Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Paul Thissen

For all those undecided delegates, here's some excellent reasons to choose Paul Thissen.

Paul Thissen is one of the most educated of all the candidates. He graduated with high honors from Harvard University in 1989. He then attended the University of Chicago Law School. He served as an editor of the law review and graduated with high honors in 1992. Paul then returned to Minnesota with his wife Karen. He clerked for the Honorable James B. Loken of the United State Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, worked for the Minnesota State Public Defenders Office and became a partner at the Minneapolis law firm of Briggs and Morgan.

In 2006, Paul was named one of “Forty Under 40” top business professionals in the Twin Cities by the Twin Cities Business Journal. In 2008, Paul was recognized as one of the 100 Influential Minnesotans in Health Care by Physician Magazine and named one of the Twin Cities “Best Brains” in Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine. Not only is Paul Thissen highly intelligent; he also has the common sense to put his education to work for Minnesota for the benefit of all.

The nicest thing about Paul is that he doesn't boast about his accomplishments. He just makes use of what he has learned in a viable way for his constituents and for all of Minnesota. He's a very friendly guy and has shown that he cares about individuals as well as about this state as a whole. 

If Paul doesn't know something about a particular issue, he makes sure that he finds out. If he gains new information, he is willing to accomodate and assimilate it and, when necessary, change his views to reflect what he has learned.

Paul Thissen is a candidate who, if elected governor, could work well with both parties in a nonpartisan way. Yet we can be sure that he won't cave in to things that aren't right, ethical or moral.

Paul has accomplished much in the Minnesota legislature. He was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2002. Since that time he has demonstrated both a high ability and a great willingness to tackle tough, complex issues and deliver viable solutions. In 2007, after just four years of legislative service, Paul was appointed Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. His legislative work has been recognized by numerous community groups and organizations.

Paul is the Chief Author of the Children’s Health Security Act. This resulted in nearly 40,000 children getting access to health care. He was also instrumental in passing the 2008 Health Reform Act, work the Star Tribune named the “prize” of the 2008 session.

Paul Thissen wants Minnesota to be a state where children and teenagers have every opportunity to learn, grow and succeed. He also wants our senior citizens to be able to live their lives with independence and dignity.

For a truly better Minnesota, let's endorse Paul Thissen at the MN DFL State Convention. 



Monday, March 29, 2010

Mark Dayton Should Drop out of MN DFL Gubernatorial Race for the Good of the DFL Party

Mark Dayton

Mark Dayton said in 2006 that he was not the best candidate to lead the DFL party to victory in the Senate race. So why does he think he is now? Nothing has changed between then and now. He still carries the same baggage.

As far as his candidacy, Mark Dayton’s problem is that he is his own worst enemy, and because of that, the Republicans have a 7-inch file of things they will use against him in November. It’s called baggage. Dayton has a lot of it. While I like him very much as a person, and I was going to vote for him for that reason, I always knew that he’s not the best candidate to lead the DFL party to victory. He can win the Primary because of his high name recognition all over the state. Many voters only vote for a name they recognize. However, if he is the DFL candidate in November, he will lose. He has a history of not using good judgement in the things he says. He’s got the closing of his Senate office due to a terroristic threat going against him. I agree with his decision to close it, but that was the reason why his popularity dropped so much and he decided not to run for reelection for the Senate.

Time Magazine said he was one of the 5 worst Senators. He can’t get away from that stigma. He gave himself an F as Senator, and he can’t get away from that either. Most DFLers would vote for him if he was the DFL candidate on the ticket in November. However, there is no way he would be able to get the Independent Party vote or the vote of the independent and swing voters. Most of this stuff isn’t his fault, but his bad press goes everywhere, and the Republicans will use it all against him. The thing is, none of it is lies. It all actually happened. He doesn’t use good judgement when he talks to the press. Also, he shouldn’t have been so open to his constituents in all his Christmas letters every year where he talked about his two divorces and his struggle with depression and alcoholism.

Most active DFLers know that Mark Dayton will not be a good candidate for the DFL ticket in November because he has very little chance of winning.

Mark is a great person on a personal level. I don’t want anything to disparge his character, which is of very high quality. But he won’t win the November election.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Look at this picture of my Grandmother. Look at her eyes.

Now look at this picture of Mark Dayton. Look at his eyes.

Hey! Mark Dayton and my Grandmother have the same eyes! That's why I like Mark Dayton...he looks just like my grandmother!


Saturday, March 27, 2010


The Uptake
March 27, 2010

Gubernatorial candidate and State Representative Paul Thissen gave a surprising speech on the House floor today, expressing the difference between compromise and caving in, and that this bill was indicative of caving in, not compromise. He urged members to not vote for this GAMC bill. Fellow Representative and gubernatorial candidate Tom Rukavina, along with 10 others, did vote no on the GAMC bill.

Copyright: ©2010 The Uptake


Senator Amy Klobuchar and Me

Me and Senator Al Franken

I just got home from the CD6 Convention. Everyone was there. For those who couldn't attend, you missed some fantastic speeches, a lot of high energy and enthusiasm, and a great deal of passion. The consensus is that we will beat Michele Bachmann. I have no doubt about it.

The MN DFL website calendar said the event started at 11:00. Unfortunately, it didn't say anything about the events that took place right outside the building before the convention. Included in this was Tarryl Clark's rally. She just finished when I arrived. I'm not sure what else took place before that.

The first person I bumped into was Dyna from Entenza's campaign. She was standing by her motorcycle and sidecar that clearly state Entenza for Governor. That's quite a contraption. It always makes me smile when I see it. I chatted a bit with Dyna, had my picture taken with Al Franken, then went inside the building. This was the first time I had ever met Al in person. What a tremendously cool guy. I'm so glad he's our Senator.

All my campaign friends were there plus a lot of people I hadn't met before. It's always great to see Thissen's staff and Rybak's staff. They're always so cheerful. Clark's staff is too. I enjoyed a hug from Tarryl's son Nate. What a nice young man! Seeing Elizabeth and Ryan from reNEW MN is always a treat. I was so happy to see how much they all poured out their support for me and asked me how I was. That meant so much to me. Paul Thissen and R. T. Rybak also inquired as to how I was doing. Both showed compassion and empathy. What caring candidates they both are!

The convention officially opened right on time at 11:00. First was the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by The Star Spangled Banner sung by the assistant chair of CD6.

Next, David Loghawe, who hopes to be elected the new CD6 chair, introduced Al Franken. He told us that Republicans did not want Al Franken to be the 60th DFL Senator. Because Al succeeded in securing that seat, Health Care Reform passed!

Here's the gist of Al Franken's speech:

Kudos to everyone who knocked on doors and made phone calls. He and Frannie are having a wonderful time in Washington. He is supporting Tarryl Clark. One of the reasons is because she supported him. (Yup, that's how it's supposed to work. Support your supporters! I'm so glad Al understands this concept so well.)

Al said that the American people wanted HCR. Republicans think they don't want it. Republicans are wrong. He told us that fifty percent of bankruptcies in this country are caused by a health care crisis. That's not going to happen anymore.

Al said he had talked to many Americans who were frightened of losing their health care or had already lost it. They didn't know what they were going to do. Some were sick and desperately needed medical care.

He had wanted the public option. He realizes, though, that this bill is just a first step. There will be many changes just as there were when social security and Medicare first became legislated.

Al told us how hard Amy Klobuchar had fought for value reimbursement in Medicare. He said that we fought a good fight for HCR reform and we won. The Republicans have a problem with that, but Al said it made him feel like he's at a parent/teacher conference and his kid got an A but the other guy's kid got an F.

The reason the HCR bill is so great, Al said, is because we listened to the American people. The Republicans are lying to and deceiving the American people. Now that the bill has passed, people are curious about what is in it. Now that they are discovering what is in it, they like it.

Al also worked on a bill to get service dogs to returning veterans, particularly those with psychological repercussions from war. There are a lot of neat things happening in the Senate. The Stimulus Program is creating two million jobs.

He is working on getting No Child Left Behind changed. He helped pass COBRA extensions as well as REI extensions. He said, "We did all these good things because we're Democrats!" Lots of applause and cheers for Al.

Al Franken is a great speaker. He's got excellent voice projection and vocal variety and knows how to intersperse his speech with humor. Very impressive!

After Al Franken's speech, Nancy Schumacher, the current CD6 chair, took the floor. She introduced the reading of the Affirmative Action statement.

Next, Sue Regle, chair of the crendential committee, gave the report on that. Then came the treasurer's report.

Brian Rice spoke for Tom Rukavina, who chairs the Workforce Committee. Brian told us that Tom's focus is on jobs and education and that Tom understands people. (Tom Rukavina is a great guy with a heart of gold. If only there wasn't that rumor of him being the love child between Jesse Ventura and Paul Wellstone! Brian explained how that meant that Tom Rukavina can relate to both the DFL people and the independent voters.)

