The Governor’s Race & My Election Summary

9 11 2006

First I want to state that I am very pleased with the outstanding victories here in MN and across the nation. This was an Historic Victory, we won the State and National House, we won the State and National Senate, and we all should be proud for the work we did to ensure this very needed course correction.

We still have problems though. If government were an orchard and politicians the farmers, people like Tim Pawlenty and George W. Bush are the types of orchard farmers that do not understand how to prune their trees in a way that yields a healthy crop, they have actually given up on proper conservation and don’t believe we need healthy trees at all, and have embraced the ideology that the only way to prune a tree is by its roots, and if that means the trees die, who cares – they only get in the way of the strip mall that they want to put there anyway. Our infrastructure, our cities, and our health will continue to be under attack from them and their administrations, but now we can fight back and try our best to keep our values front and center so we can continue to fight for the common good, and keep our trees well pruned and bearing a healthy bounty for all the people of Minnesota, and hopefully all the people of the United States.

There is going to be a great deal of talk about the Governor’s race and why exactly Mike Hatch was unable to capitalize on this year’s democratic momentum. We all will have our takes, and it is doubtful we all will agree, but for my own take I want to start with the core of the problem as I see it.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Final Push!

3 11 2006

Taking a note from Joe at MNCR, I started to reach back into the cobwebs of my own memory to two years ago to what I was doing in that election. On election day of 2004 I was helping a GOTV center train doorknockers as they went out to encourage people to go vote. The energy in the room, in the entire state, was exhilarating. We knew we were going to win Minnesota, but only if we kept pushing, kept working hard all day. And we did. From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. we sent out hundreds, if not thousands of people to knock on doors all over the state, we were on the phones constantly, and in the end, we won MN, but lost the Country.

Minnesota rejected Bush and his policies back in 2004. Minnesota knew then what the Country knows now, that the Republican controlled government was on a destructive path and we had to try to change the coarse. We knew Iraq was a quagmire before the rest of the country, Katrina was not a surprise because we knew that the philosophy of the GOP wants to make government small enough to drown in a bathtub, and Katrina is the real example of that metaphor. We knew that the middle class was being squeezed in favor of the super wealthy and the common good was being lost with all the corruption and greed in Washington.

We knew all this and fought a valiant fight, and we Won what we could win here in MN.

Now we are entering the final few days of the 2006 election cycle. We are on the verge of an historic change in this country. A change to embrace the common good, a change to put some oversight back into Washington, a change to bring integrity back into our government. Our DFL candidates in Minnesota all hold the best interest for us all in their hearts and we must work twice as hard as we did in 2004 to instill this needed change into our state and national government.

We can do this, we can win bigger than we won in 2004, and this win will actually bring the change we desire because this win is more fully in our hands. We can send 1 fantastic US Senator to Washington with Amy Klobuchar, we can send 8 DFL US House Representatives to Washington with Tim Walz, Coleen Rowley, Patty Wetterling, Wendy Wilde, Collin Peterson, Jim Oberstar, Betty McCollum, and Keith Ellison. We can dramatically change our state government with Mike Hatch, Mark Ritchie, Lori Swanson, Rebecca Otto, plus all the state legislators who will help return our state back to sane are reasoned leadership.

With all your help, we will win and win big. If you have not already please sign up to do what you can in these final days.

Click HERE to add your energy to this historic election!





Mary Kiffmeyer – Smut, hate and lies

2 11 2006

The number of questions about Mary Kiffmeyer just keep growing.

Kiffmeyer accepted a $250 contribution from Peter Hafiz (PDF), the owner of Deja Vu — the strip club (warning link contains pornography). Again, from the party of “Family Values.” That doesn’t sound like “family values” to me.

________

From a Mark Ritchie press release:

Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer continues to misstate her record on Election Day Registration. Kiffmeyer challenged Mark Ritchie, the DFL candidate for Secretary of State, on his statement that she has been quoted attacking Election Day Registration in books and newspaper articles, and that she had promoted a change to a new system requiring voters to register to vote at least thirty days before the election.

Kiffmeyer said, “That is absolutely not true, and you know better than that. And it is just that type of negative campaigning that is just plain wrong.”

In the Secretary of State debate sponsored by the League of Women Voter’s and KSTP, Secretary Kiffmeyer went even further by saying, “There’s absolutely no truth to that I have ever spoken anywhere, including our state, against any of our policies”

Despite these recent claims, Kiffmeyer has been quoted repeatedly around the country criticizing Election Day Registration.

In Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, Kiffmeyer said that she is “tired of hearing her state’s same day registration extolled,” and she compares Minnesota elections to holding a party and not knowing how much food to buy because no one sent in an RSVP. “Some precincts run out of ballots while others are overstocked.” (pg. 140)
Kiffmeyer was quoted in an opinion piece in the Times Republican (Iowa) as saying, “We have long lines because of same-day. People get frustrated and leave.” (“Same Day Voter Registration Addressed,” 11/21/05)
In an article in the Los Angeles Times, Kiffmeyer said that Minnesota has had mixed results with Election Day Registration. She admitted that it has led to higher turnouts, but also said that Same Day Registration has led to long lines and confusion at the polling places. She said that she suspects that Same Day Registration has led to more voter fraud and advised, “You need to have integrity with your access. It is just as important and I highly recommend that California be careful about maintaining its integrity.” (“Voters Consider Signups at the Polls,” 10/1/02)
Kiffmeyer told the Star Tribune that she would not recommend election voter registration to other states. “Pre-registration is the standard in most states, and that’s the norm. It’s much easier when you have a cutoff date for registration” (Sabo introduces national same-day voter registration bill, 9/25/03).
According to the Senate District 41 Republicans, Kiffmeyer said that voter fraud would be significantly reduced in the state if we switched to a 30-day pre-election registration period like most states. (“The Homegrown Optimist,” 2/24/04: http://www.sd41gop.org/febuary_24_fcm_dinner.html)

“Given these documented statements, it clear that Secretary Kiffmeyer has spoken out against Minnesota’s policy,” said James Haggar, campaign manager for the Ritchie campaign. “If she does support Election Day Registration she should stop attacking it outside of our state.”

________

And then some extremist statements from Kent Kaiser one of Mary Kiffmeyer’s main campaign staffers talking about why homosexual individuals should not be allowed in leadership positions with 4-H: Saint Paul Pioneer Press; December 18, 1996

This unhealthy and immoral lifestyle is being forced upon her.” Kaiser said that children shouldn’t be exposed to homosexuals but that parents who want their kids to participate in 4-H won’t have any way to protect them against such exposure. “If she’s a leader and a gay person wants to serve as a junior leader, she should be able to say ‘no, we don’t want a young person in Hamburg to be exposed to that lifestyle,” said Kaiser. “She’s being told she doesn’t have the right to weed out the bad elements like that.”

________

So, she hires staffers who hate gay people (which begs the question does she feel they have the right to vote?), takes money from smut profiteers (now that is an unhealthy and immoral lifestyle), and lies about where she actually stands on same day registration.

It is way past time for a change, and way past time to go straight down your ballot and vote for every Democrat you can. This level of partisan Republican hate, perversion and dishonesty has to stop and it is time to throw out the Republican’s Culture of Corruption.

Vote Democrat on November 7th!





New SoS Ad

1 11 2006

Seeming to build upon past relationships with partisan hacks that like to manipulate elections this new ad makes a cut and dry look at how important the Secretary of State is to the integrity of our Government.

Mary Kiffmeyer, Katherine Harris, George Bush, we have had enough!

Vote Mark Ritchie!





Mary Kiffmeyer and Katherine Harris

22 10 2006

kiffharris.jpgThere has been a great deal of talk about how partisan May Kiffmeyer has been in her roll as Secretary of State, and just for a reminder of this I found this very interesting invitation for a fundraiser for Mary back in 2001. She invited her buddy Katherine Harris, the infamous Bush crony who handed him his controversial win in the 2000 election, which I have to point out sent us down the destructive road we are currently in with the bungled war and corrupt congress and administration. Some could argue if it were not for these highly partisan Secretary of States our county would be much much better off now.

We need to send a message to the country that we do not want these type of overly partisan people in charge of our state elections. It is time for a change and time to send Mary packing.

Mark Ritchie will bring respect and integrity back to the Secretary of State’s office, and take it away from people like Katherine Harris and Mary Kiffmeyer.





Mary Kiffmeyer – Primary Shmimary

11 09 2006

Yes, she has done it again! After another letter and press conference by Mark Ritchie, Mary Kiffmeyer (you know the one who is supposed to be the current Secretary of State) fixes another oversight (well mostly). This letter basically calls for the Secretary of State to fully state the oath the legislature called for.

