't mind laughing at themselves or with others at themselves, as the case may be.  After the 1990s, the term dork tended to specifically refer to a person who often shared the characteristics of geeks or nerds but were not ostracized as a result. Also, while old school geeks and nerds tend to continue to accept an "outsider" status and maintain an elite club mentality amongst themselves, dorks generally tend to do the opposite, hence a current preference with the mainstream for dorks over geeks or nerds.

Wow, that light bulb that's flickering in a seemingly random fashion is actually occurring as such due to a capacitance built up on one side of the tungsten filament until it discharges sending electrical flow through the tungsten, causing photonic emission through heated excitation, which then dissipates as you get farther from the light bulb according to inverse square law.  Girlfriend who is also a dork: You're right, you dork. Shut up and kiss me. You're so cute.

So yes, I did call a DFL gubernatorial candidate a dork because he often engages in dorky behavior. I said it endearingly, though, and with love in my heart. So what's the problem?

Also, I found the perfect method of weight loss. Fall in love with someone who doesn't know you exist. You'll lose your appetitite in a big hurry. Even better, make him mad. The pounds will drop off like leaves off the trees in late October. Plus he'll never forget who you are by that time.

Politics has changed my life. Yes indeed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


All you Dayton supporters out there who have Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota bumper stickers on your vehicles - watch out for the Dayton Bumper Sticker Ripper who is on the loose. I've had three Dayton Bumper Stickers ripped off of my back bumper in the last 1 1/2 weeks. Part of the stickers stuck to the bumper, but more than half of each was missing. One was missing all but a small part of the right side. My reNEW MN and TakeAction MN bumper stickers were not touched.

Who would want to vandalize my Dayton Bumper Stickers? The nerve of some people! Now I'm out again and can't get another one. I'm so frustrated. I wish whoever is doing it would keep their hands off my car. Not that my car is anything special. That is, it wasn't until it was decorated with the beautiful red, white and blue Dayton Bumper Stickers. I wish I could get my hands on the Ripper.

It's probably some Republican. Or maybe even a DFLer who is mad because Mark Dayton won't pursue the endorsement or even have his name on the ballots. Rumor has it that all those undecided votes are Dayton supporters who are going to get him the DFL endorsement whether he likes it or not. (I'm sure he'd love it.) Wow, that will be an interesting state convention if that happens. I'd join that caucus in a heartbeat.

Do you think it would help if I glued a Dayton Bumper Sticker on my bumper with super glue? Boy, the Dayton Bumper Sticker Ripper would sure be surprised when he (or she) found that it couldn't be ripped off. I wonder if someone would be so kind as to send me about three Dayton Bumper Stickers.

Other political experiences today:

I took the afternoon off. First stop was the Riverside Perkins, where I had lunch with some of the Senior Caucus members. That was very enjoyable. Good company away from downtown St. Paul. Guess who showed up? Dave Pinto. He thought there might be some members from Ramsey County. There were. Me. Also at least one other lady. As you probably know, Dave Pinto is running for Ramsey County Attorney. There are three DFL candidates seeking endorsement. They are Dave Pinto, David Schultz and John Choi. I like all three of them. How on earth will I decide? Hmmmm...Pinto talked to me the longest of any of them. He even asked me if I was TigerHawk. He's been reading my blogs at MPP. He said he really liked my blogs. I told him I would have a Meet and Greet for him. I'm also more than willing to have one for Chris Knopf, who's running for State Representative in SD53B, and Sandy Rummel, who's running for reelection as State Senator of SD53. And one for Dayton, if he has the time and inclination. And more bumper stickers.

Pinto couldn't stay to eat with us, but I enjoyed chatting with members of the Senior Caucus. I heard a lot of opinions of who the individual members were supporting. A couple of people said Tom Rukavina because they think that he's the one who can stand up to the Republicans the best. I asked them if they had seen the YouTube video of Mark Dayton giving his AFSCME Day on the Hill speech, and they said no, but they had heard about it. I encouraged them to go watch it if they wanted to hear and see the first candidate in a long, long time who can do a Wellstonian speech better than Wellstone himself did. Seriously. One member said, "If he has improved that much and can stand up and give a rousing speech now, I'll vote for him."

One woman said that she heard Marty Seifert speak in public at some Harvest event. He told the crowd that he harvested pickles. She said that everyone laughed at him for not knowing the difference between pickles and cucumbers.

Another person said that Emmer might be able to get the GOP endorsement over Seifert because Emmer is very good at getting people to like him. Really? I'm surprised. Especially after a senior told me that Emmer had said that you can't be a good, loyal American if you're a Democrat. What a foul remark! 