The next speaker was Amy Klobuchar. Claps, cheers, applause, standing ovation. Amy, Amy, Amy, the crowd chanted. Klobuchar is a wonderful speaker. She's motivational and enthusiastic.

Amy said that we must move our country away from being debt-ridden to being a country that exports to the world. We must expand biofuels in Minnesota rather than in India. We must build rail here in Minnesota, not in China. We need a backbone of steel. She also stated that no matter what the Supreme Court says, corporations are not people! She got cheers and a standing ovation for that!

Senator Klobuchar said we should respect veterans by making sure they have housing, medical and education. We need to extend the Northstar line from Big Lake to St. Cloud.

What a wonderful speaker Amy Klobuchar is. She's enthusiastic, motivational and energetic. This blogger was very impressed with the presentations of both Klobuchar and Franken.

Amy said, "We can't just let the Do Nothing Crowd go on with their agenda. We have to call them out." More applause. More cheers.

After Senator Klobuchar finished speaking it was time for the Constitutional Amendments report.

Next came the endorsement speeches. There were two nominations for this seat that Michele Bachmann now holds: Tarryl Clark and Dr. Maureen Reed. The applause and cheers sounded pretty close to a tie. This will have to be a paper ballot rather than vocal.

Clark and Reed were each given seventeen minutes for their speech slot. Each used part of this time to allow others to speak up for them.

First, a delegate spoke up for Dr. Maureen Reed. This delegate is a senior in high school. Gary Gross spoke next. He's a long time DFL activist. He said that Maureen is not so far to the left that she can't relate to moderate and independent voters. Susan Regle was the last speaker for Dr. Reed.

Next, Dr. Maureen Reed spoke in her own behalf. She said that she takes her job very seriously. She's been working fourteen hours per day to go against Michele Bachman. Reed appears to be very tough. Her focus is to work hard, play fair, don't whine, and make a difference.

Reed said that she has seen the good and bad of health care. She is glad for HCR, but she said that we are not done with it yet. Michele Bachman has got to go! Reed said that she will go after the swing voters and the independent voters. She knows them, she knows how they think, and she knows where they live.

Reed further stated that we have to neutralize Michele Bachmann. She will do this because she is a centrist, an outsider and because she knows business.

Dr. Maureen Reed was excellent in her presentation today. She made sense. Her supporters went wild. I thought she was good but she sounded a bit harsh and angry. I guess we all are in regard to Bachmann.

Now it was Tarryl Clark's turn. She got lots of applause, claps, cheers, foot stomps and rah rahs. Go Tarryl!

The first speaker on Tarryl Clark's behalf was Wes Snyder. He spoke of Tarryl's excellent character. Next, Grace Faltage, delegate from SD32, said that she's in awe of Tarryl for her commitment, dedication and passion.

The third speaker for Tarryl was Representative Marsha Swails. She said that Tarryl Clark has the common touch. She values her constituents. She values Minnesotans. She values her supporters. (!!!) She is so honored and proud to call Tarryl Clark her friend.

Tarryl then took the lectern herself. More applause, cheers, stomping of feet and chants of Tarryl, Tarryl, Tarryl. She's the candidate who will beat Michele Bachmann.

Tarryl told us that she has learned how to get every penny out of every dollar. She will do that in Washington. She has a passion for Minnesota and will work hard for this state.

Next, it's Question and Answer time. There were a total of 64 questions submitted by the audience. They have been consolidated. The Rules of this question and answer session were given. Clark and Reed were both asked to come to the podium. (Actually, it's a lectern, not a podium. A podium is the object that the band director stands on.) At first I thought it was said that both Clark and Reed were going to abide by the endorsement, but as it turns out, Reed will only abide by the results of the Primary in August.

Question #1: What will you do to ensure that Bachmann doesn't win again?

Reed - She will get the swing voters and the independent voters. These comprise ten percent of the vote in CD6. She said that we cannot leave this to chance. She claims that she can get their votes in their homes where they live.

Clark - She knows that Bachmann can be beat. She is already doing grassroots campaigning and going door to door and neighbor to neighbor. She will beat Bachmann the same way Klobachar beat Kennedy.

Question #2: What improvements will you make for Minnesotans if you win?

Clark - She will especially focus on cost containment. She's a results-based person. She will make sure that the underserved will now get health care.

Reed - She said we need reform for doctors and hospitals. She wants a waiver for Minnesota so we can be free from those things that are affecting such states as Alabama and Arkansas.

Question #3: How will you bring us out of the deficit?

Reed - Economic growth, cut spending and increase taxes.

Clark - Make sure seniors and nursing homes still get what they need. She supports pay as you go. She's interested in improving infrastructure and in agricultural jobs.

Question #4: How will you debate with Bachmann?

Clark - She will say to Bachmann, "There you go again." Bachmann is always going off on some irrelevent tangent that doesn't make any sense. Clark points out that we are all patriots, no matter what Bachmann says.

Reed - She will say to Bachmann, "Hold the phone, sister." She will come against Bachmann on every unfactual and bigotted thing that Bachmann says. She will also talk about Bachmann's 114 missed votes on the House floor.

Question #5: How will you make use of the new media in your campaign?

Reed and Clark pretty much answered this one the same. They are both using such sources as Twitter, Facebook, campaign websites, etc.

Question #6: How will you campaign for the DFL Primary?

Clark - She's running to defeat Bachmann. Period. She's not running against anyone else.

Reed - We are running one campaign and one campaign only. It will be directed against Michelle Bachmann, what she has done and what she has not done.

Some of the gubernatorial candidates spoke next.

John Marty - He gave a very passionate speech about the DFL platform and that now is the time to win. His presentation was excellent. It's getting better and better each time I hear him speak. He was passionate and emphathatic about what he stands for and why Minnesota needs a progressive leader now.

Peter Idusogie - He spoke of righteousness and justice. Life is about people. People are everything. Peter spoke with perfection. Excellent speaking techniques. He spoke with passion. I felt thrilled by his speech.

Paul Thissen - The only way to win is to concentrate on the issues. In Minnesota we should be striving for the best. Don't just slap a coat of paint on a building that's falling down. (Great metaphor.) We need leadership that works. Don't follow the status quo. Look forward, not backward. (Paul will be the fresh new leader that Minnesota voters are looking for. He stands for the new, not the old. He can get the swing voters and the independent voters. Paul Thissen is a candidate for all people.)

R. T. Rybak - Applause, claps, cheers. The crowd always goes wild before he even opens his mouth to speak. Rybak has a way with people. They love him! Today he was at his usual best. His message was, "Do not divide the Democratic Party." More cheers and applause. Rybak is such a passionate, enthusiastic and motivational speaker. He knows how to appeal to the masses. All he needs now is some kind of a rousing theme song for his campaign.

Following these speeches by gubernatorial candidates, we were lucky to hear two other speakers. They were Mark Ritchie and Brian Melendez. Mark is up for reelection for Secretary of State. Brian is the MN DFL chair. Donna, the assistant chair, was also present today.

Mark Ritchie - We've done a lot for the voting process, but we have more to do. He's got a serious opponent. Mark will honor his opponent for his long years of service as a veteran and as a legislator. He will campaign on the issues only. Mark Ritchie will not run a dirty campaign.

Brian Melendez - We have been working for years for this day. We have prepared for this campaign long and hard. He told us to play nice and treat each other with civility and respect. Treat supporters of both candidates in an excellent manner. United we stand; divided we fall. (Brian gave a great speech. This was excellent oratory.)

We then got the results of the voting. There were 150.5 votes cast. Dr. Maureen Reed received 56 of them. Tarryl Clark received 94.5. Reed got 37.2% of the votes; Clark got 62.8%. Therefore Tarryl Clark is the endorsed candidate.

Tarryl Clark gave an excellent acceptance speech. She said that we will all do this together!

I didn't stay for the rest of the meeting so I don't know who the new chair, assistant chair and other officers are. That will hopefully soon be found on the MN DFL website.

After chatting briefly with reNEW MN people and candidate staffers, I was ready to go home. Now to prepare for my Meet and Greet for Dave Pinto. It's tomorrow at 2:00 at Lakewood Hills Apartments in White Bear Lake. It's the northwest corner of McKnight Road and I694. Go to the bottom of the hill to the big brown apartment complex.

I really appreciated the high energy I experienced today at the CD6 Convention. I'm looking forward to attending more conventions in April.

Here's some more pictures I took today:

Amy Klobuchar

Donna Cassutt, Associate Chair of MN DFL Party

Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State

Rybak Staffers

Tarryl Clark

CD6 Convention

Another View of Me and Senator Al Franken


Congressional District Conventions

Congressional District Conventions

Posted using ShareThis

Kline and Paulsen Double-up on Healthcare Hysteria

Kline and Paulsen Double-up on Healthcare Hysteria

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, March 26, 2010


Mark Dayton

I just looked through the Strib articles from awhile back. I thought, "Good grief, no wonder I feel the way I do. Just look at these comments that people made about Mark Dayton. This happens all over the place. These comments are so ignorant. They made me very angry, so I responded to them. I did this every free moment I had. A pat on the back would have been nice instead of being shunned and instead of having my picture deleted.

