The lady in the billboards who is upset with MNSure is for sale! (
by Tony Petrangelo
Aug 24, 2013, 12:00 PM

The Weekly Wrap 8-24

The link to the image above came from Joe in the comments. Steve wrote a series of posts a couple weeks back about Twila’s latest episode of windmail tilting. In those posts a billboard sporting the above stockphoto featured prominently. Another reminder that in a capitalist society, everything is for sale, even angst.

“Wait a minute here,” is something that a person reading the above may ask themselves. “Wait a minute here, but I’ve never seen any comments on LeftMN. What are you talking about?” Would be the way that person would complete that sentence.

This post about the LeftMN commenting system will explain it.

The short version, below the picture of the very handsome author to the left is a button labeled “Send Us Feedback.” Hit that button with your cursor and through the magic of the internet you will be whisked away to a fantastical land where you can leave a comment.

And with that out of the way, onto the Wrapy goodness!

♣ Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon said she hasn’t decided whether to be part of the DFL Gubernatorial ticket again in 2014. It seems clear from the statement she made though that the job hasn’t really been that fulfilling.

If she were to decide not to seek a second term as Lt. Governor, it seems unlikely that anyone with any serious political ambitions would take the gig, as it’s become something of a political graveyard in recent times. The last person to ascend from Lt. Governor to a higher office was Rudy Perpich, who first became Governor in 1976 when Wendell Anderson resigned so that the newly minted Governor Perpich could appoint him to the Senate. And we all know how well that turned out for everyone involved!

Given this, it seems like the perfect gig for Larry Pogemiller! Amiright?

♣ Chris Dahlburg, a Republican St. Louis County Commissioner, has announced that he will be running for the US Senate seat currently held by Al Franken.

This graph makes me super excited for a Dahlburg candidacy:

I’m not running solely because of the person that is holding the position, I am running because I really feel that Chris Dahlberg can make a difference,” Dahlberg said. “I don’t believe I’m being naive to say that a person can make a difference in Washington, DC. It is difficult but it can be done.

Tony Petrangelo hasn’t written about a candidate who referred to himself in the third person for awhile. Tony Petrangelo is chomping at the bit for more Chris Dahlberg. Tony Petrangelo needs more coffee.

♣ There is also another new entrant in the Republican field for the nomination to take on Governor Mark Dayton. The newest member of the group is Rob Farnsworth, who was last seen losing the 2010 8th district nomination to someone named Chip Cravaack.

♣ Rebecca Otto has made it official and will run for re-election to her post as State Auditor.

Seriously though, whoever blocked this video out should probably never be allowed near a video production set again. There have probably been more awkward “walk up to the camera” shots in politics, but I’m not recalling any right now. And then not only is the walk-up awkward, but they stop on a full body shot for the duration of the announcement. In what world do people talk for extended lengths on a full body shot? Not in any world I want to live in.

This is like the absolutely worst way to do one of these “walk up to the camera” shots. And I haven’t even mentioned that giant antenna coming out of her head. Also, there is a giant antenna coming out of her head!

I almost like how they tried to do something interesting, but no, the results are just too bad for any credit. They would have been much better off with a single close-up shot of her making her announcement then whatever this thing is supposed to be.

The medium is the message, and the message this video sends is amateurism.

♣ At MinnPost, James Nord looks at the possibility that Minnesota could descend into the scary land of big-money judicial elections.

♣ A couple related bits here. RSB reports on local Republicans efforts to find a quality candidate to take on Collin Peterson in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District, something they haven’t had a whole lot of luck with in the past despite the help of Dave Thompson.

RSB touches on it, but Collin Peterson is a bit of an oddity in the modern congress. Not only is he one of just a handful of Representatives to hail from a district that voted for the other parties Presidential candidate, but he handily wins such a district. Every year.

I’ve posted a version of this table before, but I’m going to plagurize myself and post it again:

Dist. Rep. Cook PVI 2012 Margin
UT-04 Jim Matheson R+16  0.3%
WV-03 Nick Rahall R+14  8%
NC-07 Mike McIntyre R+12  0.2%
GA-12 John Barrow R+9  8%
MN-07 Collin Peterson R+6  25%
AZ-01 Ann Kirkpatrick R+4  4%
AZ-02 Ron Barber R+3  0.8%

Looking at the above table it’s pretty easy to see just how different Collin Peterson is from the other Democrats who occupy the most Republican leaning districts. Collin Peterson won election by a margin more then three times the size as the next closest Representative on the list.

There is of course the cautionary tale of Jim Oberstar, someone who routinely won by huge margins, until he didn’t. But Collin Peterson is not Jim Oberstar. Even during that 2010 cycle, Collin Peterson seemed to be aware of the dynamics of the cycle to a much greater degree than Jim Oberstar. I wrote this in 2010 after Chip Cravaack had released an internal poll showing him competitive with Jim Oberstar:

Not too worry though, was the thinking, Jim Oberstar would soon release his own internal poll showing a more realistic result. That still hasn’t happened. Colin Peterson released an internal almost immediately after chatter about his race possibly being tight because of the CD8 poll. This is usually what an incumbent does, they squash chatter of a tight race as soon as it pops up, because chatter begets chatter. Instead you have Cravaack releasing a poll and Peterson responding to it and they are not even running against each other.

After Chip Cravaack released that poll in 2010, Republicans almost immediately began asking themselves, “if CD8 is competitive, surely CD7 must be too!” And almost as if he read their minds, Collin Peterson promptly responded with a “no, you’ve got no chance here.” In this regard Collin Peterson doesn’t take his huge victories for granted.

All of this Collin Peterson talk might be a little unsettling coming from a liberal blog, but the reality is that if it wasn’t for Collin Peterson Minnesota’s seventh congressional district might very well be in Republican hands right now, one more hurdle in the already daunting task of taking back the US House.

Related to that, the National Republican Congressional Committee is out with an ad going after Collin Peterson for his vote on… wait for it… Cap and Trade!

How did his vote, four years ago, for a bill that was never signed into law hurt farmers exactly? I mean really, if this is all they’ve got it’s really pathetic.

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