A county level map of ancestry as reported to the Census Bureau (www.dailymail.co.uk).
by Tony Petrangelo
Sep 28, 2013, 11:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 9/28

♣ The long and winding road that was Michael Brodkorb’s lawsuit against the Minnesota Senate is now over.

The Minnesota Senate will pay former Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb $30,000 to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit that it has already spent more than $300,000 to defend.

The only winners are the lawyers that represented the Senate. Everyone else loses.

Isn’t the law awesome!

♣ Chris Dahlberg, who I’ve covered in these pages prior, officially announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for US Senate.

Dahlberg, 51, made the announcement in New Brighton on the front porch of supporters, promoting what he calls a return to “front-porch leadership.”

What exactly is front-porch leadership? Is that where you sit on your front-porch and yell at the neighbor kids to stay off your dang grass? I’m trying to understand how one leads from a porch, even one situated, as it were, in the front.

Is this what Dahlberg means by front-porch leadership?

“I’m pushing for all of the candidates to abide by the (party) endorsement,” Dahlberg told the News Tribune on Thursday. “But if the others don’t, that kind of puts me in a bind.”

What I gather is that front-porch leadership is having a position, pushing for it and when you fail just doing the thing you were against doing in the first place, the thing you were trying to get everyone else to not do, because they are all doing it.

That general position, I’ll have to see what my opponents do, makes no sense to me. I don’t see how another candidates decision to not abide by the party endorsement process should have a bearing on your decision to abide or not abide by the party endorsement if you believe in the party endorsement process so much.

It could be that I don’t yet have a firm enough grasp on all the nuances and intricacies of front-porch leadership. In which case I may be failing to see how truly at the front of the front-porch Chris Dahlberg is.

♣ Minnesota State Senator Carla Nelson (R-26) is considering a bid for US House against incumbent Representative Tim Walz. Sez Nelson:

“It is true that certainly I’ve been asked to run for the First District from people within the district, people outside the district,” she said. “And I’ve often times said ‘no.’ But I have been asked repeatedly and realize that it is something I at least have to give some consideration.”

♣ The Politcal Action Committee started by Minnesotan’s United for all Families is taking some heat, for… well I don’t know what exactly:

The political-action affiliate of Minnesotans United for All Families is being asked to yank — or reduce — support for candidates who are not 100 percent in support of abortion rights.

“We are truly saddened that the Minnesotans United PAC does not have our back when we need them,” said Sarah Jane Johnston, president of Minnesota National Organization for Women.

Except that MNUnited has never had anything to do with the abortion issue, they have only ever been interested in one issue. And they’ve been very clear about this.

This is from the MNUnited website:

Minnesotans United Political Action Committee (MN United PAC) will work tirelessly to ensure that the lawmakers – Republican and Democrat – who voted yes for marriage in May 2013 will have the grassroots and financial support they need to be re-elected in November 2014.

From the very beginning of MNUnited’s new effort they have been explicit that contributions to the PAC would help Democrats and Republicans who voted for marriage equality. Full stop. If you gave money to the MNUnited PAC and didn’t want your contribution going to pro-lifers, then you didn’t really understand the point of the MNUnited PAC.

Minnesota NOW leaders say that some who gave to Minnesotans United’s political-action group had no idea the money would support candidates who oppose abortion.

“I think it’s important that people know where their money is going to,” said Beth Johnson of the executive committee for Minnesota NOW, which is committed to a range of progressive causes, including abortion rights and marriage equality.

Minnesota NOW is asking progressive contributors to give to them rather than Minnesotans United, which expects to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend the legislators.

Oh, I see… don’t send your money to MNUnited, send it to us instead!

Better yet, if you don’t want part of your contribution to MNUnited going to help re-elect pro-lifers, just give your money directly to the legislators you want to help out.

♣ A formally bipartisan effort to change the way judicial elections in the state are held is becoming less bipartisan as Republicans are facing pressure from their right flank.

The plan is a constitutional amendment that changes judicial elections in the state from being normal elections to retention elections, meaning people will simply vote on whether a judge should stay or go. If the voters choose to get rid of the judge, then the same process by which the judge got the appointment in the first place would be used to fill the vacancy. That is, the nonpartisan judicial review committee would forward a list of options to the Governor who would than choose a replacement.

If you’re unfamiliar with the backstory, here’s a graph from the article that may shed light on why this change is desired:

Supporters say they see ominous signs in other states, where normally low-key Supreme Court races took on political overtones that some felt threatened the integrity of the judicial system. A recent Supreme Court election fight in Wisconsin became a bitter, multimillion-dollar rematch between Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s allies and his Democratic rivals.

In 2004, the head of a coal mining company spent $3 million to help a Republican lawyer unseat a Democratic judge in West Virginia. The new judge, who had no previous judicial experience, then voted to overturn $50 million in damages against the coal mining company.

This type of thing hasn’t yet happened in Minnesota, but there’s no reason it couldn’t. So what is the problem now? Why are some Republicans defecting? Well, for the only reason Republicans seem to want to do anything anymore, the right-wing of the party isn’t having it.

Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, had joined with Democrats in sponsoring the measure — until he met with Republican supporters back home.

“There are those who feel pretty strongly about the integrity of the election process,” Kelly said. “I told them if it was a major problem, I would take my name off it. And I did. But I do think it’s worth having a conversation about it.”

State Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, joined Rest and other Democrats to sponsor the measure in the Senate earlier this year. Rosen said Friday that she, too, is removing her name, under pressure from her party.

Ah, Tim Kelly. It’s a thing worth having a conversation about he says, but he’s not going to be having that conversation with his constituents. No, that’s a conversation for people who are actually interested in leading to have, clearly there is no room for Tim Kelly.

♣ This post contains a great county level map of the US, with counties colored by the dominant ethic ancestry in that county, as reported to the Census Bureau.

The most surprising thing, to me at least, is the pervasiveness of Germans throughout the country. What’s not surprising, where the real Americans live.

♣ I was again on The Daily Report Friday, with gentleman host Ian Levitt and gentleman funny guy Robert Baril to talk about politics stuff. Embedded below are ways to listen to that.

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