Category Archives: moderation

Some quick Welty analysis of the primary results

The NY Times is still updating Minnesota’s primary election results.

I hoped to get 10 percent of the vote in Duluth. I did better than that across the entire 8th Congressional District in places where my name means nothing. Pete Stauber was so well publicized as being Trump’s candidate that I presume that anyone voting for me didn’t much care for the Trump/Stauber connection. That’s not good for Pete even if he currently has a million dollars in the bank. He’s already beginning to soft pedal his loyalty to Trump but that too is a problem for Pete.

As for what I spent to get my 5,000 votes compared to what Pete Spent to get his 40,000 votes that’s noteworthy too. I only spent $300 to file for office ten weeks ago and bought one tank of gas traveling to Hibbing twice. (One of those trips was a mistake) So my cost per vote was about 6 cents. I’m not sure how much Pete has spent so far but I’m guessing its about $400,000. If so, his 40,000 votes cost him $10 bucks each. I like that comparison. Now that the Democrats have settled on a candidate the DFLer will not be outspent by Stauber. They will be even steven.

The more worrisome issue for Pete is the primary turnout. The combined Democratic candidates won about 16,000 more votes than the two Republicans Harry Welty and Pete Stauber. Pete can’t count on all of my anti-Trump votes swinging his direction any more than we can be sure that all the votes for the losing Democratic congressional candidates will swing to the DFL winner Joe Radinovich. However, I think the primary turnout is a harbinger of what’s to come in the General election. Even the safe Minnesota First Congressional District Republican candidates got fewer votes than the Democrats running against them. I’m beginning to smell some blood in the water.

U.S. House District 8 »
Democratic Primary……………..Republican Primary
CANDIDATE…VOTE….PCT……..CANDIDATE…VOTE….PCT.
Radinovich..26,319..43.4%……Stauber…..40,122..89.6%
Lee………16,983..28.0…….Welty…….4,6814..10.4%
Metsa……..7,633…12.6
Others…….9,680…16.0
60,615 votes, 92% reporting …44,809 votes, 92% reporting

(These figures are from 11:30 CST from 742 out of 806 precincts)

My Seven minutes on KBJR TV

From the KBJR Website, at last, my seven minutes (as well as Pete Stauber’s and Jason Metsa’s seven) with reporter Dan Wolfe:

DULUTH, MN –
The August Primary in Minnesota is just around the corner.

That means candidates vying for their preferred party’s nomination are hitting the campaign trail hard in the days leading up to August 14th.

Over the next three weeks we’re going to introduce you to each candidate in the 8th Congressional District race. That’s five Democrats, two Republicans, and an Independent all vying for the seat currently held by Democrat Rick Nolan, who is retiring in November.

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Headlines, Dan Wolfe sits down with Pete Stauber, Harry Welty, and Jason Metsa.

Jennifer’s Question’s A, B and C

I’ll be working on this all night. Stay tuned.

You’re apparently planning a trip to France circa September. A fair portion of your time now seems to be taken up with preparing for that trip. Other so-called “outsider” candidates, like Skip Sandman and Soren Sorensen, are spending this time pounding the pavement. They’re in it to win it, even if they know that’s a long shot.

Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, take your candidacy seriously? Enough to donate to you?** Is your entire candidacy intended to make a point? And, if so, couldn’t that point have been made more directly? You had a weekly column in the Reader. You could have spent every column telling us why Pete Stauber is a Trumpster and the wrong candidate to support. But as a candidate, you had to give up your newspaper column—which seems like it was a very direct way to reach your audience if making a point was the idea.

Here are my ABC’s

A- Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, take your candidacy seriously? Enough to donate to you?

Dear Jane, I want your vote first in the primary especially if you 1. are an Independent or 2. a Democrat who wants to let Pete Stauber know that you are rooting for a change in Grand Old Party even if you are planning to vote for a Democrat in the General election or 3. a discouraged Republican fed up with the Donald Trump cess pool.

All of these Janes can vote in Minnesota’s Republican Primary. If they did and that’s a HUGE if, I’d beat Pete Stauber. As for the donation, it will likely make Jane feel better than me. I will, however, put it to good use……especially in the Primary.

B- Is your entire candidacy intended to make a point?

Yes, but more than that its a genuine attempt to turn the huge Edmund Fitzgerald called the Republican Party away from Whitefish Bay during the gales of November. For the sake of God, the whole Party is letting a diaper clad kindergartner turn the ship’s wheel to Vladivostok. I have a lifetime’s investment in preserving the Party of Lincoln. Abe famously fought a lot of losing battles himself so I’m in good company fighting this improbable campaign.

C- couldn’t that point have been made more directly? You had a weekly column in the Reader. You could have spent every column telling us why Pete Stauber is a Trumpster and the wrong candidate to support. But as a candidate, you had to give up your newspaper column—which seems like it was a very direct way to reach your audience if making a point was the idea.

