Posted at 2:26 PM on October 24, 2006
by Bob Collins
For the most part, we (MPR) don't cover judicial races unless there's some sort of interesting hook, like a candidate dressing up like a cow. That's just the way it is with most of the media. And while I feel a little guilty about it personally, up until this year, I couldn't figure out a reasonable way to tell anyone about the candidates.
In the past, it was a pointless exercise to try since judicial candidates were prevented from seeking political endorsement, raising money, and speaking freely about the legal and political issues of the day.
Boy, in a state where the name Anderson can almost get you elected attorney general, one has to wonder what sort of criteria the voter brought into the booth on Election Day with regard to the race for a judge.
That changed, or at least I thought it would, with the Supreme Court striking down that law. But across the state, I've seen little change in how the media covers judicial elections.
So I was interested to get a press release today from Minnesota Lawyer, about their election Web site they've set up specifically for judgeships.
It's actually quite refreshing -- and a tribute to the site's creators -- that there is robust information on there that actually distinguishes candidates.
One of the big issues, in fact, is the question of whether judges should bare their political soul. It's actually some of the most interesting reading I've done during the entire campaign season, and should help folks make up their minds.
Especially since nobody named Anderson is running
If you want it, go get it.
Big points to Matt Thueson in the MPR New Media department, who is the brains behind this and a lot of other things going on here.
Posted at 4:12 PM on October 24, 2006
by Bob Collins
I suppose if we're going to uphold this democracy thing, there should be prizes involved.
It's 14 paragraphs long and says, basically, Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's. And did a political ad.
So many good angles to explore in the story. And so little courage to do so.
What's this? A blog post that doesn't uncover some dark secret that still could make a difference?
If anyone would pull it off, it would be Gary Miller at Kennedy vs. the Machine. In case you don't follow KvM regularly, when they endorse someone over a Republican candidate, you just have to sit up and take notice.
The post basically says Alan Fine is not going to win so why not vote for Tammy Lee, since it's a better choice (still paraphrasing here) than Keith Ellison and she could actually win.
It's an utterly fascinating proposition , one that appears to have split the KvM writers, in fact.
But if one presumes that the Republican cannot win in that district -- and I'm not saying I believe that, but let's admit there's one or two folks out there who do -- it creates quite a dilemma for Republicans in the district ... philosophy meets practicality, if you will.
But that would require Republicans to get into bed with independents, who appear more aligned with Democrats than Republicans. Just noodling on the suggestion in my head here....
"Well... yeah.... of course you'd have to get in bed with someone who's definitely not a conservative. It's the 5th District," the conversation with myself would go.
"But I'm a Republican," I would say.
"A Republican with a chance to keep Keith Ellison out of Congress," I'd answer.
"Do I turn my back on my party in the interest of keeping Keith Ellison out of Congress," I ask myself.
"Do I feel lucky? Well....do I.....punk?"
This notion bears watching.
Update 10:16 - Doug Williams, who occasionally writes for KvM, but is much more entertaining at Bogus Gold (the return of which is the story of the election season, don't you think?) has drawn a line in the sand on this notion.
Proposed coalition slogan: "Vote for Alan Fine or you're a freakin' sissy."
Posted at 7:26 PM on October 24, 2006
by Tom Scheck
I know the digest is late but it's really busy covering all of this political stuff. Anyway, let's get to it.
Republican Senate candidate Mark Kennedy's latest ad on the Iraq war gets a write-up from Pat Condon with the AP.
Kennedy also wants to create rural opportunities, according to AgriNews.
The paper also says Kennedy's DFL opponent, Amy Klobuchar, says she's for rural issues.
Kennedy is also mentioned in this White House transcript that features a Dick Cheney interview by someone named Scott Hennen.
Guess what? Cheney rejects the premise that the war is hurting Kennedy and Pawlenty. Um, it would be news if he said it was hurting them politically.
Who knows what's going to happen on election day? Maybe it's this columnist with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
Speaking of Cheney, The Pulse has a story on the folks who protested the Dick Cheney visit on June 26th
MPR has a story saying $1.6 million in tv ads focusing on the governor's race will air in the final weeks of the campaign.
Kessler reality checks the DFL ad criticizing Pawlenty on UnitedHealth.
So does Tom Hauser with KSTP-TV.
Speaking of KSTP-TV - Sunday's U.S. Senate and Governor debates will be held on the St. Thomas campus.
Pawlenty on ag issues.
MPR has a story on where the candidates for governor stand on the social issues.
The Fergus Falls Journal writes about pawlenty's statewide tour.
The New York Times does a write-up on the 1st District race between GOP Congressman Gil Gutknecht and DFLer Tim Walz.
The Strib writes about the KFAI debate between DFLer Keith Ellison and I-P candidate Tammy Lee in Minnesota's 5th.
The Pi Press says the candidates for a judicial race take some swipes at each other.
City Pages writes about Jeff Johnson, the GOP candidate for Attorney General.
T.W. Budig wonders if the GOP will hold onto its majority in the Minnesota House.
Some candidates for the Legislature talk ag issues (there's a lot of people talking ag issues lately, isn't there?).
GOP State Senator Michael Jungbauer pays one fine but appeals another.
Jack Uldrich, a former I-P chair, says the I-P is here to stay.
WCCO does a story on yard signs.
Finally, play midterm madness at the Washinston Post.