Saturday, May 22, 2010


Charles and Becky Downey
(my wonderful son and daughter-in-law)

As most of my dear readers know, I'm fighting a serious health issue. It's a CNS lymphoma, which is a tumor in the brain. I've been at home this past week waiting for my chemotherapy to start. I have an appointment with the neuro doc on Tuesday. My current treatment is oral steroids to reduce the tumor. Soon I'll start intravenous chemotherapy. I understand that it will probably make me feel sick. The protocol is to be in the hospital with intravenous infusion of methotrexate for a week on, then a week off, for about eight weeks.

Chemotherapy plays a very important role in treatment. High doses of methotrexate are used, often along with one or two more chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy is given before radiation to the brain. The total duration of chemotherapy is 3-6 months.

Part of me is thankful for this delay in the chemotherapy protocol in order to give the steroids a chance to reduce the tumor. Another part of me is anxious to get going on the treatment so I can get it over with and get my life back.

Meanwhile, since I probably have a couple of days to a week before the chemo starts, I'm planning to do a few things if I feel strong enough. I currently feel pretty weak. Some of that is probably because the steroids greatly reduces my ability to sleep. I'll have to ask the neuro about that on Tuesday.

Monday afternoon I promised to volunteer on phones at the Entenza campaign. I always have a lot of fun doing that. Plus I'm usually very productive. I'm good at talking to people and getting them to come to events.

Monday evening is a gubernatorial forum sponsored by A Minnesota Without Poverty. Ending Homelessness and Poverty: What do the Candidates have to say about Health, Housing, and Jobs?

Gubernatorial Candidate Forum
Monday, May 24, 2010
Temple Israel
2324 Emerson Avenue South
Minneapolis  MN

I'm looking forward to seeing many friends there.

On Tuesday afternoon is my appointment with my neurological oncologist in Woodbury, MN. I'll find out what happens to me next from him.

Tuesday evening I plan to attend a roast for my friend Thomas Snell. I graduated from White Bear Lake High School with him in 1968. I ran into him several months ago on Facebook. Now we're great Facebook friends. I've also seen him in person several times since then, mostly at political events and Chamber of Commerce events. Tom has been with MetroNorth Chamber for quite a few years and is now leaving to go on to other things. The Chamber is giving him a roast. I have got to see that.

I'm looking forward to helping out as much as I'm able with SD53 activities this summer. I hope I have the energy to do as much as I'll want to. It's so important for us to get our DFL candidates elected. In SD53 we have Senator Sandy Rummel, who is up for reelection this year, as well as Representative Paul Gardner from SD53A. We're working hard to get Chris Knopf elected over the current Representative in SD53B, Carol McFarlane (R). Chris is working very hard to obtain the seat. He'll be a wonderful Representative. He'll accomplish all kinds of good things for SD53B. McFarlane doesn't do much and her priority seems to be agreeing with everything Tim Pawlenty says. She's a very nice person; indeed, I graduated from high school with her. However, she's not what SD53B needs as far as representation.

I'm also hoping that I'll feel well enough to help out more with the gubernatorial election. I have no idea who will win it, as we  have three outstanding candidates. I like each one of them very much. They are, of course, Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza, and Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Each of them has many excellent qualities.

It would be great if some of you would come to see me in the hospital. I'll be at St. Joseph's in downtown St. Paul. You can also see me at my apartment in White Bear Lake every other week. Just email me to let me know when you can come.

My home telephone number is 651-777-3464. My answering machine died and I haven't been to the store to get a new one yet.

I hope to see many of you soon.

Colleen Morse
aka April Knight
aka MsTigerHawk


Thursday, May 20, 2010


Banning Avenue Clinic
Family HealthServices Minnesota, P.A.
White Bear Lake, MN

When I moved from Moundsview MN to White Bear Lake MN, I changed medical clinics so I didn't have to drive all the way from my old clinic in Coon Rapids. I had been using Allina for years. I was very happy with them but it was just too far to go. I looked for a new clinic near my new apartment complex. I found Banning Avenue Clinic in downtown White Bear Lake. It's housed in a nice new office in a nice building. I thought I would be happy with it. It's run by Family HealthServices Minnesota. I haven't had any prior experience with them. I now intend to find a different clinic. I'm completely appalled and disgusted by their lack of proper administrative work. I've been given the run around and have not been treated well. I've made numerous phone calls trying to get satisfaction. All I wanted was my medical paperwork. I'm trying to get it in the midst of dealing with a brain lymphoma and getting ready to go into the hospital for extensive chemotherapy.