Here's some comments from trolls and other horrible people from when Dayton revealed his struggles with alcohol and depression. At the end, I've posted my own comments in response to these horrible and unfair words:

Yes Senator, we have a right to know
if you were under the influence of any drugs or alcohol when you were the only U.S. Senator to close his office due to alleged terror threats. We have a right to know. And before you run for future office, why don't you first start a private business, hire employees, meet a payroll, pay confiscatory taxes and find out what it is like to try and earn a dollar under a system where your DFL friends believe that making a profit is wrong.
posted by humen007 on Dec. 28, 09 at 7:09 PM

Mark Dayton
Please let's vote for this guy to be our Governor, we're on a roll. Let's see, we sent a wrestler into the Governor's office because he has a familiar name. We then sent a complete incompetent idiot to be our Senator because he had a name that was put on a department store, and was familiar. Next, we sent a comedian to represent our State as a U.S. Senator because people remembered seeing him on SNL. Now, we are going to send this idiot back into politics because he has a recognizable name, despite his ineptness, among his other problems. Thank God he doesn't have his finger on the nuclear button.
posted by mjoyce on Dec. 28, 09 at 1:42 PM

Dayton's apologists are
out in force..just change the name to Limbaugh and we'll see how far your compassion really goes..yeah it stops as the ideology changes, so quit playing the role of victim. Dayton is another rich white leftist thinking he knows the common man when he's never worked an honest day in his life...but give him some addiction and suddenly his "bravery and honesty" are qualifiers to elected office.
posted by donotbugme on Dec. 28, 09 at 12:39 PM

I appreciate the honesty...but...
Truly, it is refreshing. And also to be honest Im not a big fan of Dayton as a politician. My concern is why run for governor with this going on in your recent history? Even if you agree with his politics, isnt there someone else out there who can represent liberal politics as well as or better than Dayton without all the personal issues? The answer is yes. Dayton just isnt that special of a politician where we cant do as good or better without the personal baggage, including alcoholism. NO individual politician is. I wish him well with his recovery, but not in his quest for becoming governor.
posted by nthernlgts on Dec. 28, 09 at 11:49 AM

You have running/buying for office since the 70's
Do us all a favor and get a real job or start a business that actually produces something of real value, you have been an expense to tax payers and your family forever, time to grow up poor little trust fund boy.
posted by bootstraps on Dec. 28, 09 at 11:05 AM

Yeah, well I'm depressed he's running for governor.
If a liberal rag like Time called Dayton 'the blunderer', you know he was terrible as a Senator. One of the worst Senators in senate history. He had NO accomplishments of any distinction in the senate, and he was the ONLY senator to close his capitol office and run away when there was an alert for a possible terrorist act in D.C. And BTW, did you notice even in this strib 'list of highlights', NO senate highlights are listed?? Even the strib can't find anything of note to say about this failure's senate stint. Let's hope the people of Minnesota wake up after electing yet another senate embarrassment, Al Franken, and start electing people who WON'T embarrass us ever again.
posted by minn12 on Dec. 27, 09 at 2:06 PM

Reading all of these horrible comments made me want to post my own comments in Dayton's defense. So I did. Here's some of the comments I made:

Some of the posters on here are really scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something negative to say about Mark Dayton. Many of you don't even know what you're talking about. For those who say he never worked: do your homework. He's been working since high school. He spent three summers as an orderly at the old Abbot Hospital in Minneapolis. Out of college he worked as a teacher in a NYC inner city school. After that he worked at a Boston social service agency. Then he was a legislative assistant to Walter Mondale. If you want to talk about someone, at least get your facts right instead of making stuff up off the top of your head. Oh, and he did start his own company. Vermillion Investment Company. As for closing his Senate office, all the senators were gone. The legislature was in recess. Why leave the staff behind if there's a terrorist threat? Go find out all the facts before you spout off your mouths.
posted by colleensue on Dec. 29, 09 at 2:43 AM

Mark Dayton
He could conceivably someday be called the best governor that Minnesota ever had. So what if he moved his Senate office back to Minnesota to keep his young staff safe? Anthrax is nothing to fool around with. The parents of those staff members are eternally grateful. It's the other senators I have to wonder about. Apparently they didn't think a terroristic threat was serious. Also, he didn't just give himself an F. He gave the entire senate an F because they didn't accomplish what they were supposed to. So much for having a Republican majority. Obviously most of you don't know of all the good things he did as a Senator and as a human being. Some adjectives to describe Mark Dayton: honest, intelligent, caring, generous, viable, sensitive, humble, nice, witty, moral, ethical, big-hearted, and the list goes on. That's a whole lot more than I can say about those of you on this board who are so negative and ridiculous in your comments. And for the person who said that Dayton doesn't attend any functions...I don't know where you got your information. He's attended every one of the forums and debates that I have been to and a whole lot more that I couldn't make it to. He goes to Meet and Greets. He's got the AFSCME endorsement and will be visiting 87 counties in 87 days. And who finds parades to go to in the winter in Minnesota, except the Winter Carnival? I'm proud to be a Mark Dayton supporter, and so are his almost 3,000 Facebook supporters. There have been a ton of posts in support of him. I didn't see even one negative post. Mark Dayton has done nothing but good for other people his entire life. What have you done for others? http://aprilknight.blogspot.com/2009/12/mark-dayton-picture-is-worth-thousand.html
posted by colleensue on Dec. 27, 09 at 8:36 PM

I posted good stuff like that in response to all the negative comments. I spent a couple of hours a night doing it in many newspapers and guestbooks around the state. No wonder I'm so tired. No wonder my head is drooping. I'm just so tired......



Biker Chicks

I spent most of the day at work processing data that came in from health plans and clinics. This is the busiest time of the year for that. The researchers in the Health Economics Program use this data that we collect to do their research.

At lunch I walked the skyway. I ran into J. P. Barone again. He was having lunch at the fast food section right across the skyway from TCF. We both said hi, then I walked on to the Burlington Northern Building where my friend Frank J. Brown has his art gallery. He was there. He and Doug, another sculpturer, were just putting the clay on a woman they are making to go in a group sculpture.

They were glad to see me. Some people are, you know.

Frank and Doug were discussing the latest on the Catholic priests. We all agreed that child molesting is the worst crime there is.

We then discussed the upcoming gubernatorial election. I told them that I'm officially no longer a Dayton supporter. Frank asked why. I said because Dayton made me cry. Frank asked if it was just a misunderstanding. I said, "no, probably not."

Frank and Doug wanted to know who I would vote for then. I said probably Rybak, Thissen or Entenza. They both liked Entenza because they met him at an event in Lowertown and liked what he said and how he presented himself. They both like Rybak. They don't know anything about Thissen. He'd better get down there and introduce himself. Frank knows almost everyone who lives and/or works downtown. He's been down there for years and years. I told Dayton about Frank, but Dayton never saw fit to go see him. Frank, as you may recall from one of my previous blogs, had worked on a bill with Paul Wellstone.

Doug said he didn't care for Dayton because he only served one term in the Senate. I would have explained that to him, but what's the point now?

It was time for me to go back to work. Frank asked me if I was sure the thing with Dayton wasn't just a misunderstanding. I said no, he hates me. Oh well.

I'm running around the skyway trying to get back all the Dayton campaign pins that I had given out. I'm replacing them with Entenza, Rybak and Thissen pins. Let's spread the love around.

Some people liked the idea of having the Dayton pin with the big red X over it. They are wearing that on one side of their jacket and the other candidate's pin on the other side. They seem to be happy with that. One lady fought to keep her Dayton button, but I gave a fierce tug and got it back.

It was nice walking back to work through the skyway. Lots of people stopped to say hi to me or waved. I know a lot of people downtown now. They all like me. Only Dayton and his staffers don't.

Back to work. More data. More processing. It kept me busy the rest of the afternoon.



How long should you support a losing campaign? Until it becomes not viable, like in the subcaucus process? Or just until your support is no longer wanted or appreciated? Or until all your efforts are wiped out by all the negative comments all across Minnesota? Is it even feasible to try to undo or respond to all those negative comments? It takes a lot out of you and is very depressing. There were days on end that I felt I was fighting a losing battle. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to keep fighting against misrepresentations and half-truths that never stop circulating about a particular candidate. I'm so tired. My liver is failing, yet I thought it would be so great to do one last good thing. Help get a DFL candidate elected as the next Minnesota governor.

If a campaign doesn't want my support, then I'll just say okay and move on. Which should be fine, except it really hurts. And Mark Dayton doesn't deserve my support. Not at all. I will give it instead to a candidate who doesn't keep doing idiotic things. Someone like R. T. Rybak, Paul Thissen or Matt Entenza.  Maybe I'll back Margaret.