After lunch I drove to Burnsville. My son works at Crosstown Goodyear. I had called the shop and made an appointment for an oil change. The manager kept it a surprise so Charlie wouldn't know I was coming. As always, he was the good son and was happy to change my oil, level off all the fluids and check the air pressure in my tires. The hard part was trying to get all the rope and the bicycle lock off the hood. That's what holds my hood down when I'm driving. Marcus put so much rope on that it took Charlie half an hour to get it all off. The manager and another employee named Mike came into the garage to watch and laugh. I thought I may as well join in. So we all stood around laughing and chuckling, then left Charlie to finish the job while we went back into the office.

I steered the conversation to politics and asked Mike what he was. He said he was a leaning Republican. I made my DFL pitch. I told him the horrible things Pawlenty has done with his veto of GAMC. Mike said, "So if I don't vote DFL people will die from not having health insurance?"

"Yes," I replied. I then told him about Alan Grayson and his revealing of the Republican Health Plan.

"Who's running for governor on the DFL ticket," he asked. I told him. He said that Mark Dayton's name sounded familiar.

"It should," I said. "He was our Senator from Minnesota." (Mike is probably in his 20's.)

The manager, also a Republican, piped in, "He's the Target guy."

"Ohhh," said Mike.

"Yes," I agreed. "But he's never been in the family business. He was in public service for 35 years."

"But he took the family money," said the manager.

"Well sure," I said. "Wouldn't you? Never look a gift horse in the mouth." (I need to be careful of my metaphors. I think that one is okay.)

The manager and Mike both agreed that yes, they would. After all, it's family.

Darn, all I inherited was a bunch of metaphors! I really enjoy using them, though, so that's okay.

I just happened to have one Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota business card so I gave it to Mike. It happened to be Katie's. He asked who that was. I explained that she was on the staff and that he should call or go to the website, and sign up for the email updates. He took the card and put it in his wallet. Progress.

We then all went back into the garage to watch Charlie some more. Mike told Charlie that I had told him that if he didn't vote DFL, people would die. Charlie made one of his usual dry remarks. Then we stood around and laughed some more at my car as Charlie pointed out the rust on the underside. He told me not to put money into this car for anything other than what is absolutely necessary. After all, it is 12 years old.

I don't have to convince Charlie to vote DFL. He would never vote Republican. He can't stand what they are doing.

It was a very enjoyable day. Then I got to come home and blog. I love writing. I'm still working on my technique. It seems that no matter how you do it, someone gets offended. I try to add as much humor as possible to avoid offending anyone.

How did I do this time?

Senate District 53, Wards 1 - 5 + North Oaks

Gotta love those Canadian Mounties. The Pink Panther, Too.

Last night I attended a get together of the chairs and associate chairs of SD53, Wards one through five, plus North Oaks. The SD53 officers decided that the areas in the district should get together within their areas to get to know each other and to plan campaign strategies and activities. This was a great group of people. I'm glad to be a part of it.

Our District 53 candidates, Sandy Rummel and Chris Knopf, were in attendance, as well as their campaign managers. I met new people as well as those I already knew, such as Mark Schwartz, Dick Ottman and Mike Spellman. Mike is the new SD53 chair and is the one who led the meeting. He's an excellent speaker and makes great use of gestures, vocal variety and pauses. It was a joy to listen to him.

Emily Waymire was one of the new people I met. She is very dedicated to the DFL party. It was a pleasure to meet her.

Here are the topics from the agenda at last night's meeting:
1) An opportunity for us to meet our precinct chair and associate chair colleagues.
2) Solicit feedback on improving caucus participation and campaign grassroots execution.
3) Introduce any participating candidates, elected officials or SD officers.
4) Review of Precinct Officer Duties handout.
5) Distribution of precinct maps, list of caucus attendees and delegates, door knock route sheets.
6) Lawn sign distribution and recollection procedures.
7) Our community outreach and image.
8) Ideas on building our campaign volunteer base or improving party activities.
9) SD 53 Calendar of meetings, parades, and other party events.
10) Describe Role of Precinct Group Chair. Elect Group Chair.
11) Discuss most effective ways to stay in contact and be most effective as a team.
12) Discuss sharing contact email and phone information.
13) Social time.

J. P. Barone is the CD4 chair as well as a chair for one of the SD53 wards. He was not in attendance last night. However, I did run into him in the skyway in St. Paul a couple of days ago and had the opportunity to speak with him for several minutes. I commended him on his great oratory skills. What a nice man, too! CD4 is in good hands with him at the helm.

