Category Archives: Cravaack

Cravaack endorsement from the Corporate HQ

In a different time I could vote for Chip Cravaack. I can’t now that the GOP is held in the clutches of unchallenged high paid media demagogues who would rather let the nation tilt than give a Democratic President a chance to right the ship of state. I might have leveled the same accusation at Democrats in the past. Congressional candidates can be painfully short sighted and selfish putting their reelection over the nation’s good.

I can expect my Buddy to shower contempt on this accusation but it is what I feel in my bones and I suppose its not all that different than how a rheumatic feels as the barometer drops.

I feel sort of bad for the editors of the Trib who had no choice but to endorse the candidate of the Trib’s recent buyers. In the old days the endorsement demanded by the owners would only have extended to a Presidential candidate not the local congressional candidate. Today’s DNT has been so neutered that it no longer can make such a call even if they get to write the justification. That can’t be much more fulfilling than writing ad copy.

From the Trib defending Cravaack from the bullies in the Democratic party:

Cut through it, though, and the thing that becomes clear for voters in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District is that the passionate, strong and effective leader they elected two years ago is the same congressman they can re-elect on Nov. 6. Cravaack went to Washington to stand up to wasteful government spending while standing with his constituents back home. He has done exactly that. And done it well.

I’ll be interested to see if they use the same logic to endorse Obama because of the GOP’s Karl Rove’s and Sid Adelson’s.

I still think the 8th District is Cravaack’s to lose

And he’ll have about a million dollars to defend himself far more than his DFL challenger has in the bank.

But a couple partisan polls say Rick Nolan has a razor thin edge on the GOP Congressman.

“A second poll, also of 405 likely voters from Aug. 21-23 and paid for by the Democratic Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of U.S. House Democrats, shows Nolan with 45 percent support compared to 44 percent for Cravaack…”

BTW – If my eight loyal readers have wondered why I still have the comment about my Congressional Campaign website on my blog’s masthead its like this.

1. I let the filing deadline slip by and forgot about the mention of the website.

2. I hate messing around with the internal guts of my blog – sheer laziness.

3. I thought there was a good chance that Cravaack might win this year which would give me another year to run against him. If he does win it wouldn’t hurt to let people know Cravaack had a 2014 challenger waiting in the wings.

PS. I’m also considering running for the Duluth School Board next year.

Has been, carpet bagger, non entity want to challenge out-of-stater.

While the DNT editors will be required to endorse Cravaack in the General election by their owner/investors they have endorsed Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson for the DFL primary. That suggests that the editors are 1. attempting to stay on the right side of local Duluth boosters and 2. Doing their best to promote the weakest candidate likely to face the candidate they will ultimately endorse.

Minnesota Public Radio has a good analysis of the DFLer’s strengths and weaknesses.

Rick Nolan becomes the establishment candidate for the DFL

At this point Tarryl Clark’s and Jeff Anderson’s chief role in the DFL race will be to make people pay more attention to the actual DFL endorsee running up to the primary.

Roll Call, the political news site in Washington, reports that Rick Nolan’s campaign for the DFL primary for Congress in Northeastern Minnesota’s 8th District will get a boost tonight at a fundraiser where all DFL members of the state’s Congressional delegation are scheduled to attend.

Club for Growth gives Cravaack a relatively low rating

I’m surprised that the DNT hasn’t printed this story since they’ve started using MPR as a news source.

Cravaack’s relatively low score from one of the most politically powerful groups on the right might come in useful in his re-election campaign in the DFL-leaning 8th District. Cravaack’s three DFL opponents have regularly called him an extremist and a member of the tea party, although Cravaack has never formally joined the House Tea Party Caucus.

Caro Syrup

If my eight loyal readers didn’t anticipate this I’ll make it clear. My book is not going to be finished this year. I concluded over a month ago that to do it justice it would take a minimum of two more years. That’s on top of six off and on years of researching it. That means it won’t be a practical way for me to solicit contributions for my campaign for Congress.

