The Minnesota Supreme Court gave Erik Simonson an early birthday present (
by Tony Petrangelo
Sep 30, 2012, 10:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 9-30

♣ I suppose I should stop trying to predict what the Minnesota Supreme Court will do, because I’m never right.

The thing they did this week that I was wrong about was to allow Kerry Gauthier’s name to be removed from the November ballot and replaced with the name of the newly minted DFL nominee, Erik Simonson.

And like that, Republican nominee Travis Silver’s hopes of serving in the Minnesota House next session are all but dashed.

Not to put too light of a point on it, but this is excellent news for the DFL in their quest to win back the Minnesota house. Not only does this seat go from being a possible loss to an all but assured win, it’s also a race that the DFL doesn’t have to sink a bunch of resources into on a costly and difficult write-in bid.

♣ The StarTribune released, not all at once, but in slow drip fashion, their Minnesota poll over the course of the week.

Covered by my on these electronic pages already were the amendment portions of the poll. Also discussed by me in these pages were the cries of bias because of the polls partisan ID numbers. Still uncovered by me in these pages and relevant to this years election are the Presidential and Senatorial top lines.

Mason-Dixon (9/23, no trend lines):

Barack Obama (D-inc) 48
Mitt Romney (R) 40
Undecided 7

Amy Klobuchar (D-inc) 57
Kurt Bills (R) 28
Undecided 8
(MoE: ±3.5%)

These numbers line up with pretty much everything else we’ve seen on these two races so far, with the Obama-Romney numbers right in line with every poll of this race that has been done since Romney secured the GOP nomination.

Amy Klobuchar is staked to her largest lead yet in this poll. She receives the highest level of support anyone has shown for her while Bills sports his lowest level of support. Neither of these numbers are that far off from the average of the polls, and at this point Kurt Bills is basically running an invisible campaign.

That said, I seriously doubt Bills gets less than 30% and I’d say he probably has a floor of about 35%. I do think it’s an open question of whether he can clear 40% though and that question will likely be the only thing interesting about this race come election day.

You can find interactive charts of all of the Senate polling so far on this very site.

♣ Republicans who took over state legislatures in many states last election have spent the time since insisting that there are hoards of illegal and ineligible voters gaming the system. The only problem is they can’t find any evidence of these vast hoards of illegal voters.

State officials in key presidential battleground states have found only a tiny fraction of the illegal voters they initially suspected existed. Searches in Colorado and Florida have yielded numbers that amount to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all registered voters in either state.

But nonetheless millions must be spent to prevent these non-existent hoards of illegal voters from overwhelming our voting system with their illegalness.

The real reason for these new measures being pushed by Republicans:

The combined effects of voter roll purges, demands for proof of citizenship and photo identification requirements in several states may hinder at least 10 million Hispanic citizens who seek to vote this fall, civil rights advocates warn in a new report.

I know that this will come as a shock to some on the right side of the political spectrum, but there are Hispanic’s in this country who are American citizens. Lot’s of them. For realz!

♣ And speaking of election fraud:

The Republican Party promptly fired a voter registration contractor this week after the firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, turned in illegible, incorrect, and falsified voter registration forms to Florida election officials.

Saying the party has “zero tolerance” for voter fraud, the GOP also filed complaints against the company with the Florida Secretary of State’s office. The company, run by long-time GOP operative Nathan Sproul, says a single employee was responsible for the forged signatures, though the problem, by Friday, had spread to 10 counties.

The lone bad apple excuse is so lame. Especially when it’s so blatantly not true.

Last night, as news was just breaking that the Republican National Committee was firing their national voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting (owned by Mitt Romney’s paid political consultant, and longtime GOP operative, Nathan Sproul), to whom they had paid at least $3 million over the last two months, I appeared on Thom Hartmann’s Big Picture TV show .

The original appearance was set to discuss the FL GOP firing the firm on Tuesday after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration applications — with addresses and party affiliations changed, as well as other defects — were discovered in Palm Beach County, FL. But by air time, the NC GOP had also fired the group, and then the RNC jumped in to do same late yesterday after their firm was reportedly discovered to have been registering dead people as new voters in another FL county.

Perhaps the reason that the GOP is so concerned about Democratic Voter Fraud is because they themselves are so heavily into committing Voter Fraud.

♣ I don’t think (and I’m hardly alone) that endorsements mean much and that’s me being generous about how much they mean. So I don’t think this news means much either, but for those people who follow Iron Range politics, this is apparently the big get.


This was to be expected I suppose, but no one can accuse Minnesotan’s for Marriage of being subtle.

♣ MN United has taken some flack for their Facebook campaign interface. How the interface actually works is explained here.

♣ An excellent discussion of the realities of the provisional balloting system that will be imposed upon the state if the Photo Voter ID amendment passes.

♣ You may have heard, more than likely you did not, but soon to be former Representative Steve Smith never filed his pre-primary campaign finance report. He still has not filed his pre-primary campaign finance report.

This was the response of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board’s executive director Gary Goldsmith to Smith’s delinquency:

We don’t go out and try to shake the report out of them. We just let the penalties accrue.

So far Smith has let the meter run to $1,400 in penalties.

Joe Scarborough does a double facepalm. Why did he do that is a question you might ask. The preceding link contains the answer.

♣ Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

Okay, that is just hilarious and there is way too much there for me to unpack it all in this post, but suffice it to say when you have to “unskew” the polls to get the result you like you’re in big trouble.

If you don’t believe me, ask the Democrats who were making the same exact arguments in 2010 how that worked out for them.

Or you could seek the oracle like wisdom of the very learned gentleman by the name of Nate Silver who writes for the New York Times.

Since President Obama gained ground in the polls after the Democrats’ convention, it has been the Republicans’ turn to make the same accusations. Some have said that the polls are “oversampling” Democrats and producing results that are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor. One Web site,, contends that even Fox News is part of the racket in what it says is a “trend of skewed polls that oversample Democratic voters to produce results favorable for the president.”

The criticisms are largely unsound, especially when couched in terms like “oversampling,” which implies that pollsters are deliberately rigging their samples.

And Fox News is in on the conspiracy to prop up President Obama? Really? Have these people ever watched Fox News?

Or has Fox News just been laying in wait this whole time? Building credibility within the conservative movement by ceaselessly bashing President Obama for everything he does over the last four years only to spring this trap on them now?

There is a chance that the above is true I guess, that Fox News has been in the bag for Obama all along. It’s also possible that humans were created by aliens, there’s even a whole History channel series about that possibility.

Do you know what the more likely scenario is?

The more likely scenario is that the polls are right and Republicans are beginning to go through the five stages of grieving. Stage one; denial. It ain’t just a river in Egypt and these days it’s taking on the form of a website.

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