Jennifer challenges my “agnosticism” on Copper Nickle mining

From: “Zenith City Weekly”
To: “Harrywelty”
Cc:
Sent: Friday July 27 2018 7:44:41PM
Subject: Response to #4 Copper-nickel mining (with two follow-up questions)

Thank you for your detailed responses to my first set of questions, Harry. I really enjoyed reading your replies! I also enjoyed reading your responses to KBJR. Continue reading

KBJR questionnaire

I got the following set of questions from KBJR television today and sent these replies back. (Oh and I went in along with Pete Stauber and the other congressional candidates yesterday for a seven minute interview with Dan Wolff. Its supposed to show up early Sunday morning on television and pop up on their website later. I’ll link to it when its ready.

Here are the Q&A’s: Continue reading

Here you go media – Harry’s headshot

I’ve been remiss in contacting local papers to give them my picture for any stories they might write and publish about my Congressional campaign. In fact, I just finished a 45 minute phone interview with my favorite paper the Timberjay. I was asked to send them a head shot. Actually, I sent this particular shot to the the Duluth News Tribune a week ago because they keep using an older picture from two years ago when I was without a beard. (One of my grandsons asked me to grow it back)

Any of you other news outlets that may be peeking at this blog, feel free to lift this jpeg for use in the next three weeks unless….. Well, if I happen to defeat Pete Stauber in the primary you should feel free to use it right through to the General election in November. Sorry Pete, but my success in the primary would give the media a real human interest story of national interest and not one of yet another Trump lapdog running to inflict trade tariffs on the world’s economy.

The “Deplorable’s” post continues then grinds to a premature halt.

The story today was a clawback from the suggestion that Joe Radinovich had sided with Nolan’s attempts to rehabilitate his butt groper buddy. The women who formerly worked for Nolan all said Joe had done the right thing and fired the lout. But back when Leah Pipher (hope I spelled that right) Radinovich was blamed for undermining her endorsement at the last minute bringing in a Twin Cities group representing latinos to complain that Phifer was too closely allied with the border guards enforcing Trump’s anti border crossing initiatives. In politics as in life grievances do not die easily and plenty of DFL women will remember the Latino bean-bag.

I’ve just been reading about the Meuse Argonne offensive in WW I and surrendering troops being shot so as not to become a nuisance. Bean-bag is pretty tame compared to that. If Radinovich shot Pipher’s campaign dead it could also be described as successful politics.

Nolan is now a burden on Attorney General, Lori Swanson’s campaign and she has so far steadfastly stood by him. The story in in MinnPost made Nolan look silly. A nice old guy who was prepared to shrug off the grabby side of an old friend from his first time in Congress back in the 1970’s. By 1970’s standards that was pretty tame. What was less winsome was Nolan’s fond reminiscing of the legislators of his Era blind folding themselves to grope the secretarial pool to see if they could identify them by touch. I was in college back then and that sounds creepy to me. Legislators, even if they are in their 20’s have power beyond their years. Laughing it off is cheap.

The great irony is that the real adversaries for the “me too” movement are not DFLers but Trump supporters. A recent poll says that 79% of Republicans are rabid Trump supporters. I’m part of a rump one-fifth that find the man a disgrace.

I guess these folks are the “deplorables” made famous by Hillary Clinton’s ill thought out words. They feel as poorly treated by big shots as women do about men in positions of power. Both are exacting revenge on the powerful. I sympathize….. but sadly the steam I had this morning to talk about tribal politics has expired. I don’t feel philosophical at the moment and I kinda regret starting a post that I’ve lost interest in fully explaining.

Unless I come back tonight or tomorrow that may be about all I have to say on the subject. I don’t even feel like proof reading this post.