I still haven’t decided for sure whether to file. Goodness knows I have my doubts that Cravaack can be defeated by the three announced DFLers. This ain’t Jim Oberstar’s old District and none of them are Jim Oberstar and even Jim lost the support of the MCCL in his hour of need. If Cravaack’s challenger goes down to defeat and I finish my book in two years I can certainly use it to raise cash to run against Cravaack in 2014.

I recently read this article on the biographer I stand most in awe of, Robert Caro. He and his wife, an archivist, have essentially given their life over to reconstructing Lyndon Johnson’s life and retelling it in what was first supposed to be a three volume set. I’ve been waiting for the fourth and final volume for ten years. In fact, I need it for my own book to put Hubert Humphrey in better context. It turns out that Caro is going to have to turn his life’s work into a five volume set if he lives long enough to complete it. The new volume four may be her this summer or fall. I may be another decade older before the last one is finished.

It reminds me of the time I visited Texas and we paid a call on LBJ’s old home in 2006 as I was beginning to research my own history. Lady Bird was still living there and she was sitting out front as our tour bus drove by. One of the National Park Rangers at the site told me that Caro had almost died after finishing the third volume and the Ranger was afraid he’d not get to read the continuing saga if Caro didn’t take better care of himself.

Lady Bird stopped talking to Caro after he published this Pulitzer winning first volume. I’m afraid that the dozen or so remaining insiders to my story won’t be very eager to talk to me either. If not, the Newspapers and courtroom testimony will have to do.

Strawman Poll

As for the thousand folks who supposedly showed up at the Tea Party in the DECC a lot of them didn’t bother to vote in the Presidential staw poll.

The three votes for Obama weren’t that embarrassing but the 309 total votes cast was a meager showing for the 5 grand spent to rent the DECC.

According to the TP it was 196 for Romney, 75 for Gingrich, 35 for Ron Paul and 3 for the communist currently occupying the Oval Office.

Good luck Jeff

I mean that!

Four hours ago I did something so reprehensible that I would have told you at almost any previous point in my life I would never do such a thing. I outed someone, maybe, sort of. After a good four hours sleep I don’t feel the least twinge of guilt but upon waking I knew I’d cast some dies that won’t easily be broken.

Before I get any further in a fancy rationalization let me say I have no way of knowing if Duluth City Councilor and DFL candidate for the 8th Congressional Seat in Minnesota is gay. I just know that every political junky I run into in Duluth seems to think he is. Apparently that’s because Jeff has not hidden this from anyone in his close personal inner circle.

So, rationalization number one. If this is true then Jeff hasn’t really been outed. I have certainly revealed a rumor that he has no doubt been hoping wouldn’t become a factor in his campaign – one he has probably been spending a couple years trying to figure out how to deal with should it emerge.

If its not true that just makes me an idiot for believing, or reporting, a rumor.

If it is true it just means I’ve hastened a process that would eventually have made headlines anyway. I’ve only accelerated the process.

Rationalization number two: I’ve always believed it better to get potentially unpleasant information out of the way as early as possible. I think that Jeff’s political future is better off letting this bit of news air sooner than later.

This is perhaps even more important for the entire Eighth District DFL. Frankly, if the rumors are true Jeff’s personal openness among friends was putting the entire machinery of the party at jeopardy. It takes a lot of effort to elect a candidate. Its not fair to ask a lot of folks to push ahead for a candidate who has kept something this significant semi cloaked. If Jeff had been utterly closeted, yes. But in this case it would be like telling someone you are partly pregnant. If you’re going to be half way out you might as well be out all the way.

Up until now I’ve only applied this let it all hang out modus operandi to my life story and my reputation. Since I’m the first person that I know of to broach the subject in a public space regarding someone else I feel that I must accept some consequences. Oh, I’ll get some serious flack. Outers always do and in my case I can’t even claim to be a “whistle-blower.” My previous interest in challenging for Congress makes this outing far too selfish an action. Therefore, I am going to suspend posting on Lincoln Democrat for the most part until November has come and gone. I won’t take off my campaign webpage. I might even file for Congress. What I will concentrate on is writing my book. This blog is too addictive and my serious writing can’t even begin to compete for my attention.

If I begin cranking out a book beyond the first few chapters I’ll be quite happy to have an online campaign to tout and advertise the book.

