Category Archives: 2018 Congress

Day 2 camp diary – O Captain, My Captain!

I got two points for composing a sentence in French just now on my Duolingo Ap. Its 2 in the morning and I crawled out of bed unable to sleep. All I could do was think about the column I had just sent into the Reader for Thursday’s issue. I’m quite pleased with it but its been hard to get the subject out of my head. So I got up to study french and change the subject. But damn Duolingo. It offered me two points to write a reply to the following question. I won’t tell you what either the Q or my A is but there is one huge clue in my reply. If you are curious you can copy it and put it in a French-to-English translator online.

Décris le métier de tes rêves.

J’ai rêvé d’être élu président des États-Unis pour que je puisse prendre ma retraite Donald Trump.

The column will likely be my last until after the primary election unless, of course, I catch lightning in a bottle. Part of Day 1 and 2 of the campaign has been spent trying to figure out the mechanics of accepting donations. I have an unorthodox idea but it needs some tweaking.

But most of campaign day 2 was spent contemplating my hero Abe Lincoln and writing about him in my final Reader column until after my campaign comes to an end. Lincoln was the soul of my Reader piece and that spirit extended to my duties as a Grandfather in the afternoon. My older Grandson had finished a 2-month long poetry unit and families were invited to hear his classmates at a poetry slam. For the occasion we were asked to bring poetry that we liked. Claudia used to read poetry in competition and picked out a famous Burke Poem about the eyes of a tiger burning bright. I printed out Oh Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman written in memoriam to the fallen President. Owing to my intense concentration on my column I found the Whitman poem far more compelling than I had expected. I teared up thinking about how broken up the poet, who had nursed broken soldiers back to health, was on learning of Abe’s assassination. I’m getting waaaay too sentimental in my dotage.

I’ll confess that as I wrote my column I had the huffy phrase “…blue-collar, common-sense conservative…” echoing in my head. It was part of the reply given by Pete Stauber’s spokesman when the News Tribune asked her about my criticisms of her candidate:

“Pete has been campaigning across the district for a year and we are seeing our blue-collar, common-sense conservative message resonating with voters in the 8th — Republicans, independents and Democrats alike,” said Stauber campaign spokesperson Caroline Tarwid.

My column doesn’t mention anything about our campaign but I hope it radiates the essence of what it means to be an American as our founders projected their dreams for the future in the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln lifted up that spirit high in his Gettysburg Address and turbo charged it for our nation’s better angles who, sad to say, seem to be in hiding these days.

Whatever else it accomplishes not writing my Reader columns every other week will free up a day to campaign or to blog or to study French. Que sera, sera.

Camp Diary Day 1 – Loathsomeness – That felt good to say

In the jumbled story about my entry into the Congressional Race it appears at first that I’m going head to head with KBJR’s former newscaster, Michelle Lee. You will find the story in all the Fargo Forum papers. The link in the first sentence is to their Virginia paper. In fact we will only face each other if I defeat Pete Stauber and Michelle defeats a cluster of candidates who vied for the DFL endorsement most of them sore losers like me……..except that in my case my last defeat was for last years school board race. Ironically the biggest factor in that race was Donald Trump. All the activist women in Duluth were in high dudgeon and looking for someone to prove their votes counted and I spent a year doing everything I could think of to continue on including going to a DFL convention asking for their endorsement. To say I got the cold shoulder at the convention is an understatement.

Pete Stauber’s spokesman makes a big deal about his spending they year going all around the District. Good to know he has a head start on me.

My day ended wonderfully. Claudia got home after a visit to her father in Florida and I had a bottle of wine waiting for her and a Pizza Luce garlic potato pizza. My trip to the Cities to file gave me a chance to buy a summer’s worth of wine at one of my favorite stores and I spent more on that than the $300 filing fee. I got some French bordeaux’s to get in the mood for our visit to France in September. Should I win the primary no worries, I’ll have October to campaign.

As I mentioned in a post a week or two ago Claudia told me she knew she couldn’t talk me out of filing if I had made up my mind. To say she has never liked my 16 or 17 campaigns, any of them, is putting it mildly. I promised her that I had no intention of campaigning to the point of crippling myself like I did last year. I plan to keep studying French. And no. I don’t parle Francais. Not really but I’ll keep working on it.

But what made my day was Claudia listening to me on Fox News and hearing her laugh delightedly when I said that our President was loathsome. I told her that alone was worth the $300 filing fee. I could ignore the campaign from now on and die content.

