Tag: Minnesota

2018 Primaries: 8/14/2018 Results

Four states, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin, held primaries on Tuesday. Besides those primaries, we got a concession from one of the undecided elections from last week. Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer conceded the election to Trump backed State Attorney General Kris Kobach. Colyer conceded Tuesday night, hours after a tally of provisional ballots in Johnson …

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2018 Elections: Four State Primaries

Four states are holding primaries today: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin. Connecticut: Governor Danal Malloy (D) is retiring after two terms. The Republicans are looking for a win here due to Malloy’s unpopularity. There are five candidates for the nomination Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton; former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst; Steve Obsitnik; Bob Stefanowski; and …

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None of These People Needed To Die

Last night in Dallas, Texas, at the end of peaceful protest over the shooting deaths of two black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota this week, a lone gunman opened fire on the Dallas police. He killed five officers, wounded seven others plus two civilians. None of these people should be dead but they …

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Assumptions can be dangerous to people who are habitually marginalized.  One of the big assumptions that people make about the concept of “transgender” is that transgender is a subset of homosexual.  It is not.  I do not have data to turn to, but I have heard, as I shared in a diary last week, that about 1/4 of transgender people are gay or lesbian, 1/4 are heterosexual, 1/4 are bisexual and 1/4 are asexual.  

What exactly that says about the influence of the normalized control of gender and sexuality by our culture is something I’ll let other people discuss.

But the assumption has a large impact on the everyday lives of gender-variant people.  Even scientists studying sexually-transmitted diseases jump to the conclusion that transgender women are “men who have sex with men.”  And even direct evidence to the contrary often does not dissuade people from adopting the assumption.

Tonight I have two cases in point.

MN federal judge rules that DOMA does not apply to trans marriages

Chief US Judge  for the Minnesota District Michael J. Davis has ruled that Minnesota’s DOMA law does not apply to legal marriages entered into by transgender individuals and that therefore a union health care plan could not drop Christine Radtke from coverage under her husband’s health benefits.  

Having transitioned from male to female between 1986 and 2003, Christine married Calvin Radtke in July of 2005 in Goodhue County in southeastern Minnesota.  Calvin works for UPS and is therefore a member of Miscellaneous Drivers and Helpers Union Local #638 and he enrolled himself and his new bride in the union’s Health, Welfare, Eye and Dental Fund (hereinafter, the Fund) plan.

In 2008 Christine’s physician mentioned her transgender status.  Someone at the Fund didn’t like that.  The Radtke’s were informed that as of April, 2010 Christine would be dropped from the health care plan.

The Fund has learned, for the first time, that Christine underwent a male to female sex reassignment surgery prior to your marriage.

In reviewing the terms of the Fund, it is the judgment of the Claims Administrator that despite the amendment of Christine’s birth certificate and your subsequent marriage, the basis for your marriage is not one that is currently recognized under any express provisions of Minnesota Law.  Accordingly, Christine is not an eligible dependent under the Fund.

–health care fund administrators

Pawlenty says Minnesota will Opt Out of Public Option if he has his way

     Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Today on ABC’s Top Line, co-host David Chalian asked Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) if he would “opt-out” of the public option for his state if the measure passed. Pawlenty dodged: “Well, I don’t know if we would opt out but I personally would like to opt out because I don’t like government run health care.” But Chalian persisted, and ultimately, Pawlenty said that he would oppose the public option for Minnesota:

CHALIAN: But you would lead a charge in your state to opt out if that was an option available?

PAWLENTY: I think so because I don’t like government run health care.


     Sorry Minnesota. Looks like your Asshat Governor wants you to buy for profit insurance and like it, if you can afford it.

     More, with analysis and my take on the Faux Reform that is the Opt Out Cop Out below the fold.

What are Progressive Values?

Progressive Values?

Howard Dean – Fairness, Responsibility …


What does the Democratic Party stand for?