I was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital on May 5. They thought I was going to die. They thought I had a very aggressive brain tumor. Finally biopsy results showed that it's a CNS lymphoma, which is better than having what they thought I had.

It took quite some time for all the paperwork to get to my primary care physician. Apparently the hospital didn't know who that was. I have no idea why not. By the time I was temporarily out of the hospital and living on steroids to reduce brain swelling, I was spending a lot of time trying to get the paperwork in order. The hospital and clinic should have been the ones to do that. Banning Avenue Clinic was just terrible. I couldn't get any satisfaction at all. They kept putting me off and telling me it would get done. In actuality it didn't get done at all. It's still not done.

Banning Avenue Clinic has a lot to answer for. My doctor might be good, but the administration is totally unacceptable. I called again today but to no avail. I was transferred to their central processing department. They had no records of my lymphoma. None. Zilch. I was so stressed by then that I started crying. Then I screamed at the lady I was talking to on the phone. She transferred me back to my clinic. Then I was transferred a couple of more times. Finally a lady said she would look into it and call me back.

Look into it? They've been looking into it for two weeks now. What do these people do with their time all day? They certainly aren't helping patients to resolve these issues. This is unfathomable!

The lady from the clinic finally called me back a little while ago. She said they would need to see me before they could fill out my paperwork. I was previously told that they would fill it out. I expected it to be all completed by now. I'm waiting on my Vacation Donation, my short term disability from Hartford and a couple of other important papers. The Minnesota Department of Health, where I work, is waiting to get them. They can't do their part until they get all the paperwork from my doctor. The clinic is not cooperating at all. I have never in my entire life had such a terrible experience at a clinic before. There is no way I should have to be going though this while dealing with a CNS lymphoma and getting ready for an intense course of chemotherapy that will last eight weeks, followed by radiation therapy for about five weeks. After that I might have to have the Cyberknife treatment. Paperwork and administrative work is the last thing I should have to worry about.

Not only that, but the Central Processing Dept of this clinic told me that they don't even have a release form from me. I only completed about five of them. Such incompetence!

I was just told that the doctor can't complete my paperwork unless he sees me for this condition first. I have to go to the clinic tomorrow at 11:30 and see him. It's my understanding that the Primary Care Physician is supposed to be the one who deals with all the paperwork, which he or she often gets from any other hospitals and clinics that are involved in the care process. When dealing with a neurological problem, that includes my neurosurgeon, my neuro oncologist and others on my team. The Primary Care Physician is supposed to coordinate. He's supposed to complete the paperwork and send it to the proper place, in this case MDH Human Resources and Hartford Insurance. I was told that the FMLA papers have been submitted. I hope at least that part is true.

I might call my State Senator Sandy Rummel and let her know about this. This kind of runaround should never, ever happen. I've got enough to deal with regarding my health itself. A couple of weeks ago I didn't even know that there was something large growing in my brain that did not belong there.

It's my biggest hope that this kind of incompetence does not happen too frequently at other clinics. It should never happen at all. It's unthinkable!



Margaret Anderson Kelliher
DFL Endorsed Candidate for Governor, 2010

Margaret Anderson Kelliher was born on March 11, 1968. She grew up on a dairy farm in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, and graduated from Mankato West High School. She then earned her B.A. in history and political science from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. After that she worked hard to earn her M.P.A. from Harvard University in public administration. She does indeed have all the necessary qualifications to be an excellent governor.

Anderson Kelliher is a DFL member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. She represents District 60A. She's the current Speaker of the House as well as the endorsed DFL candidate for Governor of Minnesota. Kelliher is only the second woman to hold the position of Speaker of the House and the first woman to earn major-party endorsement for a gubernatorial election in Minnesota.

