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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Its Not Just A Mass Media Problem..

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/14/06 12:12

This is a letter sent to the managing editor of the ThisWeek newspaper by Paul Bartlett....ThisWeek is a local "fish wrap" from the south suburbs. It illustrates the frustration that Democrats have with local media. Republicans rant about media bias -- well, local papers certainly haven't been their problem. It should be noted that there were other DFL letters that were ignored.

Note: Tad Johnson is managing editor of ThisWeek:

Tad Johnson
ThisWeek Newspaper


I want to finish our e-mail exchange from yesterday. On March 3, 2006, you printed in your on-line edition a letter from two Eagan Republicans, urging residents to attend the Republican caucus on March 7, 2006. Parenthetically, the letter was loaded with typical Republican lies, but I've come to expect that. That letter incorrectly listed their caucus site, so you listed the correct Republican caucus location in your on-line edition on March 6, 2006.

On February 27, and then again on February 28, 2006, I e-mailed to you (at BOTH of your e-mail addresses) an open letter to south metro soccer moms, urging them to caucus with the DFL on March 7, 2006. You chose not to include my letter in either the on-line or print editions. I have no idea how many other DFL letters you may have received and tossed re: our caucus.

This is blatantly unfair. Both parties held caucuses that night, not
just the Republicans. If you are willing to "advertise" the Republican caucus under the guise of a letter, are we then to be excluded from equal access? Your actions remind me of Bill O'Reilly's "fair and balanced" pledge. At a minimum, when you decided to include the Republican letter, you had a professional obligation to balance that letter with a DFL letter if you had received one. And you did, mine.

I will let my fellow DFLers know about this. Combined with your de
facto endorsement of Pawlenty a few months ago, I've got a pretty good idea that the editorial page access will be stacked against us as we approach the Fall elections.

Paul Bartlett
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McCain's Political Genius

Category: US Politics
Posted: 03/11/06 12:49

by Dave Mindeman

John McCain is a diabolical genius! He let it "slip" on Hardball that he wants any "supporters" of his, at the Republican Southern Leadership Conference, to write in GWB's name instead.

Now, why would he do that? #1-- He isn't going to win anything among this ultra-conservative crowd, so, hey, let's get some brownie points. #2-- It makes him look like a conservative "team" player. Trying to support the President during a "trying" time. #3-- He won't get portrayed in the media as the "loser" in the straw poll, Bush "write-ins" will be credited to him but not really "counted" as a gauge of his support.


McCain has been courting the conservatives ever since 2000. He has been on an 8 year plan to be Bush's successor. He is a supporter of the war, with enough reservations to keep him clear of being completely associated with the debacle. He has distanced himself from Bush on the prisoner abuse issue without "embarrassing" the President on it. He has publicly avowed his pro-life credentials in all the "right" places -- but not too much when talking to the press. And he has pandered to the press with wit, charm, and a lot of BS.

Now, will all that be enough to secure the GOP nomination? Maybe. But if he is willing to sell out to the nutball right to get into the oval office... what kind of President would he be?

Mr. Straight talk speaks with a forked tongue.
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Straw Poll and mnpACT! Survey

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/10/06 16:17

by Dave Mindeman

Back in November, mnpACT! did a survey on the contested DFL races.. just to get a sampling of what was going on. After viewing the straw poll numbers, the mnpACT survey turned out to be a pretty good predictor.

In the Senate race, the survey included Patty Wetterling because she was still involved.

mnpACT! Survey (November 2005)
Klobuchar 57%
Ford Bell 16%
Wetterling 14%

DFL Straw Poll (March 2006)
Klobuchar 77%
Ford Bell 15.7%

Bell's percentages held and Wetterlings support moved to Klobuchar.

In the Governor's race, the numbers are reasonably close, too:

mnpACT! Survey (November 2005)
Hatch 33%
Kelley 29%
Lourey 23%
Doran 10%

DFL Straw Poll (March 2006)
Hatch 38%
Lourey 23%
Kelley 22%
Doran 6.6%

The only part of the survey that was way off the mark involved the Secretary of State candidates. As we mentioned at the time, Christian Sande had just spoken at a mnpACT meeting and had slightly more familiarity then Mark Ritchie, at the time.
Ritchie spoke to mnpACT a couple months later. In a race where both candidates are working for name recognition, some volatility is certainly expected. Sande won our survey and Ritchie won the DFL straw poll. There is still a large undecided vote, so we'll see how it plays out.

Incidently, some general unofficial counts at local caucuses:

Senate District 38 (Eagan/Burnsville) 385
Senate District 37 (AV/Rosemount/Burnsville) 320
Senate District 35 (Savage/Scott County) 204

If anybody want to add any numbers they are aware of for their local districts, feel free to add to the comments. It will probably be awhile before official numbers are out there.
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