But I told all the reporters yesterday that I’ve always dreamed of catching lightning in a bottle. This blog will serve as my kite.

I’m figuring out how to take online contributions. This won’t be a Kickstarter campaign and I have an unorthodox plan that will require a measure of trust on the part of contributors because, until I get back from France I may not have the patience to spend hours at night filling out campaign forms. At this point I am only in Phase 1 of the campaign. I’ve already stated the obvious. Winning the primary for phase two is highly unlikely. But if that lightening should strike……… out. I will make a splash in Washington. A Republican in Congress willing and even eager to state the obvious! The King is naked……..and ignorant……and threatening a ruinous world trade war and that’s not the half of it!

Do you disagree Pete Stauber? Tell us about it.

What would Joseph McCarthy have said about this Republican sign?

Everyone knows that Donald Trump worshiped Tail Gunner Joe’s legal beagle Roy Cohn and hires mostly similarly named attorneys with the same rabid attack-dog legal skills. I can’t help but wonder what Roy and Joe would have thought of the sign I teased the Republicans about while in St. Paul as I was filing for congress. I just discovered where it came from: The Duluth Convention:

and that Jeff Johnson just below it…..the GOP Governor candidate I stood behind when he was filing at the Secretary of State’s offices.

Maybe its time to bring back the old anti-communist slogan “Better dead than red.”

I just came back from filing.

I wore my Lincoln T Shirt to file. Jeff Johnson the newly nominated Republican Governor candidate came in to file just after I filled out my form. I turned toward the cameras while I stood behind him so that my Lincoln would be there in the background. I had just walked in to the office building as two young men were carefully carting a huge Minnesota cut of plywood and painted red. It read “Make Minnesota Red Again.” I hollered over to them “Make Minnesota Communist Again?” with my question hanging in the air.

I feel good. Almost too satisfied to study French……..I’ll get over it. Bootlicker’s beware! .BTW I got a call from Brady Slater of the Trib and he asked if I wasn’t a little tough on Pete in my last blog post. I’d already thought about that at length yesterday before I included that description in the post. These are the things I recall telling Brady in answer to that question. In no particular order.

A. As a candidate’s he’s already counting on the support of the President’s blindest supporters and has made no secret of his approval of Trump. (If Pete thinks that we are supposed to read his mind about how much he disapproves of Trump’s theatrics he damn well better make that plain to the voting public!)

B. His President has lowered the bar for words like “bootlick” far below the level of that word.

C. I’ve seen moderates in the Party primaried out through the same kind of rhetoric on the other side. Bootlick pales to “Baby Killer” which I have been called. Hell, I was called “a worse mass murderer” than Stalin, Mao and Hitler put together. Such a thoughtful analysis by members of a party that have so neglected new born babies in America that we have the highest infant and new mother mortality in the Industrialized world.

and finally D. while I don’t remember telling Brady this my calling Pete out is the best assurance decent people in the Eighth District have that he won’t become one. If he’s elected everybody will be waiting to see if my fear was justified. Why should I expect Pete to have any more guts than the useless, decent Republican men and women that we currently have representing us in the Congress?

Why I will I file for Congress again tomorrow

Because I’m like Belgium. When the awesome and merciless army of Adolph Hitler overran their border to attack France they fought anyway and at great sacrifice. I sacrifice nothing by taking on a Donald Trump bootlicker.

Donald Trump won the Eighth District handily last year. As a Republican I knew this day would come. I just didn’t expect a shrewd but ignorant demagogue to be the catalyst for that change. Someone in the Republican Party needs to be Belgium and stand up to him.

Donald Trump is a minute by minute liar. He’s ripped off students at his “college”, contractors who work for him and has the moxie to call Washington DC a “swamp.” He has knifed a long time Republican message that was so common sensical that Bill Clinton stole it from them. Free Trade. Donald Trump flushed his entire Wharton’s Business School education down the toilet to begin a new trade war every bit as stupid as the one that halted world trade and gave us the Great Depression.

Its ironic but the Republicans were so mad at Clinton for stealing their idea that when he lied about getting frisky with his “of age” intern they impeached him and tried to remove him from office. But now Trump is badmouthing their free trade baby. Instead of outrage they have latched onto Trump like the leaches so many of them have become. Hypocrites!

