Last Thursday, July 27th, I appeared as a guest on Democratic Visions, a cable access show available in Eden Prairie, Edina, Bloomington, Richfield, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Hopkins.
We talked about Veterans issues from the national level down to a special dishonorable mention of GOP Candidate for State Representative Sheila Kihne, for what she put on her blog — a post entitled “IAVA, VFW PAC, Liberal, Soros, Shadow Organizations, Left-Wings Lunatics, Infiltrate the Military”.
The entire show will be broadcast on the following schedule:
Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.
Here’s the sneak preview of the segment I’m in – enjoy!
UPDATE — This morning I noticed Lieutenant General Robert Gard, whom Sheila trashed on her blog, was published in Defense One; The Good General’s article is entitled “The One Thing The U.S. Can’t Train The Iraqi Army To Do”. It’s a good read – much better than the divisive tripe Sheila wrote, and it’s an excellent example of why reasonable people don’t need unreasonable people like Sheila Kihne in government. — TPT, 15 July 2014
Sheila Kihne, Republican Candidate for State Representative (HD48B), had a blog. Two of them, actually. One is still up, it’s called “The Activist Next Door”. The other, picking up where the first left off, is not. Which makes sense; Sheila is mounting a primary challenge on August 12th on the basis of her incumbent’s “record” – and it’s always convenient for a challenger when the incumbent has a record but the challenger does not. A record, like, say, that cute little picture, to the right that adorned Sheila’s blog – “No Liberals Allowed” – which pretty much sums up Sheila.
Except, Sheila DOES have a record – it’s her record of her thoughts that she put into words on her blogs. And through the wonderful technology of The WayBack Machine, all those posts never really went away.
Some of Kihne’s writings are simply bizarre; such as the one where she seems to advocate a voting Poll Tax on poor people, or her “welfare to work” treatise, “My Redistribution Plan”. My personal favorite, from Sheila’s “plan”? Number 5:
5. you will not own any of the following items (if you do, you’ll immediately sell them) an iPod, a flat screen television, video games, a computer or any designer clothing
After all, everyone knows it’s super easy to prepare resumes and find a new and/or better job without a computer, yes?
As bizarre as those ones are, this blogpost jumped out:
This story came to me from a great reader of this blog and I’m happy to post it here. We all know the left has infiltrated and taken over many of our institutions, but did you know the U.S. Military is their next target? (emphasis added)
Ummmm…. “…the left has infiltrated…” — that one, Ladies and Gentlemen, sure reminds me of Joe McCarthy and his claim that their are “known communists” in the State Department.
Sheila’s post goes on to trash the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization and it’s founder, Paul Rieckhoff. Well, and question, essentially, the patriotism of Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez (USA, Ret.), Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis, MD (USA, Ret.), Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr. (USA, Ret.), and Major General Paul D. Eaton (USA, Ret.). Oh – and a full-bird, too: Colonel James D. McDonough, Jr. (USA, Ret.).
It seems that unlike Joe McCarthy, Ms. Kihne is more than happy to name names of those evil lefties that have “infiltrated” government.
And, of course, there’s a follow up blog post:
In honor of the left’s temporary victory with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I thought it was time to talk military.
The purpose of my headline is to help folks looking for more information on the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) a Soros-funded organization that PRETENDS to be non-partisan but is quite the opposite. So rather than hide my agenda like some people, I figured I’d make it easy for them. This site includes a nice little summary of the the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans.) The original piece has received thousands of hits, so I know that people are starting to smell a rat. And now, it seems that Rikki Tikki Tavi has found himself a little friend. But we’ll get to that later.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you can get to that now, through the links above, or go later, and read those whole posts yourself. Or not. It’s really up to you – but the words on Sheila’s blog are the words she owns.
Not that Paul Rieckhoff needs any defending from the likes of Sheila Kihne, I will say this: I met Paul years ago, I know Paul, but I don’t know – nor care – what political party Paul leans to, or belongs to, or if he has any party affiliation at all. Because it doesn’t matter; what DOES matter and what I do know is Paul is a tireless advocate for Veterans and it’s abhorrent that Sheila Kihne would see fit to trash him, his work, his organization, and his organization’s work.
