Hahn chooses Harens as his running mate

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

The Star Tribune is reporting that Rob Hahn has chosen Thomas Harens as his choice for Lieutenant Governor.

I had almost forgotten the Hahn was planning on continuing his bid after Tom Horner won the endorsement.

IP Night at the Saints! Strikeout the Wingnuts!

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Forwarded from the IP Party E-Mail
**********************************

Wingnuts...you know who they are. Pesky extremists who operate under the ruse of an elected official. They use their personal and party agendas to derail common sense legislation from the greater good.

And we're here to STRIKE'EM OUT!

Join the Independence Party as we watch the St. Paul Saints take on the Wichita Wingnuts on Saturday, June 26. Enjoy a pregame tailgating picnic and mingle with IP supporters and candidates, including the IP's endorsed candidate for governor and special guest, Tom Horner. We welcome everyone to this fun event - bring your family and friends and help us cheer on the Saints as we both try to strikeout Wingnuts!


St. Paul Saints vs. Wichita Wingnuts
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul, MN 55108
Tailgating: 5:00 p.m. in Picnic Area D
Game: 7:05 p.m.
Contribution: $25 (includes pregame food and beverages and a reserved bleacher seat)

Order your tickets today on our secure, online website. Or you may RSVP to Sally Paulsen at salpaulsen@aol.com or call 651-628-9473. If paying by check, please make payment to: Independence Party of MN, and mail to: PO Box 40495, St. Paul, MN 55104. Seats are limited, so order right away!

We hope to see you at this great summer fun event!

Sally Paulsen, Treasurer
Independence Party of MN

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels:

A Star Tribune Editorial by Gedney Tuttle that highlights the problem that we have in our current election system.

IP Trio to make it official at 1PM today

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

It is my understanding that Steven Watson (First Congressional District), Bob Anderson (Sixth Congressional District) and Tim Olsen (Eighth Congressional District) will be holding joint news conference at 1PM today on the steps of the State Capital after they register for the upcoming elections.

Stay tuned.

Thoughts on Robyne Robinson

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Usually when people are talking about Lt. Governor Candidates it because they are political insiders weighing in on how the pick might sway the vote by a fraction of a point here or there. So when earlier this week when it was leaked that Matt Entenza was considering a retiring TV News anchor it caused a little stir in the media (especially the print media) and got everyone to thinking.

Now that the pick is official, what does it mean?

Of course the first official comments came from the Republican Party "Hail Mary pass" and "the latest sign of a desperate campaign" which is probably true in some cases, but there are several things to think of. Robinson is not the first local TV Anchor to go into politics, former Senator Rod Grams was also a TV Anchor, for the same station no less. Senator Grams was in his time one of the most conservative Republicans in the US Senate, I am reminded of the old saying "He who lives in glass house.." Next is most polls have any DFL candidate in a pretty much dead heat with Tom Emmer, this is not as if the campaign is 20 points behind and attempting to make up ground at the last moment. Considering how the Republicans chose Sarah what's her name..

Now Entenza is probably trailing the other candidates in the DFL primary, and yes Robinson is not your typical candidate, but I wouldn't compare her to a Hail Mary just yet. Matt Entenza has been out of politics since 2006 and while those of us who watch politics remember his name he has been out of sight and out of mind with the DFL party members this instantly gives his ticket name recognition. Who else could Matt have gotten, considering how long memories people in politics have what 'named' party member would take a chance on being on Matt's ticket.

This should bring in dollars and volunteers to Matt's campaign, not that he needs the dollars, but he will need plenty of volunteers to beat the other two on the ballot.

Tom Horner to announce his running mate on Tuesday

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

In little surprise, after the announcement of Robyne Robinson by Matt Entenza earlier today Tom Horner Campaign announced he would be making his pick public on Tuesday, June 1st.

It's official - Robyne Robinson is Matt Entenza Running Mate

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

It now official, Matt Entenza has selected long time TV Anchor Robyne Robinson to be his running mate. Check out press release here.

This of course throws a huge wrench int he works for the DFL. More on my thoughts later.