Howard Dean lists these “Core Values” of the Democratic Party

1) Fairness and Equal Rights for all

2) Strength and Toughness

3) Fiscal Responsibility

These are demonstrated by providing Health Care for all.

Dean stresses the urgent need for us to express these values, on an emotional level, and not just in Policy Statements.

“People vote on their Values — NOT on Position Papers!”

St Paul, Repression, Solidarity and Diversity of Tactics

As a witness to some of the events this past week in St Paul, I wanted to write about it.  As well as having friends who were arrested, in jail and looking at prison sentences, I took it more personal.

I’ve thought about the fact of how many have brought up how they’ve been arrested and/or fellow comrades and how that may take away from the movement and any issues going on in the world.  However, I think that bringing that up is so important because of the police repression that happened in Minnesota this past week, simply for organizing, protesting with a WIDE variety of tactics (whether that is deemed legal or not) and other things that “apparently” people arrested did.

The Welcoming Committee brought up the diversity of tactics for other groups of all kinds on the left to sign on to, as a lesson to the WTO Protests in 1999 in Seattle. Of course, not everyone is going to agree on what Anarchists do and what Liberal kids do … I certainly don’t agree that voting is the change of everything or signing petitions in mass numbers will do much. However, I can agree it may work better at a local level.

An article from May of 2008 (about Diversity of Tactics):

Simply put, “diversity of tactics” means that activists will respect each others’ methods of protesting, allowing each other time and space in which to conduct their protests. Many cited the World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle as a successful protest from which lessons on mass mobilization should be drawn. Others spoke of their experience as anti-war activists during the Vietnam War.


St. Paul’s yanked our Permits (RNC)

On March 5th, dailykos denizen norahc (Ben Plunkett) obtained permits in the name of “Swift Students for Truthiness” from the St. Paul Parks Department for use of Hamm’s Plaza for non-partisan issue oriented expressive activity on Sept. 3d and 4th, 8AM to 8PM. Planned, a Shutdown Guantanamo Stop Torture event the 3d, Stop Government Spying on the 4th, both starting at 4:00. I’m co-ordinating the “spying” event.

Hamm’s is tiny, not much more than a traffic island, so the limit of 91 in attendance at any time was acceptable.

Yesterday, Ben received a Certified Mail from the Parks Department, dated August 5th, indicating that the permits had been revoked, offering alternative space at Ecolab Plaza or Mears Park, both much less visible. Hamm’s is 2 blocks from the Convention site at the Excel Center, and faces the St. Paul Hotel, a major delegate hub. I’ve just lined up an attorney, we’ll be seeking a Temporary Restraining Order directing that the Parks Dept. honor the original permit.

Congressional races round 2: Minnesota

Continuing through the alphabet….

Minnesota has 8 representatives: 5 Democrats and 3 Republicans

Filing deadline is July 15, primary is Sept. 9

District: MN-01

Location Southern MN, bordering WI, IA, and SD

Representative Tim Walz (D)

First elected  2006

2006 margin 53-37

2004 margin NA

Bush margin 2004 51-47

Notes on opponents Walz ousted Gutknecht while raising $500 K less

Current opponents Dick Day, Mark Meyer, Brian Davis

Demographics 77th most rural (43.5%), 31st fewest Blacks (1.0%)

Assessment Somewhat vulnerable; Superribbie ranks this the 17th most vulnerable Democratic seat; still, Walz has to be favored.  

District: MN-02

Location Southern suburbs and exurbs of twin cities

Representative John Kline (R)

First elected  2002

2006 margin 56-40

2004 margin 56-40

Bush margin 2004 54-45

Notes on opponents In 2006, Collen Rowley raised $700K to Kline’s $1.5 million; in 2004, Teresa Daly raised $1.2 million to Kline’s $1.6 million

Current opponents Steve Sarvi

Demographics 36th highest income (median = $61K), 10th fewest in poverty (3.9%), 60th fewest Blacks (1.6%)

Assessment Possible.  Superribbie calls the 69th most vulnerable Republican seat.  I think it might be more vul. than that.  Kline’s winning percentage isn’t rising with time, he did barely better than Bush in 2004.