Margaret was the Minority Whip from 2003 to 2006. In January 2006 she became the first Assistant Minority Leader of the Minnesota House. In June 2006, she was selected by her caucus to succeed Rep. Matt Entenza as Minority Leader. After the Democrats won control of the House in the 2006 election, she was selected by her caucus to be Speaker starting in January 2007. She succeeded Rep. Steve Sviggum in that position. On January 6, 2009, she was re-elected Speaker for the 2009-2010 biennium.

Although Kelliher was not my first choice to win the endorsement (I was a big Rybak and Thissen supporter), I find that she does have some excellent leadership qualities. I don't think that her trouble in standing up to Governor Tim Pawlenty should make us feel that she's not very capable. That trouble belongs entirely in Pawlenty's lap for his complete unwillingness to work with the legislature. His nickname became Governor Veto. His presidential ambitions have been far greater than his concern for Minnesota and its people.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher has a good plan for Minnesota. Her goals are to grow Minnesota businesses; invest in Minnesotans; institute a new approach for economic growth; and position Minnesota for the future. She is determined that as soon as she is elected governor, her administration will work hard from the very beginning to create jobs and get people working again.

Margaret also has a plan to win this election. Here is her statement:

While I have been at the Capitol standing up to Tim Pawlenty and radical Republicans like Tom Emmer, my opponents have been spending their own personal fortunes to get a head start in this race.

But I know that’s not how you earn the support, or the votes of Minnesotans. Paul Wellstone taught me at a young age how to organize Minnesotans around a cause, and inspire communities to achieve something better.

That’s why I am building a people powered campaign for governor. We're going to win this election door-by-door, voter-by-voter. Together with Minnesotans, we are going to win. Because this campaign is about more than one person, it’s about one Minnesota.

That’s what I'm fighting for. That’s how we will close the chapter on Tim Pawlenty, and build a better Minnesota.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Mark Dayton with Dogs Mesabi and Dakota

The Humphrey Institute poll released information that Mark Dayton leads the DFL race for governor over both Matt Entenza and Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

The poll included 701 Minnesota adults. It was taken May 13 - 16, 2010. Some think that the result is a slap in the face to the DFL party, since Dayton is not the endorsed candidate and since he did not pursue the endorsement at all.

On the other hand, Mark Dayton has always been very popular among Minnesota Democrats for his 34 years of public service to Minnesotans. He has a very strong history of truly caring about Minnesota and the issues we face.

Dayton has served Minnesotans as a legislative assistant to Sen. Walter Mondale (1975-76), on the staff of then-Governor Rudy Perpich (1977-1978), and was the Commissioner of Economic Development (1978). Next he served as Minnesota Commissioner of Energy and Economic Development (1983-1986) and was Minnesota state auditor from 1991-1995. He was elected to the Senate in 2000, defeating Republican incumbent Rod Grams.

Connie Lewis, who ran Dayton's 1982 campaign, was quoted as saying that Dayton is truly committed to helping people.

"I don't know if people know how passionate he is," she said. "When he tells citizens that he's going to work for universal health care coverage or that he's going to work on prescription drug coverage for seniors, he will dog it and work it, and he really will. When he makes a commitment like that, he takes it very seriously."

Dayton summarized his current gubernatorial 10-point jobs plan at a recent Capitol news conference. One of the main points of it is an "energy savings fund" that would finance energy-conservation and alternative energy renovations in every public building in the state over the next 10 years. Dayton said he would issue up to $300 million in bonds to pay for energy improvements first in state buildings, then later, with the repayments from their energy savings, in public schools and city and county buildings.

He claims that this plan will transform government's use of energy, save taxpayers' money and stimulate the economy. It will also create up to 50,000 construction jobs.

Another of Dayton's plans is to raise Minnesota revenue by making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Matt Entenza for Governor of Minnesota


David Schultz, Candidate for Ramsey County Attorney

David Schultz was the first candidate for Ramsey County Attorney that I met in the 2010 campaign. He came to a Senate District 53 meeting. I was very impressed with him right from the beginning. He will bring a wealth of experience to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office not only in superior litigation but also in obtaining justice and fairness for all.