If the Dayton campaign does win the primary, it would get slaughtered at the general election in November. There is no doubt at all about that. Dayton should just drop out of the race for the good of the DFL party. Like he did when he left his one and only Senate term.

I guess we all know which campaign I'm talking about. The one I've been promoting with glorious adjectives of commendation all across the internet and all across the state. On newpaper and magazine comment boxes, in obscure guestbooks and on numerous chatrooms.

At the AFSCME endorsement, we almost finished without an endorsement. There were a lot of members who didn't want to endorse the candidate that the board recommended. There were members who thought this candidate had obvious mental illness. I highly disagreed. I stood up twice to give a glowing report of him. I used all my persuasive speaking skills to exemplify his virtues. One person said he looked really old and reminded her of John McCain. I said, "Honey, if he's old, then more than half of us in this room are in big trouble." I happily spoke long and hard to get him the endorsement. Jennifer Munt, who works closely with Elliot Seide, told me that it was my speaking up that swayed the membership to endorse Mark Dayton. That's how he got that endorsement.

The Republicans keep saying that he's a weird, weird man. I always disagreed. After all, I was his biggest supporter. I believed in what I thought he stood for. I believed in the myth. I'm an idiot. A complete moron.

My son and his wife said, "Mom, if we meet a new friend and we want to know if he's any good, we're going to bring him over to meet you. If you like him, we'll know he's no good."

Seriously. They said that to me. It really makes me doubt myself.

A few blogs back, I posted the YouTube video of Mark Dayton's recent AFSCME speech. I thought he did a great job, so I said so on his Facebook page and gave the link. Poof! Deleted! Gone! Gosh, what was that all about?? Apparently it's because, as Dayton himself said several times, he wants to keep his page clear for his comments against Pawlenty and the Republican agenda. Although some of his Facebook friends told him that should not be part of his campaign, he does not listen. He recently told them they might be better off with another candidate. Indeed.

And now his Facebook page doesn't take any comments at all. He doesn't want the viewpoint of his "friends." He told me that if they don't like what he writes on his page, they shouldn't be on it. Now he wants everyone to go to his new Facebook Fan page. Hardly anyone is, at least so far. Fans are supposed to post discussions on various issues. No one is. I had posted several, but I deleted them all and left the group.

If Dayton gets to be governor, he will definitely be called Governor Dork. He doesn't have good judgement. We don't need another governor with bad judgement.

He's obsessed with Pawlenty to the point where his obsession is not good for him. I can see why he feels that way. Look what the Republicans did to his reputation in Washington. It was horrible. How could it not have affected him? I don't think that many of us even know how deeply. And now he wants to be governor so he can find redemption. That's not a good enough reason to elect him. He wants to campaign because it keeps him busy and that's the best thing for his health. I can understand that. But it's not a good reason to elect him governor. Neither is feeling sorry for him.

There sure are a lot of people who commented about how Dayton used to send Christmas letters every year with a lot of personal information in them about himself and his two divorces. They were very uncomfortable in receiving those letters. I suppose some will be uncomfortable reading this, too. Oh well. It's my blog. A blog is often like a diary. You're supposed to express your feelings, ideas and opinions.

I wrote a comment on the Facebook Progressive Caucus page regarding how Dayton was the best candidate. This was a few months back. One woman spat out that his ex-wife said he was a wimp. I was appalled, especially since Dayton was also a member of that group. I responded that no ex-wife has anything good to say about their ex-husband. That's pretty normal. Yet there have been a couple of occasions now where Dayton hides behind the skirts of his attorney instead of responding to something himself.

My heart is no longer with this candidate. He destroyed that. My logic says he's not the best choice. He's got too much baggage. He might be able to win the primary. Indeed, he's got an excellent chance. Then what? Then we lose at the general election? That's what many of my Facebook friends say. Maybe I should start listening to other people instead of always thinking I'm right about everything. See, I can't trust my own judgement anymore.

Did I like Dayton too much? Well of course. Like I said, I'm an idiot. The worst kind of fool. It doesn't matter. My liver is getting worse. I'm feeling the throes of depression. Everytime I try to do something good I get knocked down. Why bother trying?

I hate this disease. My liver doesn't make nearly enough cholesterol or vitamin D anymore. It doesn't properly process the dietary fat anymore, so look at me now. I will be glad when this life is over. I'll come back in my next life as a beautiful young rich healthy energetic Italian girl.

Well, the Dayton campaign told me that they have given me more than any other person in Minnesota. I have no idea what they are talking about. I'm the one who gave and gave and gave. What did they give? Oh, they talked to me. I know that I was a laughing stock to some of the staffers. They made that clear at MYDFL convention.

And what was up with him blowing up rats in the microwave? Sure, the rats were already dead. He was trying to thaw them out to feed his son's boa constricter. Apparently it's like trying to cook an egg in the microwave. In the shell. Lots of people found out, when microwaves first came on the market, that you can't do that. It was kind of humorous. But rats? He told the media that it took a week or two to clean up the mess. Ok, so he didn't know. You can't hold that against anyone. It's an honest mistake. The part that people wonder about is why he would tell that to the media. Is that an error in judgement? Do we want a governor who does not use good judgement? One incident, sure. Overlook it. But three or four? Or more?

I personally have a history of overlooking everything. I'm a pie in the sky kind of person. My glass was always half full. I spent most of my life looking at the world through rose colored glasses. That must not work because I always end up getting hurt. Really badly.

Maybe I was born to be a catalyst.

So is the Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota a losing campaign? I would say so. And if they don't lose in August, then we all lose in November. It would have been better had I never become involved in politics. I just wanted to do something good.

I don't think Mark Dayton even wants to be governor. I think he just wants to campaign because he likes campaigning. He likes feeling important. He's sure not doing anything to ensure that he gets elected. Not very many people show up at his Meet and Greets on his 87 X 87 tour.

So goodbye, Mr. Dayton. It's your loss far more than it is mine. I could have helped you win. It would have been fun campaigning with you. Now I'll be campaigning against you. At least my eyes have been opened.



Thursday, March 25, 2010


This is from:  http://old.nationalreview.com/battleground/2004/battleground200410242249.asp

MINNESOTA: MOVING TOWARD THE SENATE EXIT [Scott W. Johnson 10/24/2006 10:49 PM]

In "Senator Dayton shirks his duty," Powerline sets forth the basis for our view that Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton is dealing from something less than a full deck. Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman attacked us personally for referring to Dayton in that post as Minnesota's contribution to the psychiatric profession.

On October 12, shortly after Coleman's column appeared, Dayton evacuated his Washington office in the face of "a heightened risk" of terrorism and seemed to vindicate our assessment of him. We noted the evacuation in "Yellow alert" and posted Dayton's Minneapolis Star Tribune column explaining the rationale for the evacuation of his office in "Terminated with extreme precaution."

Since Dayton's evacuation of his Washington office, reputable citizens in Washington and elsewhere have voiced conclusions regarding Dayton not unlike ours. Fox News correspondent Brian Wilson archly referred to the hallway outside Dayton's office in the Russell Senate Office Building as the "Zone of Death." The Washington Post ran a highly critical account of Dayton's actions in "Senator defends shutting Hill office" and editorially called for a "Frequency check." The Washingon Times ran a roundup of damning quotes in "Leaders in DC mock Dayton." Dayton was dubbed "Evacuatin' Dayton." We suspect that the nickname will stick.

Today Coleman returns to Dayton's defense in his column "Dayton fires back at 'rats." The column quotes Dayton defending his actions, first before a Minneapolis Rotary Club audience and then a teachers' union gathering. Coleman clearly intends the column to lend assistance to Dayton, but hearing Dayton defend himself calls to mind the adage about any lawyer who defends himself ("...has a fool for a client") :

"They try to destroy you in order to defeat you," he says with anger in his voice. "They are sewer rats, and they're down in the sewer. If people want their politics down in the sewer, they're going to end up with sewer rats rather than public servants."

Dayton, 57, isn't up for reelection this year but has inadvertently found himself in the cross hairs in a brutal election battle fought against a backdrop of muddled terror threats and juvenile name-calling.

The scion of a wealthy department-store family, Dayton sometimes seems wide-eyed, has a stiff, formal manner and sometimes stumbles over his syntax - making him a popular target for right-wing hatchet bloggers [Ed.: There you go again! and operatives...

Coleman then moves on to Dayton's appearance before the Minnesota teachers' union:

Dayton gives the teachers a rousing talk, telling them that the toughest job he ever had was as a public school teacher in New York City and amusing them with a reference to keg parties at Yale, where the president of his fraternity was one George W. Bush. "I've seen the president take positions that none of you have," he jokes. [Ed.: Dayton is not known for his sense of humor.

When he is done speaking, a teacher from Minneapolis comes up to say, "I commend you for the courage to shut your office and for the courage to be different." [Ed. "The courage to shut his office..." Sounds like a campaign slogan!] In politics, however, being different can be risky. Except for West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd [Ed.: With friends like that...], few Democrats have come to his aid. With his friends leery, it is no surprise his opponents smell blood and have seized the issue to soften him up for 2006, when he will be up for reelection.