Next Tuesday evening SD53 will be meeting at Lino Lakes City Hall. I look forward to it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Governor Tim Pawlenty is making most Democrats, some Republicans and Minnesotans all across the state very, very angry and frustrated. Some are filled with rage at his antics. There are getting to be a lot of posts on Facebook that reflect that anger. I myself wrote such a post. I meant it figuratively, as a metaphor for the worst governor Minnesota has ever had, yet there were some who took me literally. This was most notably Luke Hellier on MDE (Minnesota Democrats Exposed). That blog, as most of us know, is dedicated to making democrats look bad. Hellier, and previously Brodcrap, will take the least little innocent item they can find about any democrat in the political arena and blow it all out of proportion with misrepresentations and gross exaggerations.

Shoud democrats accept this? Most of us are pacifists and against war, but if someone tries to destroy our home and our families, won't we defend ourselves? Won't we defend our homes and our families?

We won't lower ourselves to MDE's level. We might, however, express ourselves with words. And we will fight all the way in the legislature. Our current democratic legislators are doing a great job in fighting against Pawlenty's relentless attack on the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden, the disabled and the veterans. Many Republicans have joined them this time. Minnesotans will not stand by and allow the Pawlentys of this world to victimize the defenseless.

Should our blogs and posts include hate toward Pawlenty? In a perfect world, probably not. Did we hate Hitler? Did we hate Hussein? Do we hate evil? And what is evil, anyway? As I recall, someone once said "as you do it to the least of these my brethern, you do it to me." Should we not come to the rescue of those who are trampled upon?

A previous post on this blog was ill received by many. Some applauded me. Some agreed. All this shows me is that people are fed up with the antics of Governor Veto.

I saw another post on Facebook today that reflected this anger toward Pawlenty. Here's what it says:

Pawlenty says he will shoot down bonding bill.
Pawlenty chided DFL legislators and said he would veto the entire bonding bill.
Source:Politics in Minnesota
Published:2010-02-23 05:15:33 GMT

Gretchen:  so much for 21,000 jobs. Send them to use their ingenuity, just like the poor, sick, old & young...

Dave:  Anybody offer to shoot down Pawlenty? Gawd what a loser and an ASS!

This is like the experience that Henry II of England had centuries ago. He had a priest named Thomas Beckett. The two did not get along at all. Beckett did things that made Henry very angry and frustrated. Henry blurted out, "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" Of course he did not think that anyone would take him up on it. He just spat out what he was thinking. Three knights, however, took him at his word and eliminated the priest. Henry was astounded.

The moral is that we need to be careful what we say and what we write, just to cover our asses, in case someone thinks we really want someone dead, when that is not the case.

Going further, is Pawlenty evil? Is his budget evil? Is the way he thinks evil? Is his behavior evil? Some think so. Others think that the word evil has no place in politics or policy discussions. Yet when the decisions of one man destroys the lives of others, what are we to think? Are we to let it slide on by? Or are we to stand up and fight against a wrong? Do we revolt? Do we portray our indignities in verbal and written word? Do we stand by and do nothing? Or would that be a great evil?

I asked about this on a particular forum and encouraged reader comments. The responses were divided.

Here's what Mark Dayton recently said on his Facebook wall:

Here’s more of the evil in Gov. Pawlenty’s budget. $3M cut for people with serious mental illness. $1.2M cut for mental health care for children. $37M cut for long-term care, including nursing homes. Reduced hours for personal care attendants for people with disabilities. Thousands of the most vulnerable Minnesotans will suffer, while Tim protects the rich from paying their fair share of taxes. It’s disgraceful.

Many of his Facebook friends agreed with him. Many others did not. Here's some of the responses:

I agree! This is DISGUSTING! God help us if gets into office of any kind ever again.

Good god! I just want to scream!!! Has Tim no empathy in his spirit? God help us if he ever makes national politics! I work with clients who have SPMI and this is totally unethical, unmoral! Something needs to be done to prevent this? Can the state sue the governor or clients with Mental Illness? Can the ACLU become involved? He has breached his legal authority! This is pure evil. Couldn't agree more! Ouch!

I'm surprised that Pawlenty thought it was reasonable to release a budget that doesn't balance, and had the chutzpah to include corporate tax cuts despite the budget deficit.

This is disgusting. This is not what the people need. Is there anything we can do to stop this?

Tim Pawlenty is the worst governor that Minnesota has ever had the misfortune to have! He just doesn't care at all about our state's most vulnerable people.

Disgraceful doesn't begin to describe how horrible that budget is. It's unthoughtful and Shameful. The sad thing is, many Minnesota residents and Americans, country wide, support him with out any thought to those that are suffering "because of his hands."