Well, and trash 4 Generals and a Colonel too.
There’s one area where everyone – EVERYONE – is supposed to check their politics at the door: it’s the issue of Veterans and taking care of those that served. These days, in St. Paul, in the Legislature, that’s the way it is, as I wrote here: “One highlight is the sincere care about and for veterans by Members in both parties. It’s refreshing that veterans issues don’t have the political biases too many other issues do.” In Minnesota’s Legislature, there are outstanding leaders in the State House and State Senate in both the Republican and Democratic parties who put Veterans first and politics second.
Ms. Kihne, candidate for the State House, as evidenced by the written words on her blogs, clearly doesn’t believe that.
Let’s take another look at that graphic that once adorned Ms. Kihne’s blog:
Somewhere, I would guess, the ghost of Joe McCarty is smiling.
This great country’s founders feared and loathed corporations; the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against that era’s largest international corporation, the British East India Company. Of the hundreds that participated or watched tea being dumped from three British ships, only one (Francis Akeley) was arrested – and released due to lack of evidence. Clearly, our Founders had no love for the East India Company. There’s no mention of corporations in the Constitution; “We the people” is.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision expanding “personhood” of corporations is leading us down a path we really don’t want to go. Where might that be? “Nations are bankrupt, gone. Corporate society was an inevitable destiny.” Pay close attention to the question at the 2:00 minute mark….
..and so unapologetic.
When you watch those that want to go back and bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iraq, remember this: they were wrong about everything they predicted, AND they created The Mother Of All FUBAR’s. There were no WMD’s. We weren’t greeted with candy and flowers. It wasn’t over in 6 weeks nor 6 months. It wasn’t paid for by Iraqi oil revenue. Major combat operations didn’t end, yada yada yada.
“Mission Accomplished”??!? Only in their minds; here on terra firma, not so much.
But don’t expect them to own up nor take any responsibility for what they did/what they said. This is typical of what they were saying/doing then; they’re still saying/doing that now.
On June 4th there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the Minnesota Military Family Tribute (read=”memorial”) at the Minnesota State Capitol. And it was a nice occasion; speakers included Gold Star parents Ken and Julie Drevnick, Major General (Ret) Harry Sieben, Congressman Erik Paulsen and Governor Mark Dayton. All spoke of the sacrifices military service has on the home front. “When a soldier is deployed, an entire family is deployed. The mother is sitting home watching the news like she’s never watched it before, wondering if her son or daughter is there.” remarked Major General (Ret) and now Mn Dept of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito.
Indeed Mothers do – as do spouses, fathers, brothers, sisters, in-laws, friends and neighbors. Lest anyone forget: war is hell on the home front, too.
To me, there was a disconnect at this event. While this memorial honoring the sacrifices of families is nice and well deserved (and paid for by private donations), there was legislation introduced and debated this last legislative session that would have severely and adversely affected spouses and widows of those that served. It’s a zombie bill; it was stopped last session but was not killed. It’s sure to be brought up again and Again and AGAIN. While memorials are nice, honoring the sacrifices requires more than that.
Ever since the Minneapolis Veterans Home was built (late 1880′s, shortly after the end of the Civil War), spouses and widows have been eligible to receive care there as long as they had the medical necessity and the financial need. After all, President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address called for care of the Veteran, the spouse, the widow, the orphan. For over 125 years, the great State of Minnesota has honored that call.
Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in the Minnesota Legislature that would take away a benefit available to spouses and widows. To be clear: Veterans and Veterans Organizations (American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, etc) did not ask for this. Actually, every major Veterans Organization opposes this change, for a very simple reason: spouses and widows of veterans made sacrifices, too. That button, above? “Support Military Spouses – they don’t wear the uniform but they share the burdens”
It would be a real shame if this legislation was passed next spring, right before the Minnesota Military Family Tribute (“memorial”) is dedicated in June 2015.