And what of the honored Republican history of freeing the slaves? Donald Trump refused to sell homes to Negroes in the Sixties. In the Nineties he whipped up a modern-day lynch mob to put five innocent black kids accused of rape behind bars where they rotted for years. And a few years ago he lied through his teeth before the same cheering audiences who feed his ego calling our first African-American President a non American. The same people who swear that dinosaurs were all vegetarians swallowed that lie whole and swallowed it with gusto. They are the just like the 46 percent of Mississippi Republicans who want to make interracial marriage illegal again. Abraham Lincoln is turning in his grave.

The public ought to care and I want to know, what St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber really thinks about this, crass, cowardly, cheating, ignoramus who sullies the name of the Party of Lincoln. Will Stauber go to Congress and become another toadie for such a man?

When I was little my mother used to tell me not to cry because my grandfather was shot in World War 1 and he didn’t cry. He faced bullets. I will only face ballots. My Grandfather fought with African Americans. After that war he would tell anyone who asked him that they were every bit as good as any other soldier. When, during World War 2, he was told his old college was planning not to enroll an American Japanese student he wrote them a shaming letter under the letterhead of the Kansas State Auditor. He told them to enroll the young American. That’s a Republican I can and do honor. The only Republicans willing to stand up to Trump today are dying of brain cancer. Sad!

I think I know what to expect on August 14th’s primary and its a damned shame. I won’t let that stop me. I couldn’t live with myself if I let a Trump cheerleader go unchallenged. That’s the sad thing about really good guy’s like Pete Stauber. They stick their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and then when Puerto Rico is flattened and a thousand people die they shrug their shoulders.

There are a lot of frogs in the Republican Party who float in their pot of water while the heat is being turned up. For any of them who care enough about America to jump out I’d be glad to have their vote.

A belated welcome to the Republicans in Duluth

Minnesota’s Republicans are gathering this weekend in our fair city by Lake Superior. Welcome to you all and thank you for contributing to our tourist sales taxes.

I remember the 1994 State Republican Convention I attended as a delegate to support our Governor, Arne Carlson, for re-nomination. I remember seeing Tim Pawlenty at the Convention supporting his former Republican leader in the House of Representatives fight off a challenge from a Anti-abortion zealot Allen Quist. Quist won the endorsement over the seated Governor Carlson who then won in the primary because lots of Democrats were scared wittless about Quist voted in the Republican primary, not to screw up the Republicans, but to insure that Carlson would be on the ballot for the General election. They gladly helped reelect our sensible, fiscally conservative, but moderate Republican candidate. 1994 was my best year as a Republican narrowly edging out the Republican’s “Minnesota Massacre” election of 1978.

This weekend it is Tim Pawlenty who is giving the Party the cold shoulder. Like Donald Trump who called for Korean Talks and then pulled out of them, Pawlenty is sending the world a message……one that harks back to the 1994 State Republican Convention.

By the way, I recently reread one of my columns on abortion from the Duluth Reader published back in 2004. Where have all the Fetuses Gone? Its still a pretty concise explanation of my thinking.

As for my relations with the folks who took my old party away from me. I’m still smarting from the time they told me that I was a worse mass murderer than Mao tse-tung, Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler put together.

I’m still here, no trip to the Secretary of State yet

I’m in no hurry. For technical reasons I can’t open up a campaign website any time soon. Ditto a donation page although I seem to still have an active place for people to donate to my defunct school board campaign war chest.

I have been doing a little researching and thinking and came up with some provocative ads I’d like to spread around the 8th Congressional District. But not with my money. I spent enough of it already fighting the Trump haters (God bless them) who wanted to purge male genitals from all public offices. Who can blame them? I didn’t wear a pink pussy hat but I gladly marched with them last year through the skywalks of Duluth.

I’ve spent my morning in France and the west coast of Africa typing French with the help of an automatic translator. One French speaker told me I was doing well. After five months! That’s how you get to Carnegie Hall.

I was pointed to some very cool music by my new friend from Benin who doesn’t seem to mind corresponding with a 67 year old dinosaur. He didn’t know what I meant by that.

Here’s Angelique Kidjo at Austin City Limits.

Oh, and I do have a category 15 which goes back to my posts when I challenged Jim Oberstar in 2006. It was a lot of posts for very little campaign.

What I was reading the first time I ran for Congress

I have always hoped to catch lightning in a bottle or as the French would say it “la foudre dans une bouteille.”
(this will be a post about the challenges of disseminating my thoughts on line among other things However…..
….Je suis desole mais jardining calls. That’s Franglish for I’m sorry but gardening calls.


