Web hits

My infant website http://www.welty4congress.org is still seeing an increase in hits. Its still not getting as many visits as the Lincolndemocrat blog still but today’s graph shows continued improvement.

 Sorry, I had to delete the graph. I just found out its the wrong kind of graphic for use on these pages. Just take my word for it that anybody seeing it would be jealous of the upward trend.

Missive to Mel

My loose cannon went off for the weekend but took the time to send me an email despairing of the lack of attention my campaign had gotten. Why I had just sent out a press release and he’d found no reference to it anywhere on a google search. He just found a couple old links to blogs that had dissed my campaign.

Mel,   

I’m touched at the anxiety in your last email. You really want me elected to Congress. What do I want? I want you to have a good weekend. Remember that a week or two ago I told you that I can’t win. I also said that that’s not going to stop me from trying. If in the end I lose but I’ve tried my hardest that will satisfy me because its not up to me, its up to the voters, to choose a congressman.  

“Working my hardest”…..I had a lousy boss once who gave me some good advice. Its better to work smart than to work hard. That’s how I’m trying to approach this campaign. I want to reach as many people as possible with the limited resources I have. I will also try to increase those resources but I think we can find ways around the liability of being relatively penniless.  Keeping our focus will help. I find a good night’s sleep and a good swim are great places for me to go to do a “brain dump” clear my mind, and help me focus. I’ve had both in the last 24 hours. 

While I’m temporizing one more thing. Remember how Hemingway defined courage…..”Grace under pressure.” Let’s be graceful I’ve got between 500 and a 1000 people looking at my blog daily. Who knows if any of them live in the District?  At least Jim Oberstar has someone scanning it daily and Rod Grams too if he has any kind of a campaign. If these jokers are worried about what Wikipedia says about them they should be doubly concerned about what I say about them because I can be far more cutting. 

By the way. I’m going to write about you again today in the blog. As sports is soap opera for boys so too is politics soap opera for a more general audience. You’ll have to wait and see what I write. but , don’t worry, it won’t be slighting. This is my attempt to draw people into my campaign a la Pied Piper of Hamlin. Right now my campaign and the people in its cavalcade are just a little dust rising on the distant horizon. That horizon will be here in 80 plus days. I want my readers to keep scanning the sky for us as we approach. You will be in the lead…..unless you decide to bail… which is, of course, your right to do. And if you keep agonizing about our slow progress you will be more inclined to do so. I have a good letter outlined to pursue our being included in the upcoming debate. This will also occasion a press release. All next week I will keep working on ways to get more people to the welty4congress site.  

I want us to meet on Sunday before I leave to clean up the details of running a campaign while the candidate is out of the country. I’m sure I’ll have more to report but my advice is put away your computer and enjoy the weekend. 

Harry  P.S. Thanks for all you help and thanks for getting all worked up. No successful campaign could get along without people like you. 

No I don’t speak Italian

I just checked my ad in the Reader Weekly. It looks like we at the Welty campaign speak Italian. A few letters got transposed in the word coordinator. We ask folks to email our “volunteer coridnatro.” Well, we have an “official loose cannon” why not a coridnatro?

The Amen Corner packs up their GOP Bibles

A quick Google search of “GOP losing Conservative Christians” reveals countless (Well, Google does count them) entries of Conservative Christians bitterly criticizing the Republican Party. Here’s one typical sample and here’s another.

I was prompted to look because I couldn’t find a link to the NY Times story reprinted in today’s DNT. Titled, “Poll: GOP losing support of Conservative Christians”, it outlines the many grievances of said religious conservatives against the GOP.

The morass in Iraq can’t be helping and Katrina was a terrible blow but Conservative Christians aren’t harping on these. No, its the failure of the GOP to deliver on the hard rights most cherished desires fighting stem cell research and banning gay marriage. Yesterday’s ruling that the morning-after pill will become available is just one more slap in the face of religious conservatives and the Bush Administration wouldn’t stop it. Folks like Dobson who do not wish to destroy their credentials as righteous leaders are now retreating from the party that won’t use its 51% control of America to institute a 100% ultra-religious agenda.