… before the session ended. And that’s OK; the VFW State Convention starts today and it’ll be interesting to hear what’s reported up there before I report what happened (or, didn’t) during the 2014 legislative session in St. Paul. So, the Legislative recap will be in July’s newsletter. Here’s what went out to Post and Auxiliary Membership for June:
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As of this writing, the Minnesota Legislature is still in session and several issues affecting Veterans have not been resolved. What we do know so far is that the priority ranking of Veterans and Spouses/Widows for entry into Minnesota’s five Veterans Homes will not be considered this year. The House Veterans Committee Chair, Mary Murphy, indicated there will continue to be conversations on this when the new Legislature convenes next January, so it is very important as we head into election season to tell your Representatives – and, their challengers – that the VFW as an organization opposes these changes to admittance into our Veterans Homes. The VFW worked hard to stop these changes – one reason being that war is hell on the home front, too – and apparently, our work is not done.
To find contact information for your State Representative and State Senator, >http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/districtfinder.aspx.
We are also tracking how much money is appropriated for our Veterans Homes for maintenance and asset preservation. Governor Dayton recommended the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) receive a little over $4 million from bonding this year. It looks like the House and Senate may not agree – and may actually use some of the money to build Veterans Memorials in North St. Paul and Edina instead of taking care of Veterans facilities. While the VFW is appreciative of building Veterans memorials, we do not feel that they should be at the expense of delivering services to Veterans.
While the VFW would prefer – it’s actually a legislative goal – to eliminate the state income tax on military retirement pay, the Legislature is looking at increasing the tax credit amount from $750 to $1,500 for individuals who separated from military service before the end of the year and served at least 20 years in the military, had a service-connected disability rating of 100 percent total and permanent, or were honorably discharged and receive a pension or other retirement pay for service in the military. While it’s not what we want, it is better than nothing and for that we are appreciative.
Another legislative accomplishment is passage of HF2365. Professional licensing boards will be required to expedite license processing for former and current members of the military. This passed the House on a vote of 123-0, and will make it easier for Veterans to use their military skills to gain similar employment as civilians.
A full legislative recap will be included in our next newsletter. As we welcome John Suckerman as our Post’s new Quartermaster, I will continue to cover legislation as our Post’s – and also VFW 7th District’s – Legislative Officer.
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“…the ol’ TwoPutter gets some ink…”
Your Capitol Hill Update
By Rich Zierdt, State Legislative Chairman
Gopher Oversea’r; > Volume 68, No. 1 Feb – May 2014
Special Note From Washington, D.C.
On March 2, 2014, our State Commander Frank Presfield led a delegation of senior state officers, including the state President of our Ladies Auxiliary, to Washington D.C. to attend our National VFW Legislative Conference. After many meetings with the National Legislative office where we were briefed in depth on the issues and priorities for this event, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday on Capitol Hill meeting with our members of Congress. Senator Klobuchar was still having trouble returning to the Capitol due to inclement weather and no staff was available to meet with us, when we stopped at her office so we left our materials and will continue to attempt to follow-up with her office. Otherwise we were met and welcomed by all of the other members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation and their staffs and were given many assurances of support for our priority concerns and initiatives (shown elsewhere in this newsletter); A great “thanks” to all who took the time and effort to join us in this important event.
Rather than duplicate the effort I am including a report on the State legislative activities that was written by Tommy Johnson of the Hopkins VFW post for this newsletter. This report is as well written and as complete as anything that I can do and so…. Enjoy it.
Finally, as a matter of respect, I wish to acknowledge how much we all missed the presence of Al Loehr, our longtime state legislative chairman and mentor, and this missed presence was acknowledged by all of the Congressional offices. Al, you were very much there with us in spirit, thanks again for your help.
Tommy Johnson, Hopkins Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Quartermaster has been with me during Legislative hearings and committee meetings this session. He has put together this great article for his Post. I would like now pass that on to you.