Rasmussen Reports – Governor Poll

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

On May 26th, Rasmussen Reports released its second Poll on Minnesota Governor and it reported a tossup, far closer race than reported by the MPR/Humphrey Poll of last week.

Emmer earns 38% support to 36% for Margaret Anderson Kelliher, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Horner gets 11% of the vote, and 15% are undecided.

If his opponent in former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, Emmer picks up 37% to the Democrat's 35%. Horner trails with 12%, with 16% more still undecided.

By a modest 37% to 34% margin, Emmer bests Entenza, with Horner again at 12%. Seventeen percent (17%) remain undecided, given this match-up.

As someone who has watched polls for years there appears to be something wrong with the reported numbers. It's one of the burning things in the back of your brain that just doesn't seem to catch, so I decided to look at the methodology, of course it is one of those "learning" or "active" polls that takes a users response to determine the next question. Upon completion of the survey the computer decides who you are planning on voting for. For example if you are "anti-abortion" and live in Minnesota you will vote Republican, regardless of what else you think. Of Course this works so well in 2006 Rasmussen polls had Mike Hatch Leading 47 to 45 with Hutchinson at 7 percent using the same methodology in all the polls leading up to the 2006 election.

For the Independence Party there is plenty of good news in the poll, Tom Horner is at 11 to 12 percent. Relatively at the same time in 2006 Hutchinson was at 7 to 8 percent. Considering that Rasmussen is using the same methodology that should be construed as a good sign.

Dr. Maureen Reed files for 6th District Seat

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Four years ago Dr. Maureen Reed was the IP candidate for Lt. Governor on the Hutchinson ticket. Today she filed to run in the DFL primary against the DFL-endorsee Tarryl Clark in the 6th District where US Representative Michelle Bachmann is also seeking third term.

It is too bad an individual cannot vote in multiple primaries as I would vote for her, actually I might write her in on my ballot when I vote in the IP Primaries. I realize that Bob Anderson is the endorsed candidate in District 6, I however believe that Dr. Reed has the best opportunity to defeat Bachmann.

There are several reasons for this, first, the DFL has run extremely poor campaigns in the 6th District over the past four years. When your entire platform is "Beat Bachmann" that isn't going to win. Tarryl Clark has a more reasonable platform; however as a liberal leaning DFL member in a moderate to conservative district she isn't sitting in a position to pull the votes away from Bachmann, as evidence by Bob Anderson's shoe string campaign two years ago. To beat Bachmann you need to be a conservative leaning DFL or IP with the money to run a successful campaign, and it is the money that Bob doesn't have that stops his chances extremely cold.

How to Win the Governor’s Race

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

It's a common question, "Can the IP get another Governor Elected?" I am asked all the time, especially from my friends and family affiliations to other political parties. I have a usual tendency to nod, smile and give a look of derision. The simple answer is "yes, anyone who enters the race can win." Which usually leads to the follow up question, "How?"

And there you have asked the Sixty Four Thousand Dollar Question. How can a third party win in today's environment? To win you need a lot of things to go or at least lean your way, and not all of them have everything to do with your party and race.

You need the election to occur in an off year for federal elections. US Senators are elected for six year terms and are staggered so every 12 years this occurs. The last time it occurred was in 1998 and is occurring this year. The reason this is important is because the National Parties will spend millions on US Senator Elections and this spending enforces the two party system.

You need to have an election where the sitting governor is not running. This is a fairly common occurrence, but for the lay people it is really about the devil you know versus the one you don't. 1998 and 2002 this occurred and is occurring again this year.

There needs to be dissatisfaction with the sitting Government. This is something hard to measure, but if you look back to 1998 we had the Clinton/Lewinsky story as grabbing headlines all year. This created a strong dissatisfaction with the Government as a whole and polarized the two extremes of the major parties. In 2010 we have many issues polarizing the two extremes of the party. Health Care Reform, Wall Street Reform, disaster in the Gulf, two wars that the President inherited but cannot get out of, an economy in shambles, and the list goes on and on and on.

