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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Nothing Personal Against Erdmann -But It Needs To Be Angie Craig

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 09/14/17 13:42, Edited: 09/14/17 13:50

by Dave Mindeman

This cycle I am going to be a lot more blunt about what I think. Some people are going to push back on that, and frankly, that is fine. Do it. The discussion is necessary.

In the 2nd Congressional District I have been a little tough on Jeff Erdmann. And it is not because I think he is wrong on the main issues. It is because I think it is too important that we win this seat and that will take the right candidate.

Let me explain.

Jeff Erdmann has no experience in politics. He understands the mechanics of government, but when it comes to politics, he is a neophyte. I asked him once about why he hadn't participated in the district party before and he told me it was because he was a teacher and a football coach, and he had to stay neutral. Which is his perogative, but I have seen so many teachers do the hard work of volunteering for the Democrats on so many levels, that it is hard to accept that explanation. He shouldn't be partisan in how he teaches, but when he is on his own time, he can do what he wants. So many teachers do just that.

Jeff has made campaign finance one of the issues he focuses on. Yes, we need to change Citizens United, but in order to be able to do something about it, you have to get elected. Democrats agree on the need to fix this but they need the clout to do something about it. Whether it is intentional or not, Erdmann seems to be trying to make running a financial shoestring of a campaign as a point to be made.

Erdmann announced early that he was running on May 24th. Since then he as raised just $29,000 and has about $10,000 on hand. Angie Craig, who has been through this before will announce her official run on October 1st. She put together a long listening tour prior to this and has been lining up donors and support....before the announcement - which is how it is done.

I admire Erdmann's point. Money in politics is rampant and a cancer on democracy. But another prominent Democrat tried to make the same point and he had enough advantages that he could have pulled it off. I am talking about Russ Feingold in Wisconsin....a person I admire greatly and whose name is on the gutted McCain/Feingold bill. Russ tried to run for re-election on that very principle - he lost. He tried to run again with a modified version of the same thing....and he lost again.

It is not that Erdmann is wrong. It is that this is a system that cannot be fought against without participating in it - at least initially.

Bernie Sanders found the way to run without big money. But his campaign has not been duplicated since. And there is no evidence that Erdmann is able to put that kind of machinery in place.

I do not say these things to take anything away from Erdmann's campaign. I would support him if he was the nominee - without question. But he is NOT our best candidate going into a must win 2018.

Angie Craig invested a lot in herself in 2016 and the DFL Party invested a lot in her in 2016. She is battle tested and ready to run a better campaign this time around.

I cannot ignore the differences. Angie Craig will be our best standard bearer for a crucial election year.
comments (1) permalink

Trump's Russian Collusion - I No Longer Doubt It

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 09/13/17 01:26

by Dave Mindeman

Well, I am convinced.

Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians to steal the election. The evidence is there, it just has to filter through all the lies and deception.

But it is real.

Not only did this campaign collude, but each and every one of his campaign members agreed to keep their Russian contacts secret and lie about it if necessary.

The list gets long...Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, Donald Jr, Kellyanne Conway, Michael Flynn were the inner circle; while Mike Pence, Devin Nunes, Hope Hicks, and Sean Spicer were the second tier who were told later.

But this is all Trump. He has been courting Russian connections for a long time. The facts about his near deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2015 (which he denied directly) while the campaign was gearing up was the reason that Trump could not say one bad thing about Vladimir Putin - Trump was trying to cajole a deal that he needed Putin to approve.

I don't know how much detail Robert Muller has uncovered or how much more he needs, but this is a much bigger conspiracy than anything ever cooked up by the alt-right. And this one is real.

And the lengths to which the Russian covert machine went to make this happen are becoming extraordinary as they come to light. The fake news, the facebook ads, the facebook pages, the rally organizing...it gets worse and worse.

Republicans still ignore the facts. They still want it to just go away. But this kind of election tampering will continue unabated until it is confronted. And now, more than ever, we need to stand up to a President who was willing to plot with a foreign adversary just for the sake of winning.

This national nightmare needs to end.
comments (4) permalink

Republicans Insist On Living In Our Energy Past

Category: 2016
Posted: 09/12/17 12:01

by Dave Mindeman

Minnesota Republicans pounced on an announcement from the MN Commerce Department regarding the Enbridge oil pipeline....

"In light of the serious risks and effects on the natural and socioeconomic environments of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built."

And what is Pipeline 3?

Enbridge wants to decommission the existing Line 3, which runs from Alberta, Canada, to an Enbridge hub in Superior, Wis. The company would leave it in the ground and build a new line along a different route, south of the existing pipeline corridor.

While Republicans give us their outcry about building this type of infrastructure, they fail once again to look at the larger, futuristic picture.

We do not need more oil infrastructure. It seems incredible to be saying that. For so many years the main political argument is how to be less dependent on foreign oil. But the trendline for oil and gas is down. We have full tankers sitting offshore waiting for the price of oil to go up. We have enough oil reserves that we do not have to utilize the cruder forms like the Canadian tar sands oil.

The boom and bust days of oil are back because our need for oil is falling and with new technologies, it should continue to fall.

We have seen what has happened to the coal industry. Energy has become a process of natural selection. We go with the cleaner fuels - wind, solar, natural gas. And when that happens, old tech jobs will be lost. Energy Darwinism as it were.

Oil is the next energy source to take the fall. So why build infrastructure to support a declining industry. Save those resources for access to better and cleaner energy sources.

The Republican response is typical and predictable. They are joined at the hip with the old ways. They cannot fathom a future without "big oil". But we have to - we have to end our dependence on not just foreign oil, but oil period.

If the GOP insists on living in the past, then we will leave them behind.
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