The same kind of gutter talk aimed at him has been aimed at other Democrats in recent years, he says, including Senate colleagues John Kerry and the late Paul Wellstone. His attackers, he says, accuse him of what they fear in themselves.

"They don't see me," he says. "They don't know me. There's a Zen saying: 'If a pickpocket sees the Buddha, all he sees is pockets.' They are reflecting themselves with their verbiage. They are just sewer rats who have never done anything themselves or won anything themselves, and they just want to put a notch on their belt. They want to destroy me in order to defeat me. In some places, they assassinate leaders, but here they don't want to go to prison, so they character-assassinate their leaders.

Coleman then quotes Dayton addressing the question of his mental balance, but it is not clear if this is in response to Coleman's question or part of his talk to the teachers' union:

As to insinuations about his mental health that surfaced in his 2000 campaign and have returned with the storm over his office closing, Dayton says:

"I'm 57, I know myself pretty well, and I know I'm a lot healthier than most politicians I'm around. I've never been arrested; I've never acted irresponsibly or inappropriately. I've talked freely about my two divorces and my recovery from alcoholism, but don't owe my personal medical history to anyone. [Ed.: We brought the subject up after he volunteered it to us in his annual Christmas card.] I'm not running for president. [Ed. Does that mean Dayton thinks John Kerry owes us his medical records? ] I've been in public service for three decades, and I've performed honestly and honorably, and I've never disgraced the public cause [Ed.: I think we'll be the judge of that], and I'll stand on that record.

"That's what people are entitled to from me."

Coleman returns to Dayton's address to the Rotarians:

"It should be considered unpatriotic," he says, "to brag at the country club about not paying taxes." [Ed.: Who the hell is he talking about? Mr. Kerry and Mrs. Heinz?

The Rotarians listen respectfully, then brace themselves when he finally is asked why he closed his office.

He explains that, given the terror briefing he attended, he could not let his staff remain in Washington while he and the rest of Congress were back home, politicking. It would be immoral and cowardly for him to leave "other people's sons and daughters" at risk while he was safe at home.

"I pray to God I'm wrong," he says. "I probably am." [Ed.: And not just about that!]

The Rotarians relax and seem reassured that their senator is not from another planet.

Somehow we don't entirely credit Coleman's interpretation of the Rotarians' response to Dayton. Indeed, Coleman's spin suggests why we describe Coleman as a reliably partisan hack. We trust that Dayton's comments will help Minnesotans give Dayton "the courage to shut his office" on a permanent basis when he stands for reelection in 2006.


Mark Dayton

Mark Dayton or one of his staffers seached through my Facebook profile. It's like eavesdropping. You might find things you don't like. I don't know what he was upset about, since there were no names mentioned. There were no campaigns mentioned by name either. He somehow just assumed we were talking about his campaign. The reason we were talking about it is because we were wondering why his campaign was not going well and we were concerned about it.

Here's what the comment thread said. It started out wondering why only a few people came to the candidate's Meet & Greets. This is a reasonable question for supporters who are putting their time and money into a campaign. We want to know that the staffers are doing their job. Don't tell us it's none of our business. Perhaps Dayton should find ways to improve instead of rebuking criticism. Perhaps he should hire a motivational presenter to come in and teach the campaign how to be enthused and how to look and act enthused at events.

1st Person:  It doesn't look like very many people come to a certain candidate's Meet and Greets. Just a handful of mostly seniors.

2nd Person:  If it's the same one I'm thinking of, I saw it too....

1st Person:  All the pictures are like that. There aren't any with more than a dozen people. The campaign definitely needs revamping. It needs energizing. Someone on that staff is not doing their job.

2nd Person:  Don't know what's going on, but its NOT working. If I were to say one thing to them: This isn't theory and sitting in a classroom, kids, this is the REAL world. This race is going to get alot tougher.

1st Person:  I know. It's not looking good at all. His main campaign manager never seems to show much enthusiasm.

2nd Person:  Very unprepared and incompetent, but it might look good on a resume one day.

1st Person:  Enthusiasm is so important. I went to one event that he couldn't attend, but he had two staffers or volunteers there. It was the MYDFL convention. The two girls who were there on his behalf did a terrible job. I wanted to shoo them away and do it myself.

2nd Person:  Thats how I feel about the staffers. A race like this needs experienced, seasoned strategists. Makes me sad... :(

3rd Person:  I would love to be at all of them , but as you know I cannot drive, I am their in Spirit ...

1st Person:  I haven't been to any of them either. I'm sure they don't miss me.

4th Person:  Nothing wrong with us seniors. WE vote.

1st Person:  Yes, seniors always get out and vote. Kudos to us! And we're the largest percentage of the voters now.

After the Dayton campaign found this thread, I received this email from Dayton:

Since you asked how you can help my campaign, you can best do so by being consistently positive in your public comments about it -- or else, not commenting at all. In particular, your public criticisms of my staff are most unhelpful and most unwelcome.

My staff members are very dedicated women and men, who are doing their very best to help me win. I am a public political figure, and it is appropriate to criticize or attack me publicly. However, they are not public figures; and it is harmful and inappropriate, when you are critical of them.

Sincerely, Mark Dayton

Notice that when he's censoring, he signs with his full name, first and last, as opposed to his many, many previous emails to me in which he was just Mark when he signed.

And why does he think we were talking about his staff? Again, no names were mentioned. No candidate was mentioned. No campaign was mentioned. If he had kept quiet, no one would have known, and then he could train his staff to do better.

Listen, his staff includes some really great people. I can't say enough good things about their personalities and characters. But it takes enthusisam and motivated people to win a campaign. Is the campaign depressed because the candidate is depressed? The candidate sets the tone for the whole campaign. I can certainly attest to how down in the dumps depression can bring a person. It's like there's a big black cloud hovering around you.

I don't always feel like that though. Only when Dayton is reprimanding me. When he used to smile at me or grin when he saw me, like I did when I saw him or even thought about him, I would grin a great big grin that wouldn't go away. Seriously. It was almost like being back on the West Bank in 1968.

And now look what happened. War. Chaos. Insecurity. Rejection. Bleakness. No serendipity to be found. This is definitely not a viable situation. My stomach has sunk to the ground. I feel nervous, very very dreadfully nervous. Can't sleep, can't eat. My nerves are shot.

And then another email from him:

I welcome your continuing support – which is certainly your prerogative -- as long as you leave my staff entirely out of your comments. You are, of course, entitled to say whatever you want about me. Everyone else does!

No he's not welcoming my support...he's only saying that because it is my prerogative...neither he nor his campaign will even talk to me anymore.

Oh whine whine whine. And here I've been telling people that Mark Dayton never whines about anything. Some of his Facebook supporters disagree. Some think he whines about Pawlenty constantly. He talked about how horrible Pawlenty is that he rarely took time to discuss issues and what he was going to do to fix Minnesota should he get elected governor. A few too many people complained a few too many times. They didn't like that he wouldn't answer them. Instead, he just kept posting news stories about Pawlenty's latest misdeed. It was pointed out by one of his FB friends that we on his FB page already know how horrible Pawlenty is. She wanted to know what he was going to do about various issues should he be elected governor. Some people got so fed up with him that they said they weren't going to support him anymore.

So now he set up his FB wall so that no one can comment on anything. Then he set up another fan page where people are supposed to join that and then make comments about the issues. Except he has over 3,000 people on his Mark Dayton FB page and only 312 have joined his fan page. He'll get more, but not nearly as many. Being a complete dork about FB does not get you more supporters.

I don't know if it's Dayton making all these faux pauxs on FB or if it's his staff. At one point his staff had emailed me and said they don't have anything to do with his FB; he does it all himself. Then some time after that, when one of my posts was deleted, his deputy campaign manager emailed me and said that staff deleted it. Two different stories. Here's the email I received from his Deputy Campaign Manager.

Dear Colleen, Mark shared with me the Facebook message you sent to him this morning. Your subsequent comment on Mark's FB wall, which I also deleted, makes any reply to your message irrelevant.

Notice that she says "which I also deleted." This means that his staff most certainly does have access to his FB page. For him to say they don't, then, is a blatant lie.

And what was it that was so necessary to delete? Why, it was a post in praise of his AFSCME on the Hill speech, which was an excellent speech, full of fire and passion. I was so proud of him for that speech. And my comment included the link to the video of the speech.

Doesn't he want to win the election???

After Dayton attempted to censor me, I shared it with another commenter. Here's what he had to say:

Freedom of speech is a given right. Don't like what's said about you, correct it or get the **** out of the way for someone else who can. You being chastized was most inappropriate. Imagine when the race gets really hot, then what?