You notice that 1998 and 2010 have a lot of similarities, considering in 1998 Jesse Ventura Shocked the World in getting elected. The conditions are ripe for another win.

So the conditions are right, you ask "what else needs to happen?"

The third party needs to put up someone electable. I have spent some time talking to Tim Penny (2002) and Peter Hutchinson (2006) and a little time with Tom Horner (2010 Endorsed) and while it may seem callus Tom is a "more likable" guy. While Tim and Peter had many strong points, Tom is a better speaker off the cuff, has a stronger air of authority around him, and seems far more approachable than either Tim or Peter. In race with Tom Emmer and one of the DFL candidates Tom Horner is no worse than the second most likeable candidate. There is some question how he would fair against Mark Dayton, but he is well above the other two in terms of general likability.

Your candidate has to be well versed in the issues of the today and not carrying a large chunk of baggage with regard to those issues. That leads to the question, what are the issues, that another entry, but for now let's just say Tom Horner understands that Education, the Economy (Budget) and Government Services are the top three for everyone who isn't polarized by abortion, gay marriage, gun control, and separation of Church and State. Tom Emmer is polarized as far right leaning conservative, while Mark, Matt, and Margaret all have lots of baggage when dealing with the top three. Again if Tom Horner can capitalize on that he will be in great shape.

So that leaves two big issues, money and man power. The two major parties have access to both, however in this year there are things working against both parties. Without a Federal Election the amount of money spent by the national parties will be greatly diminished, almost non-existent in comparison to what both parties spent in 2006 and 2008. The Republican Party has chosen an extremely right conservative candidate in Tom Emmer (who people have stated makes Tim Pawlenty look like a moderate), while this energizes his conservative power base and gives him access to man power, money will be an issue in his party. Emmer will still have millions in his war chest, but compared to Tim Pawlenty's spending in 2006 think 1/3 to 1/2 less and remember everything costs 1/3 to ½ more this year; which is not good for Emmer. On the DFL side expect a bruising battle for the primary causing all three candidates to start emptying their war chest early and pre-bloodying the other candidates. In reality there are two out comes, as it stands today, Kelliher somehow manages to overcome Dayton, leaving her warchest broke and her reputation solidly bloodied, but with access to ample manpower or Dayton continues to win leaving him with a decent warchest but nowhere near the man power pool to work with; either solution is not good for DFL.

So now Horner needs to capitalize on those issues. He needs to spend enough money in advertizing and appearances to keep his name in everyone mind. This means lots of travel across the state, making speeches and hammer home the points.

Horner's campaign needs to build manpower, lots of manpower. While Horner will have the ability to raise money I think to be competitive the lack of a readily available manpower pool is what is going to be the greatest challenge to overcome. Jesse Ventura over came this in 1998 by appealing to the college aged students, something I think Tom Horner has to do. He needs to focus a goodly amount of time on the issues of higher education and he needs to mobilize those individuals.

Can Tom Horner Win, yes, everything is aligned to make a strong run, he has to capitalize on it, which is the question that remains to be answered.

Response from Larry Jacobs concerning MPR News and Humphrey Poll

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

Jeff,

Thank you for the questions. I am traveling so my answers
will need to be abbreviated.

On the margin of error, this is a case
where knowing a little can get you in trouble. First, what everyone refers to as
"margin of error" relates to sampling error. This isn't a minor point because of
what we know about sampling. We never get 100% of our sample and therefore have
to weight and make other adjustments. The conventional margin of sampling error
for a sample of 701 is 3.7; we listed a margin of sampling error that built in
an adjustment for design error and therefore was 5.8. What we did is
statistically more accurate. Rather than being alarmed, consumers of polls
should feel more confidence owing to our caution.

I will say that I have
been impressed by the level of interest in some of the more technical issues and
will be expanding our "About the Survey" section that we attach to the end of
our poll reports. If you are interested, you can find it here --
http://www.hhh.umn.edu/centers/cspg/humphrey_polling/pdf/HHH_MPR_May_GovernorsRace.pdf


On party identification, the issue is how you handle "leaners" --
that is, folks who initially do not indicate a party preference but are then
asked a following about which party they lean toward. Research shows that the
leaners usually vote that direction. Coding the leaners with partisans is the
standard approach among survey researchers.

