Any doubt that Kerri Miller is one of the best interviewers in the Twin Cities -- and I know there really weren't any -- should've been erased with this morning's riveting interview/grilling of DFL candidate Amy Klobuchar.
Very respectful. Very tough.
My favorite questions:
She (Kerri) also uttered my favorite words... "you didn't answer my question."
Mark Kennedy and Robert Fitzgerald get their turn later this week. Be ready, boys!
Posted at 1:00 PM on October 2, 2006
by Bob Collins
On the right side of the story, you'll hear raw audio of both candidates talking about the other. This one isn't getting much attention, but it looks like a couple of old House colleagues are going to hammer each other.
It's a killer issue, right? Support the war in Iraq, and you lose an election. That's the increasing vibe that seems to be distributed as we get closer to election day.
But Michael Barone says "not so fast."
Consider these results from the University of Cincinnati's most recent poll in Ohio. Ohio is a pretty good bellwether: It voted 51 to 49 percent Bush in 2004, while the country as a whole voted 51 to 48 percent. And if there is any Bush '04 state in which the Republicans are in trouble this year, it's Ohio.
Barone is way smarter than me when it comes to politics, and I acknowledge that he may be right here. But he may be wrong too. It's dangerous to assume that one poll that says something one may be inclined to agree with, is the data that's correct.
That said, it's not correct to dismiss the University of Cincinnati poll out of hand if one is not inclined to accept it in the first place.
I do know this: something doesn't feel "right" about the "prevailing wisdom." Of course, prevailing wisdom seldom feels right to me. But as we get closer to Election Day, my gut says there's something out there that nobody -- no media, no blogger, no candidate, maybe even no voter -- has picked up on the antenna.
Or maybe it's just Twins fever.
Posted at 3:17 PM on October 2, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is back in Washington after finishing up his work in Congress. That means Kennedy will be making many more campaign stops over the next month. This morning he visited a daycare in Lakeville, toured some businesses in Red Wing and also checked out the Prairie Island nuclear facility.
Kennedy's DFL opponent, Amy Klobuchar was on MPR's Midmorning program. You can listen to that here.
Klobuchar also wrapped up her statewide tour on Friday. She visited every county in the state during her senate campaign. If elected, she promises to visit every county in the state for every year she's in office. MPR also took a look at the crime discussion in the race. The Mesabi Daily News also has an editorial criticizing Klobuchar over the blogger flap.
The Star Tribune also profiled Independence Party member Robert Fitzgerald over the weekend. Fitzgerald is also working to convince NBC's Meet the Press to include him in their October 15th debate. He urged supporters to contact NBC and urge network officials to invite him:
This campaign is involved in every U.S. Senate debate in Minnesota. Meet the Press is conducting a debate with the U.S. Senate candidates on October 15th, but with one glaring omission. I have yet to receive an invite to the debate. The campaign and the party have been pressing hard, but now is the time for you to email the producers of Meet the Press and insist that all three major party candidates participate in the debate. Let Meet the Press know how important it is to hear from the three major parties here in Minnesota.
The Rochester Post Bulletin also had an interesting story over the weekend saying the GOP can't take the area for granted anymore.
The Red Wing Republican Eagle has a story on Republican state senate candidate Steve Drakowski's efforts to bring the party together. He was in a nasty primary battle which left some party faithful upset. Drakowski hopes to get the GOP endorsement (after the primary) tonight.
The Pi Press has a story saying Congressman John Kline and Congressman Gil Gutknecht have turned down debates.
MPR looks at the race in the 8th between DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar and former GOP Senator Rod Grams.
USA Today calls Governor Pawlenty's tv ads "snappy."
Pawlenty says he still owes on an old baseball bet.
This is just a great headline.
Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten writes about DFL gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch.
Here's a roundup of some of the tv ads running
A writer for the Weekly Standard (AKA powerline) is critical of Keith Ellison.
Sen. Norm Coleman's father pleads guilty.
The Charlotte Observer says former V.P. candidate John Edwards was campaigning nonstop for candidates (including two in MN).
The Wall Street Journal says campaigning on the wage gap (which is something Edwards often mentions) is risky.
The Washington Post says Democrats hope to gain a majority in Legislatures across the country. Minnesota is mentioned.
James Dobson with Focus on the Family will be holding an event at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night. OutFront Minnesota (a gay rights organization) will be holding a counter protest.
Posted at 3:57 PM on October 2, 2006
by Tom Scheck
DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez calls on GOP Congressman Mark Kennedy (who's running for the U.S. Senate) to return money from former Florida Congressman Mark Foley. Foley resigned on Friday. You can read about the flap here. Foley's Political Action Committee (Florida Republican Leadership PAC) gave Kennedy $3,000 in 2002.
Here's a snippet of the DFL release:
KENNEDY MUST RETURN FOLEY'S MONEY AND SUPPORT AN INVESTIGATION ST. PAUL (10/2/06) - After several days of scandal surrounding a congressional colleague, Rep. Mark Kennedy has yet to stand up and call for a criminal investigation into the facts surrounding former Representative Mark Foley's interactions with teenage House pages. And he has yet to return the $3,000 given to him by Foley's PAC.
