Location: Northern, Minnesota, United States

I'm a moderate right-winger who supports the advancement of the conservative cause in Minnesota.

Monday, February 28, 2005

InfoWorld: Mac creator Jef Raskin dies of cancer

InfoWorld: Mac creator Jef Raskin dies of cancer

I'm in mourning.

MPR bias is appalling

Health care coverage in Minnesota: "It's Getting Worse"

I got this same press release last week.

In this case, MPR's bias is appalling.

"But the Minnesota Health Access survey says there's been a 30-percent increase in the number of uninsured between 2001 and 2004."

This makes it sound as if over 30% of people in Minnesota are uninsured, which is completely untrue. The number of uninsured people in Minnesota increased from 5.4 percent in 2001 to 6.7 percent in 2004. Why would MPR choose to say "a 30-percent increase" instead of simply stating the numbers? Nowhere in the MPR piece does it give those numbers, which paint a much better picture of the situation.

"The survey shows that Minnesota still has one of the lowest rates of uninsured residents in the nation."

Actually, the report from MDH says that Minnesota has THE lowest rate of uninsured residents in the nation.

Friday, February 25, 2005

'Stumping grounds'

Text is copyrighted.

'Stumping grounds'

Congressman, Pequot Lakes grad returns home to campaign

In the summer of '77, 20-year-old St. John’s University student Mark Kennedy worked long hours with his brother Steven at the Oasis Gas Station in Pequot Lakes. They worked 12-hour shifts pumping gas, directing tourists to fishing hotspots and earning whatever cash they could.

In the winter of ‘05, three-term U.S. Congressman Kennedy returned to Pequot Lakes after announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate – to pump gas.

Full text is here

TBFKADVK: Day Two: Surprises Galore!

TBFKADVK: Day Two: Surprises Galore!

Wow, I haven't been blogging long and already I'm mentioned on one of my favorite blogs, The Blog Formerly Known As Dayton Versus Kennedy.

I feel a little strange, because I talked to First Ringer in my professional capacity as a political reporter/editor and not a blogger, but I'm flattered he tracked down my blog.

Go read the latest entry on Kennedy's campaign, FR's doing a great job reporting it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Schools using kids as lobbyists

Taxpayers League of Minnosota -- Press Releases

I wish they had explained it a bit better, but it's a good point nonetheless.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Kennedy will run on House record

St. Cloud Times |

"Kennedy's record might provide Democrats with a road map to attack him."

Wow, so the Democrats might actually (in the mind of journalists) go negative first? That would be a shock, right?


Friday, February 11, 2005

Mark Kennedy officially announces U.S. Senate campaign

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 02/11/2005 | Mark Kennedy officially announces U.S. Senate campaign

"With references to his family, his faith and the American dream, Kennedy became the first Republican to enter the wide-open race to represent the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, the first-term Democrat who announced Wednesday he would not seek re-election."

I called this one over a year ago.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Candidates begin lining up for Dayton's U.S. Senate seat

Candidates begin lining up for Dayton's U.S. Senate seat

Let's face it: Dayton has been a wildly ineffective, bitterly partisan and just plain weird U.S. senator. I say good riddens.

They mention U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn. 6) in this article (which obviously wasn't proofread, but I digress). Kennedy graduated from high school in the city I work in, and I know his brother (who happens to be on our school board) and his parents quite well. They're a wonderful family, and I think Kennedy is doing a terrific job for his district.

I firmly believe Kennedy should run for the Senate seat, which many have been expecting him to do for many years now. If Wetterling steps up to run for the Senate seat, we could have a rematch of last year's Congressional race, which would be something. Wetterling was a weak candidate who ran on nothing but name recognition, and I expect her to be an even weaker candidate in a Senate race, where the scrutiny of her platform (or lack thereof) will be even more intense.

Here's what the 2006 U.S. Senate race will come down to: the 2006 State Senate race.

The DFL currently holds a majority in the state senate. In 2006, the state GOP will (obviously) push hard to defeat some of the more worthless state senators (Dean Johnson, Mee Moua, Becky Lourey, etc.) and our popular Governor will pull double-duty campaigning for both his re-election and the defeat of the DFL senators. This will drive up the numbers of conservatives turning out to the polls, and since it's a non-presidential election year, the kookier members of the left won't be able to get out of their PETA meetings to make it to the polls. So, voila, victory for us at the state level and for the U.S. Senate seat.

I'm going to support Kennedy for that seat, even before seeing what other Republicans might run (unless Reagan comes back from the dead and claims Minnesota residency). As much as I like Rod Grams (who said today he'll run), I think it's time for new blood, and I think Kennedy is a little more in touch.

A day at the Capitol

I spent the day at the state Capitol building in St. Paul attending a briefing on the state budget; a Q&A session with Sen. Dean Johnson (DFL), Sen. Dick Day (R), Rep. Steve Sviggum (R), and chief partisan of the House Rep. Matt Entenza; Senate floor proceedings from the gallery; and the Education Finance Committee meeting.

I was there on official business for my real job, but I decided to have a friendly lunch with one of my favorite local legislators, Rep. Paul Gazelka (R, but you probably could have figured that out).

I first met Rep. Gazelka when he announced his candidacy for the House seat being vacated by Dale Walz (R) at the Crow Wing County Republican caucus last year. I immediately took a liking to him. He's bright, politically sharp, and solid in his policy judgments. I expect great things from him as a legislator.

So far, the bills he has authored or co-authors have been no more ambitious than those of most freshman representatives, but that's just fine by me. Start small, then tackle the third rails. At lunch, he notified me of one bill he may begin working on that will definitely get him some statewide attention (though since I told him the entire lunch was off-the-record, I won't say what it is just yet).

Rep. Gazelka is a very religious man, but not intolerant. He went to Oral Roberts University and is proud to wear his faith on his sleeve – something that is refreshing to see. His office is adorned with two large paintings with religious tones: one is of Jesus in the middle of a business deal, which Rep. Gazelka says is a constant reminder of how he conducts himself in his public service and his business. When we sat down in the middle of the crowded cafeteria to eat lunch, he invited me to join in a blessing, which normally would make me a bit uncomfortable (I'm more spiritual than religious), but I had no problem with it. We had some great discussion over lunch, and he gave me a heads-up that he will be taking what could be an unpopular stance on an upcoming bill, but explained his reasoning very well. It's not often that a politician tells a journalist beforehand that he's going to vote on a bill in a way that may not make sense to some people in his district, and I appreciated his candor.

The Education Finance Committee was actually quite interesting. The DNR is going to ask for a small chunk in additional funding to begin working on a plan to get more revenue out of the state school trust lands. That may not sound all that exciting, but in my district, trust land timber accounts for a good amount of school funding, and both of our school districts are fighting for funding at the moment. The DNR's proposal won't eliminate our districts' budget woes entirely, but any additional money will obviously be welcome.