Take care,

LJ


Of course wasn't exactly what I asked...

After writing a entry on the poll conducted last week by the MPR News and
Humphrey Institute I was wondering if you would take a few moments to answers a
few questions concerning the results?
I should like to note that an answer
you provide will be share with my loyal readers, all four and ½ of them.

Under my presumptuous assumption that you would take a few moments I
have included my questions below.

Thank you very much for your time.
Very Respectfully
Jeffrey M. Johnson

Questions
Many of my
fellow bloggers have taken umbrage at the Margin of Error in the first poll and
have noted that many results sort of fall into within the margin of error. I
have noted that while there is a slim chance for results like Dayton’s ten point
lead over Kelliher could be reversed the reality of these polls is they are
better at tracking trends than giving exact numbers. We look to follow on Polls
to monitor if Dayton’s lead is decreasing, staying the same, or increasing.
How often is MPR News and the Humphrey Institute planning on running similar
polls to this one?
Are you planning to revamp your Poll before the next one
is conducted to address the criticism of the first poll? Would any changed
effect the validity of the first poll?

In the first poll there were
three things that caught my attention; the poor showing of Matt Entenza, the
high number of Undecided/Refused/Other, and the extremely high number of people
who identified with a Party Affiliation.

Under the auspices that Matt
Entenza is going to make a strong effort to move his campaign forward I have
noted that were he pulls his support from as the Primary Election gets closer
will go a long way to determine the winner. Would you agree that if he starts
pulling votes primarily from the undecided pool of voters than that goes a long
way to help Dayton’s Campaign?
I am under the current belief that today
Kelliher really needs an active Entenza in the primaries to defeat Dayton under
the guise the Entenza/Dayton should spilt the so called unhappy voters. Would
you agree that is the key trend to watch in the DFL primaries?

As
polarized as this election appears to be watching most media reports were you
surprised to see such a large pool of undecided voters?

Party
identification in the State of Minnesota has historically been in the high
twenties to mid thirties in the past decade or so, what would you attribute such
a large growth in these numbers over the past year?

While not mentioned
specifically in your first release, how much support do you find out there for
third parties, not just the IP, but other parties like Libertarians, Green, and
so on? I had felt going into this year’s elections this would be the break out
year for smaller parties, primarily at a state level, but that swelling movement
seems to have greatly dissipated as we moved forward this year. On a personal
note I am very disheartened to already be hearing “wait until 2012” from people
in these small parties. What do you think end their movement so early this year?

Robyne Robinson for LT. Gov.

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

Media Reports this afternoon are suggesting the Robyne Robinsin, the former KMSP Channel 9 news anchor has been asked to be Matt Entenza running mate in the elections.

My how the quiet little election just got "weird" in a heart beat.

Robyne does not bring "politics" to the voters, but she does bring name recognition, which is what Matt Entenza is missing in his (at least in comparison to the other two canidates) so this is something that will have to be watched. Is it a home-run - or a lazy fly ball is yet to be determined.

EDIT - I have been reminded that News Anchors are allowed in the politcal arena if Robyne is off the air-tonight, we may know more than we think we know.

St. Paul Pioneer Press - Emmer vs. Others

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

The St. Paul Pioneer Press Article on the Federal Medicaid Health Care Program.

"I absolutely would exercise the option. This is another example of Tom Emmer and other Republicans cutting off their noses to spite Minnesota's face," said Independence Party endorsee Tom Horner, a former Republican. "This is the way to transform health care."

My opinion on healthcare remains unchanged. Obama's plan is an expensive but very very small first step, if we as a society not ready to continue making steps and changes to improve the American Health Care system than it was wasted money.

A statement from Mark Dayton that I could not agree more with "Their [Republicans] only hope is to nationalize the (state) election and run against President Obama," Dayton said. "That's where their anti-government theme gets the most traction."