After Mark Ritchie’s letter Mary Kiffmeyer sent out a memo to the county auditors which includes most the language the legislator insisted on, however, instead of implementing this change automatically, or at least as instantly as she could, she says that the new language will be printed on the rosters after September 11th. This means instead of reprinting the Rosters with the proper Oath for the Primary Election, the old oath – the one which does not comply with state statues will stay on the rosters and be the oath primary voters swear to.

I guess Mary does not think that Primary elections are all that important. Now that is what I want to see in a Secretary of State, someone doesn’t bother to make sure the rules are followed in our elections. This is shameful and plain lazy.

Now, gentle reader, you may say – well, it may take time for all this to happen, maybe she had to hand out some coffee to someone, or go shoot off a cannon – you know the important stuff. So, just in case you are wondering what the proper oath on the rosters for primary voters should be, here it is in full:

I certify that I am at least 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States; that I reside at the address shown and have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding this election; that I am not under guardianship of the person in which the court order revokes my right to vote; have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote, and that I have the right to vote because, if convicted of a felony, my felony sentence has expired (been completed) or I have been discharged from my sentence; and that I am registered and will be voting only in this precinct. I understand that giving false information is a felony punishable by not more than five years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

If this one is in place at your polling location, you can thank the local office for going the extra mile, and Mark Ritchie for bringing attention to it – just not Mary Kiffmeyer, who doesn’t think primary elections are important enough to have proper Oaths to swear to. I am glad at least Mark believes in the value of Oaths.

Oh, and even though she did try to do what Mark wanted (and the laws says), she didn’t fully update the oath either, here is what it should say – maybe Mark will have to send her another letter…

According to Senate File 2743, the sections on guardianship and felony status should be changed so that they read as follows:

that I am not under a guardianship of the person in which the court order revokes my right to vote; and that I have the right to vote because, if convicted of a felony, my felony sentence has expired (been completed) or I have been discharged from my sentence.

It may not be that big of a change, but ehhh, its just an Oath right?





Mary Kiffmeyer – Voting is not a Right

8 09 2006

Mary Kiffmeyer just likes tweeking the SoS website. After Mark Ritchie’s press conference the other day where he said:

According to Minnesota Session Laws 2006, Chapter 242, Sections 17 and 18, residents of battered women’s shelters and group homes now have the right to designate an agent to pick up an absentee ballot and deliver it to them. The legislature passed this law on bipartisan basis this year and it went into effect on August 1st.

Mary Kiffmeyer changed the SoS website yet again (from #1 below (which I have a pdf of) to #2 this to #3 this).

Because the section that changed is subtle here is what it was (Sept 5th’06):

#1: The Agent Delivery Designation Form is for people health care facility residents who want someone to handle the transmission of their absentee ballots.

To this (Sept 7th ’06):

#2: The Agent Delivery Designation Form is for health care facility residents who want someone to handle the transmission of their absentee ballots. The Residential Care Facility Locator is a search tool intended to help identify local facilities for purposes of absentee ballot voting.

And now this (Sept 8th ’06):

#3: The Agent Delivery Designation Form is to authorize an agent in writing to pick up and return an absentee ballot for the following voters:

  • in a healthcare facility (hospitals, residential treatment centers and nursing homes governed by Minnesota Statutes 144.50 or 144A.02),
  • a participant in a residential program for adults licensed under section 245A.02, subd. 14,
  • or a resident of a shelter for battered women as defined in section 611A.37, subd. 4.

This activity may only occur the four days preceding an election, up until 2:00 p.m. on Election Day.

The Residential Care Facility Locator is a search tool intended to help identify local facilities for purposes of absentee ballot voting.

Other then correcting the needed grammar problems from #1-#3, this change did not make it clear that there is help for these people, but rather it simply changed the language and gave another link to yet another pdf. And if you think because the pdf hints at being a “Locator” and said to be a “search tool” will help battered women, you are taking the definitions of those words too seriously (kinda like “Mission Accomplished”). In that pdf, under the section for battered women shelters, it just refers searchers to contact… get this... The Department of Corrections.

She also finally fixed the agent delivery of ballots on her website for battered women and group home residents, but the form they fill out they still have to say which place they’re a “patient”. I don’t think that battered women or group home residents consider themselves patients where they live.
What was the point Mary? We all know we need another SoS, and it is good that you keep trying to follow Mark’s lead, but if you really want to help battered women and these other needy people, just give them the proper information in a direct and efficient manor.

Mary must simply believe that voting is not a right, but a privilege and that if you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to vote – so be it.

MN Publius has a post on the same subject – You guys ROCK!