(the following article originally published in the Geo. R. Wolff VFW Post #425, Hopkins MN April 2014 newsletter)
Monday March 17th was a well-attended Veterans Day On The Hill at the Capitol in St. Paul. After the Colors were posted Retired Major General Larry Shellito, Minnesota Department of Veterans (MDVA) Commissioner, read a letter from Governor Dayton who was not able to attend for medical reasons. This kicked off a series of speeches by Legislators such as Senator Saxhaug, who discussed proposed legislation to be heard by the Senate’s States Departments And Veterans Committee and Dave Senjem, who always gives a moving talk about honoring the sacrifices of veterans and our families. House State Government Finance And Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Mary Murphy talked about how her Committee’s members know the importance of listening to Veterans.
Representative Murphy’s committee does listen, and they listened on March 10th in committee as a parade of Veterans Groups and citizens, including me, objected to proposed legislation HF 2557, which would negatively affect the ability of spouses and widows to be admitted into Minnesota’s five Veterans Homes, including the Minneapolis Veterans Home. Towards the end of the meeting, Chair Murphy asked the proposed bill’s Author who asked for this change as no one testifying that day supported it. The Author answered by saying “other states do that” – which by omission, was a “no one asked” answer. This bill was discussed under Good Of The Order at the March 6th Post meeting.
After Day On The Hill ceremonies ended Veterans and members of the Ladies Auxiliary met with Legislators informally and formally in Members offices. I spoke with Representative Murphy about HF2557, and was told her committee heard loud and clear the proposed changes were not asked for nor were wanted. Rep. Murphy wasn’t sure if the bill would have another hearing – meaning it would not pass out of committee nor reach the house floor for a vote. Conversations with other Legislators were along the same lines – Representatives saying they didn’t think this bill would move forward; Senators saying they didn’t think the bill would even be heard in that Chamber of the Legislature.
One highlight is the sincere care about and for veterans by Members in both parties. It’s refreshing that veterans issues don’t have the political biases too many other issues do. Please remember, the VFW has been, is, and always will be a non-partisan organization.
The point of this is to remind people of the importance of making a phone call, of sending an email, of attending legislative hearings – Legislators can and will listen and we can shape the legislation that affects us. These calls and emails and going to the Capitol are something everyone needs to do – one at the least, two is better, and attendance critically important.. Our work is not over; send an email to HopkinsVFW@gmail.com if, your schedule permitting, you can attend a hearing in St. Paul . To find contact information for your State Representative and State Senator, go to http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/DistrictFinder.aspx. We’ll be talking about legislation again at our April 3rd Post Meeting; hope to see you there!
Check out the title o’ that story, to the right: “Minnesota enacts restrictive medical pot program”
So, how “restrictive” is “restrictive”? Well, say you were serving your country in Iraq and got PTSD after watching your buddies get blown up and years later, you see it play over and Over and OVER and are wondering why it’s you that survived and your buddies didn’t — you were left out of this “restrictive” new law. Or, say you were running around in the wilds of Afghanistan and a roadside bomb blew up your Humvee and you ended up with Traumatic Brain Injury — you, too, were left out of this “restrictive” new law. So while I’m happy this “restrictive” new law was enacted, I’m really not surprised that, once again, Veterans got left behind.
OK, I didn’t write this. As a matter of fact, it ain’t even new. Came in a chain-mail back in ought-four; back when Zooker was stinkin’ up the Swamp, and Spurticus was tearin’ up the links. But, after becoming GatorBait to Georgia Southern (and, payin’ ‘em a half a million smackers to stick it to us), I thought I’d dig it up and post it again – ’cause if Foley knew what the (bad word, deleted) he was doin’ he’d get Spurticus (or, someone like him) on the sidelines at The Swamp and make sure a Muschamp 2014 “Oh, ten and one (think=1979)” season isn’t just around the corner.
Again, this was way back from 2004; kudos to the dude that wrote it:
Foley: Heyyyyyyyy, Jeremy Foley. How the heck are ya?
Spurticus: Well, well, well. Look who found my number.
Foley: Aw, heck, buddy, just calling to, you know, see how you’re doing.
Spurticus: Knock it off with the bull****, Foley, I got a tee-time.