The poll revealed that American’s who feel that the Republican Party is friendly toward religion dropped by 8%. The drop among Catholics and White evengelicals is 14% from a year ago.

Democrats can’t take much comfort in this because only 26% of the public regards Dems as friendly toward religion. It was 29% last year.

More fuel-efficient than Oberstar

Today a member of a special interest organization lauded Jim Oberstar for driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle than Rod Grams in a letter to the editor.

“I am pleased to note that Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., is making his campaign rounds in a small, fuel-efficient Chrysler PT Cruiser.

On the other hand, his opponent, Rod Grams, is touring in a very large RV that can be viewed at his Web site. That vehicle probably gets 6 to 7 miles per gallon. Grams wouldn’t need to buy an expensive import for economy. There are domestics like the PT Cruiser or Pontiac Vibe that get nearly 35 miles per gallon for our family.”

Heck, I drive a Prius to campaign events. I get 45 miles to the gallon.

Looking for allies

It occurred to me this evening that I might find some passionate supporters in the Nation’s Capitol. A Google search located this organization. I sent them the following email. 
  

Hello,
  

I’m a candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth District. Thirty-five years ago I was a summer intern for one of the Congressmen on the House DC Committee. I’ve been thinking about the injustice of DC’s lack of representation in Congress ever since.
  

I’m an out of the woodwork candidate for Congress. I was a thirty-five year Republican and I attended Democratic caucuses this year but I’m running as an independent for congress in a three-way contest. In 1992 I did the same thing and won 7% of the vote. I suspect that even if I stopped campaigning now with the low public approval of Congress I’d win 10 or 15% of the vote this election. Since 1992 my stature has risen considerably and I think there is a good chance I could win a plurality in a three way race.
  

I wrote this page a few days ago then decided today to see if any organizations in DC was out their fighting for representation. That’s how I found your site. Perhaps you would be interested in offering support to a candidate that fervently believes that DC residents should be represented at least in the House of Representatives.
  

I don’t know how well connected you are in the beltway but Minnesota is a distant and foreign place; easy for the nation’s media to ignore. Perhaps, if you have contacts, you could help remedy that. If you have the ability to direct the nation’s media in anyway to my unorthodox campaign I would appreciate it.
  

Take a look around the rest of my website. I think you will see that I’m just enough different from the typical candidate for Congress that I might successfully be able to raise the torch for DC representation and give the issue the attention it deserves.
  

Your friend and ally,
  

Harry Welty
candidate for Congress
Minnesota’s Eighth District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Pages

At Mel’s suggestion (He’s now the official “loose cannon” of the W4C campaign) we created a couple new pages on the welty4congress site:

A Search Page for anyone trying to quickly find a reference.

and

a “Download” page where you can print out W4C materials that you can then pass around or put on a poster or t-shirt.

 Mel’s got more good ideas than you can shake a stick at.

The “Big Two” debate – Welty’s chopped liver – for now

After meeting with my prospective Media Relation’s recruit I headed to Jitters in downtown Duluth to meet with Mel and Chris. We had lots of ground to cover in preparation for my two-week departure for a long planned (if ill-timed) vacation to Denmark.

Mel and Chris agreed to take over as guest bloggers while I’m gone. I will be taking a laptop but I’m somewhat doubtful how often I’ll be able to check the blog or my email.

But the big news was indeed news to me. I had left so early this morning to get to Perkins West that I hadn’t had a chance to finish the paper. It seems a non-partisan, good-government, organization has arranged for a single debate between Rod Grams and Jim Oberstar. The News Tribune was kind enough to point out that “…third party candidate, Harry Welty, has not been invited to the debate.”

Well not yet. It was most important to nail down the big fry first but I am a political pirahana and it won’t be easy to ignore me for long. I’m relatively certain that even if I stopped campaigning today I’d still get 15% of the vote. I hope to verify this with a poll of my own soon. If polls results are a critical requirement I’m quite certain I will meet this threshold by October 17th, the date of the debate.