All I can do is hope there is karma. Perhaps there is, in the form of Sarah Palin.

It's treacherous to demonize either poverty, mental illness OR fiscal restraint. I don't think "evil" is an appropriate word to use in a fiscal debate - it is an example of how we work ourselves into partisan gridlock again and again with inflammatory rhetoric and intractable positions. The problems you identify are very serious.

"Evil" doesn't have a place in my conversation on this topic. I am counting on you to model the civil and substantive policy discussion that we need to restore in MN.

Sen Dayton, you had my vote for primary 100% wrapped up, until I read this post, "evil"... I am tired of all this back and forth. I work in the Mental Health field, even the clients understand that we are in tough timex... we can disagree with each other and still not be, "evil."

As a public defender, I will tell you, this will result in more paranoid schizophrenics and others on your streets, untreated, unmedicated and harming themselves and others. This is a moral issue, but it is also a public safety issue.

So far I have not seen a single client that has lost or will lose services due to the GAMC cut... and I doubt this will lead to any cuts in actual services either, it will simply move the burdon on to less efficient providers/means. I am not saying I agree with or like these cuts, I don't... and in the end they will cost the tax payers more and will produce no savings... but the Governor is not evil and his actions are not evil...

I get your point about rhetoric, but Pawlenty truly brings out the worst in aggrevation. So I would like to add "pernicious self promotion" to TPaw's adjectives. Climbing over the backs of the most vulnerable. Wow.

I'm with you on the "evil" Felix. Talk about pathetic hate mongering. There's more than one idea of how to save the world. What arrogance to think your ideas, even if right, are the only ones with merit.

My favorite Cog Psy Professor used to point out the simple fact that everyone is usually wrong about 90% + of time (to some degree)... I have been training myself to not use the words, "hate" and "evil" so much. I also try to refer to people with respect, whether it's SEN Dayton for GOV Pawlenty... ,"TPaw" is not appropriate for addressing the Governor of Minnesota... IMHO.

Societies going back to the Elizabethan Poor Laws in England and further in history have shown that depending on the "goodness" of people's hearts (charities) does not provided sustained, reliable and even often dignified service to these populations. It is a myth that charities can do it all or even always do it better. Don't get me wrong I am all for them, but to depend on them as a foundation does not at all secure a "right" to dignified, sustained, equitable service.

I agree with Mark, it's disgraceful!!!!!

You are missing the point... the Governor is not, "evil" nor is he acting maliciously... and I dare say his defenders could write a litany of how his budget will help people to achieve healthier and happier lives. I am sure if we google around we could find a forum ripe with people applauding the wisdom, kindness, and vision of the Governors budget… *wink* equally I would not label our Governor good either… he is just a man that has his own beliefs and his vision for a better world.

Is Pawlety a sociopath? He does these cuts without the slightest hint of conscience. As progressives we need to hit these jerks where they live. If he is trying to appeal to the fundamentalist base or the libertarians they should read the quote below. I am not born again or fundamentalist but here goes. A new testament quote from Christ; 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was ahungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. ... 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee ahungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.  -- Matthew 25:41-46

To put it nicely, I will say that TPaw is not anyone I would want for a friend, a mentor or a governor. No, he doesn't deserve my respect, even if he is the current governor. He certainly didn't get elected by popular vote. He has been outrageously disrespectful to the poor and the downtrodden of Minnesota. So if he gets disrespect in return, it's because what goes around comes around. The plain truth is that he doesn't care at all about the segment of society who needs the state's help the most. May the roof fall in on his cactus.

People need to understand the philosophy of conservatives. It is that government isn't supposed to work, it will never work and they appoint people to posts in the government bureaucracy who make sure it doesn't work. It is part of their agenda. In addition to that they are fooling even their supporters. Those supporters are delusional. They think these guys actually save them tax dollars. WAKE UP! They raise taxes by mass deception. When the funding doesn't come from state or federal sources local sales taxes go up, school mil rates go up to compensate, etc. The property owners with no kids in school end up paying for the educational budget by higher real estate taxes, etc. I hope Mark is progressive enough to call it like it is. The conservatives are on the public payroll as much as or more so than the liberals. Why do they keep running for office and get fat from our tax dollars. Do conservatives think these public officials are going to budget themselves right out of a job? When have you heard of a conservative voting down a pay raise for themselves while still in office? Tell me again how they have our pocket book and savings in mind. Tell me again how their policies are not inflationary. ARE CONSERVATIVE SUPPORTERS THAT STUPID?

