Odd. Both major candidates in the Senate race have started an online fund drive with the same goal and the same deadline. The Klobuchar star is more than half-filled even though the drive is not yet half-pledged.
The president of Pakistan, who refused to discuss matters of foreign policy at a news conference with the president of the United States last week because he's under contract to a book publisher, is on The Daily Show tonight.
Flogging the book.
Reminder: this guy is in charge of nuclear weapons.
My Election analysis is a decent little site that basically looks at polling trends for many states. He (I think it's a he) reaches the conclusion on the Minnesota Senate race that "it just ain't happening for Kennedy."
Posted at 9:49 AM on September 26, 2006
by Bob Collins
The National Review joins the fray.
Posted at 11:55 AM on September 26, 2006
by Tom Scheck
I just saw the ad on KSTP-TV. The National Republican Congressional Committee ad basically tells viewers that Wetterling will raise your taxes if she's elected. Here's the text from the ad :
"Patty Wetterling just doesn't get it. Lowering taxes helps families and creates jobs. Yet Patty Wetterling opposes making our tax relief permanent that means higher taxes on working families. It means reducing child tax credits and it means bringing back the marraiage penalty. And bringing back the death tax on family businesses and farms. It's clear, Patty Wetterling means higher taxes. She's wrong. The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising."
Wetterling is the DFL candidate running for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District. The NRCC would prefer to see Republican Michele Bachmann win the seat. Independence Party candidate John Binkowski is also running.
UPDATE - Wetterling's campaign manager said this about the ad:
Just like the mail pieces, the Republican Party will go to (any) lengths to lie and deceive about what Patty's record is. And that they're not just sticking to the issues of this campaign. Patty has been on record talking about targeted middle class and only repealing tax cuts for the top one percent. And this ad is obviously false.
The NRCC is investing a boatload of money in the race in support of Bachmann. The public files at KSTP-TV, WCCO-TV and KARE-11 say the NRCC is spending $1,192,275 for 863 ads between today and election day.
Get ready for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to follow suit. They're scheduled to run 256 ads between October tenth and election day on WCCO-TV and KARE-11 at the total cost of $771,175.
Between the GOP marriage CD data exposure, the relatively weak protections around an ad for a Senate candidate and now -- if you believe this --- a flaw that exposes the names and email addresses of users of the GOP Web site, is it time for the idea of the ability of candidates to secure the private data of Americans to occupy a little more prominent role in the campaigns?
Maybe it's not a flaw limited to one political party, but is there a philosophical problem Republicans have that prevents them from securing data? And what's the deal with Dems desire to get at it?
This is on top of thousands of of veterans' Social Security numbers being compromised by data disks/computers that "disappear" at the V.A.
Is it all just coincidence?
Posted at 1:07 PM on September 26, 2006
by Bob Collins
Sent this to a group of bloggers who've expressed an interest in being part of our election night "party." Still looking for a few more conservative bloggers. Funny, I thought conservatives wanted public radio to give them more attention. (It's a joke!)
I'm sending this to bloggers who have indicated they'd like to join us at MPR on Election Night for the "party."
Here's the latest I have from Melanie Sommer -- my online colleague -- who's in charge:
Election Night Policy and a Pint
Nov. 7, 2006
UBS Forum at MPR building in downtown St. Paul
*We're planning an evening with a live audience (approx. 80 people) who can come to the Forum, watch election results together, talk among themselves about what's going on, and with political analysts and bloggers.
*We plan to invite some political analysts that will appeal to a younger audience.
*We plan to have several high-profile political bloggers in the region host their blogs from our site that night. We plan to provide an app to them if they wish that will provide election results on their page..
*We plan to set up an area (a wifi hot spot?) where audience members can bring their own laptops and cruise the web at their leisure.
*We plan to have displays of the MPR election results page, as well as other TV and/or online sites, available in the Forum.
*We plan to have a DJ play some fun music at the beginning and the end of the event.
*We plan to have refreshments available (snacks, limited beer and wine as well as other non-alcoholic beverages)
What it will sound like: The hosts, Steve Seel and Tom Crann will spend time talking with our analysts as election results come in, from other parts of the country as well as from Minnesota. Audience members can ask questions. We'll have segments of the evening featuring some of the bloggers -- sort of a bloggers roundtable -- to provide their own perspective. We will be able to refer to incoming results, perhaps check out various web sites on the 'big screen' to provide more fodder for discussion.