I will be contacting Debate Minnesota to insist on my invitation. I’ve met many of the Board members. Rod Grams was a board member himself once and I’m sure he wouldn’t want to be accused of being self-serving.

Anyone wishing to stick up for my inclusion in the debate could do so at this Debate Minnesota address. We have two months to inundate them with email insisting on my addition to the rostrum. The voters of the Eighth District should get a chance to compare their next Representative with the two eventual losers.

Mel, Chris, and I had much more to talk about. We will be getting our first serious fund raising letter out. We have to prepare for next week when we get new volunteers from the ad we’ve placed in Duluth’s Reader Weekly. And of course, we should get more yet from the following press release we just sent out to 40 news outlets in the District:

For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 24, 2006
For further Information contact:

Harry Welty – harrywelty@charter.net
218-***-****

Welty to challenge Grams, Oberstar on the Internet

While Senator Rod Grams and Congressman Jim Oberstar have raised over a million dollars between them for their campaigns, largely from special interests and PACs, their Independent challenger, Harry Welty, a former Duluth School Board member, and 1969 Mankato High School graduate has spent less than $2,000 so far. He is trying to get the word out with his website: www.welty4congress.org.

“All that money that Jim and Rod are raising will be poured into 30-second television spots with pretty pictures, Mom, apple pie and the flag. They won’t tell voters anything about what they stand for,” said Welty. “But voters visiting my website can dig deeper and see why I say that Grams and Oberstar are part of the problem and how I would do things differently.”

Just because he’s taken time to develop a website doesn’t mean that Harry is opposed to television. “Voters who want to can go to my site and contribute and I’ll certainly use their help to buy television time,” Harry agreed. “It’s just that my thirty-second spots won’t be any more enlightening than Oberstar’s or Grams’s ads.”

Welty, who is running under the “Unity” Party label, was formerly a 35-year Republican who grew increasingly dissatisfied with the GOP as it made a sharp turn to the Right. According to Welty, the GOP stopped paying attention to legitimate criticism about the nation’s fiscal health and its conduct of the war in Iraq.

Welty circulated a petition through Minnesota’s Eighth District and gathered 1,250 signatures to have his name placed on the ballot. He will have to report his fundraising to the Federal Election Commission once he raises $5,000. Welty expects to cross that threshold soon. He points to Democrat Howard Dean’s and Republican John McCain’s presidential campaigns as examples of successful Internet fundraising. In fact, Welty was McCain’s Minnesota webmaster in 2000 before Bush supporters scuttled the Senator’s presidential bid by circulating rumors during the South Carolina’s primary that McCain had fathered a black child.

“I don’t like the tone of politics today,” Welty complains. “When I was a kid the Republicans and Democrats fought hammer and tong during the elections but got together afterward and did the nation’s business. Today they’ve dropped the ball and we have an eleven-trillion-dollar deficit and a quagmire in Iraq. Things have got to change.”

Of course, now I would also like to challenge Oberstar and Grams on the podium. Since they have both been closely aligned with Tom DeLay and have been asked to discuss political “civility”, mine will make an interesting counterpoint.

Pressing for Press

This morning I met with an old acquaintance who shall, for the time being, remain nameless. (Never can tell who would be forced to deny having anything to do with me) We had a long talk over breakfast at Perkins in West Duluth about the possibility of him or her signing on as my campaign’s media relation’s person.

A three month stint helping out a Don Quixote in the political venue is not what this person had in mind but we left my offer open. Who knows, If I start raising some funds I might even be able to provide some compensation. I urged my target to check out the video tour on my website. I regard this as the key to giving 8th District voters some real insight into the character of the guy would upset the current Congress’s applecart.

If I get eventually get a “yes” I will, of course, reveal the identity of my new recruit.

What makes Gutknecht so special?

Minnesota Congressman Gil Gutknecht, Republican, didn’t follow the rules. He was supposed to have 1000 signatures on a petition before he could have his name placed on the ballot. This wasn’t necessary because the state law allows candidates who have been nominated by a major party to simply pay a $300.00 filing fee instead.