Schultz has superior skills as a trial lawyer. These skills have earned him the designation of Certified Civil Trial Specialist from both the Minnesota State Bar Association and the National Board of Trial Advocacy. His high integrity and reputation for fair advocacy have won him the recognition of his peers as a Super Lawyer® every year since 1997. He has a very deep commitment to justice; thus he does quite a few pro bono death penalty cases.

In addition to his work on the Innocence Project of Minnesota, David has served on the Council on Crime and Justice, and the Minnesota Advocate for Human Rights. In 2001, when civil strife threatened the very existence of law in Kosovo, David was selected by his peers in the ABA to co-author the criminal law bench book for judges.

David Schultz is seeking the position of Ramsey County Attorney in order to promote justice for all, including senior citizens, children and veterans. He will safeguard fair access to benefits and he will prosecute financial crime to the fullest extent of the law. In addition, he has zero tolerance for crimes against children, including abuse. David Schultz will procure justice for our entire community through vigorous, innovative, and effective enforcement of our criminal laws.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Tuesday, May 11, from St. Joseph's Hospital to Cerenity Care Center - Grrrrr. Internet access has been totally unacceptable for me, first at St. Joseph's Hospital and now at Cerenity Care Center in White Bear Lake. When will everyone realize the importance of instant internet access? No wonder we are falling behind other countries in technology!

It's late at night, about 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday May 11. So far I've awoken several times in this strange room in this place I've never been before. The oxycodone makes me sleep soundly, then I wake up. The pain med is for my sciatica pain. My brain tumor doesn't hurt at all, oddly enough. I suppose it's because of the location. It's mostly on the occiputal lobe of the brain and partly on the parietal lobe. No headaches,  no seizures, and I still have excellent communication skills, although felt confused and disoriented for several days because of the brain swelling. The doctors put me on steroids to bring that down.

The bad part is that the doctors are telling me that it's an aggressive tumor. On the other hand, I live in a time of great medical advancement. Still, as we all know, ya gotta die from something. Everyone does.

Now back to my hospital internet experiences or lack thereof. Of course I know that the medical care is far more important than whether patients get internet access. Still, for a hospital to be entirely up to date, it's absolutely necessary. Allina seems to be more advanced in this area than HealthEast, as Allina already has EHR (electronic health records) implemented into it's hospital and clinic system. HealthEast is working on it.

As far as my own medical issue with what I'm told is this aggressive stage 3 or stage 4 brain tumor, I'm at an excellent hospital for that. It's one of the best in the country. It houses one of the few Cyberknife Centers in the United States. It's got one of the best neurosurgeons in the United States. His name is Dr. Schwerkoske. His office is in Woodbury, MN.

I left St. Joseph's hospital yesterday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. My coworker Julie Kamrath picked my up in my room at St. Joe's and off we drove to White Bear Lake. That's where I live, but we drove right on by to Cerenity Care Center on Florence Street. I currently live near I694 and McKnight Road in White Bear Lake. 

Julie drove, of course, as it was her vehicle and as I am not allowed to drive yet. I was supposed to know where I was going, as I'm very good at directions. Unfortunately, the brain tumor has made me deviate from that ability somewhat. We got lost. Julie says she always gets lost. So there we were, lost and disoriented in my own home town of White Bear Lake. Too funny. (At least I still have my sense of humor!)

We finally found the place and went on in. I'm really glad Julie was with me so I didn't feel all alone in a strange place. She's such a good friend. She really cares.

Unfortunately, Julie had to leave to go home to her family. Charles and Becky were both at work. I am now alone in an unfamiliar place where I don't know anyone and where I am dealing with a major medical issue. 

My RN tonight is probably around 40 years old or so. She has only been a nurse for 15 days. She just graduated from nursing school. She's medically in charge of me on this dreary gloomy evening. Very scary for me, as she didn't seem to know what she was doing. She had to keep referring to her charts and books. She seemed to be a rather gloomy person, too, at least on that first evening when everything was coming down on me at once. To be fair, I'm sure she wanted to do a good job. On that first night I felt that she lacked the kind of personality that is so important to nursing. The next time I met her, three days later, I moderately revised my opinion.