Jane, Jane, Jane,

You give my bi-weekly column in the Reader waaay too much credit. I know I have my fans but the Readership only goes out to about 35% of the voters in the Eighth District.

Everybody in Duluth knows that when election season comes I’m like a dog who sees a bone. Until a week before filing I had given no thought to filing a protest campaign. But the continuing circus in the Oval Office and Pete’s shameless Trump support and the fear that Stauber would win in a District that gave Trump a %16 lead over Hillary was more than enough to convince me that by challenging Pete Stauber I could hobble at least one “Trumpkin.” For America’s sake that was a bone very much worth chasing – win, lose or draw.

And if I lose the Primary I suspect that the Reader’s publisher, Bob Boone, will let me pontificate again ahead of the General election. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Click here to go to Jennifer’s next question regarding my party affiliation.

Wake up call

My 65 second riff last night on Trump’s unhealthy admiration for murderous tyrants and threats to democracy could become soul crushing should it get stuck on repeat. I’m more inclined to take a philosophical view of Trump’s machinations. He is a wake up call to people about Democracy’s vulnerability. Its rather like the image taken of Earth by the Apollo crews from the Moon. From far away the Earth looks like what it is, a fragile place at the mercy of any wayward asteroid. Our Democracy may seem scrappy because it has survived civil war, one particularly nasty Republican spawned depression, the rise of Dictators in the 1940’s and the Cold War. It seems like after all that it should be able to weather an empty, narcissist like Donald Trump.

How did Donald Trump get elected? Continue reading

Tomorrow’s video

My Dad, Daniel Marsh Welty, died shortly after we moved to our snow sculptor’s palace thirty-one years ago. He never got a chance to see it although I shot a VHS tape of it to show him where we had moved to. His Vietnam was the “Good War” and for years afterwards he read the memoirs and histories written by men who had fought in it. I kept a bunch of his paperbacks after his death and today I’ve got them arranged in a modest glass case with other mementos of his life. As you can see they include a sketch that my Mother made of him when he was in his late twenties. In life he never looked that fierce.

I plucked one of the books from the shelf a couple days ago to begin reading to Claudia in anticipation of our September trip to France and more specifically to the hallowed coast of Normandy. Its Cornelius Ryan’s “The Longest Day.” After beginning its chapter ten in the first section I had to put the book down and shoot a 6 minute video of me reading and commenting on a passage that talked about the modesty of my fellow Kansan, Dwight David Eisenhower. The depths that we have sunk to politically with the Trump Presidency led me to shoot another video to share my thoughts with my blog’s treasured but minuscule audience. I’ll upload it tomorrow.

A little of my Dad’s influence bookwise

My Dad, Daniel Marsh Welty, died shortly after we moved to our snow sculptor’s palace thirty-one years ago. He never got a chance to see it although I shot a VHS tape of it to show him where we had moved to. His Vietnam was the Good War and for years after he read the memoirs and histories written by men who had fought in it. I kept a bunch of the paperbacks after his death and today I’ve got them arranged in a modest glass case with other mementos of his life which as you can see includes a sketch my Mother made of him when he was in his late twenties. In life he never looked that fierce.

I plucked one of the books from the shelf a couple days ago to begin reading to Claudia in anticipation of our trip to France and more specifically to the hallowed coast of Normandy. Its Cornelius Ryan’s “The Longest Day.” After beginning its chapter ten in the first section I had to put the book down and shoot a 6 minute video of me reading and commenting on a passage that talked about the modesty of my fellow Kansan Dwight David Eisenhower. The depths that we have sunk to politically with the Trump Presidency led me to shoot another video to share my thoughts with my blogs treasured but tiny audience. I’ll upload it tomorrow.

Bimbos, Himbos and Limbos

Limbos, of course, refers to the Limbaugh listeners who have become as mindless in their enthusiasm for Donald Trump as they have been for the man from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. With that has his hometown I can’t help but wonder if he imagined himself to be a super hero when he was a kid.

I just learned that William F. Buckley’s intellectual heir, George Will, has left the Republican Party and urged all voters to vote against Republicans.

Better late than never George. I hope he would consider me an exception especially as I had the foresight to see what was happening to The Party of Lincoln thirty years ago and tried to do something about it over and over again. I began threatening to return to it a couple years ago for the party’s redemption not for revenge. I found a reminiscence about how I became a Republican written a few years ago in the blog. As with the Red Plan I find a gallant battle hard to stop fighting.

My two cents during the Trump Rally

At the supermarket yesterday a lady told me she saw me on TV and that I was funny. Its true I got a short interview on the day President Trump and his acolytes swarmed Duluth. I was also asked about the Duluth School District and shared my observation that our Superintendent was running out of scapegoats.