However, to show how frugal he is Gutknect has always turned in petitions instead of paying the fee. The law requires one or the other. But the law also requires that petitions be signed only during the two weeks of the filing period. I got 1,250 signatures singlehandedly in that time. Believe me, if I could have started earlier I would have. I raced to beat the deadline.

Tightwad Gutknecht began having the petitions signed in February, four months prematurely. Even so he only had 1,626 signatures. That’s only 374 more than I had. Apparently he didn’t pay the fee. He met neither criteria for being placed on the ballot. Taken to court to keep his name on the primary ballot (since he didn’t abide by the law) the courts let his name stay on it.

I think the courts should refund me the time (and the money I spent on sunblock) to petition unless, that is, it is only independents who have to follow the rules. .

In need of a solution

I just came back from Chris Correia’s inaugural forum with Don Ness of the City Council. Like many new ventures into the unknown there were a few technical glitches. I did learn one remarkable thing. The City of Duluth manages 150 health care plans. Each employee keeps the insurance plan they had when they retired. At most the Duluth School District only had six or seven plans to contend with. Its fewer now.

Consider how dense and complicated a single health insurance plan is then imagine having to know what 150 different plans offer in the way of benefits!

Don says he hopes the City whittles itself down to managing one or two plans. I wish him luck.

 

Kitty Kitty

This morning I took our ailing cat, O’Shea, to the vet. Claudia took her in three weeks ago when she seemed at death’s door and we discovered that her thyroid had gone bad. Today the vet told me that she’d set a record for the clinic at a 21 when the regular cat is at 2 or 3. The vet told me it was like putting a car in neutral then stepping on the gas. Darned if I know what the numbers represent but we’ve been giving O’Shea half a pill a day since. She’s gotten a little perkier but the vets had to draw more blood to monitor how she’s reacting to the pills. She was so fearful that they only got half of what they needed so they’ll only be able to do one of two blood tests that she needs.

We stopped taking her to the vet regularly years ago because she’s so ornery. The vet suggested that we go back to doing what we used to do, sedate her, before we try getting more blood. In the meantime they will check her white cell count and we will just have to hope that we can get a reading on how much juice her thyroid is kicking out later. On the plus side she’s gained two ounces of the four pounds she’d lost at her last weighing.

 

Duluth Solutions – Noon to 1 today

My campaign Manager, Chris Correia, is holding an online discussion with Duluth City Councilor, Don Ness, today at noon on his forum www.duluthsolutions.com.  Its open to anyone who logs in. I’ll probably lay low because I’m challenging Don’s employer Congressman Oberstar and Chris is my campaign manager.

Don is given lots of grief about being such a friendly, smiley guy but he’s genuine. When Don saw me gathering petitions to run against his boss last July in downtown Duluth, he gave me a pained but friendly smile and asked: “Harry, What are you doing to me!”

I don’t envy the task Don and the other city councilors face in Duluth with a looming $300 million liability to cover retiree’s healthcare benefits. It’s reportedly growing by $40,000 every day that the city does nothing. I have strong opinions about the failure of the City to limit its liabilities starting from the moment it self-insured itself decades ago when health care seemed a cheap trade off. I’m sure that the topic will come up as it has been hashed out in the media for the past two years.

Anyone wishing to bone up on the story before typing in some questions for Ness might check here or here.

After thinking about the partisan nastiness in Washington D.C. over the past decade I can’t help but admire anyone as cheery as Ness. Its too bad cheeriness can’t will away problems like the ones Duluth faces.

Those interested in taking part in the conversation or keeping their options open for doing so are advised to register at the site in advance. If they don’t they will only be able to watch it unfold online.

What’s next?

  • First Donald Rumsfeld successfully pushed his policy of reducing the military’s dependence on personnel in favor of high tech training and high tech equipment and saw to it that Iraq was invaded with the small military force incapable of policing the 26 million people in Iraq.
  • Then the President called in Reserve Units
  • Then the President authorized a “stop loss” policy preventing indespensible troops due to leave Iraq from leaving.
  • Now the President has called up “inactive” Marines in the Reserves to serve in Iraq. Their call-ups will last from a year to 18 months.