"In 2002, Mark Foley's PAC gave more money to Mark Kennedy than to any other politician in the country," said Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez. "Kennedy should reject this tainted money and donate it to an appropriate charity -- preferably one that helps exploited children. And he should immediately support a criminal investigation into his colleagues' heinous breach of trust with the American public."
Melendez is also calling on the National Republican Congressional Committee to return any money it took from Foley's PAC. A spokesman for the NRCC says they will keep the $550,000 they received from Foley since 1996.
Kennedy campaign spokeswoman was unavailable to comment on what Kennedy would do with the money. . Kennedy campaign spokeswoman Heidi Frederickson issued this response to Melendez:
“We have already begun preparations to donate to charity the money given by ex-Rep. Foley’s PAC back in 2001-2002.”
“But let me suggest that the MN DFL Party, by trying to score political points off of the scandalous, and possibly criminal, behavior of former-Congressman Mark Foley, shows that they just don’t get it. Ex-Rep. Foley is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee and by the FBI.”
“The DFL’s behavior is all the more egregious when you consider that the DFL still hasn’t given away the money it received from Jack Abramoff’s clients, nor has the DFL party asked Amy Klobuchar about her role in the theft of a Kennedy campaign ad, nor has the DFL answered questions about its own role in the matter.”
“Until Democrats takes ethics and integrity seriously, rather than trying to use them as political weapons, voters will never trust them with control of government.”
I asked Kennedy about the Foley incident before DFL release was sent. He said he's happy House Speaker Dennis Hastert called for an FBI investigation into Foley:
"As a parent, I'm disgusted by what I hear. I'm pleased that Speaker Hastert has asked the FBI to do a criminal investigation including the question of what people knew, when they knew it and what actions they took. There's no question that this is behavior that is not acceptable by anybody and certainly not a member of Congress."
DFLer Patty Wetterling, a child safety advocate and candidate for Congress, says she knew Foley when he served as a member of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Chidren's Caucus. Wetterling says any member of Congress who knew that Foley was e-mailing the pages should resign:
"I believe every person in America should be a mandatory reporter when you see some child that's being victimized. It is our job as adults to stand up for that child. And in this case sitting members of Congress knew for a long time."
Wetterling is running for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth District against Republican Michele Bachmann and Independence Party member John Binkowski.
I watched --without commenting -- last week as the blogosphere around here went hyperspeed on the question of Michael Brodkorb's funding. It seems like only yesterday I posted this little number.
But that was before it became "cool" to talk about who's paying whom to write what. Figures. I'm always late to the cool party.
Anyway, the latest salvo in this blogosphere civil war is Brodkorb (at Minnesota Democrats Exposed) has turned the tables on the folks who wrote about him last week.
My disclaimer. I'm not paid to blog. Or maybe I am. I'm not sure. I do a lot of it on my own time and I don't get paid extra to do it and I didn't stop doing what I was getting paid for to do it. And as far as I know, the success of Polinaut did nothing to help me in this year's performance review. But, then, again, nothing can help me there.
But it looks like you can make some decent bread doing this blogging stuff.
Posted at 6:15 PM on October 2, 2006
by Tom Scheck
DFLer Patty Wetterling held a news conference today to call for the resignation of anyone in Congress who knew that former Florida Congressman Mark Foley was e-mailing teenage pages. It's an issue Wetterling knows well since her background is on child safety. You can read the stories in earlier posts.
But Wetterling, a candidate for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth District, also declined to answer a legitimate question. Her Republican opponent Michele Bachmann is calling on Wetterling to pull her ad that criticizes Bachmann's stand on a national sales tax. MPR's Tim Pugmire asked her to comment on the issue. Wetterling responded:
"I'm not going to talk about that today. This is about a separate issue. I'll talk to you about that afterwards."
After the news conference, Pugmire says he approached Wetterling to follow up. Wetterling's campaign manager stepped in and stopped her from answering. He said they wouldn't talk about the ad today. It's no wonder why they didn't take the questions. Wetterling's campaign wants the focus to be on her key issue -- child protection. But that doesn't excuse reporters from not pressing her on the ad. Full disclosure-I'm in the MSM and I'm proud of it. The key question for reporters is: Why did you let her get away with that? It's not the biggest issue of the day but it is important.
It's disappointing that a candidate for Congress isn't willing to defend an ad she's running and that reporters covering this race took the "no comment" for an answer.
The Foley affair is going to be one of those stories that's probably going to be pursued most by the bloggers, more than any other "media." Unfortunately, we'll probably have to wade through a fair amount of suppositions to get to the factoids. Maybe blogging isn't the new journalism; maybe it's the new talk radio. We'll see.
From the left and the right, everybody's got the goods. It just depends on which you want to believe.
The American Thinker - righty -- thinks there's something fishy in the way the story surfaced in the first place.
Matt Stoller at Mydd -- lefty -- says this is what happens when you put creepy, weird, and perverted people -- Republicans, he means -- into office.
“Beyond disgusting. Beyond stupid. Unfortunately, so not beyond imagining.”