Moral clarity in the age of “deplorables” running amok

I’ve woken up to a second day’s fallout concerning the latest scandal over Rick Nolan’s coddling of a long-time buddy and butt grabber. Nolan’s gaffe has left a field of victims like that duckboat sinking yesterday in Branson. Both pilots should have seen the storm coming but were too preoccupied to avoid disaster. I’m still ruminating on the news and practicing my french so I’ll tackle it later today for my “eight loyal readers.” Before I return I’ll leave them with proof that I’m no prude. (I kinda doubt that there is such a thing as a prude anymore. I suspect most of them are hypocrites.) Continue reading

But Pete. How about the man who started the “me too” movement?

My hypocrisy detector is on full alert after this story about a groper in Congressman Nolan’s Office made the Duluth News Tribune. Evidently Republican candidate Pete Stauber’s staff is in a tizzy over it:

Radinovich’s DFL primary opponents seemed to be keeping mum about the report on Thursday, but the Republican Party was not. Pete Stauber’s campaign spokesperson, Caroline Tarwid, tweeted that Radinovich “took no action in protecting the employees” on the Nolan campaign, and National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Maddie Anderson said Radinovich “enthusiastically agreed to let someone fired for sexual harassment join his team.”

I wonder if Pete’s campaign is indignant about the man who’s breast pocket Pete is peaking out from?

Jennifer’s third Question, re: affiliation

Also, what’s up with your party affiliation? You were a Republican. Then, the party abandoned you, so then you’re a Democrat. But now you’re running as a Republican. ARE you a Republican again now? Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, vote for you when your party affiliation is prone to such cussedly diametrical opposites? I’m a Democrat/Republican—c’mon, I want to vote for someone I know is on the team for real!

Jennifer,

I am an American first and foremost. That is my primary affiliation. And I’ve always cast my vote with America not a mere political party in mind. That has meant my votes for candidates from both parties as well as a few independent candidates. And Remember that George Washington, a model of humility, fidelity and honesty as well as the first President of our nation, was worried for good reason about political parties. He called them “factions”. He imagined that like in France during the Revolution such factions could cause much mischief and he was right. They damn near tore the nation apart leading up to the Civil War. They seem to be trying to replicate that experiment now.

I’m sure you have read many of my posts on Good Republicans or God’s Own Party or the Bush Leagues Those are nothing if not a lament for a very different Republican Party. I’ve been struggling for a quarter century trying to reconcile a great party’s history with what it has become.

As I have written before. I like Democrats. I tried being one for five or six years. I’d simply prefer liking them as my fellow Americans rather than as a cheap imitation of the good things that Democrats stand for.

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.

Jennifer’s Questions answered first up –

Last Question first.

Incidentally, if you win the nomination—and Minnesota does tend to get a wild hair up our butts and vote for some long shot not named Humphrey—but if you win the primary, will you postpone your trip to France?

Before I answer, a quick note to readers and voters.

Jennifer and I go back a bit. That should be obvious by her comment about my liking “bratty questions.” Jennifer runs a local Duluth Tabloid and takes no prisoners. She is to local journalism what I often am to local politics – a thorn in the side of the elite……like the good folks who brought the Duluth Public Schools to its knees by flipping the bird to voters and cluelessly bankrupting them.

Here’s one instance of Jennifer coming to my defense when the editors of the local paper didn’t have a good handle on what the critical issue of “defamation” was all about.

Now to my reply.

I’m going to France even if I win the primary. I promised my wife I wouldn’t let the campaign interfere with our year-old plans and huge investment in tickets and reservations. But that is not the chief reason I will skip out on campaigning in September. The primary reason I’m willing to skip out in September is because my blog already has all the information voters need to see that I might very well make a difference in Congress as a ferocious centrist. If I should pull off the “impossible” and defeat nice guy, Trump butt kisser, Pete Stauber, I will already have proven my candidacy formidable. That will leave me all of October to travel across the huge eighth District and personally greet doubters and win them over. Jesse Ventura’s effective campaign for Governor was all of a month long too. Besides, every voter knows that our damn elections take too long, cost too much money, betray the voters, and bring us a Congress full of disappointments.

Hard hitting questions from a journalist to yours truly…

…I will enjoy answering these. In the meantime dear voters read through them below. There isn’t one of them that I haven’t thought about sometimes going back twenty or thirty years.