And someone else privately sent me this email:

Said it before and I'll say it again: This is not a campaign for someone like Mark Dayton to run by a bunch of wet behind the ears college kids. Period. Where are the folks from his prior campaigns, is what I'd like to know. They were apparently very successful, and now he's got this? Mark's too smart for this. I like Mark alot. I feel like a traitor in my thoughts of supporting Paul, but I will do what I have to, to make sure we have a Democrat as our next governor.

He's either got some huge strategy or has made a huge mistake somewhere along the line. Time will tell. For him to write this to you really isn't appropriate. Keep doing what you're doing... my 2 cents worth.

And my response:

Thank you for your input. I agree that his staff is unseasoned. I think that he should give his supporters the same consideration that he gives his paid staff. After all, those of us who aren't paid are doing it from our hearts. I don't believe in censorship and I'm really surprised that Mark is trying to tell me what to write. If I can't say anything good don't say anything at all? I've said so many good things about him that I feel ridiculous. You're not a traitor in thinking of supporting Paul. Paul can win. I doubt if Mark can win the general election. The Republicans have way too much stuff on him. I feel bad about saying that, but it's true. And furthermore, I shouldn't be voting for someone just because I have a big crush on him. On the other hand, it's better than some people voting merely on name recognition. At least I know that if Mark did get to be governor, he'd be a darn good one.

People tell me that it's his loss. He didn't appreciate all I did for his campaign. He'll never know exactly how much that was. I guess I'm not rich enough for him to notice. I'm no Rockefeller, nor Lodge, nor Cabot, nor Ordway.

I just have strong Mayflower and Revolutionary War roots. My forefathers had surnames like Alden, Howland, West, Peabody, Bosworth, Baker, Burr, and all the earliest names from the earliest settlers. But no Daytons. No millionaires that I know of. How could they be? They all had a dozen kids.

As far as I can tell, all Dayton's millions does for him is make him lonely and ridden with feelings of guilt that he has so much more than others. Well give it all away, then, for crying out loud. I'll bet he couldn't survive without it, though. He wouldn't know how. Besides, he never earned it anyway. He got it handed to him on the proverbial silver platter. Big deal. He's just a spoiled rich kid. A Preppie. Yale. I'm not impressed by any of that. I used to be impressed with him personally, though. A lot.

Okay, so I guess it's all water under the bridge now, except I'm stuck under the water, tangled up in the pilings. I know I will drown soon. I guess I handled the entire Mark Dayton encounters wrong right from the beginning. Everything would have been fine had I not gone off so bad about him deleting my pictures from his FB album. Guess I was really jealous because there were so many pictures of him with others, and him with a woman here and a woman there, but he deletes mine. I was devastated. When I saw that, I burst into sobs. I knew then he didn't like me. Now I know he hates me.

So I guess that's why there's a war now.

Regardless, I am glad to see that there are more people coming to his Meet & Greets now. How do I know? I keep track through the photos on his Facebook page and on his website. It's very hurtful for me to look, but I can't seem to help it.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Matt Entenza for Governor

Those who follow my blogs closely may recall me telling you that I was scheduled to volunteer on the phones at Matt Entenza's campaign office. I told his staffer Jason that I would do it because then Jason would quit talking a mile a minute. It was a good deal. I did it tonight from 4:30 til 7:00. What a great experience it was!

The minute I walked into that campaign office I felt a part of things. I was accepted. They were all glad to see me! I had met some of the people previously at various events. I felt so welcome! As some of my dear readers may have noticed, I've been way down in the dumps, off and on, for about a month. Being in Entenza's campaign office energized me and had me grinning from ear to ear again.

Entenza's campaign is motivational, enthusiastic and very, very informed about how a campaign should be run. I could see right away that this is a campaign that is going places. I now know that Matt Entenza has a very serious chance of winning the governorship.

Jason welcomed me right away. So did Doug, who is in my precinct in White Bear Lake. He's one of the best organizers in Minnesota, according to Jason. I believe him. There were also several other faces that I recognized. I have to hand it to these people for welcoming me so warmly. What a difference it made to me.

I did pretty darn good on the phone, too, in getting people to agree to come to Matt's event on Thursday afternoon. I've got a lot of years of sales experience in telemarketing, door-to-door, business-to-business and even hawking customers at the Minnesota State Fair for Encyclopaedia Britannica. I've been to a ton of motivational seminars and company sales trainings. The Entenza campaign in good to go on these sales techniques. After all, that's what a campaign is...selling the candidate to the voters.

Right before it was time for me to go home, Matt walked in from wherever he had been. He, too, welcomed me warmly and with great enthusiasm. He took some time to converse, too. I really appreciated that. How different that was from my previous experience of being involved in a campaign where they didn't even want my help and didn't acknowledge that I had anything good to offer. Now I feel human again. I feel valued. I feel included rather than excluded. I bet I'll go back and have this experience again. I'd love to go on the campaign trail with this campaign once or twice, too. The excitement of the Entenza Campaign is just what I needed! Thanks!


Monday, March 22, 2010


The health care reform bill passed through the House last night. Most of us were thrilled. This legislation has been a long, long time coming. The Republicans hate that it passed. Now Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and other Minnesota Republicans want to make this legislation illegal, or unconstitutional, or some such thing, in Minnesota. In Minnesota, which has always been a state that cared about the poor, the downtrodden, the helpless, the sick, the infirm, the disabled and the homeless.

Let's take a look at my own case for a moment. As most readers know who have been following my blogs, I have hepatitis C. I've had it since 1969 and now my liver is cirrhotic. At this point it's still well compensated, but that won't last forever. Within a few years it could become decompensated. Then I would be on the way to a liver transplant. Before the transplant, while the liver is growing more and more useless, I would be unable to work. This state of disability could last for six months, a year...who knows?

One must be disabled and unable to work for two years before Medicare kicks in. That would be two years without insurance. I had resigned myself to not being able to afford a transplant and to not having insurance at that point. No biggie; I'm not afraid to die. To quote Charlotte Bronte, "No coward soul is mine."

Still, one wishes to live if at all possible. Imagine how wonderful I found last night's news regarding health care reform. I would be able to still have insurance. I would be able to have a liver transplant when it became necessary.

Now Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and their cohorts want to try to take that away from me? And not only me, but countless others with such diseases as AIDS, cancer, liver disease and a host of other potentially fatal maladies.

Did you know that without insurance, the out-of-pocket cost of treatment medications (interferon and ribavirin) for hepatitis C is thousands of dollars per month? Do the Teabaggers really want all these people to die because they don't have health insurance? Many Teabaggers claim to be Christians. What a joke. If they would but look in their own Bibles, they would read about this guy named Jesus who said, "Whatsoever you do unto the least of these my brethern, ye do it unto me." You can see where that line of reasoning will go next. Shame on the Teabaggers. Shame on Michele Bachmann. Shame on Tim Pawlenty. I think we have some dastardly hypocrites in Minnesota, folks. And it's not us Democrats. It's those darn Teabaggers.

I have to agree with Mark Dayton on this one. (No, we don't see eye to eye on everything, but we do on this.) Pawlenty's administration and policy is evil. He can vocalize what that means better than I can. Watch the AFSME on the Hill video of Dayton's speech, then applaud him for his passion and courage in speaking up in such an exhilerating manner.

We've come this far with Health Care Reform. Don't let Minnesota Republicans take it away. People's lives depend on it.


Sunday, March 21, 2010


Many wonder whether Mark Dayton can win the DFL primary in August, and if so, whether he can win the general election in November. Does the outcome of prior elections reflect on a candidate's ability to win a current election?

Let's look at Dayton's previous election results.

Electoral History of Mark Dayton

2000 Race for U. S. Senate
     Mark Dayton (DFL), 49%
     Rod Grams (R), 43%
     Jim Gibson (I), 6%

2000 Race for U.S. Senate - Democratic Primary
     Mark Dayton (DFL), 41%
     Mike Ciresi (DFL), 22%
     Jerry Janezich (DFL), 21%
     Rebecca Yanisch (DFL), 15%
     Others, 1%

1998 Race for Governor — Democratic Primary
     Skip Humphrey (DFL), 37%
     Mike Freeman (DFL), 19%
     Doug Johnson (DFL), 19%
     Mark Dayton (DFL), 18%
     Ted Mondale (DFL), 7%

1990 Race for State Auditor
     Mark Dayton (DFL), 58%
     Bob Heinrich (R), 42%

1982 Race for U.S. Senate
     Dave Durenberger (R), 53%
     Mark Dayton (DFL), 47%

1982 Race for U.S. Senate — Democratic Primary
     Mark Dayton (DFL), 69%
     Eugene McCarthy (DFL), 24%

As we can see, sometimes Mark Dayton wins big and sometimes he doesn't. Can he win big this year? It's obvious that he has a good chance of winning the primary. At least as good of a chance as the other major contenders, such as Matt Entenza, R. T. Rybak and Margaret Anderson Kelliher. The question arises as to whether he can win the general election in November. The Republicans will vote Republican. The Democrats will vote Democrat. That leaves the Independents, those who vote for minor parties, the undecideds, those who vote after researching the various candidates, and those who vote by personalities and name recognition.