The purpose of this note is to ask you to think of anything technical you may need if you still intend to be part of our coverage -- or if you are still considering being part of the coverage. We will certainly comply.
At some point in the next few weeks, we'll invite you down to take a look at the space and see where you'd like to set up, and answer further questions about what we have in mind AND get your ideas for the evening.
Minnesota Public Radio
Posted at 1:18 PM on September 26, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The barbs are flying in the race for Minnesota's open U.S. Senate seat. Mark Kennedy's campaign started running a new ad this week criticizing Amy Klobuchar for "broken promises." It talks about Klobuchar's role as Hennepin County Attorney and her promises to crack down on felony drug users, gun criminals and repeat offenders. Here's a link to the ad. Democrat Amy Klobuchar's campaign issued the following news release in response to the ad:
·The average prison sentence for first degree drug offenders in Hennepin County is now 20% longer than the year before Klobuchar took office. [Hennepin County Chart, 1st Degree Drug Cases-Average Pronounced Confinement For Cases With Executed Prison Sentences]
·Klobuchar’s office has been on record as publicly advocating for the judges in drug court to take a tougher approach against dealers. [Prosecutors Criticize Drug Court, Star Tribune, July 16, 2006; Some See Drug Court as Success, Others Want Data, Star Tribune, January 6, 1999].
·Klobuchar was instrumental in getting the state’s first felony DWI law passed at the Legislature. Before that law, career drunk drivers would not have faced prison time. Today, 439 offenders are serving prison time because of her work. [Minnesota Department of Corrections Web Site, Daily Inmate Reports, accessed September 26, 2006]
·Last year, Klobuchar’s office enforced tough sentencing laws against gun offenders 20% more often than the rest of the state. Klobuchar’s office has secured enhanced sentences against gun offenders at a greater rate than the statewide average throughout her tenure as County Attorney. [MN Sentencing Guidelines Commission Report To the Legislature, January 2006]
·Jury trials are up by nearly 50% since Klobuchar took office. [Hennepin County Attorney’s 2006 Progress Report]
·Since 1999, more than 125 career criminals have received longer prison sentences because of Klobuchar’s focus on repeat property offenders. [Hennepin County Attorney’s 2006 Progress Report]
·The Office of the State Legislative Auditor has noted that Klobuchar’s office was so aggressive in enforcing the career offender statute that it was driving up the rate of use statewide. [Minnesota Legislative Auditor Report on Chronic Offenders February 2001]
Posted at 2:03 PM on September 26, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Check out hotline to see the Vernon Robinson is running. Robinson, a Republican, has gone negative in ads criticizing Democratic Congressman Brad Miller in a North Carolina race. Warning - don't watch the video around young children (now you'll totally click on that link, won't you?).
The Financial Times says so:
When the world’s least fashionable political party discovers a social trend, it is surely a sign that it is peaking.
A political consultant once complained that his bosses’ reliance on focus groups handed power to people who were prepared to sit around for hours talking about politics with strangers, in return for a free sandwich. Similarly if politics is increasingly shaped by the blogosphere, it will mean more power and influence for a sub-section of the population willing to waste hours trawling through dross on the internet.
Shoot. What am I doing to do now? Radio?
OK, I'm cheating. I actually know who he is and you probably do too, but Barry Casselman told me a few weeks ago that when he self-Googles, Polinaut comes up pretty high. It's a cheap trick, but I'm not above such things.
Now the righty blog, Sixers, at the National Review is suggesting that if Sabato knew that, he hid it from a 2000 debate he moderated between George Allen and Chuck Robb, but dropped it in the middle of the current campaign.
Specifically, I guess, on Hardball last night.
Well as you know and anybody who has followed politics recently knows, he had a long love affair with the confederate flag and other symbols of the confederacy, which frankly was a bit odd for somebody who grew up in an upper middle class family with every possible privilege in southern California. It was an unusual love affair.
OK, that's an interesting opening shot, but this is way over the top, even for political commentators, on the subject of the "n" word.
SABATO: I can‘t say how frequently he did it, but I don‘t believe him when he denies never having done it.