I’m just back from three hot hours with my grandson searching a beautiful Park Point beach for agates. And here’s the beginning of an answer to one of Ms. Martin-Romme’s hard-hitting questions regarding my leisurely campaign – I assure you that hunting agates with my grandson is far more valuable to future possible constituents than a year running around like a chicken with my head cut off spouting talking points hither, thither and yon that I don’t know the least jot or tittle about.

And as for responsibilities…… Any voter worth his or her vote will learn far more about me by perusing my eleven-year old blog than they will even by listening to me at a forum like the one I recently attended in Hibbing.

Furthermore, my experiences on something dear to voters hearts, a local school board, are a better indicator of what I might attempt as a United States Congressman than standing at the side of a biliousaire like President Donald Trump at the DECC. In fact, the absence of this “genius’s” endorsement puts me head and shoulders over the little man peaking out over Mr. Trump’s breast pocket. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll be back with better answers in a day or two.

Here’s Jennifer’s interrogating Email: Continue reading

They wouldn’t take my blood today . . .

. . . (My iron count was low) so I have an hour to put up a post. Here goes:

I’ve managed to continue my daily habit of French study today. I put in an hour early this morning for the 141st straight day. I have almost two months before I depart for France but while I will not be able to wander around a cocktail party gossiping in French I will be able to use the French language at some primitive level. I have learned just shy of 3,000 words since I began this unplanned course of study the day I turned 67 a little over seven months ago.

If voters take note of anything in this seemingly non political information it could be that I am a dogged student just like I’ve been a dogged candidate. Or it could be that beginning a course of language study at age 67 I still have the youthful mental dexterity needed by a successful leader. Or it could be that I’m not a slave to political campaigning (notwithstanding my 40-year history of running for public office.)

The point I mean to make is this. Just because my prospects of “catching lightning in a bottle” and getting elected to Congress in 2018 are vanishingly small I have not ruled out catching it. If Pete Stauber isn’t looking over his shoulder he is a fool. I know that he is timid man. That’s evident in his milquetoast response to our lying Commander and Chief:

“While no one knows the specific conversations that took place in private, the summit appears to have been a missed opportunity for the U.S. to hold Russia accountable,” said Stauber. “Russia is not our ally. We must continue to uphold the integrity of U.S. elections without any interference, and take swift action in response to any attacks on our democracy.”

Bart Simpson has the perfect response for twaddle like this “Well Duh!”

Had Barack Obama groveled at Putin’s feet like Donald Trump the Senate Republicans would have atomized themselves in a nuclear detonation. The New York Daily News got it right. (See the previous post) Pete Stauber didn’t.

I set out on this campaign with one small objective. I wanted to hit Commissioner Stauber’s naive, cheer-leading for an ignorant, unAmerican demogauge in the head with a two-by-four. So far so good, but what I’ve done pales compared to the damage Donald Trump has inflicted on every Republican this year.

My forty dollar contribution (as yet unspent) and my blog and the interviews I’m accorded as a candidate more than make up for the $800,000 of “dark money” given to Pete Stauber in the name of “free speech.” And Trump’s IRS just made it easier for billionaires and corporations to hide even more of their free speech. I wonder when Republicans will give conspirators the right of free (and secret) speech too? Second Amendment fanatics are taking advantage of the First Amendment big time.

Trump has just bent over backward to make America a sleazier, swampier more dangerous place. He’s become a gun pusher making it possible for terrorists to get free internet plans to 3D print automatic weapons. And its all being done in the name of “free speech”. Pretty soon we will be allowed to shout “fire” in a dark, crowded theater. I hope retired cop Pete Stauber is paying attention. And I wonder. Does candidate Stauber carry a concealed weapon?

“Send it back to those SOBs”

Today I’ve spent the day studying French and reading about my Grandfather’s battle at the Meuse-Argonne. I also put some time into reacting to the latest crisis for the School District. Those kind of days make for a great campaign. Having no illusions about my prospects is just the kind of gravy to make running for Congress all easier to swallow.

