Category Archives: Harry’s Diary

Ad ing it up till 1:30

Since there was no one to be bothered at home I stayed up till 1:30 AM. I puttered around with an idea for an ad for my campaign.

My campaign manager saw the link to Micah and then watched the fun claymation ads that he made for me. Chris thought they might do the trick this time. I emailed back and told him: “been there done that.”

Still, the idea of a tongue-in-cheeck ad again was tempting. I quickly imagined a new claymation ad and then thought about how I might go about getting it made without Micah who, considering his imminent marriage, obviously has other things on his mind now. 

Before heading to bed I also filled out a candidate questionaire that the Minneapolis Tribune sent me which and they will be posting on the Internet. I also took a few pictures of myself at their request to upload to their site. When its up I’ll direct your attention to it.

Gun Owners of America

Even though I haven’t filed my campaign papers for the FEC the lobbying community has me in their sights. There was a fat letter waiting for me from Gun Owners of America. Apparrently a rival of the NRA, GOA’s website has this to say for itself:

“The GOA Board of Directors brings over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience on guns, legislation and politics. GOA’s Board is not satisfied with the “status quo.” Americans have lost some of our precious gun rights and WE WANT THEM BACK! This is why GOA is considered the “no compromise” gun lobby.”

I heard a story recently that congressional candidates are refusing in ever greater numbers to fill out the many questionaires sent them by special interest groups. For the first time in twelve elections I’ll follow suit. I’ve been telling people that I have more opinions than you can shake a stick. In fact, I’ve got many of them on my website including some information on Gun Control. Here and Here for instance.

Iraq is the best example I can think of of a society where everyone’s ownership of guns affords little of the protection that our founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the Second Amendment. Back then the cumbersome, single shot hunting rifles owned by our farming population were the backbone of an almost nonexistant military.

The most unfortunate aspect of single interest politics is their no foot in the door attitude. Even when compromise is obviously called for none is tolerated. Gun control is just one example. I told my campaign manager that its fairly obvious that the concealed & carry provisions Minnesota recently adopted hasn’t been the disaster that the anti gun forces predicted. Still, my acquainence who’s sister was blown away by an angry husband should not be ignored.

The GOA seem to think that arming everybody is the personal equivelent of the 1960s policy of Mutually Assured Destruction in which the US and the USSR were guaranteed not to go to war because, since both nations had nuclear weapons, it would mean the total destruction of both nations. By this GOA reasoning the woman who was shot by her husband only had herself to blame for not answering her door with a loaded weapon.

I don’t think so.

Cooling waters

I’ve returned from the hottest weather I’ve ever experienced. Claudia and I drove up to Sonoma with our kids for the day to taste wine. By our second stop the car’s outside thermometer read 113 degrees. We stopped for lunch in Healdsburg at a restaurant where all the air condiditioning seemed to be sucked out with each patron who opened the door.

The Minneapolis airport was 85 Degrees when we returned this afternoon and by the time we drove to the crest of the hill overlooking Lake Superior it had climbed to 91 degrees. It plunged to a temperate 74 by the time we turned up 21st Ave E. It was heaven! Thank you Lake Superior.

Among the several phone calls waiting for me was one from Richard Winger who publishes a newsletter about third parties. He wanted to know if I was in any way tied to Unity08. I called back and told him that while the Unity title was partly inspired by them I was not affiliated. He was from San Francisco which I had just left and it gave me a good occasion to complain about the lousy weather I had just left. What was that that Harry Truman said about the kitchen? Mr. Winger may do a story about me in his newsletter. If he does he’ll send me a copy.

Tomorrow I meet to discuss shooting some video but only after I spend the morning reading the news at Lighthouse for the Blind’s studio. Claudia will leave even earlier than me because she is flying off for business and to pick up her Father from Florida for a visit. It will be his first visit to Duluth in about 16 years. I wonder if there is any heat left for the East Coast what with California hogging it all?

San Fran Man II

Yesterday we got out of the car at our hotel in Novato and the temperature was a scorching 107 degrees. The last time and only other time I endured weather like that was when I visited Scottsdale, Arizona as a seventeen year old. That time I tried to play some tennis and learned some important lessons in human limitations.