Star Tribune - Hopefuls looking for $6 Billion

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

A Minneapolis Star Tibune Article highlights how the leading canidates for Governor in this falls elections.

There are lots of comments posted from readers but I think the article highlights what many of us already know, so far only Tom Horner has talked about long term solutions.

Mark Dayton’s Pick

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

As many of you know, I believe that Tom Horner's Best chance of victory comes in a match between Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Tom Emmer so lately I have been semi-disheartened by the DFL party. First you have Kelliher selecting a moderate Republican John Gunyou, a virtual unknown outside of tight government circles and then this morning Mark Dayton is preparing to announce Yvonne Prettner Solon, a DFL State Senator from Duluth. There is little question that Mark Dayton's selection will benefit him in the polls come the August Primary.

While I can't personally give you details on Solon, she is the sitting state senator from Duluth, an extremely fundamental DFL stronghold in northern Minnesota which has an solid reputation for participating in caucuses, primaries, and the general election. This is arguably the strongest step that Mark Dayton has taken thus far to secure the Primary win. I'm betting there has to be a lot of finger-pointing and gnashing of teeth in the Kelliher/Gunyou HQ this morning. Which undoubtedly is probably matched in the Horner and Emmer camps.

Star Tribune Article

Who?

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Margaret Anderson Kelliher needed to make a huge splash, RT Rybac, would have been a big splash, and would have worked wonders in the polls, now everyone is going who? However when the headlines read "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher picked former state Finance Commissioner John Gunyou as her running mate on Friday." You got to be left scratching your head.

I was and still am dumbfounded that Margaret Anderson Kelliher would select such a unknown as her running mate, well at least unknown to 90 plus percent of the potential voters when she was in a such a tight, okay not so tight she is well behind Dayton in the polls.

Here is a case where someone isn't paying enough attention to the race. The idea of bringing on a moderate republican leaning candidate would work, if she wasn't in a battle in the Primaries and there wasn't that pesky little Independence party to deal with. I mean considering how right of center Emmer is in a two party race you could sure stand to pull off a good chunk of Moderate Republicans who are more socially liberal than Emmer, but that isn't the case.

I have to believe this of course hurts the Tom Horner and the Independence Party chances in the General Elections because if Margaret Anderson Kelliher doesn't win the primary, Mark Dayton will thrive in the center, right where the Independence Party wants to live. I am reminded of the elections of Arne Carlson, where he was not the endorsed candidate.

HHH Poll

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Our friends at Humphrey Institute released the first of many Independent polls we will see between now and Election Day.

As many bloggers are going to be vigorously discussing over the next few days this first poll has a whooping Margin of error of 5.8%. Considering that most polls have a margin of error under 4% that 5.8% is nearly 40% greater than what pollsters are typically looking for. I am sure there are a number of factors involved in getting such a large margin of error, for example it is early in the campaign season with no national or federal elections in the state. While all that is interesting (hey six quarters of statistics are worth something) it not really the point.

In looking at the details Mark Dayton is leading the DFL primary race, comfortable with 10 percentage point lead. I can hear the calls now "you just said the Margin of Error was a whopping 5.8%, isn't that 10 point lead within the margin of error?" Yes, it is, however you have to understand how margin of error works and levels of certainty. Long story short they further you deviate from the result the less likely it is accurate. So while Dayton's is leading at 38% the likelihood of his polling numbers being 32% is virtually nil (statistically speaking about .001 percent chance, I haven't dealt with a poll with such a large sampling error in a while so my math might be a bit rusty). The flip side of that is true also for Margaret Anderson Kelliher in getting to 32%. So there is a .00001 percent chance that Margaret Anderson Kelliher leads. If we look at the lead from the poll it is easy to say 6 to 14 percentage point lead, which is to say a comfortable lead.

Was Professor correct in saying the results were "a slap in the face" to the DFL, yes and no. First the reality is that fresh of the endorsement, just out of the gate and the fact that Margaret Anderson Kelliher is on the campaign trail and in the news it's really a slap in the face to the democratic party because a swing as much of seven points or bounce is usually anticipated, so things are not looking good for the establishment. However it is really not a nice thing to say, especially when you have such a large margin of error.