Well, we now know ignorance and hate trancend party lines. Disgusting... I can only say that I pity you both. Healthy people leave, so I am leaving now. Someone mentioned the word, “disgraceful” a few posts back… indeed, it does apply… but not to the Governor. I weep for my party tonight. Last I checked ignorance was not progressive...

I would like to point something out. Over many decades conservatives have resorted to bigotry, hatred, fear mongering, name calling, lying and much more. As progressives hand liberals we have been called communists, fag lovers, socialists, traitors, unpatriotic, consorting with the enemy and much worse. To call this figurehead of a governor evil is far less than we have been labeled by the conservative right. If one does evil one is evil. If there were a litmus test for evil and unsympathetic policies and behavior the majority of conservative republicans would pass. We as progressives have been too nice to the competition over the years. Progressives are not as uncouth as the "right." The conservatives and neo-cons have defined the public forum as a battleground. We cannot meet on the field of battle without armor.

I agree with you. Also, I want to point out that Mark did not call Pawlenty himself evil. He said there was evil in his budget. What is the nature of good? What is the nature of evil? Is evil the failure to do good? If someone walked past someone lying on the ground bleeding, or starving, or half dead, and just left him lying there to die, is that an act of evil? I would say that it is. Thus Pawlenty displays evil behavior. On the other hand, no person is 100% good or 100% bad. Most of us fall somewhere in between. It appears, however, that the best we can say about the current governor is that he lacks a conscious. He lacks the concept of what compassion and empathy are. He lacks a sense of what goodness is.

February 17 at 4:29pm · Kathy Drewes Strom Governor Pawlenty has cut services and benefits for the poorest in our state every year since he came into office. He has also added out of pocket co-pays for prescriptions and some health care for people on Medical Assistance. He has cut many people from Minnesota Care and plans to cut more. He has cut GMAC for many. He cut dollars for HCMC - one of the best hospitals for emergency care. He has cut food stamp supports and there is talk of cutting more this year. He has cut dollars for education, which could have serious repercussions as our youth become adults. He has increased tuition in our State Colleges and the University of Minnesota. He has increased fees for such things as renewing your drivers license, getting a fishing license, etc. And the list goes on. However, he has “found” money”—sometimes after the legislature has closed -- for pet highway projects that were not scheduled to be started yet. (3 of them in the most affluent area of our state.) He has protected the wealthiest from tax hikes even though our state is in dire straits financially. And, he is proposing more tax breaks for businesses. I find it difficult to watch as the poorest and the most vulnerable people in our state are once more being targeted to balance the budget. I, for one, can hardly wait for a change in the Governor’s Office.

I think "evil" is precisely the right word for a budget like that. It makes me wonder what Governor Pawlenty really knows about "real life." Maybe he has been rubbing shoulders with the elite for so long that he has lost his compassion for humanity.

Mark Dayton then responds on the next post:
I see that my use of the word “evil” to describe Gov. Pawlenty’s budget proposal has aroused some controversy. These honest disagreements are one of the great features of our democracy!
The dictionary defines "evil" as "profoundly immoral or malevolent." Or "harmful or tending to harm." I stand by that categorization of Gov. Pawlenty's cutting money from nursing homes, medical care to the poor, and mental health services for those most in need, while protecting tax breaks for the rich.
One commentator admonished me to run “a positive campaign.” I'll run a positive campaign about what I intend to do FOR the people of Minnesota as Governor; but I cannot be positive about what I see being done TO people under current policies. As I travel around our state, the stories I hear about the devastation being caused to the lives of good Minnesotans are horrifying to them and appalling to me.
That’s why I’m running for Governor: to bring about major changes in present state policies and priorities, and to lead Minnesota in a different, better direction. I respect those who honestly disagree with me – again, that’s democracy! There are other candidates for them. For those who believe our state is headed in the right direction, the leading Republican candidates are proposing to continue in that direction: protect the tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest Minnesotans to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and cut another $5-7 Billion from the state’s budget.
I say what I mean; I mean what I say; and, as Governor, I will do what I say I’m going to do. I am running because I believe this state’s future greatness depends upon real change and honest solutions to tough problems. I offer straight talk and real answers. You get to decide, if I’m for you.

Shortly thereafter, Mark Dayton gave a speech to AFSCME members at their Day on the Hill. He speaks out against evil and emphatically states that when he is governor, these things won't happen to the poor and downtrodden of Minnesota. This is the most passionate and forceful speech I have ever heard him give. Watch:

Do any of the other gubernatorial candidates stand up to fight against these issues? John Marty does. Who else? Who will return dignity and respect to every Minnesotan?