I had to have a skin check that evening. Apparently it's a requirement in this kind of facility.  I was also required to have a Mantoux test whether I'd already had one in the last ten years or not. That was the extent of my incoming medical evaluation into that facility as they had already been forwarded all of my pertinent medical records.

The most bizarre thing about the RN on last night's nursing shift was that for the first few hours she rminded me of the nurse in Stephen King's Misery. I was so frightened. Imagine the scenarios going through my overly active imagination that evening!

The best part of my stay at St. Joe's Hospital had been all the wonderful nurses. The best part of leaving was getting away from the horrible institutional food. The best part of the care at Cerenity was most of the nursing staff and the physical and occupational staff. The night LPN and nursing assistants were great. It was just Ms. Misery who gave me such a scare.

I wonder what Wednesday will bring besides hours of physical and occupational therapy. I had that at St. Joe's, as well. It wasn't my favorite thing to participate in, as it reminds me that I'm getting old and my generation is on the way out. I did learn that the swelling in my brain from the tumor has caused a short term memory loss. It's getting better everyday, though. Did I have that problem before? I can't remember...

It's now 4:00 a.m. The oxycodone has worn off. My sacroiliac joint doesn't feel too bad right now. This bed that I'm currently in is a lot firmer than the one at St. Joe's and it's not an electronic hospital bed. I think it's better for my back. That's good, because how can we be effectively politically progressive if we have to concentrate on eliminating pain all the time? That takes up far too much time and energy.

Oh, how I wish I had my own email and Facebook right from the beginning of my odeal. How much better that would have made hospital life for me. I missed it so much. At least I have my son Charles, who diligently tells me who has sent me email messages. I was so sad and devastated that some got lost in the St. Joe's system never to be seen again.

I was only supposed to be at Cerenity for two or three days. At least that's what they first told me. They ended up keeping me until this morning, May 15. I finally talked my way out of there because the physical and occupational therapists told me I could easily live on my own. Well duh!

Another good thing about my experiences involved my excellent health insurance at the State of Minnesota. I hope we never, ever lose it.


Friday, May 14, 2010


Monday, May 10 - I've been in St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown St. Paul since Wednesday morning. It started out being a very strange experience. Something happened to me on Sunday night, May 2. It was a serious medical issue. I thought maybe I just had a TIA, but it was much more serious than that.

Going back to Sunday night, I can remember that I started feeling very confused and disoriented. I went back to work Monday morning, May 3, because I was just coming off of medical leave for a different issue. I got to work and back just fine but had a horrible time of doing my job. I couldn't remember how to do it even though I'd been doing it for years. I tried to walk to the printer and went the wrong way. I got lost and turned around in my own office. My coworkers noticed something wrong but thought I was just having trouble getting back into the swing of work after a two-week medical leave. They were very nice about it but were concerned about me. My very nice boss Pete talked to me on Tuesday morning about my medical issues and getting back into work since this is our very busy part of the year in collecting data from insurance companies, health clinics, hospitals, etc.

I went home, then came back to work on Wednesday morning. I was there about two hours or so when I just had to leave. I was scared because I still couldn't figure out how to do my job. I was crying. I went to say goodbye to my coworker and friend Amy Camp. She wouldn't let me drive. She knew something was terribly wrong. She called an ambulance. The next thing I knew I was on my way to St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown St. Paul, MN, very close to where I work at the Minnesota Department of Health. It was an excellent hospital for me to go to because one of its top specialties is neurology/neurosurgery.

On Wednesday I had a CAT scan and an MRI of my brain, then later an MRI of my entire trunk area to see if the tumor had mestatisized. It hadn't, thankfully.

At first the doctors thought it was an agressive, stage three or stage 4 brain tumor. The biopsy results should come within a couple of days. It is in a spot that I choose not to have surgically removed because of the chance of losing cognitive reasoning skills. That is not acceptable to me.