In light of the large file that the Republicans have on Mark Dayton that they will use against him should he make it to the November election, DFL voters have a right to be concerned. No matter that the file is full of misrepresentations, exaggerations and lots of stories that are taken out of context. The GOPPERS will make full use of it in their campaign against Dayton.

How will Dayton respond to these accusations and falsehoods? Will he engage in the dirty campaigning that Minnesotans are so sick of? Or will he keep his advertising campaign clean no matter what the Republicans do? Will he make a video that shows him laughing at the antics of his opponents and saying something like, "Isn't that just like the Republicans to attempt to sully my name by using misinformation? How boring!"

Will he ignore the barbs of his enemies? Will ignoring them impress the voters? I have to say yes. Doing so will make the Republican opponent look ridiculous while at the same time revealing Dayton's sterling character.

Will Mark Dayton campaign on the issues, using logic and reason to show why Minnesota needs a DFL governor and why electing him will be good for Minnesota? Will he tell why the DFL platform is the only way to go in November? Hopefully his campaign will focus on DFL values, on Paul Wellstone's mantra of "We all do better when we all do better," and on the reNEW MN vision of "We're all in this together."

I'm a Mark Dayton supporter who hopes that his campaign will be kept in the impeccable high character style that Dayton is known for. Voters are tired of mudslinging and character defamation.

Should Dayton not win the DFL primary, I hope the candidate who does win follows the same advice. It's imperative that we elect a DFL governor in November. Running a dirty campaign will not achieve this goal.

Read the Democratic Party Credo.


Thursday, March 18, 2010


First the pictures. Then scroll down for the text of my take on tonight's forum.

North High School Students
(They helped at the Gubernatorial Forum)

My new friend Mildred Caldwell
(She needed a hat for the picture so I loaned her mine. Doesn't she look great?)

Zak and Juan

Zak and Mildred

Paul Thissen, Mark Ritchie and Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Dayton Staffers Becky and Dana

Cody and Dave
(The video guys who work at North High School)

Donna Watson (the one in the blue sweater sitting down)
Donna is going to Louisiana to college for premed. She likes
Paul Thissen for governor and thinks he has a nice personality.
She loves R. T. Rybak because he's such a great mayor. He
has been to North High School many times.

Ben Entenza with Volunteer

Kelliher Staffer

Zak and (Oh no, I forgot his name. Somebody please tell
me who this nice man in the red shirt is. I swore that I
would remember his name.)

Tonight I attended the DFL Gubernatorial Candidate Forum at North High School in Minneapolis. I arrived an hour and a half early. That was okay, for I had time to get acquainted with all the new people I met.  The first person I talked to was Mildred Caldwell. She's the security person at the school. She's undecided as to who she will vote for. She's not into politics but she does read a lot. I told her about all the great DFL candidates. She smiled at my description of Rukavina and was duly impressed when I told her about Dayton and Thissen. She already knew who Rybak is. This is his territory.

I then met some of the North High School students. What great kids! Donna Watson agreed to have her picture taken and to give a brief interview. She's going to college in Lousisiana when she graduates from North High. She's going into premed. She wants to be a pediatrician.  She thinks Paul Thissen has a very nice personality. She loves R. T. Rybak and thinks he's a great mayor.

The next person I met was Zak, who is with Descendants of Africa. I hit it off with him right away. He's Mr. Cool. He's got a tv show. When he found out that I'm a political blogger, he said he would like to interview me on the show. I agreed to do it.

I also met Cody and Dan. They were running the video cameras in the back of the auditorium. We had an interesting conversation. I told them about my volunteer work at CTV. They talked about their jobs in the video room at North High School.

The candidates finally arrived. Special thanks to Paul Thissen for asking me extensively about my health and how the HCV is going. Kudos to Mark Ritchie for his interest in Toastmasters. It was fun talking to John Marty's volunteer (darn, I'm really bad at names tonight. Brain fog is another symptom of HCV.)

It was nice seeing Becky Jergenson from Mark Dayton's campaign again. She sure is nice. I also had a chance to talk to Ben Entenza, Matt's son. What a credible young man. I liked him.

Orrie Salper was there with Tom Rukavina, one of my favorite candidates. Tom has a very engaging personality. Margaret Anderson Kelliher was there, too. I'm starting to warm up to her quite a bit.

I didn't get a chance to talk to John Marty tonight. He was there, although he had to leave early because the Senate was convening at 8:00 tonight. He was able to answer some of the questions at the forum before he left. He just keeps getting better and better in his presentations. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a good percentage of the uncommitted delegates.

Mark Dayton arrived when I wasn't looking. He was busy talking to students and others. He had a brief conversation with my new friend Zak. He had time to come over and talk to me. (He must have read my Facebook wall.) He liked my purple shirt and hat. He looked very dapper in his attire. Sigh.

Dayton was wearing his strong, powerful political personna tonight. (How's that for alliteration?) I like his personal personna better, but this wasn't about me. This was about him getting elected as our next governor. If he keeps giving speeches like he did tonight, he'll win for sure. His experience in politics was strongly evident. His answers to the questions as well as his anecdotes were right on target. He definitely knew exactly what he was talking about. 

I kept waiting for Katie to come over and say hi. Katie's a great gal. Oh well.

It was time for the forum to begin. The principal of North High, Ellen Stewart, gave some opening remarks. Next up was Troy Parker. He thanked the candidates for coming to engage with the audience.

Booker Hodges spoke. He's a very good speaker. He thanked both the candidates and the students who worked so hard to put this event together. He told us that fifty percent of the kids in North Minneapolis would not graduate. He said that the adults have failed the kids. I liked Hodges' manner and his obvious concern and caring for the students. I think he makes an excellent role model for these kids.

Next the candidates came up to the stage one at a time. Each candidate was escorted by two students. I liked the way that worked out. As Mark Dayton took his seat at one of the tables on the stage, he said in reference to the two students, "They wished me luck. They must think I need it." Dayton felt comfortable enough tonight to engage in humor right away.

When R. T. was escorted to the stage, he got a rah rah cheer from the students. The kids love him. They know him. He's been to their school many times. They know he cares about them.

The Question and Answer period then began. I'll list each question and how each candidate answered it. Paraphrased, of course, as I can't take notes at mach 10.

Question #1: North Community High School lost a lot of extracurricular activities as well as activity buses. How will you bring them back?

R. T. Rybak - The State should put more money directly into the schools. He mentioned "The Power of You," which is a partnership between private and public organizations.

Paul Thissen - It's absolutely unacceptable to have some kids not have access to thinkgs other kids have access to. Art, science, theatre, etc., engage kids in learning and make learning fun. The State should fund all these things and not just math and reading.

Tom Rukavina - Too many schools have closed or consolidated. We're cheating students. Fair taxes are income taxes because everyone pays based on their ability to pay. He may not have a million bucks (insinuating that some candidates do...maybe he can talk Dayton and Entenza into giving it all away), but he has a good heart and knows that schools need funding.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - She wants equal education for all. Our constitution provides for that. She likes The New Minnesota Miracle. She wants to fund education for all kids across the state. She kept getting applause from the audience. Kelliher was on a roll tonight.

Peter Idusogie - This is the first time I've ever heard him speak in a forum. I talked to him previously at a couple of senate district conventions. He said he hasn't been active in the forums and debates up to now because he's been all over the place. In answer to this first question, he emphasized how important education is for everyone. He said that we can't apply 20th century solutions to 21st century problems. We need to be entepreneurs in our view of today's world. Education is his top priority.

John Marty -  He agrees with Peter that education made MN great. It's important that we provide good education for everyone. He authored the bill for the New Minnesota Miracle. Kids who come to school hungry aren't ready to learn. We need to meet the needs of all our students.

Mark Dayton - His first job out of college was in an inner city school in New York City. He taught general science to ninth graders. This school had no sports and no extracurricular activities. Tim Pawlenty cut $1400/student in Minnesota. Dayton never thought that Minnesota schools could ever be like the one he taught at in NYC. Minnesota schools always had a lot of extracurricular activities. It's a disgrace that Minnesota's educational system is in this condition now. If he is governor he will tax the rich. Many members of the Dayton family will vote against him. That's okay; he's going with his conscience and with doing what's right for the people of Minnesota, just as he always does.

Ole Savior - He's the only candidate who won't raise our taxes. His plan is to bring more money into Minnesota from Canada and Europe. He'll sue the big oil companies in order to bring in even more money. Ok Ole.

Question #2 - New African communities in Minnesota, such as the Somali community, need to feel a part of the bigger, more established communities. What will you do as governor to help them integrate? 

Ole Savior - He'll bring lots of money into the state and then all Minnesota's problems will be solved. He didn't listen to or understand the question, for he made no attempt to answer it.

Mark Dayton - He told a story about a Somali student in Rochester MN who was beaten. Mark went down there and set something up for the family. He also told of a Somalian woman who was beat at the Mall of America by some men. He said that if he is governor, this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in Minnesota. "Not in our state." He got lots of applause for this statement.