Have any of the other gubernatorial candidates addressed the issue on their Facebook page or anywhere else?

What is the consensus? Is Pawlenty evil? Or is his behavior evil? Is this administration evil? Or not? What do YOU think?

I'd appreciate some comments on what you think of the good vs evil issue.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Here's the post from MDE and Luke Hellier and even Dana Anderson from the Dayton Campaign. My comments/apologies are at the end.


By Luke Hellier
February 22, 2010

UPDATE: Following the post about Colleen Morse I received the following message from Mark Dayton’s campaign:

Dear Luke,

The Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota Campaign dissociates itself from, and strongly disapproves of, the comment Ms. Colleen Downey Morse printed on her personal blog that “[Governor Pawlenty's mother] should have taken him out and drowned him when he was a baby” which you accurately reported.

Please be advised, however, that Ms. Morse, whom you identified as “an ardent supporter of Mark Dayton for Governor” has subsequently withdrawn her support of Mark’s candidacy, after he deleted comments from her facebook wall that he considered inappropriate.

I would appreciate it, if you would inform your readers of these facts.


Dana Anderson
Campaign Manager
Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota

Editor’s note: I appreciate the swift action by the Dayton campaign to respond to such outlandish claims from Ms. Morse.

Read more after the jump….

Colleen Morse, an ardent supporter of Mark Dayton for Governor, who blogs under the pen name April Knight wrote this on her blog yesterday:

“[Pawlenty's mother] should have taken him out and drowned him when he was a baby…”

I’m actually at a loss for words. Besides the fact that Governor Pawlenty’s mother passed away when he was 16 and I understand people can be passionate about politics, but this is outrageous.

MsTigerHawk Says:
February 22nd, 2010 at 5:51 pm

To set the record straight, no, I do not wish that Pawlenty was dead. I just wish he were not our governor. I apologize for the drowned baby remark. That was a metaphor that was around frequently when I was a kid. It simply means that you are not happy with a particular person. My ex-mother in law said that about her son because he was on alcohol and drugs and went AWOL from the service. His parents were quite unhappy and so that’s what they said. Again, I apologize. I don’t wish that anyone was dead. Except me, maybe, because I get such god-awful headaches and the pain makes me act in ways I later regret. Sorry. Also, I’m fighting hepatitis C, which has turned my liver to cirrhosis, so that is causing all kinds of problems. So I apologize to you and to Pawlenty and to Mark Dayton and his staff, and to everybody else who I have offended in any way.

MsTigerHawk Says:
February 22nd, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Oh, and let me correct Dana Anderson. Dayton deleted the comment from his wall, not from my wall. You can’t delete a comment from someone else’s wall unless it’s your own comments. I don’t know why he deleted it, since my comment was highly complimentary of him. I posted a link to my website with a video of his recent speech to AFSCME. I commended him for the great job he did on the speech. I was very proud of him. Here’s the link.

To be fair, please post my apology at the top of this blog like you did for Dana’s post. Then we can all be happy and be friends and all live happily ever after. I don’t see any reason why Democrats and Republicans can’t get along.

MY COMMENT NOW, NOT POSTED AT MDE:  This is confusing, as Dayton so vehemently calls Pawlenty evil, and some of his FB friends disagree. So what is good and evil, anyway?

Sunday, February 21, 2010



Wow. This is really impressive. I haven't heard Mark Dayton this passionate in his speaking before. This is more Wellstone than Wellstone was. This is exciting stuff. This is the kind of speaking that can inspire not only an audience, but all the voters of Minnesota. Kudos to Brian Klaas for putting that brief together. Kudos to me for pointing out what was needed. Way to go Mark! Let's hear more like this. Keep up the excellent speaking. Did Craig Valentine have anything to do with this?

Watch, listen and learn as Mark Dayton gives a speech the way it should be given. We hear motivation, inspiration and a call for action like we have not heard from any candidate in a long, long time. Look at the way he engages the audience. They are totally captivated and enthused.

Mark, sorry I wasn't there that day. I'm so glad it's on YouTube. I'm so proud of you for giving a speech like this.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Lunch time at SD53 Convention

Today I attended the SD53 Convention. It was held at White Bear Lake High School, South Campus, in White Bear Lake. It was the first time I had ever been in that school. When I graduated from White Bear High School back in 1968, there was no South Campus.

When I arrived at 7:45 am the front of the school and the inside foyer were already plastered with candidate posters. It made for a very colorful and decorative scene.