I have utterly purged myself of irritation at Jeff for being a standard issue, no-controversy politician. I may have just pushed him onto very thin ice. I will be fascinated to see how he deals with this. I’ve always been a fan of the old Chinese character for “crisis.” Its symbol is made up of two other characters one for “danger” and the other “opportunity.”

Jeff is a much more relevant sounding speaker than Rick Nolan. He’s a vet and had to live under “don’t ask don’t tell.” Since that godawful rule has been set aside I see no reason for an open politician to enforce it in his personal life even if he has chosen a political one.

The rural Eighth District is one of the more likely parts of the state to vote for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to hetersexual couples but I can also imagine those same voters electing, however narrowly, a good candidate for Congress who just happens to be gay. I can’t see them voting for a candidate who lurks in the shadows and by continuing to hide in the dark Jeff was doing his campaign little good. He was simply sitting on a time bomb. Now I’ve set it off for Jeff.

Good luck Jeff. If you are gay you’ve got some excellent role models out there to emulate. Maybe even my personal favorite political hero who’s name I’ve appended to the blog. I still don’t think Abe was gay but I have to admit its not a settled question.

the Seventh Senate Dist DFL Convention

This is a belated attempt to finish this post. I was only two sentences into it when the charging system of my computer failed. Let’s see what I can recall:

I went to the DECC (Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center) only to discover that I wasn’t needed. So I hopped in the car and drove over to Duluth’s new East High School where the DFL Senate Convention was being held. I spent an hour and half there. Two things vied for my attention. The new school that many have oohed and ahhed over. As an opponant of the Red Plan I was glad to see the “new” school for myself. Considering the cracker box size of the lot of land I’d have to say that the impression upon entering was pleasing enough. That’s a modest compliment considering the current fate of the school program. I was told that engineers could squeeze it all in to the small space. That was never in doubt. That’s what engineers do. Whether it should have been attempted is quite another question. Since the public never had a chance to weigh in on the decision with a referendum it remains to be seen how the new East High will play in twenty years. Perhaps no better than the short lived Metrodome for the Minnesota Vikings.

As for the convention, I did not seek the DFL nomination. It would not have been given me. I merely wanted to make my presence known.

Ironically, most of the recently endorsed DFL candidates for the Duluth City Council have sided with our popular Mayor Ness and allowed him to circumvent the Duluth Civil Service Commission. As a result the local DFL leaders are having a conniption over their former favorites. So much for the DFL getting what they want from their endorsees. Continue reading

My missed opportunity

I was elected a delegate to this Saturday’s DFL Senate District Convention. Unfortunately, I did not consult my calendar when Claudia asked me if I would help seat a number of disabled children who have been invited to watch the morning rehearsal of the Duluth Superior Symphony program.

As I’m not an official candidate despite my hot air on the blog and my new website its not all that critical that I show up. Word is getting out there. A friend told me a retired legislator asked if I was really running. After Tarryl Clark’s recent email I figure there is only one serious candidate for the DFL ticket – Rick Nolan. Too bad he sounds like a reprise of William Jennings Bryan. I wonder if he sings?

Spare me!

I keep collecting emails from the DFL candidates who want to challenge Chip Cravaack. I rarely read them. I’ll have time for that later. This one just caught my attention. Tarryl Clark is blaming Congress for shortchanging our local public schools. Other than their unfunded mandates for special education and the No Child Left Behind bureaucracy Congress has very little to do with the fiscal problems of the Duluth Schools. You would think a Minnesota legislator would know better. Evidently Ms. Clark doesn’t have a clue about the financing of public education. Either that or saying she will help save our local schools is a gross pander.

The simple fact is that our School Board in Duluth gambled big time. They decided to spend $5 million of its operational budget every year for bonds to build $315 million worth of new schools. They inked a deal with the banks to do this for the next twenty years. They gambled that the public would rejoice at the prospect of new brick and mortar forgive the theft of a building referendum and approve additional operational levies which would cover this deficit. They gambled and they lost. Our children lost.

Someday the public may dig deep into their pockets for our children’s sake. If so, Congresswoman Tarryl Clark will be able to take no credit for the rescue.