The plan at this point, before knowing the biopsy report, is five weeks of radiology and chemotherapy and then a cweek of cyberknife. I have a feeling that I don't have long to live, but that could be because I've always had a feeling that I would die by age 62. No idea what that was all about.

I'm sure glad I met all my new friends before all this happened. What joy they have all brought me in the last nine months since I met them. Holly Cairns, Matt Entenza, Jason Hitchcock, Bridget, Gretchen, many others from the Entenza campaign (I can't remember all their names now because of the brain swelling, but probably will soon.), Mark Dayton, Brian Klaas, Katie Tinucci and others from the Dayton campaign. Mark Dayton is the one who first excited my excitement in campaigning since the 2010 gubernatorial race began. After that, I was completely hooked on the campaigning and the election as well as the entire political process. I got to know all the DFL gubernatorial candidates personally. They're all wonderful, caring, intelligent people. Any of them would make a fine governor for Minnesota. They all truly care about Minnesota and the issues facing Minnesotans.

R. T. Rybak and Paul Thissen were both very special to me. They went out of their way to make me feel welcome and to answer questions about hepatitis C and cirrhosis, which is another medical issue of mine. Almost all of the DFL candidates for governor took a great interest in answering my questions.

Tom Rukavina added so much fun and humor to his campaigning. What a unique, feisty, wonderful guy. I'll also never forget his staffer Orrie Salper. He was very special to me because he's such a warmhearted, kind person and has a great sense of humor. Also, I can say nothing but good things about Matt from the Thissen campaign, Senator John Marty and various others.

The Rybak staff, as well as Paul Thissen and his wife Karen, who is such a wonderful woman, also made me feel very good about campaigning and about politics in general.

Also not to be forgotten are all my new reNEW MN friends. What a great group of people! Minnesota is definitely changing for the better because of them. They added so much fun, excitement and enthusiasm to the 2010 DFL State Convention. I was so glad to be an alternate delegate to that event. I met lots of people, including a direct descendant of Daniel Webster who was also named Daniel Webster. The current Daniel Webster was a staunch Rybak supporter. He's the one who did the Rybak campaign music video called I've Been Everywhere.

There are now three remaining DFL candidates for governor. They are Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza and Margaret Anderson Kelliher. It's very difficult to decide which one to vote for. On the other hand, I might not live long enough to have to decide. I've always been a Dayton supporter and I also like Matt Entenza very much.

I have a strong fondness for Mark Dayton, maybe partly because he's of the same era that I am. We both were active protestors against the Viet Nam War. We both distinctly remember Kent State and all the other intense things that happened in the late 1960s and early 1970's. We remember the same culture and the same music. We both love The Moody Blues, although he liked the Rolling Stones better and I liked The Beatles better. We remember Country Joe and the Fish, Simon & Garfunkle, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and so many others. We both kept our progressive values. No wonder I feel an affinity with him. I feel an even greater affinity toward him now that I know him a bit in person. He's never deviated from his dedication to progressive politics. He's been working hard and diligently toward progressive goals since the late 1960's. He has always put the well-being of others before his own needs.

Matt Entenza is definitely another person who I would feel very comfortable with as governor. Margaret Anderson Kelliher, as well, has the values that Minnesota needs. Any of these three would make a great governor.

In conclusion of this first part of my current medical story, I can only tell you, since when I wrote this I hadn't received my biopsy results yet, that the "tumor" might have been growing for awhile until it finally got big enough to cause the symptoms of confusion and disorientation. Luckily the steroids the doctors have me on alleviates that.

I'll submit Part II later today or tomorrow.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

DFL and IP Gubernatorial Forum, May 2, 2010

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Mark Dayton

Tom Horner (on right)

Dayton Staffer

Entenza Staffer

Kelliher Staffer

My Blogger Friend Dyna

Tom Johnson, MDH Management (My Friend from Work)

He's from my Senate District (SD53)

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

This afternoon I attended the Governor's Candidate Forum on Clean Energy, Clean Water and Minnesota’s Future. This was a free public forum sponsored by Super Valu. The location was the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Candidates attending included Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Matt Entenza, Mark Dayton, Rob Hahn and Tom Horner. The former three are DFL candidates; the latter two are IP candidates. The only Republican candidate, Tom Emmer, chose to absent himself from the forum. I'm sure it was because he knew he couldn't keep up with the high intelligence of the other five candidates.