The real key however is Matt Entenza's extremely low polling number. This is the number people are going to have to watch. Under current circumstances Margaret Anderson Kelliher needs a three person race if she is expecting to compete the more Matt Entenza becomes a non-factor the more difficult it will be for Margaret Anderson Kelliher to win the primary. Too many people are ousting the sitting politicians right now, and how poorly she performed (there is no way to sugar coat that one) in office leading up to the end of the session she has painted a huge target on herself. The way to nullify that is to split the anti-establishment vote, yes I realize that neither Matt Entenza or Mark Dayton are unknown in politics, but they were sitting at the desk when Governor Pawlenty drove all over them. If Entenza is going to make a run he has to start drawing votes, it is where he draws the votes from that will be important, if he pulls votes from Dayton than it is good for Kelliher, if he pulls from the Undecided (which is 25%) than it is good for Dayton. Entenza has the money, does he decide to use it will be the question.

The second question is where does everyone sit in terms of the general election. Dayton leads Emmer and Horner, Emmer leads Kelliher and Horner. Again more bad signs for the DFL. Not necessarily the numbers but where the vote is coming from; in this case Emmer loses about 17% of the Republican vote to Horner (6 percent of the overall vote) but right now only 10% of the Democratic vote is going to Horner, that number is historically higher and taking historical precedent into play with Horner could end up with 15% of the total vote without spending a dime. If Horner runs a well crafted campaign he looking to pull in the 20% range easily, especially if it is Emmer v. Kelliher.

As a final point I found it either disheartening or concerning the percentage of people who identified themselves with both political parties, identical 42%. The first concern is that 42% is an awfully big number, considering a year ago those numbers were in the low to mid twenties. That an impressive doubling in a year. That in itself calls more question into this poll than any other factor, however it could be summed up on whether or not the individual was going to vote in the primary, the more you ally yourself with a party the more likely you will vote in the primary, so that could be it, but we will have to watch and see.

Horner on Education

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Tom's position on education can be found here: http://www.horner2010.com/issues/education/

When I read this statement, I have to be honest, it's a lot of fluff that doesn't say anything and I think highlights the problem in Public Education in Minnesota and across the country.

About half of all Minnesota students – students from every community and from every background – are entering kindergarten unprepared to learn.

I am an upper-middle class, two income family, where both my wife and I have College Degrees. We have a five year old son who enrolled in Kindergarten this year. My son, who is without question above average in intelligence and has no physical or mental handicaps was not prepared learn when he entered Kindergarten. Not even close. My wife and I spent months playing catch up with our son getting him to "what's expected" at his age in the current system. The problem isn't that my son wasn't prepared for Kindergarten; the problem is we as parents weren't prepared. We need to get parents involved and prepared to learn six months or more before school start. Handouts when we register our child indicating what is expected, learning about how punishment, rewards, and other activities work is more important than ever. Had we had an inclination our son would have been prepared for Kindergarten.

Meanwhile, high school graduation rates among many of our fastest growing populations are dropping below 60 percent. At a time when our economy demands more college graduates, a falling high school graduation rate is an economic crisis that will affect everyone.

High School graduation rates are dropping in all sectors of the population, to me the biggest reason is what is expected of people upon graduation. People drop out cause there is no benefit to be there. Start talking to the dropouts and ask them specifically why.. "I'm not going to get into College, so to me the difference between $9 an hour at the Fast food place and $10 at gas station as an assistant manger…." You need to put reason into High School for those that see it as an end, rather than a beginning.

We should pay good teachers salaries that compete with jobs in private business.

The average Full Time teacher in Minnesota earns $47,000, the average salary for a college graduate is $58,000. However that isn't the full story the average teacher in Minnesota total compensation package is closer to $70,000 a year while the average college graduate is under $67,000. So we already compensate our teachers at a higher rate than those with a college degree, when you factor in Retirement, Health Care, and other benefits. That is not the issue. The real issue is the starting point, when you become a teacher today, expect to start well below your fellow graduates on the pay scale and bounce around between jobs/districts until you have enough time/tenure/experience to get the job you really want.