I just wanted to take a moment out from our end of the quarter fundraising push (you can contribute here) to make sure you saw what happened at the Duluth School Board last night.

The Board was forced to cut almost $4 million dollars from its budget, on top of all the previous cuts they’ve had to make! This means kids in Duluth will face larger class sizes, cuts to classroom technology, and fewer special education services.

Drastic cuts like these aren’t just happening here in Duluth, but across the region and around the country. Congress continues to break the promises that it has made to our kids, our schools, and our communities — the result is higher property taxes for you and me and districts struggling to find the resources to make sure all students recieve the educational opportunities to help them succeed.

Just last week I visited Piedmont Elementary in Duluth and saw the great work being done by the teachers and volunteers there. But they’re still facing growing class sizes and dwindling resources.

In order to secure the economic future of our region, we have to make sure that our schools are preparing all of our kids for success in the future. That means drastically reforming ‘No Child Left Behind’ to put parents and teachers in control of their kids’ education, expanding early childhood education to stop the achievement gap before it starts, and fully funding special education services. 

I will bring my experience as a mom, a community volunteer and as a legislative leader working to strengthen our schools and educational opportunities for our kids – from early childhood through post-secondary education- to Washington.
I hope you’ll join me in this fight!


Tarryl Clark

I haven’t included all the links in the email to help recipients make an easy online donation to candidate Clark. Sorry Tarryl.


The three announced DFL candidates who wish to challenge Chip Cravaack were on the Public Television show Almanac to make their pitches tonight. It’ll be up on their website in an hour.

There’s nothing very persuasive a candidate can say in a field of three over ten minutes. Tarryl Clark was put on the defensive over her plan to run in the primary regardless of the outcome of the convention endorsement. Rick Nolan temporized about how except for some rare circumstances (Oberstar perhaps) endorsements were an important part of the Democratic Party’s organization. Jeff Anderson hid behind Tarryl Clark skirt and said if one person was going to ignore the endorsement he’d have to consider doing the same. Which meant of course that he would run without the endorsement if necessary.

Congressmen Chip Cravaack will get to sit on the Almanac hot seat all by his lonesome next Friday.

Its a nice studio. I got to sit in on the Congressional debate in 2006 when I ran against Oberstar and former Senator Rod Grams.

The man who Reagan took to the woodshed for telling the truth…

…is still telling it. David Stockman Q&A from USA Today:

Q: And what are the consequences of that?
A: The consequences are horrendous. If you could make the world rich by having all the central banks print unlimited money, then we have been making a mistake for the last several thousand years of human history.
Q: How does it end?
A: At some point confidence is lost, and people don’t want to own the (Treasury) paper. I mean why in the world, when the inflation rate has been 2.5% for the last 15 years, would you want to own a five-year note today at 80 basis points (0.8%)?
If the central banks ever stop buying, or actually begin to reduce their totally bloated, abnormal, freakishly large balance sheets, all of these speculators are going to sell their bonds in a heartbeat.
That’s what happened in Greece.
Here’s the heart of the matter. The Fed is a patsy. It is a pathetic dependent of the big Wall Street banks, traders and hedge funds. Everything (it does) is designed to keep this rickety structure from unwinding. If you had a (former Fed Chairman) Paul Volcker running the Fed today — utterly fearless and independent and willing to scare the hell out of the market any day of the week — you wouldn’t have half, you wouldn’t have 95%, of the speculative positions today.
Q: You sound as if we’re facing a financial crisis like the one that followed the collapse of Lehman Bros. in 2008.
A: Oh, far worse than Lehman. When the real margin call in the great beyond arrives, the carnage will be unimaginable.

No GOP Presidential candidate will deal with this. They’d rather let Israel get us stuck in a 3rd trillion dollar Middle East War. The folks running for Congress just want to keep their successful partisan franchises running. I’d like to think Obama would like to deal with this but that his hands are tied by the GOP snake oil machine. I want the GOP out of Congress but if they’d run folks like David Stockman I’d vote for their candidates in a New York minute. Sadly they just give us retreads like Nolan, Wannabes like Clark and nonentities like Jeff Anderson. As for the GOP. Cravaack seems to think we should help Israel attack Iran too.

