Posted at 7:36 AM on May 4, 2006
by Bob Collins
Roll Call has a look at this weekend's district endorsing conventions. There's going to be a lot of out-of-work-candidates going back to their political jobs by Monday. Oh, yeah, you need a subscription to view the story.
(;59 a.m.) - KvM has an interesting assessment of the scenario at the 6th District convention this weekend. Worth noting.
While Mr. Esmay certainly has the makings of an up-and-comer in the GOP ranks, it’s unlikely the convention will find itself deadlocked regardless of where Bachmann places at the end of the first ballot. If whoever finishes second does so with some distance from the third place contender, a real endorsement race is more than possible. But if Krinkie and Knoblach find themselves essentially tied for second with Bachmann ahead by any sizeable margin, consider the balloting battle not to last more than 3 or 4 rounds.
Ever have one of those days when you're sure something happened, but then in the absence of direct evidence, you think, "maybe I dreamed it?" Welcome to my day yesterday.
There was a lot going on when I came in yesterday. The 6th District candidates -- some of them -- were on Midday and my TV had the House committee taking on the Vikings. And I had the usual nonsense waiting for me that is always waiting for me.
Out of the corner of my eye, however, I could SWEAR there was a hearing or floor debate in either the House or Senate on a bill that would address licensing restrictions currently on felons, which prevents them from becoming barbers or cosmetologists in Minnesota.
My first reaction, of course is, "is there a problem with an abundance of felonious barbers in Minnesota that I'm not aware of?" And my second thought -- again, of course -- was "Shoot. I wish I had some musical talent because I'd call my group The Felonious Barbers. (Although if I go solo, I will change my name to Felonious Monk).
Anyway, today I decided to investigate the mysterious case of the felonious barbers and cosmetologists that apparently is going on, people, right under our noses, but I couldn't find it.
First, the House Web site's search function is a joke. Search "barber" and you come up with some press release from Rep. Marty Seifert that he issued in 2001, crowing about some breakthrough legislation that benefits barbers. I stopped only momentarily to wonder why he didn't see the coming crisis with felons with clippers. But I moved on.
Then I realized: maybe it's in the Senate. And, aha! I'm not (that) crazy. The Senate did, in fact, debate HF3464. And approved it 35-30. It looked to be mostly along party lines, which tells me it must've been a cool debate. I'm sorry I missed it.
Why do I bring this up? Because this is never going to see the light of day (from the media, I mean. Why cover this when you can do the 42nd, 43rd, and 44th story of the session about the stadiums?). There must've been an interesting debate; perhaps there was a big crime involving a felon posing as a barber or a cosmetologist. I don't know. I missed the debate.
Personally, I have no clue why you even need a license to cut someone's hair in Minnesota and often wonder what would happen if we didn't. Would there be a sudden influx of bad haircuts? Would Al's Hair Emporium expand offerings to nail polishing and methamphetimines? If we prevent them from becoming barbers -- where someone is always in the chair keeping an eye on them -- will felons become insurance agents instead?
We're the 4th biggest binge-drinking state in the country, and we didn't need licenses to accomplish that. Couldn't we cut hair well without licenses? Unless we've been binge drinking, of course.
Anyway, yes, I make light of it and I'm sure it's a serious subject. But I lament that while I was listening to a debate with the same old candidates saying the same old thing in answer to the same old questions (don't take offense, it would've been the same with any group of candidates), this debate was going on in the public arena... and nobody will know.
I actually think it WOULD be insightful (if not inciteful) if at the next big candidate debate...we ignore the same old issues because we know the same old answers....and ask questions about whether barbers should be licensed.
I bet you'd learn something about the candidate you didn't know before.
And that'd be a start.
It's rather boring on the old sod today. I know that because I found myself reading the transcript from today's White House briefing. Deep in, I found this nugget:
Q Yes. Scott, Elizabeth Dole, as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has sent out a fundraising email, and in it she says that if the Democrats take control of the Senate this year they're going to try to call for endless congressional investigations and possibly the impeachment of President Bush. And she also says that that is worse than losing the war on terror. What is your reaction to that?
MR. McCLELLAN: You know, I haven't had a chance to look at the fundraising letter. I think that if you have questions about it you ought to ask Senator Dole. We appreciate all that she does to help advance the ideas that the President has outlined in his agenda for the American people. And we appreciate all that she's doing to support Republican candidates for the United States Senate. But I think we've previously talked about how there are some Democratic leaders who think the enemy is the President. The enemy is the terrorist. And that's why we're going to continue the stay focused on winning the war on terrorism and doing everything within our power to bring the terrorists to justice and prevent attacks from happening.
This will be a very interesting strategy to watch. "If you don't vote for XYZ, President Bush will be impeached."
If anyone has this e-mail fundraising letter, I'd love to see it. Call me skeptical -- or any other name you wish -- but I find it hard to believe Dole said losing the majority would be worse than losing the war on terror.
I didn't catch this when she said it yesterday -- and apparently you didn't either -- but in yesterday's questioning of the 6th District candidates on the issue of a military response to
Iraq'sIran's developing nuclear weapons, it appears Sen. Michele Bachmann extended the response possibility to include the U.S. using nuclear weapons against Iran.
"We certainly don't want to move toward a nuclear response anytime soon or without an abundance of caution."
"We can't remove any option off the table and we should not remove the nuclear response."
She advocated, of course, plenty of caution and the use diplomacy here, but this is the first time I've heard a politician suggest the U.S. might actually use a nuclear weapon in its military response.
Posted at 3:39 PM on May 4, 2006
by Bob Collins
Kevin Goedker has decided to mount a primary challenge to Sen. Paul Koering, in Senate District 12, even though he didn't get the endorsement from the GOP last week.
Koering was outed after his vote against bringing the same-sex marriage bill to the floor last year.
GOP Chair Ron Cary released a statement on the situation this afternoon.
“Kevin Goedker’s decision to run against Senator Paul Koering, the GOP-endorsed candidate in Senate District 12, is greatly disappointing for Republicans who value the endorsement process and seek party unity. The endorsement process was open and fair. I asked Mr. Goedker to respect the decision of local Republican leaders as he had indicated he would do.
“Republican leaders in Senate District 12 have clearly spoken. They chose to support Senator Paul Koering due to his unwavering support of the unborn, as well as his effective voice for the needs of central Minnesota.
“I encourage the citizens of Senate District 12 to vote for Senator Paul Koering in the September 12 primary.”