Posted at 8:38 AM on July 5, 2007
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Minnesota's eight Congressional seats lead the digest today. Why? Because it may be seven after the 2010 Census.
Several states will share infectious disease information with Ontario.
AP writes on Minnesota's made in America flag law.
The PUC puts the brakes on fixed, natural gas programs.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann stops in Pakistan during her trip to the Middle East.
GOP Sen. Norm Coleman visits Crookston.
Minnesota's in the Middle says the Independence Party does not have a Senate candidates at this point and the I-P chair isn't sure the I-P will back anyone for U.S. Senate.
Politico wonders if the Veep picks will come earlier than usual.
The Digest will be off on Friday. We'll return on Monday with a little more political news (we hope!).
Posted at 12:52 PM on July 5, 2007
by Bob Collins
If there's a challenger to the Star Tribune's Big Question for political blog that has set the tone for political debate in Minnesota, it's hard to come by; at least when Eric Black was writing it. Exposed now for being a l... l... liberal (even though he admitted it while at the Strib), when he went to Minnesota Monitor, Black made some interesting points about the role of blogs in mainstream media during an appearance on MPR's Midday broadcast today.
Host Gary Eichten noted that with newspapers, people usually stumble across something that they didn't know . And as they decline, and the Internet gains audience, that is being lost.
"The Internet makes it easy for people on the right to read only news that they will agree with and people on the left to only read news that they will agree with, I do think for the sake of our society and our system of government, it is important to find some way for people to be exposed to the inconvenient facts that don't confirm what they already believe. I do worry that the blogosphere makes it too easy for people to not see the other side of an argument," Black said.
To the original question, however, Black said the abundance of information trumps whatever advantage newspapers had. "The advantages of people being able to get large amounts of information from sources that people can trust on the topics they're interested in, overwhelms the somewhat sentimental idea that there are people who will learn something that they didn't mean to learn because of the old system when the newspaper pretty much controlled what there was to read," he said.
He prefaced the answer with a very insightful qualifier. "Once you get past the blogs...." he said.
And he's right. Blogs and the Internet have often been thought of and referred to -- at least by mainstream media -- as synonyms. But so far in this election cyle, they're clearly not. While blogs have been relatively stagnant in terms of effect and audience, the "rest" of the Internet is making great strides in political coverage. And in many ways, blogs and the lower end of the Internet are to the "upper end" of the Internet what newspapers are/were to the Internet in the context that Black described.
For example, YouTube is dedicating sections to each of the presidential candidates. And the CNN/YouTube debates is giving people the opportunity to ask the questions for a change.
And the candidates themselves have migrated more of their campaigns to the Internet and have --and here's the appropriate word -- "resourced" their online efforts to provide video or audio of their candidate's speeches faster than just about any other source available. While there's certainly an argument to be made about the "spinning" that takes place on those sites, it nonetheless is usurping much of the role that mainstream media, and bloggers too, have staked out for themselves.
In other words: the digital world is spinning far too fast for any niche to be maintained for more than a year or so, which makes those of us in the business wonder what's the next online niche?
Posted at 2:27 PM on July 5, 2007
by Bob Collins
In its final season or two, the West Wing brought in Jimmy Smits to goose up a show that had lost its way. It did so by portraying Smits -- as Matt Santos -- the alternative candidate unlike all the other Democrats. He was to be the first minority president, and a pragmatic candidate. In fact, he even went to New Hampshire and told teachers there that accountability in schools is not a bad thing, that merit pay based on performance was something worth considering. The idea here is that his willingness to tell an audience what they didn't want to hear would set him apart as the refreshing alternative.
Fast forward to July 5, 2007 and, um, "real" life. Barack Obama today went to the NEA -- the world's largest teachers union -- convention in Philadelphia and told them that performance-based merit pay ought to be considered. (Watch)
Time for a Hillary check on the issue: She's against individual merit pay but in 2000 said she likes the idea of merit pay for everyone in a particular school. She spoke at the convention earlier this week and stayed with the tried-and-true: no vouchers for private schools and an end to No Child Left Behind. The teachers liked it.
Posted at 3:18 PM on July 5, 2007
by Tom Scheck
We probably won't know what Pawlenty thinks of this award until next week. That's because he is not scheduled to be on his weekly radio show on Friday.
Posted at 3:56 PM on July 5, 2007
by Tom Scheck
The Republican and DFL parties will hold endorsing conventions on Monday to select a candidate to replace Republican Representative Steve Sviggum who is resigning to become the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Sviggum has represented House District 28B since 1978.
There are several candidates who are vying for the job. Republican House Minority Leader Marty Seifert says there are at least five candidates who will attend their endorsing convention in Zumbrota. They are Jennifer Berquam of Wanamingo, Steve Drazkowski of Wabasha, Rod Johnson of Cannon Falls, Mena Kaehler of St. Charles and Dave Neil of Pine Island.
There are at least two candidates seeking the DFL endorsement at their party's convention in Kellogg. Wes Moreland of Pine Island and Jeff Flaten of Kenyon. Moreland is the only candidate to file the official paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office.
A July 24th primary will be held if more than one candidate from each party files for the seat. Governor Pawlenty has called a special election for August seventh to fill the seat.