We took the boat to Alcatraz on our first night in California. It was a very interesting tour and some of us in our party are not easily impressed. We took the last tour of the day and the heat of the day was still, uncharacteristically, in the air as the evening turned dark and the San Fran skyline lit up. A lot of the Rock was off limits in part, I suspect, because of the neglect of the Federal Park budget by the Bush Administration. Still, despite its ongoing crumbling away the stories were fascinating.

Alcatraz was never filled to capacity. Today we are still building more supermaxes for our worst of the worst. Is it something in the air or were those really simpler times?

Yesterday we spent half an hour parking by and beginning the walk across the Golden Gate. It was just enough time to get to the first suspension spire (I can’t think what its really called)from which the cables are suspended. We got to Novato and our hotel and jumped in the pool with the kids. It was probably the first time in ten years that we did this and very likely the last time. The water was warm from the baking temps. Afterwards we mingled with my side of the family at the reunion where the youngest generation puzzled over their connections.

We had a remarriage and a new family start up and the children from both sides were very unclear as to their interrelationships. I woke up at 6:30 well ahead of the rest of my clan and to my delight found that the hotel’s business center didn’t charge for this computer usage. I’d decided not to pack our laptop afterall because we only packed carryon luggage for convenience.

I’ve been able to exchange a couple emails with my campaign manager. He’s beginning to check in the FEC (Federal Elections Commission) rulebook and he’s still recommending me blogs to read. On this our last full day my little group of four is breaking away to travel the wine country and then come back on coast highway. Its supposed to be just as hot. Hope the AC holds up.

San Fran Man

I had a very productive flight out to San Francisco today; wife, son and daughter all in tow. I brought 4 Duluth Tribs to finish and then alternately dozed and woke up to jot down a to-do list which should last me for a month. If I complete it, it will go a long way to making my campaign a very formidible affair indeed. Its interesting how a little quiet time helps one focus.

We met my brother and his family and ate at Fisherman’s Wharf in Allioto’s. It was a wonderful meal with a view of the Golden Gate in the distance. Took a walk to Ghiradelli square. (sorry about the spelling) and had ice cream with hot fudge. Tonight we cruise over to Alcatraz. I was warned that the wind off the bay would be cold so I bought a jacket to keep me warm.

I had an email waiting for me when we checked into the Mark Hopkins. I’ve offered a very capable local journalist the position of being my press chief. The email from the journalist in question suggested that we get together to talk it over when I return next week. It would be very limited work to begin with but if we work something out it would be another coup for my campaign.

My internet clipping service noted that I had gotten a mention in the Hibbing Trib and that Al Franken was heading a fund raiser for Jim Oberstar in Brainerd. The comic is promoting the wrong candidate this year but when I run for reelection that will change.


Blog Spam

I’ve spent the day preparing for a family reunion in California. Because I want to hit the pavement running when I get back on Sunday I’ve been tidying up the accumulation of campaign debris that’s built up in my office.

One chore I’ve been doing today is blocking spam from my blog. Each post has a message box for readers to make comment on. The insidious spam world has discovered that they can jam up the message boxes with tons of links to the websites their promoting; stuff like viagra and downloadable ring tones. It was a tedious several hours but I’ve probably saved myself a lot of work in the future.

A number of intriguing opportunities have arisen in the past two days and I’ve got some important meetings planned for next week which will kick things up a notch. I’ll be taking the laptop with me to Califrnia to check email and the news and update the blog. I’ve subscribed to a new internet clipping service so I’ll know exactly what the opposition is up to as well as see where I’ve been making headlines. I’m still invisible to Minnesota punditry. On an MPR hour of analysis this afternoon they didn’t even mention the 8th District race. Of course, that reflects poorly on Rod Grams too.

At the moment all eyes are on Matt Entenza’s departure from the race for Attorney General. Who killed him? Was it Mike Hatch? Hmmmmm. Well, he’s a well known back stabber and the two didn’t like each other.

No wonder my Mom didn’t want me to go into politics.

The “none of the above” candidate

I’m in ecstasy. There are only three candidates for 8th District Congress. That’s what I’ve been hoping for. Now all disaffected voters will be able to focus their votes on a single candidate.

In 1992 when I also ran as an independent for the same office I had to split this vote (which was ten percent of the total) with Floyd Henspetter. My party was the “Perot Choice” party and his was the “Term Limits” party. I got better than 70 % of the none of the above vote but not all of it. In fact, that’s what I jokingly told folks when I gathered my petition signatures. I told them that I was the “none of the above” candidate.