But the campaign intrudes unbidden. Over the past month I’ve gotten a number of questionnaires especially from the God, Guns and Kill-the-Unions sorts. Especially the Kill-the-Unions sorts. I’ve ignored the emails and letters to date but the Right to Work Committee is hell bent to make sure no one sympathetic to down on their luck workers gets past their Koch fueled scrutiny. I was minding my own business as General Pershing was facing down General Foch over whether the Americans got to be an independent Armyh or more like collection of Trump Congressman suckling on the Presidents teat. That’s when my letter carrier popped into our patio. She had a Certified mail item in her hands and handed it to me. I took a quick look and saw that it was from the Right-of-workers-to-starve committee. They weren’t about to let me skip their survey.

I asked my carrier if I had to accept the mail and she told me that so-siree-bob I didn’t have to. I told her “Send it back the SOB’s” I mean really. These Republican SOB’s have helped to insure that voters who have been losing their union jobs voted for Republican Donald Trump because they sure-as-hell didn’t want to vote for a Democrat who might be in favor of some social insurance for the unemployed.

I’ve never used that kind of language in front of my letter carrier before but she told me that she would put “refused” on the envelope. Then she told me she would put it in “BIG LETTERS”. She must belong to the letter carrier’s union.

I hope I keep a little of my piss and vinegar for tonight’s Almanac North at 8PM

I got a text about that this morning asking: “Are you at least gonna “come across” as sane and reasonable tonight? Just in case voters might be watching…

I replied: “I will come across as myself. How the WDSE audience sees me in beyond my control.”

My friend replied: “Uh oh!”

The limits of Cunning

The THIRD damning story of the Summer about ISD 709 showed up this morning. Its not a surprise to me but Jana Hollingsworth does an excellent job laying out the totality of a catastrophe that the Gronseth Administration was doing its best to keep out of the public’s eye in my last couple months on the School Board. It was about the junking of all the Red Plan’s once trumpeted educational technology. We are scrapping everything at the end of its useful life and doing so at a time when we don’t have the millions necessary to replace it.

This comes on the heals of another story about the unsurprising fact that the cost of fixing up the Central Administration building has jumped from $18 million to 25 million. This was supposed to have been dealt with by the Red Plan but the School Boards I have enjoyed panning for the last twelve years chose to spend it all on the technology that we are now scrapping because there are limits to how many teachers you can lay off and still teach students.

The first of the summer’s blockbusters was a surprise to me, really more of a shock – the unexplained axing of the new CFO for the District Doug Hasler for “inconsistencies” in a budget doomed to spiral into a black hole. My personal belief is that Hasler who had no money to work with is simply Bill Gronseth’s latest scapegoat in a long career of blaming others for problems his mentor Keith Dixon was responsible for. In my opinion, those problems are much worse because Bill Gronseth applied all his best efforts at undermining any reasonable examination of the District’s financial straights.

When I ran for the school board again in 2013 I didn’t rush to take up the Superintendent’s offer to meet with me face to face when I was still a candidate. I was busy campaigning. I’m sure I scared the hell out of him because of my reputation for fighting for the citizen’s right to vote on the massive Red Plan that his mentor put into place despite thousands of critics and doubters. After my election it was a helluva four years for both of us and worse yet for the District and its children.

Over those four years I shared my evaluation of the Superintendent with the other six Board members and each time the overall evaluation was said to be good……by the media which reported it. My personal evaluations were at best modest. I scored Gronseth highly on only a couple of points. I think he cares about kids and I think he hired some spectacular assistants. But, and this is a BIG BUTT, children have not benefited from the Gronseth years and with my departure came the departure of two and maybe three (if you count Doug Hasler as I do) talented assistants.