First, each candidate was given one minute to present an opening statement.

Tom Horner gave four points that reflect his main goals in green energy should he become our next governor.
1.  Leadership
2.  Protect lakes and waterways
3.  Green energy with accountability
4.  Reform and smart policies

Margaret Anderson Kelliher said that she created jobs across the state. She's excellent on job creation. It sounds like it's her number one focus. She also rates very high on saving energy.

Rob Hahn stated that he is an innovator, a winner and a leader. He's a true outsider and is good on green issues.

Matt Entenza is excellent on green energy. It's his core value. He is an innovator in creating a clean energy economy. When Matt was a prosecutor he put polluters in jail. We're not talking about littering, but about those who knowingly and willfully break the environmental laws.

Mark Dayton knows a lot about everything due to his years as a U. S. Senator. He's got experience in green issues as well as in what has been done and what needs to be done in cleaning up the environment. He has said that the first day in office as governor, he would fire the MPCA Board. Dayton says the board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been irresponsible in enforcing pollution control standards.      

Question #1: How can we best promote energy efficiency?

Margaret Anderson Kelliher emphatically stated that energy conservation is her big goal. She will strive for a state government that is performance based. I wonder if AFSCME and MAPE will allow that?

Rob Hahn wants to give businesses incentives to hire new employees. He stated that goals are great to have, but you can't regulate everything. He feels that we should be concerned with our environmental footprint.

Matt Entenza knows that personal responsibility alone won't do the trick in fixing the environment. We need to change the way our new economy works. We also need to have laws and regulations that protect the environment as much as possible. Leaving this aspect of earth protection up to each individual person without any regulations or laws just won't work. 

Mark Dayton stated that if men were angels, we wouldn't need antipollution laws. However, human nature being what it is, we do need them. Government has a role and a responsibility in government and in protecting our environment. Dayton thoroughly understands the role that government must play in environmental issues.

Tom Horner said that we need to come up with the right reasons for recycling and keeping the environment clean and friendly. He said that we need to figure out how to innovate. He wants reform and smart thinking. He seems to think we can accomplish our environmental goals without a lot of regulation and laws. 

Question #2 stated that 73% of Minnesota voters want clean renewable energy sources. How will we accomplish this?

Rob Hahn said that we have to look at a grid. He also wants a to lift the moratorium on nuclear energy. He wants us to give serious consideration to building a new plant or two. He claims that 3rd generation power plants are very safe. (Okaaaay...and what will he do with the nuclear waste that no one wants to be responsible for?)

Matt Entenza said that dictators in 3rd world countries are determining our energy output. Far too many jobs have left Minnesota. We can get jobs back with wind technology, solar energy, biofuels, etc. Matt is no doubt the most knowledgeable candidate on renewable green energy. Most of his platform revolves around this. This is our future.

Mark Dayton basically said that Hahn is irresponsible. Dayton said we can convert boilers and in ten years we can convert most facilities to conserve energy.

Tom Horner said that our challenge is in finding energy in certain parts of Minnesota. We need smart energy principles. Horner comes across as a very smart person who is also reasonable and makes a lot of sense when you listen to him. Horner said he wants green energy, of course, but he wants smart green energy.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher wants to reduce the amount of energy we use. She claims to be the only candidate to put out a complete plan for energy conservation.

At this point, Margaret Anderson Kelliher had to leave. Now we only have four candidates answering the questions.

Question #3: The Politics of Conservation

Matt Entenza wants to use the money that Pawlenty took to fund conversation. Entenza knows that we need a governor who will make conservation a core value. He wants to eliminate the pollution of our waters with runoff.

Mark Dayton wants the conservation commission to consist of an equal number of men and women. Dayton has excellent ideas on gender politics.

Tom Horner says that it's not about gender politics. He maintains that we can't fund everything, especially now while we have a 5 to 6 billion dollar deficit.