My reNEW MN friends were already inside setting up. It was great to see Elizabeth, Gene, Mark and others again. We were planning to have several reNEW MN subcaucuses, including one for Rybak, one for MAK, one for Thissen and one uncommitted progressive values. I agreed to do the Thissen subcaucus.

I was so sad to disappoint Orrie, who so much wanted me to caucus for Tom Rukavina, but at this point I'm committed to reNEW MN and will be through the time of the State Convention, where I'll attend as an Alternate delegate. Of course they realize that at the Primary, my support will shift. Everyone is okay with that because everyone knows I'm a very strong Dayton supporter and why.

The Convention began promptly at 9:00. It opened with the call to order followed by the flag ceremony in which the flag was presented by a Boy Scout troop. We then had the Affirmative Action Statement, which was given by the SD53 Affirmative Action Officer. The agenda continued with the credentials report, the election of the convention chair, the adoption of the agenda, the rules committee report and the treasurer report. Then we had a report from the Donut Booth Committee. I signed up to work a shift at the Donut Booth at the Minnesota State Fair. It's just not enough that I always volunteer to help at the MDH booth and the Toastmasters booth!

All of that was followed by the Resolutions Committee report, the Constitution Committee report, and the endorsement of the State Senate candidate for District 53. This is Sandy Rummel, who is up for reelection. I will happily campaign for her.

We then broke out into 53A and 53B to endorse the House Representative. In 53A, Paul Gardner was endorsed. My House district, 53B, endorsed Chris Knopf. I will happily campaign for him, too.

Next on the agenda was the Nominations Committee and SD53 party officer elections. The precinct chairs were also ratified. I'm the chair of Ward 5. I'm also one of the eleven directors.

After that the Resolutions Committee led the voting on the debatable resolutions. We each also voted for other resolutions. There were many listed but each person could only vote for 18 of them.

Finally, we had our subcaucuses. Unfortunately, no one joined my caucus for Paul Thissen. I guess all his supporters are in other districts. Therefore I joined the reNEW MN uncommitted caucus. We had twenty people so we got two delegates and two alternates. I'm one of the alternates so will be going to State Convention in April.

Toward the beginning of the convention, candidates were allowed a few minutes to speak. Here's what they had to say:

Maureen Reed - She's running against Michelle Bachmann in the 6th District. Reed says that she won't turn her back on education. Her take is that Wright County and Anoka County will be the toughest to crack in the District, as they are both very conservative counties. She claims to know independent voters and she knows where they live. She stands fully insulated against Bachmann's assaults. She will turn her opponent's strengths into weaknesses. (Bachmann has strengths? I did not know that...)

Paul Thissen - He's mad because of Pawlenty's veto of GAMC. (We all are!) Thissen is playing to win; he's not playing "not to lose." His take on the philosophy of Republicans is that they think we're each alone and in it for ourselves, whereas the reNEW MN philosophy is that we're all in this together. We need to go after health care and education.

Tom Rukavina - He couldn't be there today so he had a stand-in speaker, who told us that Rukavina is a small guy with a big heart. He loves liberty and he loves people. He will improve the policy of education and will create jobs in Minnesota.

Tarryl Clark - She is also running against Bachmann in the 6th District. She knows she can win. She maintains that Bachmann has no record. She's done nothing for her constituents. Clark, on the other hand, has worked hard. (Although I can't vote for Clark because I don't live in her District, I will definitely campaign for her. Tarryl Clark is the One. Go Tarryl!)

R. T. Rybak - (There was a lot of applause for Rybak as he stepped up to the mike, and this before he had even said a word. My take is that Rybak is going to get the DFL endorsement. He knows how to rouse a crowd; he's enthusiastic; he knows how to inspire people. My feeling is now stronger than ever that the Primary will come down to Rybak and Dayton. It's going to be close, too.) Rybak said that he paid down a $100 million debt in Minneapolis. He'll come to the governorship with strong management skills and as someone who can inspire people. He loves to campaign. (So does Dayton. It's going to be an interesting and exciting Primary. One of these days I'll have to write a blog with the pros of Dayton and the pros of Rybak. Gosh, that's going to be one long blog.)

Rebecca Otto - She's running for reelection to the State Auditor position. She told the audience that Pat Anderson's last budget report (back when Anderson was State Auditor) had errors in it. Now that Otto is the incumbant, there are no errors. She's been doing a great job. She knows how to make government more efficient. 

John Marty - His parents taught him values. They taught him the inherent worth and dignity of every person. He's the author of the Minnesota Health Plan. (Marty was highly passionate in his speaking tonight. He was also very enthusiastic. I actually got goosebumps while listening to him. He just gets better every time I hear him.)