I couldn’t find this video for a couple days but I checked again just now to see if my funny comments were about Trump or the Superintendent. Geez, I’ve starred in more than my share of disaster movies.

An Open Letter to MCCL (and why even the Supreme Court will not end abortions)

A short note before I share the letter.

I was alive when “back alley” abortions took the lives of women. I formed my opinions on the subject of abortion in 1960’s and 70’s as a then liberal Republican. my thinking aligned with the Republican Supreme Court justices who ruled on Roe vs. Wade. My opinion hasn’t changed nearly as much as our society has where sex is concerned. I always wanted to make contraceptives available rather than rely on abortions. I was appalled that “pro lifers” of that era were more anti premarital sex than they were anti fetus killing. As you will see in my letter to the MCCL I haven’t changed my mind.

I have always felt that abortions, like guns and traffic and food production was a legitimate area for sensible regulation. I have always sympathized with the folks who felt that human life, even before birth, was sacred. But I’ve grown impatient with such people when they fail to act as though the life that follows birth is also sacred and have cemented themselves to a political party that makes a virtue of the poor being forced to “fend for themselves.”

The Pro-Life movement is woefully ignorant about what will result should Roe vs. Wade be overturned. They think that it will be the end of all abortions in America. That’s obviously wrong. If Roe is struck down it will take the passage of a pro life amendment with by a 3/4ths majority of states to make it illegal in all fifty states. That will not happen in my lifetime. Abortions will always be available to the well-to-do even in states that would outlaw it. All they will have to do is travel to a state where its legal. When I was in high school such folks had to have the money to fly to Sweden.

Here’s that letter I sent to the MCCL

MCCL stands for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life: Continue reading

I just can’t help myself

This was intended as a “confidential” email but I am quite content to let the general public see it:

To me from Chuck Frederick, Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune:

Hey Harry. I was told you posted on your blog that you were against political parties endorsing in nonpartisan races like those for School Board. Yet you were begrudgingly planning to seek the DFL endorsement this Saturday. First, why do you feel that parties should stay out of nonpartisan races? And if you feel they should why are you pursuing the party nod this Saturday? I’d appreciate your comments. Please feel free to reply. I’d appreciate it. And don’t worry, not planning on being critical of you in an editorial if we choose to do one.

thanks,
Chuck

And my reply:

To: Chuck Frederick
Subject: RE: party endorsement comment

Hi Chuck,

At the DFL screening I told them I wasn’t a fan of partisan endorsements for a non-partisan race. That’s true enough.

But I can’t deny the practical side. This is a traditional tool of Democrats to recruit candidates who can then have a jumping off pad for higher office. The Republicans who sniff at this in Duluth can be sure that Republicans do the same thing in Republican areas. Look at the damned races for judges.

I said I begrudgingly did something but that was at our special school board meeting. That was about spending money on fixing up Rockridge or spending general fund money on bonds. About the DFL I am being pragmatic.

I have a couple overlapping motives. The first I tell you in confidence. I don’t want a couple of my DFL board adversaries to get the 60 percent votes for endorsement that will assure them tons of Party help in the late fall. 2nd, I would like an easy election for a change. I have never had any good endorsements other than the Trib’s in 1999 and 2013.

Finally, I have had it up to here with no nothings. I have never reviled democrats. I like the idea of wrapping a perfectly respectable party around myself at this time of foolish, ignorant, hyper-partisanship. I detest Trump and blame the GOP for his destructive success. I want the Democrats to bring the blue collar voters back for a healthier nation.

And there is something else I would rather do this summer than knock on doors. I want to begin writing a book about my Grandfather. He was a rock-ribbed, Kansas Republican who wasn’t paranoid about Democrats. An easy campaign will give me freedom to pursue this.

Harry

For the record I don’t think publishing this before Saturday will make it any easier for me to win the nomination but I don’t care. If I have to campaign like hell I’ll do it. We have some extremely myopic school board members and we need some fresh blood. I don’t think mine is past the sell by date.

Speck # 6 The League of Democratic Women Voters

This is a report from a reliable source who attended the pre election meeting of Duluth’s League of Women Voters:

At one point a member got up and harangued the audience telling them that they had to go out and register voters to prevent a win by Donald Trump. Whether the candidate’s name was actually mentioned or not that was the obvious message. Not everyone was happy to have it put so bluntly.

The good old LWV ain’t what it was when I moved to Duluth in 1974. Back then it was a bipartisan group composed pretty equally of Democrats and Republicans. That began to change that year with Roe v. Wade. Two years earlier I went to a Minnesota State Republican convention that approved a “pro choice” plank in its platform. That soon changed as Republicans began to see a huge Catholic block that opposed abortion and as the party’s operatives began encouraging protestant preachers to oppose abortion. At first the protestants, soon to become the Moral Majority, opposed abortion because it made promiscuity consequence free. Saving “babies” was more of a Catholic thing initially. I’ve always thought that for southern Christians, still smarting from having northern Christians chide them for their racism, defending unborn babies gave them back some moral ground.