For too long, policy leaders have sat silent while the value of education is denigrated. We need to make investments in making sure that all parents have the tools to help their children succeed in school, then hold families and students accountable.

Great sound bite, but how? Parents are spending more hours at work, children spend more time with babysitters/child care/teachers than the parents, how are you going to keep parents accountable. Parents can't even return forms to schools.

And, we need to hold school districts accountable. Resources need to go first and foremost into the classroom. We need to work with the innovative programs that are adapting new ways of learning to today's students. And, we need to invest in technology, not as a replacement for face-to-face interaction with classroom teachers, but as a complement.

The problem isn't the classroom, that's why we keep going round and round on the problem. The problem is today's children have nothing to do outside of the classroom, except stare at the TV and play Video games.

We really need to focus on putting play in education, learning about things outside of textbooks. Keeping our children in better shape mentally and physically.

We need to focus our efforts on keeping children from bouncing between daycare in the morning, full day school, and then back to day care. Lets develop programs where children go to school in the morning and our there the entire day, rather than bouncing between two three four services. That doesn't mean classroom time, but other activities, band, organized sports, science.

The opportunities for improvement are endless and we need to look at every option to improve education.

Our high school graduates need to be more prepared to directly enter the work force, it not a college prep-school.

We need to become more bi-lingual, whether it is Icelandic or Arabic. In a global economy communication skills are what will separate our children from those in other states and allow them to get further ahead.

Tom Horner for Governor, can he win?

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Many people know my preference for the Independence Party over both the Democratic and Republican Party so when I am asked “Now that Tom Horner has been endorsed can he win?” I really had to think about the answer.

The first aspect of the question is who will be running in the other parties.
We are fairly certain that Tom Emmer will be the candidate for the Republican Party. On the democratic side it gets a little, okay a lot murky. Margaret Anderson Kelliher has been endorsed but she will face two well better known and arguable better financed candidates in the Primary.

If we focus on Tom Emmer for a second we know he is an “extreme” conservative that outside of the Republican Party is not well known. I have been told he make Tim Pawlenty look like a liberal when it comes to both his social and economic outlook. He is the type of candidate the TEA party love. Someone who claims they will cut their taxes by cutting Government Spending. Anyone with an Eighth Grade Public Education knows that is not possible, but it is that believe that is important for Emmer. The problem for Emmer is the ultra conservatives may give him a fairly large and willing volunteer cadre, it doesn’t really open up his check book for spending since the TEA party supporters tend to not have as deep of pockets as the business people who also form another side of the Republican Party.

If we move to look at the Democratic Ticket we see chaos theory in action. Margaret Anderson Kelliher is endorsed, in the DFL political circles she is well known, well liked and well regarded. The problem is the Political circle is such a small portion of the Electrorate as she will need to get support in the Primary. In the Primary she will face Mark Dayton, a name every Minnesotan knows and deep deep personal pockets and Matt Entenza, a name that not every Minnesotan knows with very deep deep pockets. Personally I think the race will come down to Dayton and Anderson Kelliher, but there is another wildcard. With so little riding on the Republican Ticket will Republicans vote Democrat in the Primaries too choose a candidate they think is easier to defeat in the General Election. In the end I think Dayton’s name recognition and personal wealth get him selected in the Primary.

With whatever the result of the Democratic Primaries the candidate will emerge extremely bruised and even worse having spent a substantial amount of their war chest to get that far. That plays into Emmer’s hand.

Let us assume that Tom Horner gets through the Primaries without having to spend a small fortune just to get selected as the Independence Party (he is not unopposed). What will have in the General Election.

20 to 25% of Minnesota will vote Democratic, 25% Republican, and 10% Independence Party just because that is what they those people always vote. That leaves 40% of the electorate up for grabs. This is not a race for the 51% but rather a race for the most votes. So the question is how will those 40% of Minnesotans vote.

