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Whither Corporate Campaigning?

Discussing the new campaign finance paradigm in light of public disclosures of corporate partisanship and the marketplace and public relations wisdom in using that new freedom to affect electoral outcomes.

Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen, Truth to Tell, KFAI-FM | MN

Do Target and Best Buy serve as prime examples of why corporate donations to political campaigns may not be wise investments? Is the flap over donations to Republican Tom Emmer's campaign a short-sighted result of not thinking ahead to the effect on bottom lines and shareholder discontent, not to mention customer backlash.

This may be the first inkling of the fallout over the US Supreme Court's Citizen United decision granting corporations the freedom to donate directly to political campaigns, not just to independent expenditures and phony fronts that try to undermine candidate credibility.

Guests:

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  • Mike Dean, President, Common Cause Minnesota
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  • David Schultz,  Author, Adjunct Professor of Law, Hamline University, Campaign Finance Specialist
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Broadcast: in Minneapolis/St. Paul KFAI-90.3/106.7/Streamed @ KFAI.org<http://www.kfai.org/truthtotell> 9-10AM, Monday, September 13

Archived: Click here

Campaign dirt-diggers, or just clods?

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This campaign is on the verge of being taken over by the attack dogs, dumpster divers and dirt diggers who make following a campaign smell like following a garbage truck on a 90-degree day. It's hard to pay attention to anything but the flies.

Nick Coleman, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

Labor Day marks the traditional start, in earnest, of election season. This year, it would be understandable if Minnesotans hoped that tomorrow's holiday would bring the end, rather than the beginning, of the 2010 campaign for governor.

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We can't stand much more of this.

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Last week's (August 29 - September 4) horror show included a Republican Party blogger demanding during a news conference being held by the DFL candidate, Mark Dayton, that Dayton produce papers from a 10-year-old divorce agreement. That cringeworthy moment was matched by a revelation in City Pages that the 20-year-old son of GOP candidate Tom Emmer had pleaded guilty to underage drinking (not driving), a charge that may have surprised someone, somewhere, if they are unfamiliar with 20-year-olds.

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Well, Isn't This a Fine Mess the DFL's Gotten Us Into

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DFL Candidates: Get out from behind the lawn signs, the brochures, the ads, the polls and surveys (all that branding crap), and start behaving like candidates for political office: talk to me face-to-face of ideas I can get fired up about in language that I can understand. 

David Culver, Evergreene Digest

Ladies and Gents of the late, great DFL,

Out of the frying pan into the fire. First Governor Numb Nuts  orders Minnesota not to apply for Federal health care reform money. Then, unnamed (read “cowardly”) state officials take another run at screwing up GAMC even further (apparently that was possible!) and manage to succeed at their draconian objective.

“Well, as Stan Laurel would say to Oliver Hardy, “isn’t this a fine mess you’ve gotten us into.” Thanks a lot DFL. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Go ahead, scream and yell at me as Steve Simon did recently in reply to my letter about job loss and GAMC shenanigans and try to pin it on Governor Numb Nuts. Steve wrote, “Keep in mind that it was his narrow view of the world (and his apparent contempt for some for the most vulnerable of our fellow-citizens) that resulted in the GAMC deal that we got. I am counting the days until we have a new governor -- someone who values compassion and common sense.” But know that that line of reasoning isn’t cutting it with me. The days of making excuses for DFL inaction with male bovine feces explanations for the “good” DFL cowering in a fetal position in the basement of the capital while the big (bad) Puddy Tat governor beats up on them are over!

Because the DFL is more concerned about raising money than hell, tapping into special interest campaign contributions (the same ones the GOP uses to finance the spread its fanaticism), it’s gone all wobbly on why Minnesota needs a DFL party. This is why the Democrats have been so wimpy. Their primary funding source and, consequently their behavior, is the same as the Republicans: corporations and lobbyists! To paraphrase Jim Hightower:

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“The sad truth is that none of T-Paw’s agenda would be hanging around our necks without the complicity and often the direct support of state Democratic leaders. They’ve ditched the Red Wing boot bunch and thrown in with the wing-tip crowd, going all wobbly on the whole concept of why Minnesota needs a DFL party.”

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Let me point out to you that, to the very best of my knowledge,  T-Paw has never enjoyed majority support for any position he’s taken. If the DFL hadn’t taken the fetal position and wasted time whining about the bully that is governor, they could have, instead, fanned out across the state, framing the issues in the people’s, not the partys’ or special interests’, terms, surrounded him ideologically and rendered him a political lame duck! Well, we’ve got a governmental lame duck alright, only it’s the DFL Party and not Governor Numb Nuts!