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - (She started out way too loud. It actually seemed that she was screaming at the audience. She finally calmed down a bit and spoke in a more normal tone of voice.) She once again uttered that she grew up on a dairy farm with her brothers. She then said that she's fired up. (Oh, that must be why she was yelling.) She maintains that our best days are yet to come.

David Schultz - He's running for the office of Ramsey County Attorney. He's been a partner in a major law firm for the last fourteen years. He will be a working county attorney. He will carry a caseload. (There are four DFL candidates running for Ramsey County Attorney. If I had only met the four today, I'm not sure who I would vote for. Probably Choi or Pinto. However, I previously met Schultz and Choi. Schultz had stopped by a SD53 meeting a couple of months ago. I remember how impressed I was with him because of his promise to stop the scamming of senior citizens. I'm still impressed with him. Why are there so many good candidates running for this office?)

Laura Goodman - She told the audience that she's a good cop. She was Deputy Chief of Brooklyn Center PD. Prior to that she was with the Minneapolis Police Department. She's now running for Ramsey County Sheriff. She had a few negative things to say about Ramsey County Sheriff Fletcher. She said he used bad databases and even created his own databases. To toot her own horn, she said that she can relate to diverse populations. She reminded us that she has public service integrity.

Tom Bakk - He said that now that he's a grandparent, he's spending a lot of time thinking about the future. He wants to make sure it will be a good one for his grandchild. He's still talking jobs, jobs, jobs. (I wish he'd expand on that. What kind of ideas does he have to bring in jobs?)

Matt Entenza - He couldn't be there so he sent a stand-in speaker. I think his name is Doug, but I'm bad with names, although excellent with faces. Doug said, "One thing Matt has that is different that the other candidates is that he went up against Tim Pawlenty back in 2005. Matt was the Minority Leader at the time and he said that he was not going to back down because the issue in question was too important. So he made an unpopular move and closed down the state for a week. Pawlenty then caved in. (This is very impressive. I had forgotten about that. I wonder why Entenza doesn't talk about this at all the forums and events. He's missing out on a great opportunity to promote himself. Another thing I want to comment on is Doug's speaking abilities. Excellent. Indeed, he speaks better than Entenza does. Not that Matt is bad; it's just that Doug is fantastic. I don't think he even realizes it. He'd make a great Toastmaster!)

Susan Gaertner - She referred to Doug's last statement that "Entenza means Governor." Gaertner said that "Gaertner means Winner." (Huh.) She asks, "What kind of government do we have when we fail education? She has a high priority of justice. She said that we need to support someone who can win in November. (That would be Mark Dayton.) 

Dave Pinto - He's yet another Ramsey County Attorney candidate. He's got an excellent record. (He's an excellent speaker, too.)

Matt Bostrom - He's got a Ph.D. as well as having 28 years of experience on the St. Paul PD.; he knows the value of community. He wants to build the sheriff's office into a trusted, valuable partner with the community. Among other things, he wants to connect with youth and encourage diversity. (I had an opportunity to talk one-on-one with Matt Bostrom and was very impressed with him. Several people had previously wanted me to support him but I didn't know anything about him. Now I do and will definitely support him. He also knows who John Sandford is, which gave him Brownie points with me.) 

John Choi - He immigrated here from South Korea with his family in 1973. He has experience being a leader in the criminal justice system. Although he's originally from South Korea, he sure is Minnesota nice. He's running for Ramsey County Attorney.

Tammy Pust - She is also running for Ramsey County Attorney. She has been both a prosecuting attorney and a trial lawyer. She's worked with special needs kids. Tammy has 27 years of experience as an attorney. She has dedicated her professional life to improving the lives of children, families and communities throughout Minnesota. She is not seeking the endorsement of any party because she doesn't think that party politics belongs in the County Attorney's Office. She is determined to be nonpartisan.

Other speakers included Betty McCollum (District 4 Congresswoman) and Victoria Rhinehart (current chair of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners).

My favorite speaker of the entire day was J. P. Barone, CD4 Chair. He's a fantastic speaker. He knows how to use his floor space, he adds humor, he's the faster Parliamentarian speaker I've ever heard, he's got charisma, he's enthusiastic...he's everything you want a speaker to be. Here's a picture of him in action.
J. P. Barone is the one in the tan suit and wearing glasses.

                                Here's J. P. Barone again.

                              Matt Bostrom and Me

It was a very interesting day. I learned a lot, particularly since this was the first political convention I've ever attended. Part of it was a bit confusing at first, but I soon adjusted and figured out what was going on. I'm looking forward to the CD4 convention, which will take place on April 17.