Rob Hahn stated that rivers are polluted. He believes that government has a role to enforce pollution laws but that we can't mandate everything. He wants to lead by example. Apparently he thinks that if we lead the horses to water, we can make them drink just by setting an example.

Question #4:

Mark Dayton has a lot to say about the Pollution Control Agency. He's very outspoken about what is wrong with that agency, and rightly so. He is appalled at that Agency's lack of expertise in cleaning up the environment. If Dayton is governor, there will be a lot of changes there. Heads might even roll. He wants to rename it the Pollution Reduction Agency. Dayton is also for promoting free-roaming livestock. He's got excellent ideas for both reducing pollution and cleaning up the atrocious way many treat livestock.

Tom Horner will require leading through innovation. He wants to use easements creatively.

Rob Hahn says that feedlots are a big contributor to pollution. Farmers should have more easements to set up barriers. He kind of changed his stand as the debate went on. He's willing to listen to others and change as new data becomes available.

Matt Entenza stated that this is where the rubber meets the road. (I like that experession.) He said that this is not about separation. This is about communities coming together. We need to actually test our water. A huge portion of our water is polluted.

Question from Audience Member Andy: What will you do to make sure that enough is being done to protect our environment?

Tom Horner said that we need to adapt new technology. He wants to see innovation as well as more research at the U of M. He wants more to be done with K - 12.

Rob Hahn wants us to look at the big picture. He wants to see long term value for biofuels. 

Matt Entenza looks to the next generation of biofuels to create a new clean economy. Matt has great ideas on and knowledge of green energy. Take a look at his website to find out more at .

Mark Dayton knows a lot about the use of ethanol and reuseable energy in Minnesota.
Dayton has stated support of green energy and a state pollution reduction agency. He received a 79% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), indicating pro-environment values.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Mark Dayton with Staff and Volunteers

For some unknown reason, some people seem to think that Mark Dayton is all washed up politically. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those who are in the know and not just think they are, as seems to be the case with Kelliher staffers and supporters, know without any doubt that Dayton is still a major force in the political arena. He's got allies and supporters in places you never dreamed of in all your worldly travels. Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza both have a very good chance of winning the governorship. Probably a better chance than Kelliher, unless a good many voters rally behind her as the campaign continues.

DFLers tend to forget that life in the real world doesn't revolve around the political life of party hacks. The real world of the DFL involves a lot of seniors as well as today's youth who are barely old enough to vote. There's a tremendous outpouring of support for Mark Dayton. He's got the most experience of any candidate. He also knows what Minnesota needs. He's been the most vocal candidate for speaking out against Tim Pawlenty and the disaster he caused Minnesotans. Mark Dayton loves Minnesota; there's no doubt about it.

Does Margaret Anderson Kelliher love Minnesota? Or does she like the power that being Speaker of the House gave her? Why does she want to be governor? What's the real, true reason? I'd like to know.

I know why Mark Dayton wants to be governor. I know the main reasons as well as some of the other reasons. Almost all of his reasons are altruistic. Everyone who knows him knows that his biggest concern is for the future of Minnesota. He's got something inside of him that makes it impossible for him not to care about Minnesota. Our very state, it's very core of existence, is in his blood.

I've never heard Mark brag about his heritage. Yet it's one he can be tremendously proud of. His family was here before the Revolutionary War. What better candidate to serve Minnesota? Who better equipped than a man who has spent his entire life in public service? 

Who is not afraid to get his hands dirty by sandbagging in flooded areas? Who has always gone the extra 100 miles or more to help others? Who donated his Senate salary to seniors instead of keeping it for himself? Who has spent decades serving Minnesotans while asking for nothing in return? Who has demonstrated again and again a deep, unfaltering caring for others throughout his entire public service career? The answer is always Mark Dayton. He has never asked what others could do for him. He has always asked what he could do for others. He's always ready and willing to lend a hand where needed.

Mark Dayton has always been there when Minnesotans needed him, whether in times of public crisis or when a single telephone call beckened him to someone who lay dying. He has always answered the call to public service. Will you be there when he needs you?