But I can’t entirely blame a sadistic, ignorant T-Paw and a lame-duck DFL Party for the present mess we’re in. The citizens of this state in general, and voters in particular, have failed Minnesota as well by buying into the boogeyman philosophy proposed by the DFL that voting for the DFL might not be great, but the GOP is worse. How much worse you can get than being complicit in and directly involved with supporting those GOP policies is beyond me! As Rabbi Lerner has written:

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If our elected officials always believe that no matter how far to the right they move we will always be giving them our money and our votes because we fear something worse on the right, they have zero incentive to take our peace, justice, love, generosity and environmental sanity messages seriously. We need to let them know that these positions of ours are not just "preferences," but rather they are our bottom line and that we won't support those who support war, militarism, injustice, and a worldview of domination and power over others, even if they tell us that deep in their hearts they believe something quite different. -- Rabbi Michael Lerner

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Or, as Chris Hedges has put it in an article (The left has lost its nerve and its direction):

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If the left wants to regain influence in the nation's political life, it must be willing to walk away from the Democratic Party, even if Barack Obama is the (president), and back progressive, third-party (officials) until the Democrats feel enough heat to adopt our agenda. We must be willing to say no. If not, we become slaves.

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You won’t find me submitting to slavery. I’m no longer willing to go along with mediocrity, broken promises, and striving for second best. That's not the Minnesota I grew up in. And it's not what I voted for, or was promised. I refuse to be part of a political institution (DFL) that I feel in large measure is not serving me or the common good, and prefer instead to strike out towards something that I can participate in with integrity!

As proof, I’ve already left the DFL (Why I Did Not Caucus with my party (DFL) on February 2.) (or, more correctly, the DFL left me)! And Ron and Steve, do not assume I’m going to rubber stamp your candidacy this time with my vote. It’s too precious to waste. I’ve fought too hard for it, both here (ACLU) and abroad (Vietnam). Until and unless I see on your part a willingness to stop the whining, get out of a fetal position, and fan out across District 44 framing the issues in the people’s way,  you will not get my vote in November.  Get out from behind the lawn signs, the brochures, the ads, the polls and surveys (all that branding crap), and start behaving like candidates for political office: talk to me face-to-face of ideas I can get fired up about in language that I can understand. (Any similarity to this and how DFL heroes of the past--Paul Wellstone, Hubert Humphrey, Floyd Olson--campaigned is purely coincidental.)

In other words, tell me how you’re going to fight for me in ways other than assuming a fetal position and whining while waiting for a better governor!

And that goes for Mark Dayton, Keith Ellison, and any other DFL candidate running this year!

In case you haven’t noticed, people are angry, fed up, disillusioned. They see no one willing to take up their cause and fight for them. So, they retreat into the fantasy world of an America gone by and to which we cannot return; or they retreat into apathy and ignorance, hate, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, violence and war, anger, etc., following pied pipers pandering to that. Our votes are there for the taking, but you have to earn them the old fashioned way: you have to prove you can identify with, and fight for, us!

Related:

Fewer to get care with GAMC alteration, Warren Wolfe, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • Now only one hospital remains to offer coordinated care, with 3,500 slots for 18,000 low-income adults.
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  • Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money
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Fewer to get care with GAMC alteration

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  • Now only one hospital remains to offer coordinated care, with 3,500 slots for 18,000 low-income adults.
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  • Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money
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Warren Wolfe, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

Because of a change made by state officials Wednesday (September 1), about 2,500 fewer people will get coordinated care in medical clinics taking part in a program for Minnesota's poorest and sickest patients.

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Instead, those patients will need to find clinics that offer charity care, wait for a medical emergency so they can get free care in any hospital emergency room, or go without.

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Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money, Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo

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  • Pawlenty's order contains various points of explanation, taken right from Republican arguments against the new law.
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  • Playing politics with the peoples health. This move to swear off federal health care money could be worth a lot -- namely, a potential gain of five points in the Iowa caucuses in 2012.
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Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money

Pawlenty's order contains various points of explanation, taken right from Republican arguments against the new law.
Playing politics with the peoples health. This move to swear off federal health care money could be worth a lot -- namely, a potential gain of five points in the Iowa caucuses in 2012.

Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) is taking a bold step among Republicans opposed to the new federal health care reform law. As his latest move, Pawlenty has issued an executive order forbidding his state's officials from applying for grant money from the new law.

Pawlenty's order allows only applications for money that are required by law -- which would seemingly mean that this is not a case of nullification, and falls short of such an extreme step -- or approved by the governor's office.

Pawlenty's order contains various points of explanation, taken right from Republican arguments against the new law, such as: "WHEREAS, the Act represents a dramatic attempt to assert federal command and control over this country's health care system, which accounts for one-sixth of our nation's economy, thereby reducing individual freedom for health care decisions."

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