Now, Sabato isn't the first political commentator to make himself the center of a campaign (hello, Robert Novak) and Chris Matthews isn't the first talk show host to completely boot his responsibility to ask, "oh, yeah? When?" or even something like "prove it."
This one has dirty trick written all over it.
Update 4:19pm - National Journal has a little more on what's between Sabato and Allen.
Posted at 3:43 PM on September 26, 2006
by Bob Collins
Posted at 3:55 PM on September 26, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Mark Kennedy's U.S. Senate campaign released the ad that got Klobuchar spokeswoman Tara McGuinness fired last week. This is the ad that blogger Noah Kunin accessed (by typing in 18 different passwords) off of the website of Kennedy's media consultant. Kunin notified McGuinness who viewed the ad. That led to her firing. View the ad here. The Kennedy campaign says it's the "rough cut" and was never finished. The ad doesn't bring a new criticism. Instead, it raised Klobuchar's lobbyist history in a different light (the lobbyist issue was raised in previous Kennedy ads as well).
The Kennedy campaign also suggested Klobuchar or some other Democratic entity is push polling on the ad in question. They released a statement by Former GOP Governor Al Quie that said he was polled on Klobuchar's career as a registered lobbyist the day before Klobuchar's campaign revealed that someone in their campaign saw the ad. Kennedy campaign manager Pat Shortridge says he believes this is the "smoking gun" that Klobuchar's campaign (or another Democratic group) is using the ad in question for political advantage.
Klobuchar's campaign manager, Ben Goldfarb, called the accusation "absurd" and said last week's flap hasn't changed their campaign strategy. He said the campaign turned over the issue to the FBI and said that's all they would say about the issue.
Posted at 5:37 PM on September 26, 2006
by Tom Scheck
My tardiness leads the digest today. I apologize but donut holes with Amy Klobuchar, a visit to the local tv stations and a front row seat to the unreleased Kennedy ad kept me busy. Maybe that should lead the digest.
Kennedy's campaign has released the ad that led to the brew ha ha over the last week and led to the dismissal of Democrat Amy Klobuchar's chief spokeswoman. Interested in the ad? Watch it here. Here's an AP story on it as well.
The Kennedy campaign also believes Klobuchar's campaign used the ad for political advantage before they announced the firing/resignation. Kennedy campaign manager Pat Shortridge says someone (unidentified) was push polling on Klobuchar's career as a lobbyist one day before Klobuchar revealed the firing:
"I think it basically says they took the information and somebody used it. So my guess is this was, if it wasn't their campaign polling, someone was sent this information and they polled."
Shortridge says the poll is a smoking gun even though Kennedy has been criticizing Klobuchar on her lobbyist background since early August. Klobuchar's campaign director called the accusation "absurd." The National Review does a write thru about the ad flap here.
If the digest was earlier the Pioneer Press story on former St. Paul Police Chief Bill Finney's relationship with a longtime friend would be at the top. Mara Gottfried did a helluva job digging on that story especially since the two main actors wouldn't talk to her. Mad props to Mara.
Mad props also to Mike Kaszuba with the Star Tribune for his story on Rich Stanek. Some local African American leaders in Minneapolis have forgiven Rich Stanek for making racist comments in the early 1990s.
Former Governor Ventura is gettin' Kinky, says the Star Tribune.
Patty Wetterling, the DFL candiate for Congress in Mn's 6th District, gets endorsed by former General Wes Clark. The NRCC also started running ads saying Wetterling will raise taxes if elected (see earlier post for full text). Wetterling is running against Republican Michele Bachmann and Independence Party member John Binkowski.
MPR has a story on the tax/budget plans offered up by the candidates for governor.
Not too much else on the governor's race. Governor Pawlenty will hold a news conference tomorrow after an "executive level avian and pandemic influenza tabletop exercise." He then goes to a debate in the evening. SIDE NOTE: Is there a coincidence that Pawlenty is watching out for the bird flu on the same day he's participating in a debate with a candidate who brought in people in duck customes to accuse Pawlenty and DFLer Mike Hatch of "ducking debates?" --
By the way did you see that picture in Sunday's Star Tribune of Hutchinson with the ducks? One photo credit to yours truly. My mother would be so proud of me. That year as a photojournalism major at Syracuse paid off.