The Real Leader of the Purple Caucus (
by Tony Petrangelo
Mar 8, 2013, 2:00 PM

The Weekly Wrap 3-8

♣ Senator Roger Reinert from Duluth and Senator Jeremy Miller from Winona on Monday announced the formation of a Purple caucus. This is no doubt a play on the blue-red way of representing the parties (something this website helps perpetuate) since the point of the purple caucus is bipartisanship.

In Minnesota, of course, purple has other meanings than the mixture of red and blue. It is the color of our rain, sometimes. And the color of our football team. Of course, if they had called it the bi caucus they would be running into different word play issues.

What’s also interesting about this team-up, Roger Reinert represents the most Democratic non-metro district in the state, according to the totally infallible hPVI, while Jeremy Miller represents the most Democratic district currently held by a Republican.

♣ This has been getting a lot of attention, but in case you haven’t heard already, there has been a case of voter fraud found in last years election. Well, it was in the primary election… but still, VOTER FRAUD!!1!

Schneider, 86, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia is one of her symptoms.

She’s also easily stressed, which became apparent while she discussed with The Free Press the letter she received recently from the Nicollet County Attorney’s Office. It told her she’s been charged with a felony for voting twice during the 2012 primary election.

Schneider doesn’t deny the allegation. She realizes now, after talking with St. Peter police detective Travis Sandland, that she did vote twice. She voted once with an absentee ballot on July 13 and again at her polling place Aug. 14.

“It had been awhile and I didn’t even remember,” Schneider said. “I was shocked to death because I thought my absentee ballot was for the president.”

It’s worth noting I suppose that this instance of voter fraud would not have been prevented if photo voter ID had been in place. So we have yet to be presented with a case in which photo voter ID would have actually prevented voter fraud.

♣ Norm Coleman, currently head of the dark money operation American Action Network, has dispelled any thoughts that he will challenge Mark Dayton for Minnesota Governor in 2014. He dispelled these thoughts, you may have surmised, by saying that he will not run against Mark Dayton for Minnesota Governor in 2014. But not only that, he made this momentous announcement on, of all places, the Twitter.

It should be noted, AAN had one of the best cycles of all the Republican dark money groups in 2012. According to information compiled by the Sunlight foundation, AAN had a return on investment (ROI) of 60%. Compare that to some other well known Republican PACs like the Club for Growth (41%), Chamber of Commerce (7%) and American Crossroads (1%) and it’s clear that Coleman’s group is either better run, picks better candidates, or both.

♣ Doug Grow and Beth Hawkins have a piece in MinnPost that discusses how the push in the legislature for Marriage equality is a result of the Marriage amendment having been on the ballot and defeated.

Update by Steve: You need to go to the MinnPost article at Tony’s link and see the photo of snarling Warren Limmer.

This is something that Aaron and I have discussed on the LeftMN Radio Hour, and if you believe Michael Brodkorb’s telling of things, Republicans primary reason for putting the Marriage amendment on the ballot was to try and counteract what looked to be a much less friendly election environment in 2012 than it was in 2010. While I’m skeptical of the claim that this directly lead to the GOP losing both houses of the legislature, it certainly didn’t help them.

And now, as a secondary result there is a bunch of momentum for actual Marriage equality and an entire campaign structure in place to push it. Neither of those things would likely exist if not for the amendment having been on the ballot. So in a way, we have opponents of Marriage equity, and craven Republicans to thank if Marriage equality happens this session.

♣ Speaking of Marriage equality happening this session, the AP is reporting that there are enough votes in the house Civil Law committee to move the bill to the house floor. In the Senate though:

Success in Senate Judiciary looks nearly as likely. Four of eight members told the AP they’d vote yes; a fifth, DFL Sen. Barb Goodwin, said she supports same-sex marriage but is uncomfortable moving so quickly to legalize it in Minnesota. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Scott Dibble, said he was confident of winning over Goodwin.

So what Senator Goodwin is basically saying here is “I’m more comfortable with continuing an unjust and discriminatory system than with being uncomfortable about things.” This is Kurt Zellers levels of leadership on tough issues.

Maybe Senator Goodwin can explain to all of the homosexual couples in her district why their rights aren’t as important as her comfort.

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