I saw it in the Sun Current, in a story titled “Congressman Erik Paulsen talks taxes.” It’s about another photo op Paulsen’s pals at various Chambers of Commerce set up at a local company. One topic was the subject of Bush The Lesser’s tax cuts. Here’s what He Whom Talks Like Ramstad But Votes Like Bachmann had to say:

“If I had to predict, unfortunately, given Congress’ track record of leadership, this is all going to be the week of Dec. 25,” Paulsen said. “Right? I mean it’s going to get pushed out. Because Congress acts on deadlines, unfortunately.

“And then, at that time you’ll see the media sort of accentuate, you know, it’ll all get played out about the sort of the challenges coming at the end of the year. … I can see the scenario building, and it’s predictable from that sense. And, we should be dealing with it right now.”

Which is kind of funny. Here’s why: Paulsen was selected to a Party Leadership Position in 2009.

That’s vintage Paulsen, folks: trashing the leadership you’re part of, but not mentioning your role in said leadership. One reason Congress has such a low approval rating is “leaders” like Erik Paulsen.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

While I focus on covering the corruption and dirty politics of the Republican Party, I do keep an eye on what’s happening in the Democratic Party. I just usually don’t write about it. Today, I will.

The redistricting maps have been approved, the lines are drawn and set in stone. I’m not hearing of anyone deciding that based on the new lines, they’re in. If anyone was sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what the new CD3 political landscape looked like, the time to jump into the race has come and gone.

So we’re down to to candidates, and I’ve made my decision who to back – it’s Brian Barnes.

But quite frankly, it doesn’t matter that no one else jumped in; the right candidate – Brian Barnes – was already in!

Brian is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and has served in the Navy Reserves, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Been there, done that: Brian has been a part of the greatest military in the world.

And Brian understands – as all with a military background do – that we, as a country, should only go to war because we HAVE to; unlike Republicans, who think we should go to war because they WANT to.

Brian has a real business background, working for a Minnesota based Fortune 200 company. Been there, done that: Brian knows what it takes to be successful in business.

But it’s more than just a successful background; it’s how Brian has conducted his campaign so far: he’s attracted top-notch talent to his campaign team, he’s attracted young and energetic volunteers, and he’s worked hard to polish his public speaking ability.

Since last summer, Brian’s stump speeches have gotten better and Better and BETTER! In all facets of this campaign, Brian keeps getting better and Better and BETTER! While I’m excited at where this campaign is now, I’m absolutely ecstatic at where it will be as it continues to gain momentum and heads towards the general election!

When I look at what Brian has – and will! – accomplish, it’s easy to understand why: Brian achieved, in his youth, something that sticks and is always with him: Brian is an Eagle Scout.

From the Boy Scout Handbook:

Be Prepared.

That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts.

“Be prepared for what?” someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting,

“Why, for any old thing.” said Baden-Powell.

The training you receive in your troop will help you live up to the Scout motto. When someone has an accident, you are prepared because of your first aid instruction. Because of lifesaving practice, you might be able to save a nonswimmer who has fallen into deep water.

But Baden-Powell wasn’t thinking just of being ready for emergencies. His idea was that all Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and to give happiness to other people. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body for any struggles, and to meet with a strong heart whatever challenges might lie ahead.

Be prepared for life – to live happily and without regret, knowing that you have done your best. That’s what the Scout motto means.

Page updated on: August 05, 2007

Quite frankly, Brian Barnes has the background, the training, the resume, and the temperament to take on Erik Paulsen and win.

Career politician Erik Paulsen first door knocked me in 1994; I didn’t like his politics then and I damned sure don’t like them now.

It’s time to send career politician Paulsen to the private sector – full time – for employment – which, of course, would be a first for him.

And Brian Barnes is the candidate to do just that.

Join me, and help send Brian Barnes, a man you can trust, to represent us – ALL of us – as Minnesota’s next Representative in the United States Congress!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

Monday January 16th is Martin Luther King Day. I just got an email in the ol’ in box – let’s look!

“(W)e refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”

We’ve come a long way since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke those words on a fateful summer day in 1963.

But despite the great strides that have been made over the last half century, there is still work required of us to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity of which King dreamed.

While we are a rich country, too many children attend failing schools.

While many Americans prosper, too many are working too hard for too little.

While bigotry and intolerance are rightly shunned, too many politicians in Washington still quietly seek to perpetuate divisions–based on race, religion, gender and sexuality. They still tell us that those who differ from us are to be feared.

Yes, we’re a better, stronger, more just society than we were in 1963, but there is work left to be done.

So as we honor Dr. King on Monday, let us also take time to renew the calling of his life and make it our own–in this election and beyond.