Over the next decade, as once solid Republican League members fell out of favor with the new pro-life Republican Party and all but disappeared taking their pro-choice views with them, the League became a mostly Democratic bastion in practice if not in principle. Its one more casualty of a divided nation. That doesn’t exactly excuse its local members playing partisan politics. BTW – They especially like to dabble in our local school board.

Speck # 4 Roy Cohn’s Revenge

In no way do I mean to praise Donald Trump. His campaign was as sleazy as it gets. Hillary’s insider string pulling in the Democratic machinery is part and parcel of every campaign. Its both understandable and unavoidable. However, Barack Obama proved that it was not invincible in 2008. Bernie Sander’s loss is hardly surprising. He was severely handicapped by announcing that he was a Democrat just before seeking that party’s nomination. The same was true for Donald Trump. Had Trump run as an Independent I suspect he would have done little better than Bernie would have as an Independent. They would likely have gotten Ross Perot-like numbers – close but no cigar.

All the Trumpian pundits who are saying the mainstream media was mean to Trump are full of _ _it. They shined a light on him but he was a nuclear explosion. Media flash lights meant little compared to the candidate’s sizzle. There is a whole lot in his closet for historians to ponder but most of his voters have been too blinded to notice. I’ll only mention one of them here – Trump’s muse, Roy Cohn.

Cohn is a vestige of my youth’s realities when police vice squads raided gay bars and rounded gays up with one aim – to publicize their depravity in newspapers and soil their reputations forever. There is a scene in the marvelous old movie “Advise and Consent” of the gay 602 bar that would have been repellent to audiences of that era. You can catch a brief glimpse of it in this trailer as the attractive JFK-like Senator walks in desperately seeking out an old lover who is blackmailing him about their old affair. When the blackmailer refuses to back off there is only one solution for the Senator. He has to commit suicide to hide his depravity. Modern audiences may find this preposterous but it would have made sense to people in 1960.

Roy Cohn worked in this atmosphere as the right hand of Senator Joseph McCarthy and helped him ferret out information on Commies in the Government at the height of the Red Scare. They destroyed many people at a time of national hysteria. McCarthy was finally upended when he went after the US Military unsuccessfully when it drafted Roy Cohn’s lover. Shortly afterwards the anti-communist crusade quieted to a dull roar sufficient only to mire us in Vietnam but no longer a threat to our Democracy.

Cohn’s homosexualy was common knowledge after this and he became a bitter man. He vehemently denied he was “queer” and became infamous for his take no prisoners legal maneuvering. The New York legal establishment tried for years to disbar him. A year ago Claudia and I watched the old HBO series Angels in America. Its about the Aids crisis that took out tens of thousands of gay lives in he 1980’s. Al Pacino gives an extraordinary performance as Roy Cohn. This scene tell you everything you need to know about what Donald Trump learned under Cohn’s tutelage and why he conducted a scorched Earth campaign for President.

One of the most hopeful things about America today is that under President Obama we have largely swept the homophobic past away so that we will never again create a Roy Cohn. One of the great ironies about Donald Trump’s election is that the homophobia that created Roy Cohn fifty years ago gave Cohn’s acolyte Donald Trump the strategy that elected him President of the United States. How ironic that Trump asked the pro-family, 2016, GOP convention for their help in stamping out homophobia and got applause it. Roy Cohn hated queers!

Speck # 3 a rumor of a threat against Trump

By now all of Duluth has heard of racist grafitti on our high school walls. Today a rumor got to me that the Ordean East Trophy case had a vague threat against Donald Trump placed on or in it. The rumor says it was there for a full day and that a parent took a picture of it and furthermore that the Duluth police and even the Secret Service came by to inspect it.

The log (or beam) Jesus talks about will tempt many partisans to only see the crimes of “the others” not those of their allies when people overreact to the consequences of this election.

A million dollars worth of damage attended the Anti Trump marches in Oregon. I found Black comedian Dave Chapelle’s comment about this noteworthy – “Amateurs.” If it was my storefront I’d be furious but it was pretty small potatoes however ugly. Four years after the post King assassination riots I took a bus through Baltimore and gawked at blocks worth of blackened storefronts behind metal bars. I know that every crowd attracts troublemakers and that all too often they are not anticipated before the crowd arranges itself. The crowd is both an attraction and a good hiding place for mayhem driven far more by mendacity than fury.

So the issue to consider in the case of the rumor, should it prove to be true will our District Administration be even handed in dealing with it……if it has or will raise its ugly head?

I suppose I could make calls to confirm this but to me the more important point is that we should not take sides. In fact, a threat to the president of the United States is a bigger deal than a racial epitaph.

Remember Johanna’s post-it notes.