District: MN-03

Location Suburbs of the twin cities

Representative Jim Ramstad (R) possibly retiring

First elected  1990

2006 margin 65-35

2004 margin 65-35

Bush margin 2004 51-48

Notes on opponents Neither recent opponent had money

Current opponents :

Terri Bonoff

Ashwin Madia

and former Repub: Jim Hovland

Demographics 26th wealthiest (median income = $64K), 5th fewest in poverty (3.5%),  80th fewest Black (3.8%)

Assessment So far as I can tell, Ramstad is retiring, making this a prime pickup opportunity; superribbie ranks this as the 12th most vulnerable Republican seat.

District: MN-04

Location St. Paul and suburbs

Representative  Betty McCollum (D)

First elected  2000

2006 margin 70-30

2004 margin 57-33

Bush margin 2004 37-62

Notes on opponents In 2004, Patrice Bataglia raised $200K to McCollum’s $700K; in 2006, Obi Sium raised $75K to McCollum’s $600K

Current opponents John Mayer, possibly others. Mayer seems to have no website, others’ sites are down

Demographics Not unusual on what I track

Assessment  Safe

District: MN-05

Location Minneapolis and suburbs

Representative Keith Ellison (D)

First elected  2006

2006 margin 56-21 (remainder to an independent)

2004 margin NA

Bush margin 2004 28-71

Notes on opponents Tammy Lee actually raised more money than the Republican (Alan Fine) and got almost the same number of votes.  Each raised about $200K, Ellison raised about $800K

Current opponents Apparently Barb White, who also might be running in MN-04, or maybe not running at all

Demographics 45th most Democratic, per Cook PVI

Assessment Safe

District: MN-06

Location Mostly in central MN, but extending east and south to the WI border

Representative Michele Bachmann (R)

First elected  2006

2006 margin 50-42 (remainder to John Binkowski)

2004 margin NA

Bush margin 2004 57-42

Notes on opponents Bachmann beat out Wetterling for an open seat. Each spent about $3 million – Bachmann a little less, Wetterling a little more

Current opponents :

Bob Olson and

Elwyn Tinklenberg

Demographics 53rd highest income (median = $57K), 18th fewest in poverty (4/7%), 18th most Whites (94.9%), 28th fewest Blacks (0.9%), 42nd fewest Latinos (1.3%)

Assessment We have definite possibilities.  superribbie  (link above) ranks this the 45th most vulnerable Republ

District: MN-07

Location Western MN, bordering SD and ND and Canada

Representative Collin Peterson (D)

First elected  1990

2006 margin 70-29

2004 margin 66-34

Bush margin 2004 55-43

Notes on opponents In 2004, David Sturrock raised $125K to Peterson’s $500K.  In 2006, Michael Barrett raised little

Current opponents None declared

Demographics 6th most rural (66%), 22nd most Whites (93.1%), tied for fewest Blacks (0.3%)

Assessment I don’t call a lot of people DINO, but Peterson is a DINO.  Still, he wins, he doesn’t use a lot of money, and he lines up on the D side, and this is a Republican district

District: MN-08

Location Northeastern MN, bordering WI, Lake Superior, and Canada, including Duluth and International Falls

Representative Jim Oberstar (D)

First elected  1974

2006 margin 64-34

2004 margin 65-32

Bush margin 2004 46-53

Notes on opponents In 2006, Rod Grams raised $500K to Oberstar’s $1.4 million; the 2004 opponent raised little

Current opponents None declared

Demographics 12th most rural (62.6%), 34th most veterans (16.2%), 20th most Whites (94.6%), 11th fewest Blacks (0.5%), 11th fewest Latinos (0.8%)

Assessment safe