Foley: Oh, yeah. Good day for a little golf. Sport of gentlemen. Man I wish I…
Spurticus: Save it, jackass. We both know why you’re calling.
Foley: Matter of fact, uh, there is something I want to discuss with you.
Spurticus: Yeah, yeah. You fired Forrest Gump and you want me to save your bacon again.
Foley: Well, now I wouldn’t say…
Spurticus: Aw, bull****, Foley. You gotcher in a crack.
Spurticus: This is gonna take some five-star butt-kissin’. You better smear on the Chapstick and pucker up.
Foley: Now, Coach, I know we’ve had our differences.
Spurticus: Yer damn right we have, and know what’s worse? You crapped all over my legacy.
Spurticus: I was more famouser even than Captain Kangaroo. I was the best ball coach since… since… hell, I was the HBC! You replaced me with a retard.
Foley: There’s no need to…
Spurticus: Shut up. You replaced me with a friggin’ Disney character. He didn’t have the sense to chew gum. I got golf balls with higher IQ’s than that dipstick.
Foley: Well he…
Spurticus: Didn’t I already fire his sorry ?
Foley: Well, Coach, that was way back…
Spurticus: Oh, and you thought he grew a brain since then. I built that team into a contender. We were in ‘lanter every year to play for the conference, and that nimrod lost to Mississippi State.
Foley: Didn’t you lose to Mississippi State?
Spurticus: ME??? I… you just… oh, that just cost you some more butt-kissin’.
Foley: Perhaps that remark was out of line.
Spurticus: Shut up. Lemme tell ya how it’s gonna be. First off, I don’t just wanna be head ball coach. Let’s just go ahead and make me Director of Football Operations.
Foley: Coach, let’s be reasonable…
Spurticus: I don’t recruit.
Foley: Coach, somebody has to…
Foley: Uh, we’ll get somebody on that.
Spurticus: My boys don’t do time, don’t do suspensions, and let’s not bother with classes. I don’t want eggheads, I want ballplayers.
Foley: So, status quo?
Spurticus: Let’s talk salary.
Foley: Oh, sweet Jiminy Christmas…
Spurticus: How much ya got?
Foley: What’s this gonna take?
Spurticus: How much do you consider a ****load?
Foley: A lot.
Spurticus: Double that.
Spurticus: We’re just getting’ started.
Yesterday, The Big E published a blogpost, “David Hann in real trouble over campaign finance violation?”. Good question! A quick internet trip to Minnesota’s Statutes finds a section entitled “Corporate Political Contributions.” Now, I’m not a lawyer, but: this seems pretty clear to me:
Subd. 2. Prohibited contributions. A corporation may not make a contribution or offer or agree to make a contribution directly or indirectly, of any money, property, free service of its officers, employees, or members, or thing of monetary value to a major political party, organization, committee, or individual to promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual for nomination, election, or appointment to a political office.
Why is that important? Well, let’s look at just one Federal Elections Commission filing by an entity called “Senate Victory PAC” – whose Treasurer happens to be Republican State Senator David Hann:
That’s from filing FEC-865022, the Senate Victory PAC’s October 2012 filing.
3M Company PAC = $5,000
Centerpoint Energy, Inc. PAC = $500
Express Scripts Inc. Political Fund = $5,000
Koch Industries Inc PAC – $5,000
Those sure look like corporate contributions to me!
I looked at all the contributions to this “Senate Victory PAC” since it was started in November 2011, totalling $32,950, and they all look like corporate PAC contributions.
On November 18th, Rachel Stassen-Berger reported in the Star Tribune:
Hann said that as a former member of the state House and the state Senate Vandeveer, whom he considers a friend, has a good political sense of the Minnesota electorate. Hann said that he talks to Vandeveer, who did not run for re-election last year, “fairly often” and he has taken on various tasks to prepare Senate Republicans for the 2016 elections.
Why is that important? Because, also in that story, Rachel reported that Vandeveer had been paid out of the Senate Victory PAC – and that PAC’s only source of income appears to have been corporate PAC money.
A call to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board for comment was made and a message left. This one isn’t going away; stay tuned!