More than in 1992 none of the above will look good to people who want a little purple put back into an America split into Red and Blue.

186 grand for Grams from Insurance

My son took a call for me yesterday from a Grand Rapids pharmacist. I called him back this morning and he told me a tale of woe; how the insurance industry monopoly was nailing him and his industry to the wall. After I’ve researched the anti-monopoly Fair Trade Act of 1941 and set up a travel itinerary we’ll have coffee to talk about it.

Coincidentally my manager sent me a link to Open Secrets which lists Rod Grams’ major contributors for the years he was in the Senate. Coincidentally, the Insurance industry was number two on the list at $186,000.

I asked the fellow how it happened that he’d heard of me and he told me he’d read about me after picking up a Reader Weekly in Grand Rapids. I had no idea they were distributed that far away.

Press Releases

On July 5th, when I began my petitioning I sent an email press release to all the newspapers, radio and TV stations in the District that I could find. A number of the emails were returned because the address was old or faulty. I sent another release today to the same list as before and once again some bounced back to me.

I just asked my new campaign manager to check out each venue and find out what the best way to send them Press Releases. 14 years ago when I ran I did all the press releases by fax. Before that it was by mail. Email today is so simple but I’m afraid that news editors have email boxes jammed up with newsie stuff. If so they may not give very close scrutiny to all the stuff that passes over their “desk.”

After Chris Grams inquiry about the Lincoln-in-thought t-shirts I added her Little Falls radio stations to the media list because I’d missed them before. I noted that the news of her husband Rod’s filing for office was the first item on the list of news stories even though it was already six days old. Well, there are some advantages to owning your own media.

I also sent a copy of my letter to Mary Kiffmeyer to the big three the Pioneer Press, the Strib and the Duluth News Tribune. After I sent it I noticed a mangled sentence toward the end. Tsk tsk….editing.

1171 signatures????? I hope!

I’ve been counting and recounting my petition signatures. Because the Secretary of State may be treating this like a first grade teacher grades a handwriting worksheet I’ve gotten a little paranoid. Had I turned in my petition next Tuesday instead of Friday I’m sure she would have found more than 140 of my signatures invalid and I wouldn’t have made the ballot.

On Friday, upon returning from St. Paul, I looked up the phone numbers of about 110 people who only listed their year of birth as “50” or “29” or “86.” While it seemed obvious to me that they meant 1950 and 1929 and 1986 I’d been warned that that might not cut it. I found phone numbers listed in the directory for about half these people. I’ve contacted about 40 of these signers and the numbers checked. Only one person had put down their age instead of the year of birth. In every case all the signers would have been 18 either way.

The petition clearly states that everything on the petitition must be filled in by the signer unless disability prevents them. Since I’ve just written in the 19 on these petitions I can imagine that the forty names I’ve recovered could be disqualified. I hope that the inability to reach through a telephone line will be considered one form of disability.

In addition many people who live in Duluth did not put down St. Louis County as their county of residence even though its the only county Duluthians live in. For all I know some of them may not have known the county and were too embarassed to ask. It could cost me another slug of signatures if the Secretary of State objects. Not counting the absence of a County or the number 19 on the year of birth I should have 1,171 legitimate signatures. That’s about 111, I can’t count on.

I should be able to turn them tomorrow without fear but tomorrow I’ll collect another fifty or sixty in the morning to be on the safe side before driving back to St. Paul.

I’ve got a Campaign Chairman

Chris Correia is my new campaign manager. I’ve known Chris and his family for a long time and when he sent me an email a few weeks ago I realized he’d be somebody who could vouch for me from personal experience. I asked him if he would consider taking on the unenviable task of managing an unruly candidate. He sent me a list of issues where he thought we disagreed so that I wouldn’t presume we walked in lock step. Yup, we disagree but this is not a problem.

Chris was playing bass during our outdoor church service at the Lester River Park today. The Presbyterian church is principally where I’ve known Chris. He worked for our city’s Central Hillside United Ministry for years which helps the poor, homeless and transient population in Duluth.

He also is a small businessman who runs a martial arts center in Cloquet, Minnesota. Over the past six months we’ve attended a men’s discussion group at our church biweekly except that I keep missing it to attend to miscellaneous projects. Chris is a thoughtful man and after reading my comments about Senator Grams being an “ambitious” and “self-righteous prig” he emailed back a little taken aback at my vehemence. I told him that the voters want civility but they don’t want milquetoasts to represent them.