Brian Barnes


Brian Barnes has announced his candidacy to replace the guy on the “right” – Erik Paulsen. What can I say about Paulsen in just a few words? Well, career-politician Erik Paulsen first door knocked me WAY back, when running for the Minnesota State House – I didn’t like Paulsen’s politics then and I damn sure don’t like them now. Oh – and his voting record closely resembles Michele Bachmann’s. If you believe the 1% needs devoted water carriers in Washington D.C., Paulsen’s just the guy.

Brian Barnes, on the other hand, has been a union member. He’s been active in the Democratic Party (“DFL” here in Minnesota). He’s a graduate of the Coast Guard Merchant Marine Academy, achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserves, is a successful businessman. Oh – and Brian is an Eagle Scout, too.

It’s a clear contrast. And if you support the 1% and Erik Paulsen, you need not do a thing – Wall Street Fat Cats are making sure Paulsen has PLENTY of dough for November’s election. If you support the 99%, Brian can use your help, and you can help out via Brian’s Act Blue page.

It’s fitting Brain Barnes took that quote to honor Martin Luther King Day; that quote is from MLK’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech, which Dr, King delivered on August 28, 1963. As Brain said above, we HAVE come a long way since Dr. King’s speech – and there’s work left to be done. So, let’s DO IT!

To help you get ready for Monday’s Martin Luther King Day, here’s a YouTube of Dr. King’s speech, over music – enjoy!

(the song above – “Spiritual High (Part 3)” – is from the album “Mood Food” by Mood Swings, and is available where I buy my music – The Electric Fetus. If you like Chrissie Hynde, check out “Spiritual High (Part 1)” – Chrissie singing at her best!)

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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Over the last few months we’ve focused a lot, rightfully, on the governor’s race. It’s the most important thing on the ballot this coming November.

But there’s also a big race underway in my home congressional district, currently “represented” by so-called Moderate Republican Erik Paulsen. In the 3rd District we have two DFL candidates vying for the party’s endorsement. They’ve participated in three debates, at nine Senate District conventions so far, and have spent the last few months campaigning hard for every delegate they’ve earned.

But only one candidate has proven they have what it takes to win. My endorsement to follow after the break.

I met with both CD3 candidates in early December; clearly back then Team Meffert was way ahead in terms of organization and candidate ability to communicate effectively.

I met with Jim in early January, and at that time, not knowing about Team Hackett bringing in a strong campaign staff, was of the impression that Hackett should bow out.

Shortly after that, a Team Hackett staffer, whom I have known since his dad coached us in 5th grade football, hired my daughter.

Upon finding out Team Hackett had hired my daughter, the very first person I called was Jim Meffert, because I wanted him to hear it from me, first.

When the Veterans Caucus scheduled endorsement screenings, I called Trista, the Chair, and Major Jeff, to explain how my daughter working for Hackett could create the impression of bias if I were at any way at all involved in the screening. Since Trista was out of town, Jeff came to the screening to ensure everything was above board – and I stayed as far away from the endorsement screening as I could.

Hackett won the endorsement. And again, I had no involvement with the screening; prior, I didn’t know who was going to be screening. Post screening, those involved told me it wasn’t close; one veteran told me he went into the screening leaning Meffert but Hackett’s performance turned him.

As Dr. Hackett is the Veterans Caucus endorsed candidate, I have phone banked for the Veterans Caucus to tell people Dr. Hackett is the endorsed candidate, and the Veterans Caucus is asking them to stand with the veterans and stand with our endorsed candidate.

My daughter caucused for Hackett, and won as an alternate in 42B – she’s going to the CD Convention, and state in Duluth. She’s her own person; she’s an adult her pappa is mighty proud of.

That’s the background. Now, the “why” -

1.) Dr. Hackett’s campaign has proven they can win. Nine times they’ve faced off against Team Meffert in Senate District conventions. Each time they’ve had the strongest presence and seven times they’ve emerged as the clear winner — including in SD 41, Meffert’s hometown.

2.) Dr. Hackett presents a clear and strong contrast against Erik Paulsen. As a military veteran, doctor, wife of a successful business owner, she can take on Paulsen where he thinks he’s strong and defend against the usual line of attacks the Republicans will use.

3.) Women win in the 3rd Congressional District. It’s not just Amy Klobuchar, Maria Ruud, Melissa Hortman, Terri Bonoff and the rest of our strong DFL legislative delegation. It’s also people like Joyce Peppin and Mary Kiffmeyer. Suburban districts across the 3rd CD vote “for” strong women – and clearly, Dr. Hackett is a woman with a strong backbone – she’s got spine.

I’m proud to stand with my fellow veteran, Dr. Maureen Hackett.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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