I’m back. Claudia and I have done some satisfying gardening.

I am about a third of the way through the book Is Paris Burning. I believe title comes from a quote by the desperate loser, Adolph Hitler, as his world was being eaten alive by the Russian and American armies. It didn’t happen. The book tells that history.

That title lodged in my mind when my Dad got the book. I didn’t read it until 1992 the first of two times I filed to campaign for Congress. I was unhappy with Republicans as they kept taking folks like me, moderates, and stripped us of our positions and ridiculed our milquetoast politics. Instead, they invited in their own set of special interests – gun nuts, anti-civil libertarians, pro life extremists and young folks who thought that America should return to the social-darwinism of Ayn Rand. They did this to counter the “special interests” they accused the Democrats of handing their party over to – Minorities, Woman libbers, unions.

Things have only got worse. I filed again in 2006 but barely campaigned at all getting sidetracked in investigating an old Democratic Party Scandal that upended them in 1978 when I was still a Republican in good standing.

I never took political parties too seriously. In my view they were more like two different fraternaties that always tried to out-hustle the other for the best pledges and other distinctions to be the biggest of the big men on campus. But my family had all been Republicans for generations and I although I started college inclined to be an independent the more my generation bad mouthed my people, my family, the more contrarian I got. My family was full of good people and if they were given a blanket condemnation I decided to wrap myself up in that blanket with them. I would do it my own contrarian way. I would not forswear my ideals which were for the most part idealistic and common sense. And back then the Republican Party was so desperate for young people my heresies, if that’s what free trade and civil rights were, were winked at. I even had a lot of company. In 1972 Minnesota’s GOP state convention passed a pro-choice plank.

This could all become the subject of a book. By 1991 I decided to try my hand at writing a book and I did and I published it. Oh it was a dreadful book far too autobiographical about a younger me being transported back to the time of the dinosaurs. But it was a great exercise in perseverance if not common sense. I spent a small fortune publishing it. But I had a method for my madness. I had decided to run for Congress having already served as a campaign manager for a Republican Congressional Candidate ten years earlier in 1982. Coincidentally, my counter part in that year’s Oberstar campaign was later sent to prison.

All Republican campaign’s of those years were impoverished. My independent campaign would be no exception so I came up with a plan to finance my campaign by selling my books, or rather, giving them as a token for contributions. I think I palmed off 250 of the 6,000 books I’d printed. It didn’t work out and I was stuck with a garage full of books that I finally parted with reluctantly twenty years later. They went to the landfill. I still have a couple hundred left. I’d made them virtually unsaleable by putting a pro-choice manifesto in the back of them. Its still the best and most prescient part of the book, but crimeny, who would buy it that way?

I couldn’t file for Congress today. Its a national holiday and I had gardening to do. But I did study French and I have more blog posts screaming for my attention. There is a lot on my mind. Having a friend of dicators as one’s president focuses the mind. My eight loyal readers might feel like a fire hose is aimed at them or maybe not. We’ll see.

Oh and here are the books I read in 1992 as I got fired up for Ross Perot and campaigned for Congress myself:

Lincoln and his Generals………………..T. Harry Williams
Is Paris Burning……………………….Collins & LaPierre
(How Paris was spared destruction in WWII)
Confucius and the Chinese Way…………… H G Creel

And so far this year …..

The Last of the Doughboys Richard Rubin
Fierce Patriot (Wm Tecumseh Sherman) Robert L. O’Connell
The Greater Journey David McCullough
Five Nights in Paris John Baxter
The Road from the Past Ina Caro
Is Paris Burning

Icarus redux

LincolnDemocrat may once again fly Republican colors.

Yesterday after gardening I retreated to the cool of my basement and sat in front of a fan. When I looked up at our electrical panel I decided to snap a picture and post it to humor my eight loyal readers.

I can’t abide giving Donald Trump more obsequious Congressional allies without a bit of a fight no matter how decent they have been in their pre-congressional life. It would cost $300 to file and my partner told me that no matter what she says to me she knows I’ll do what I want to do.

I am that selfish. But I have no plans to spend a dime over $300.00 of my wife’s life earnings for another one of these episodes:

The primary is August 14th. Once that’s over with I can go back to ignoring the winning Republican’s associations and leave it to the voters of the Eighth District to consider them.