The Democrats have several problems, starting with the backlash of the “failure” of Obama to dramatically change course of the Federal Government. No arguably the course of the Federal Government was set under President Eisenhower and everyone since just attempts to keep the ship on course, but that back lash of the perceived failure hurts the Party. The next issue is the Party is not united. If Margaret Anderson Kelliher wins the primary she will shift the party’s focus further to the left if Dayton or Entenza win the party will be more moderate. Either way 5% of the party vote (that 20 to 25%) is gone. With Dayton running look for a strong showing by the Green Party, with Margaret Anderson Kelliher a strong showing by the Independence Party. It behooves the Independence Party to see Margaret Anderson Kelliher win.

The real key is how is Emmer perceived by the general electorate. The more he is painted as a Right Wing fanatic the more the moderate Republican and centralist independent vote is needed. The democratic party, league of cities, and the Unions this year have unfettered spending to attack his campaign, he will be painted even further right (which is hard to imagine) than he really is.

So my assumption is Margaret Anderson Kelliher is the DFL Candidate and Tom Emmer is the Republican Candidate, if that is the case you are looking at fairly left of center candidate, a moderate republican, and conservative republican candidate running for office. It in many ways is a perfect storm, the total opposite of 1998 where three centralists split the vote and Jesse Ventura was elected.

If the Two parties attack one another early and often, watch for Tom Horner’s poll numbers to rise slightly. If that happens watch the two other candidates start attacking his positions, the moment that happens Tom Horner has a chance, the earlier that happens the better chance that Horner will have. If both Emmer and Margaret Anderson Kelliher are attacking each other and Horner by Mid-August that 40% may break in Horner’s favor. Pulling 5% off either party plus pulling 15% (37% of the undecided vote) Tom Horner will be the next Governor. While we know that Tom Horner can win we should know early how likely the chance will be that he does win.

Video from the Convention

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

Tom Horner Speech
Jim Koepke Speech
Chris Pfeifer Speech

Announcement of First Ballot
Tom Horner Victory Speech
Tom Horner Press Conference

I will post more as I find it.

Tom Horner Endorsed

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Tom Horner has been endorsed by the Independence Party of Minnesota for the upcoming Election.

Links
Story on Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis Star Tribune
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A Look at the four Challengers for Endorsement

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

Tom Horner: A Public Relations Executive with experience in Political circles, albeit Republican circles where he served under US Senator Dave Durenberger.

Rob Hahn: A Regional newspaper publisher and former Radio Producer with little political experience.

John Uldrich: Founder of International Market Firm with limited political experience.

Chris Pfeifer: A Party Activist with limited experience.

Jim Koepke: I wish I could tell you more.

Survey USA says....

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

Republicans appear posied to hold state house.
In a match-up against
Democrat House of Representatives Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Emmer, a
MN House member first elected in 2004, today gets 41%, Kelliher 33%.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner gets 9%; 17% of likely voters are
undecided.
Survey USA uses a RDD system that may or may not include cell-phone only households. The one issue I have with Survey USA is they artificial weight respondents if they don't get a nessecary percentage from a zone. In this case the Republicans in outstate would typically be given a small bump because they are more likely to have land lines and have the lowests response rate. Whether that is accurate or not is another story.

The Supreme Court Unallotment Ruling

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Today the Minnesota Supreme Court Rules that Governor Tim Pawlenty overstepped his Authority by unalloting 2.7 Billion Dollars in the current budget. Of course the ruling will be misinterpreted by those on both sides of the fence.

The Minnesota Supreme Court did not rule that unallotment was unconstitutional, although two members questioned that as well, rather they ruled in this specific case the Governor created the shortfall thus cannot use the unallotment powers to reduce funds. Thus the powers of unallotment cannot be both a sword and shield.

Unallotment is a shield, if an unanticipated financial shortfall occurs while the Legislature is not in session the Governor can unallot money to allow the Government to stay afloat. However it is not a sword that can be used to dictate terms to the Legislature.

The real concern is that the Governor and the Legislature will most likely argue in the press and do little to resolve the issue, of eliminating the anticipated debt.