First-term Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack said he’s drawn a clear conclusion from what he’s learned.

“I think that they are on a positive path to building a nuclear weapon and when they can build that nuclear weapon, they will build it,” Cravaack said.

So, of course, following the GOP line we’d better bomb their enrichment facilities to set them back a year or two and make all the dissident Iranians rally arround their nation’s sovereign right to forge ahead despite the threats from the “Great” and “lesser Satan.” Oh and pull out of the nuclear treaties that allow the rest of the world to inspect their facilities.

Brilliant Chip, Brilliant!

How long will the Duluth News Tribune ignore the Eighth District’s 4th DFL congressional candidate…

…just because he chooses to announce his candidacy in his blog rather than in a news release?

I’m not very nice to the Duluth News Tribune’s editors or its owners and should not expect them to report on my candidacy with any eagerness. When they finally get around to reporting it look for their description of me as a “perennial candidate.” Such slights will make little difference. The Editors made it clear to me in the past that they have the authority to hand out endorsements for local candidates but not for those much beyond Duluth’s borders. Every Forum Communication newspaper in the 8th District (there are about a dozen of them) dutifully endorsed the corporate HQ’s anointed candidate, Chip Cravaack two years ago.

I’ve got a lot of regular readers in the DNT offices. Several of their reporters have begged me not to blog about insights, often harmless insights, that they have shared with me about the paper. With all the peeking at my blog going on at the Trib its not as though the paper can claim ignorance of my entry into the fray. But then again, that’s what I thought when I warned about defects in the Red Plan yet the Trib blissfully ignored them until they became a reality.

Four good hours of sleep

To my long time fans (all eight of you) and the few snakes who couldn’t take their eyes off my snake charming during the days of the Red Plan Saga you will not be surprised by this post about my sleeping. When I get my dander up I work like a fiend. (My wife confirmed this last night) I had many posts over the course of the most intense two years of my fight against the depredations of the Duluth School Board (upon which I once served) that commented on my state of sleeplessness and fatigue. If you were to put “sleep” in this blog’s search engine you would probably find dozens of posts especially from 2009 in which the word is embedded.

This may be a repeat of that phenomenon. This post is related to a possible new mania – an improbable run for the Congress. After the previous post at about 10:30 pm I put in an hour setting up an incipient website before going to bed at half past eleven.

The new site not up yet. Continue reading

Republican spokesman Rush Limbaugh wants my wife to post porno videos …

…of the two of us having sex because her contraceptives have been covered by insurance.

So is Rush a spokesman for the Republican Party? If so I’d kind of like some Republicans to take him to task. I plan on asking Chip Cravaack if Rush is speaking for Chip. Maybe Chip would like to watch the videos Rush wants my wife to post. I think every Republican Congressman and Senator should be asked if they agree with Rush. God knows Republicans rarely criticize Rush for anything he says. I’ve taken that to mean that Republicans consider Rush their kind of guy.

Here’s Rush:

“So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal,” Limbaugh said on his radio show Thursday. “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Oh yeah. And Rush pretty much says my wife is a “slut.” Is that what all Republicans think? Chip?

Which will it be?

For those, like me, who like to obsess about Congressional Redistricting here are three options for Minnesota’s new reapportionment. I personally think the DFL plan would leave an easier District for me to campaign in. Of course, right now its all being done here on the Internet from the office in my home. No sweat that!

We’ll know by Tuesday.

Nolan was just endorsed by the Teamsters

Whoopee! I knew you’d be excited:

Rick Nolan for Congress        
Teamsters Joint Council 32 Drive Endorses
Rick Nolan for Congress   


Dear Harry      

I’m writing to share some great news. By unanimous vote of its board, Teamsters Joint Council 32 DRIVE, representing more than 60,000 working families across Minnesota and the Midwest,  has officially endorsed our campaign for 8th District Congress.

The Teamsters JC 32 DRIVE endorsement is one of organized labor’s most powerful, prestigious and effective expressions of support.  The Teamsters are known for their political independence, for their tough screenings, and for repeatedly picking and supporting winning candidates with extraordinary grassroots efforts. Continue reading