Bill’s Bills of Impeachment

Vic challenges my latest posting?

“I don’t remember that any of the articles of impeachment were for Clinton cheating on his wife. However, perhaps you know what Grams’ motivations were for voting for those articles.”
Vic’s right. The bills of impeachment were for perjury and obstruction of justice. I wrote so a few posts ago. The infidelity was, however, what the Republicans seized on in their attack on Bill Clinton’s “slickness.” Their most loyal constituency could hang on the legitimate if questionable perjury and obstruction of justice claims as a high crimes and misdemeanors after Ken Starr worked overtime to prove Clinton’s many sexual improprieties. Clinton lied no question, but the Republicans in Congress were absolutely politically tone deaf to the majority of Americans because they viewed Clinton as a political threat.
Why a political threat? Because Clinton shrewdly read the American public’s desire for centrist policies, many borrowed from the Republican party. Tom Delay and company calculated that to stamp out the Democrats they needed to rid the Democrats of a politically appealing centrist. Sure enough since Clinton’s departure the Democrats have shifted to the left and thus their chances of winning back Congress are badly compromised.
So, Clinton was impeached because his centrism threatened the future of the Republicans. The delicious irony was the discovery of a dozen Republican Congressman who voted for the impeachment who also had hidden sexual escapades of their own. No, they hadn’t lied about it under oath after a multimillion dollar investigation by a partisan federal prosecutor but pushed into a corner who knows whether they too might have emulated “slick” Willie?
Maybe Rod Grams isn’t a prig. Maybe. But tsk tsking the current Republican leadership in Congress for their “backbiting” strikes me as gross political hypocrisy.

130 more signatures minus 12

I headed out early to collect more signatures before it heated up too much. By the time I opened my second bottle of cold water it was already hot and so was I. But I collected another 130 signatures. I tried to guarantee that no one would forget to put down the year of birth by filling in “19” in each column for the year of birth. When I got home I discovered that even so 12 people had not filled in the date. Vanity I suppose.

This may be enough to get me over the tough scrutiny of the Secretary of state but I intend to call about 60 of the 90 people who didn’t fill in the blank previously. Then, because I’m getting a little paranoid, I’ll solicit more new signatures Monday morning before driving to St. Paul. I’ve already decided to forgoe attending a little business retreat with my wife at a resort in Brainerd. A lot of the people I’ve talked to are counting on me to put up a serious fight and I can’t let them down.


I’ve been linked

I woke up just before first light in anticipation of beating the worst of the day’s heat. I’ll try to begin petititoning around 8AM. Checked my various website and blog statistics. There is a slow trending upwards for all of them which is heartening.

A new blog (not much of one yet) has linked to me and its commentators are reporting that I’m a far leftist. They are also pretty dismissive of my Duluth School Board credentials. I sent them a post. They’ll have to OK it first but I’m sure they will because they don’t seem to like “sissies” who are afraid of give and take and take that! and that! and that!………My reply to their post is not up yet but you can see the comments they made about me here.

Its so nice to be noticed.

What the State Statute requires of petition signers

I can find no requirement in state statute for signers to write the year of their birth on a candidate filing petitions:

204B.07 Nominating petitions.

   Subd. 4.    Oath and address of signer.  Following the information required by subdivisions 1 and 2 and before the space for signing, each separate page that is part of the petition shall include an oath in the following form:  

    “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I know the contents and purpose of this petition, that I do not intend to vote at the primary election for the office for which this nominating petition is made, and that I signed this petition of my own free will.” 

    Notarization or certification of the signatures on a nominating petition is not required.  Immediately after the signature, the signer shall write on the petition the signer’s residence address including street and number, if any, and mailing address if different from residence address. 

Furthermore, when my petitions were given a quick perusal after I handed them over I was shown a list of things the Secretary of State demanded be on the petitions. I was not given this list a few weeks earlier when I was given the petition form by the office staff. In fact, when I was first given the petition form I was specificly warned to read the law before making up my petitions and not rely on the sample petition I was given. Well, the law’s language is clear. There is no mention of collecting a signer’s year of birth. If I have heat stroke this weekend I will blame the Secretary of State who seems to believe that it is her job to police the polls and candidates as though she were Dick Cheney. I’ll  bet she’d like a national identity card. Maybe she issued a signing statement when the petition law was passed saying what the law meant.