Get yours while supplies last! (
by Tony Petrangelo
Aug 10, 2013, 11:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 8-10

The Wrap™ took a week off last week. There were two reasons for this, 1) there wasn’t much Wrapy news last week and 2) the author was enjoying the summer.

The Wrap™ is back this week though, ready to plumb the depths of Minnesota media for elections news and then provide hyperlinks and some snarky commentary to that news.

♣ The big news last week was the entrance of Minnesota Senator Julianne Ortman into the race for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate seat currently held by Al Franken.

Ortman joins fellow Republican state legislator Jim Abler and business person Mike McFadden in the race.

♣ Related; it didn’t take long for someone to uncover some Olympic level puffery as it concerns her resume.

The graph in question comes from Ortman’s website (where she has a dot mn domain, which I totally support) and goes like this:

Julianne started her own law firm, Ortman & Associates in 1994, in the back of her home –so she could be at home with her 3 children, then all under 3! When she built the business sufficiently to support the entire family, Ray joined the firm as her Partner. Together, they successfully represented small and medium sized businesses for 12 years, including several very high profile and ground-breaking cases in state and federal court, and in the United States Supreme Court.

The long and short, this is BS. Julianne Ortman never argued a case before the US Supreme Court.

But wait! (is something a person, for instance Andy Parrish, would say) You didn’t read the commas carefully enough! (this person continues).

Ortman’s campaign manager, Andy Parrish, maintained the statement is correct, if the reader follows the punctuation and wording carefully. Ortman’s husband, Ray, has argued before the Supreme Court through a law firm for which he worked in 1994 and both Ortmans had submitted an amicus brief to the high court in 2002, he said.

Oh, I see. The problem isn’t that Julianne Ortman’s website is full of shit, it’s that we (the royal we) cannot properly decipher the Parrish codex.

But this is also bullshit. Even if you go for the most charitable reading of the text from Julianne’s website, it makes it seem like Ray and her did these things together. Why do I think that? Oh, I don’t know, because of this:

Together, they successfully represented small and medium sized businesses for 12 years, including several very high profile and ground-breaking cases in state and federal court, and in the United States Supreme Court.

That part where it says “together” at the beginning of the sentence makes it seem like they did these things together. Not only together, but together as part of the law firm that Julianne single-handedly started while raising 3! kids.

Because right before that sentence came this one:

When she built the business sufficiently to support the entire family, Ray joined the firm as her Partner.

But now we find out, via Andy Parrish, that not only did Julianne herself never argue a case before the US Supreme Court, but that Ray didn’t even do it when he was part of her law firm.

Given how all these sentences stack up on one another, there is no doubt what impression the text seeks to leave in the readers mind. And from what we’ve learned from her very own campaign manager, that impression is total bullshit. But I suppose that depends on your definition of the word “is” is.

♣ There has been some movement in the still developing field of Democratic Secretary of State candidates. Rachel Larson Bohman, the first DFLer to announce, has decided to not go through with a campaign after all.

After much reflection, I have come to the conclusion that now is not the right time for me to seek the office of Secretary of State and I will be ending my campaign today.

In the time since Bohman first announced two more DFLers have entered the race, Representative Debra Hillstrom and former Rep. Jeremy Kalin. It’s certainly possible that their presence, combined with the next link, convinced her she had no path to victory.

♣ Only a few days after Bohman announced her departure from the race, Rep. Steve Simon made his long awaited entrance into the race.

No Republicans have yet announced for Secretary of State.

♣ I guess running campaign ads in the summer of the off-year is the new black or something:

That ad is from the NRCC and attacks Rick Nolan for voting against veterans. One of only four members to do so! Which also means the bill passed with what, 400 some votes (the actual roll call was 421-4), so it wasn’t like his vote mattered.

This was the response from Nolan’s camp:

Nolan communications director Steve Johnson says that Nolan is totally committed to supporting veterans and defended the Democrat’s vote against the bill.

“The simple truth is HR 2216 was not good enough for our vets. The final bill put forward by the Republican majority woefully and shamefully underfunds job training, medical care, housing and other programs our vets need and deserve – while shoveling tens of billions of dollars into unnecessary programs,” said Johnson.

He voted against the bill because he didn’t feel it did enough, but the bill was never in danger of failing.

But this is the way the game is played in Washington, I’ll let David Nir explain:

Nolan’s campaign defended his vote by saying the bill “shamefully underfunds” those programs, but there’s a reason why lawmakers don’t usually like to vote against appropriations for veterans, no matter how poorly conceived—namely, because it’ll be used against you in attack ads just like this. And when you’re on the skinny side of a 421-4 vote, odds are, the politics are against you, even if you’re right on the policy.

It’s likely that the whole point of this ad buy is not to really start going after Nolan right now, but rather to test messages before next years election. By running small targeted ad buys, doing some pre and post ad polling, and see what sticks.

♣ The DCCC is also engaging in some early campaigning, although they are going about it a little differently:

On Monday, a DCCC aide sent a message to an email list sponsored by Americans United for Change, a liberal organization, describing the committee’s plans for the month-long break and including the warning, “please do not share this list with press.”

“In the majority of these districts we have field staffers on the ground, coordinated through the respective state parties, to define and hold accountable vulnerable Republican incumbents, through earned media tactics, messaging amplification, and community outreach,” wrote Ryan Daniels, the deputy national press secretary and African-American media adviser.

This is essentially the GOPs summer of 2009 playbook, only with less angst. Guess who one of the names in the email happens to be? None other than second district Rep. John Kline.

What does Kline think of this?

“It’s a little bit of a shame to get engaged in campaigning this far out,” said Kline, who added, “I can’t control what [Democrats] do.”

Neither, apparently, can he control what Republicans do.

♣ Unfortunately, the man who may have been the DFLs best shot to unseat Erik Paulsen in 2014, Don Shelby, has decided to not run for congress. And seriously, given the story immediately above this one, who can blame him.

♣ Minnesota’s First Congressional District Representative Tim Walz picked up a new challenger, one Aaron Miller. While a person who had previously expressed interest in the race, Al DeKruif, has decided against it.

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