John Marty - He knows the challenges the Somali community faces because a Somali woman married into his family. He got applause too. He believes that immigrants should have equal rights in Minnesota. As governor, he'll make that happen. He pointed out that we are all immigrants except for Native Americans. He then told the audience that he had to leave now because the Senate is convening at 8:00.

Peter Idusogie - He wants to work with immigrant kids. He's an excellent speaker. I hope he comes to visit us at Golden Rule Toastmasters. If elected governor, he will form a strategic partnership with the Somali community based on their needs.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - She created Day on the Hill for Somalis. "Should not make decisions about us without us." Make sure that professional level credentials are recognized in Minnesota for those professionals who have immigrated from other countries. Everyone should get to share in economic opportunities.

Tom Rukavina - He has an Iron Range background and an immigration background. He believes that a good education equals a good job. He spoke about the Dream Act - all new immigrants, citizens or not, should have equal educational rights. We cannot cheat our new immigrants out of getting a good education and a good job.

Paul Thissen - We need to be a destination state. Do this by making sure immigrans are taken care of. He cares about their struggles. The State should provide the foundation. Community members will build the community. We're all in this together.

R. T. Rybak - He thought that Pawlenty was politically obscene when he targeted immigrants in his campaign. He got lots of applause when he said that. The Minneapolis Promise is about getting new kids into the higher education system. He wants to get Somali people into leadership positions. Minneapolis now has three Somali cops on the police force.

Question #3 - No Child Left Behind. If elected governor, what will you do to change this?

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - As a mom she knows that these federally mandated tests have set up students, schools and teachers for failure. The Department of Education should not be a Department of Regulation.

Tom Rukavina - The federal government tells us what to do but doesn't give us much money to do it with. He gave a kudos to Mark Dayton for what he tried to do as Senator in regard to No Child Left Behind. Rukavina then asked, "How can kids learn when they are hungry?" Good question.

Paul Thissen - His parents and his sister are all public school teachers. He stated that schools should not be factories. We need to do more than just run kids through the system.

R. T. Rybak - Teachers don't raise kids. Parents raise kids. Kids shouldn't be having kids. Stopping teenage preganancy is so important.

Ole Savior - He doesn't blame the current governor or the legislators anymore. He spoke up about solving the problem of drug dealers. Ole tried to be profound. He was getting very serious.

Mark Dayton - He voted against No Child Left Behind when he was a U. S. Senator. This mandate has no value. He stated that it's idiotic. He further said that those he came up with the idea obviously didn't read Statistics for Dummies. He tried hard many times as Senator to fund special education, but it couldn't get past the mostly Republican Senate. Dayton was absolutely superb with his answer to this question.

Peter Idusogie - His mother was a school teacher who died when he was seven. What she taught him at home was very valuable. A generation that doesn't have boundaries is a lawless generation.

Question #4 - The Minnesota unemployment gap is igher than nationally. As governor, what would you do to hold MNDOT responsible for their contracts?

Tom Rukavina - Make sure women and minorities get listed in building trades and road construction. He's a very strong union person. This isn't a recession, it's a depression. We have to make sure that we give everyone a chance.

Paul Thissen - We need a governor who is actually going to enforce those laws. The audience applauded at this statement. We must create jobs in Minnesota that people can actually live on. Racism is going on in our society. We need to address this issue. Keep kids out of the system. Thissen then gave a plug for Second Chance. Thissen gave an excellent speech in answer to this question. Well done!

R. T. Rybak - This state has the biggest gap between haves and have nots and it goes along racial lines. This is intolerable. He gave examples of what has been done in Minnapolis as far as jobs and the closing of racial disparities. He wants contracts broken down into smaller parts. He is focused on the Minneapolis Promise. He wants people to have their needs met from cradle to grave. He wants to close this unacceptable gap.

Ole Savior - He expounded on racism all over the world. He wants us to all come together. Then he segued into white collar crime.

Mark Dayton - He got lots of applause for his remarks about Tim Pawlenty. We have his promise that minorities will get jobs if he is governor. He was the Commissioner of Economic Security under Governor Rudy Perpich. Dayton learned from Perpich how to go anywhere to bring jobs to Minnesota. He then talked about the responsibility of government. We were told that the current administration is shameful and disgraceful. Everyone seems to agree with that. Applause and more applause from the audience.

Peter Idusogie - He said that this is not just about hiring minorities; it's also about minority businesses getting state contracts. We need passion and vision (at which point he put passion into his voice). We must have an export economy to be successful.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - The current law is not being enforced. We need to make the law better. We need meaningful measurement so we know how to do better with the resources we have. We need an updated DBE law. Kelliher got lots of applause at this point.

Question #5: Only 150 police officers are black. Would you set aside funding for racial job studies? Would you propose legislation that would address this issue?

Paul Thissen - He told a story of how the Maplewood police are posing as homeless people in order to see if people are wearing seatbelts. (I live on the edge of Maplewood. I was wondering why there are so many homeless people on White Bear Avenue by Maplewood Mall who keep peering into the windows of cars that drive up.) Thissen admitted that he doesn't know everything and that he is willing to learn more and to work with people in communities. I definitely believe him, as I've had firsthand experience in seeing him reach out to learn more about various issues.

Tom Rukavina - He voted against 22 criminal justice omnibus bills. These laws are against our kids. We have forgotten what it's like to be kids. Kids screw up. Anyone who never screwed up as a kid, raise your hand, and he'll call you a liar. He gave a Second Chance plug. Lots of applause here. He said that people should be thirty years old with some experience before they can become police officers. You can't keep throwing people in jail and you can't keep putting people on probation for petty crimes and misdemeanors.

R. T. Rybak - We have to address racial profiling. Divisity in the police forces is essential.

Ole Savior - Our main problem is the outsourcing of jobs and money to China. On crime: if you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Ole felt that someone in the audience was laughing at him and/or making fun of him so he called them on it.

Mark Dayton - There is a disproportionate representation of minorities in the criminal justice system. He told the story of a child he saw getting out of a police car and being brought into a holding facility. The child, a minority youth, was in leg irons and chains. He was appalled. This was just a child. I heard the outrage in his voice and knew that this was something that would not happen if he were governor. He concluded that cultural competency is something that we are all responsible for.

Peter Idusogie - We need vision. Vision is a function of the heart. The prison industry is the largest industry in Minnesota. We didn't outsource it to China. We need to plan how many jobs we need for the future.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - Think about what the best way is to solve these problems. She is open to working with this audience. She is good on Second Chance ideals.

Question #6 - There is a possibility that North Community High School will have to close because of all the funding cuts. As governor, what will you do to ensure that this doesn't happen?

Mark Dayton - He promises to increase state funding for k - 12 education every year that he is governor. No excuses, no exceptions. He's appalled that some Minnesota schools are going to a 4-day school week because that's all they can afford because of a lack of funding. He will raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for education. His Dayton relatives won't vote for him, but he'll raise their taxes anyway. (He's definitely not in this for the money; he's in it because he cares deeply about what happens to Minnesota and Minnesotans.)

Peter Idusogie - We have to decide what our priorities are. We should not cut education funding. Parents need to instill a sense of responsibility in their kids.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - A good educational system starts with money and having stable educational funding. We need to make the school system attractive to potential students by having a varied curriculum.

Paul Thissen - Schools are not just about kids, but also about being centers of the community. People should be vested in the schools. This was make the schools successful. As a center of the community, schools should also have health care.

R. T. Rybak - North Community High is an institution that we have to fight for. He's worked with these kids. He helped them move Dunwoody into this school. He will take the personal stories of North Community High School to the governor's office.

Ole Savior - He won't raise taxes. If he did something naughty when he was a kid, his mother would wait til he was asleep and then take the broom to him. (I can't remember where that came from. Out of the blue? I don't think it was in answer to any question. One of the manual speeches in the first Toastmasters' manual is "Get to the Point.")

It was getting late. The forum had gone longer than expected. It was over. The candidates then had their pictures taken with the students. I took a couple but they didn't turn out. If I'm not up close, the pictures end up very dark. I'm sure I can find some good ones on the internet in a day or two, though.

Many stayed to mingle and chat. Some of the candidates left right away. It was time for me to go home. Driving home in the dark with only one headlight was not fun, but at least the roads had the white and yellow lines.

Here's the award winners for the evening:

Best speakers:  Mark Dayton, John Marty and Paul Thissen
Best tie:  Mark Dayton (great color; Thissen might have won but his was wrinkled; I have a story about Dayton's tie, but that's for another blog at another time)
Most applause:  Mark Dayton and Tom Rukavina
Most humorous:  Tom Rukavina
Most revelent anecdotes:  Mark Dayton
Most impressive:  Peter Idusogie
Name most mentioned before and after the forum:  Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton, Paul Thissen and R. T. Rybak
Freshest personna:  Paul Thissen
Most powerful personna:  Mark Dayton