I didn’t make a point of having a lot of meetings with Bill but we had a couple conversations and I was always cordial and diplomatically candid with him especially about my tough evaluations of him. Among the faults I found with him were his efforts to hide public data from the Board, especially from Art Johnston and me. Nothing has changed. They never got any better except for a brief window right after Doug Hasler was hired. At one meeting I told Bill that he was either cunning or calculating (I can’t remember which term I used). Bill winced a bit as either word has a hint of duplicity about it. But while that is true I understand cunning as also being shrewd and open eyed. My favorite aphorism of Jesus is “be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Mathew 10:16 KJV

If anything Bill has got both ends of this aphorism wrong. He has been too smart for his own (and the District’s good) and he has caused the District great harm.

I made no early judgments about the Superintendent. I merely kept my eyes open like a good serpent myself to see what I would find. Early on I heard that Dr. Dixon had started to sour on Gronseth for some reason. Perhaps he came to think of Bill like so many others I’ve spoken to as a weak man. But when Gronseth figured out what Dixon thought of him he pulled his fellow secondary principals together to vouch for him and save his job. Dixon was so impressed that he ended up appointing Gronseth to be his right-hand man. Being Keith Dixon’s right hand always put me off about Bill because I considered his mentor to be a complete sociopath – a liar without conscience.

Perhaps a better example of Bill’s cunning was the maneuvering behind the scenes to get rid of I.V. Foster, the new black Superintendent in Duluth, who only lasted six months before curling up in the same fetal ball that Doug Hasler curled into before exiting the Duluth Schools. The News Tribune bought into the idea that Foster was both inattentive to the District and not fully certified for the job. I know the Trib would reject my analysis but I have no doubts. The school board members who engineered Foster’s ouster were the same ones who had failed at the last minute substitute Keith Dixon for Foster and transitioning later to a Supt. Gronseth.

But Bill got way too comfortable with that sort of cunning. I have always believed that the entire Art Johnston fiasco was kindled, tended and cared for by Supt. Gronseth with a coterie of his hanger’s on. That year and a half of my first two years squandered any hope that the school district could begin winning back the trust of the voters for some critically needed levy referendums. They kept getting postponed because Gronseth couldn’t get the positive vibe needed to pass one. And then last year when referendums were passed all over the state of Minnesota Gronseth spent all his time behind-the-scenes working to get rid of Art and me even enlisting his Hermantown school board member wife to help unseat us.

Ironically and damnably, his efforts were probably completely unnecessary after Art and I failed to win the DFL endorsement with the massive turn out of women voters traumatized by Donald Trump’s election. Had Bill spent his time putting up a levy referendum it would likely have passed and he would also have had the satisfaction of seeing Art and me bite the electoral dust. But Bill, as per usual, put his own survival ahead of the School Districts. I guess his only hope now is to preside over such a pathetically damaged public school district that voters will come to our children’s rescue despite his incompetence and misplaced priorities.

That’s my take at any rate.

For God’s sake. Don’t let me anywhere near Congress. My evaluation of that institution is even worse and they affect the entire nation not just one small struggling local school district. Half of the members of Congress are nestled in Donald Trump’s breast pocket looking for a teat to suckle on. Not surprisingly, their mouths are full of lint.

The non Trump 8th Congressional Candidate Debate

I am one of six candidates at Hibbing, Minnesota’s Crown Ballroom. If you only want to listen to what I have to say just slide the curser at the bottom of the screen to the right and you will see which of the candidates is speaking at any given time.

In my summation at the end I suggest that the audience members might want to vote for me to give Pete Stauber a thrill. The candidate to my left says she might take me up on that.

Wake up call – part 2 (now completed)

I’m still practicing French and then I’ll probably start reading the best history of the bloodiest battle in American Military History the Meuse Argonne. Its the battle that led to my Grandfather’s receiving the Medal of Honor. Last night I rewatched the masterful summary of World War I on PBS. So, I’m in no rush to finish my story about my brush with Democratic thugs.

However I did take a peek into files I haven’t looked into for at least thirty years of my early days as a Republican. I had long forgotten this letter giving me some Republican bonifides: Continue reading

The official source for all the blather of the eccentric Harry Welty – Duluth School Board member, off and on, since 1995. He does his best to live up to Mark Twain's assessment: "First God created the idiot. That was for practice. Then he invented the School Board."