To most DFLer’s the fear of former State Rep Doug Wardlow (R-MN) becoming Attorney General is becoming a reality. As the election draws nearer and the attention over Congressman Keith Ellison’s (DFL-MN05) alledged abuse grows the likelihood of a Wardlow victory becomes more apparent and could result in the first Republican holding the position in 47 years. The decision for many becomes a Hobson’s Choice (Taking what’s available or nothing at all.) one without a good outcome either way.
Today, Attorney General Noah M Johnson (Grassroots-Legalization Cannibus) candidate made the choice somewhat clearer. He has ended his campaign and is endorsing Ellison, but his name will still appear on the ballot. As you can see from his statement he is a person committed to the cause with a recognition his is not the right person for the job.
My statement regarding the Attorney General’s race:
My name is Noah M. Johnson, and I am the Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis candidate for the office of Minnesota Attorney General in this year’s election. I’m writing this in order to do something unusual for a political candidate—I am endorsing my opponent, Keith Ellison.
Before I explain why, I want to explain why I ran for office in the first place. It was not so that I could gain any power or fame, or even necessarily so that I could be elected to office. I ran because I believe deep in my heart that the prohibition against the drug marijuana which continues to exist not only nationally, but also in supposedly progressive Minnesota, is morally wrong. It is morally wrong because, from a utilitarian standpoint, a plant which does no harm to others and affects only its user should not be illegal, as it constitutes a restraint upon liberty without justification. It is wrong because marijuana is well known to be a safe alternative for medical purposes to opioids, and for recreational purposes to alcohol and tobacco, all of which are deadly and their use commonly accepted, and its legalization would boost Minnesota’s treasure through tax revenue. It is wrong because the enforcement of anti-marijuana laws is highly disproportionate in its effect on minority communities in comparison with Caucasians, to the point that the City of Minneapolis recently ended its enforcement against low-level offenses involving the drug, citing racial disparity, and all races have about the same rate of use, and furthermore, it is wrong because the most dangerous aspect of using marijuana is the potential for deleterious legal consequences to the user. It is wrong because it was made illegal originally because of racism in the 1930s, and enforcement against it was increased during the 1960s in reaction to the democratic liberalizations of that decade, and because it will be safer for citizens and for police officers to bring the business of marijuana out of the shadows and into the light of justice. In short, it is wrong to continue the prohibition of marijuana, and we as a society have a moral duty to make it legal.
On Wednesday, Keith Ellison endorsed the legalization of marijuana. That goal is the primary purpose of my campaign, and on other issues, Mr. Ellison and I share progressive values that have always served Minnesota well. He is concerned with the civil rights of the people of our state, and standing up for liberty and justice in the face of the direct assault upon those sacred concepts by the loathsome Trump administration. Mr. Ellison wants to protect the right of the people to quality and affordable healthcare, rather than sell out the health of our citizens to the benefit of the wealthy. He wants to help fix income inequality and make the prospect of an education affordable for our young scholars. He will continue Minnesota’s proud tradition of marshaling its legal resources to protect consumers from predatory businesses. He intends to defend women, and seniors, and LGBT people, and immigrants from those who would attack those groups to advance themselves, and he will serve as a steward for the environment of our planet, which will nourish us and our children for generations to come, but only if we do not allow it to be sacrificed to narrow interests, as Republicans would.
Now let’s talk about Doug Wardlow, the Republican candidate. In a perfect world, we would not have to talk about a mainstream political candidate who’s so far to the right that he has to pretend to be “apolitical” in his campaign—for the partisan office of Attorney General, no less, where he has said he will immediately fire all Democrats without regard to their individual histories of service to our citizens—and whose best appeal to the people of Minnesota is to terrorize them with regard to Mr. Ellison and his personal life. We wouldn’t have to talk about a man who worked proudly for a group like the “Alliance Defending Freedom,” which is so regressive and vitriolic that one of the nation’s premier civil rights advocacy organizations classified it a “hate group,” and rightly so, since it advocates the sterilization of transgender people and the recriminalization of homosexuality, which it believes is part of some agenda meant to destroy Christianity. Doug Wardlow wants to strip away your healthcare from you in order to serve the rich, and despite his protestations of neutrality, he will work in lockstep with Donald Trump and the narrow interests to raise taxes on the poor and middle class, lower them for the rich, fill our jails and prisons with nonviolent offenders and engorge the prison industry. Moreover, Doug Wardlow will brutalize Minnesota’s immigrant community for no other reason than the political benefits of stoking fear and ignorance. Make no mistake: Mr. Wardlow will do everything he can to help overturn the right to safe and legal abortion enshrined in Roe v. Wade and decades of subsequent law. His election would help further erode any semblance of checks and balances in a government stacked with authoritarians with no will to stand up to Donald Trump or fight for the freedom of our people. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative or anything in between, we cannot afford to go as far backward as Doug Wardlow would have us go. Ronald Reagan himself would denounce Wardlow as a dangerous reactionary.
This appeal to you was not one I make lightly, and in certain cases is unwelcome by my colleagues and supporters. Nevertheless, my sincerest gratitude is with those people for their tireless support of our cause, and Keith Ellison is the right choice for that cause of justice, and to be Attorney General of the people of Minnesota.
Here is an interesting side note. Both Keith Ellison (DFL-MN05) and his replacement Rep Ilhan Omar (DFL-60B, Minneapolis) have the same divorce attorney Carla Kjellberg. Guess Michael Avenatti wasn’t available or wouldn’t take the case.
Editor’s Note We have excised our flip comment, it appears we didn’t fully appreciate the perspective of others. It was not intended to offend, and we apologize to any who felt otherwise.
The last time Minnesota had two US Senate seats up for consideration was in 1978. The election widely referred to as the Minnesota Massacre, because of the long-standing victories by the DFL Party candidates for offices up and down the ticket came to a crashing halt. Democratic worriers were quick to make the linkages between 1978 and 2018 when Governor Mark Dayton (DFL-MN) appointed Lt Governor Tina Smith (DFL-MN) to fill the vacancy created by Senator Al Franken’s (DFL-MN) resignation.
We will reiterate our assumption in the Checks & Balances Index 43% DFL 37% Republican 20% Independent.
The quote from Edmund Burke bears repeating, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”
That Was Then
In 1978, Dave Durenberger (IR-MN) was elected over Bob Short (DFL-MN), who had defeated Congressman Don Fraser (DFL-MN) in the Primary, to the open seat made available after Muriel Humphrey (DFL-MN), who filled the balance of her husband former Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey II’s remaining term, did not seek the seat in her own right. In the other race, Rudy Boschwitz (IR-MN), a locally renown pitchman for his company Plywood Minnesota, defeated former “Golden Boy” Governor Wendell “Wendy” Anderson (DFL-MN) who had resigned office to be appointed to the seat vacated by Walter Mondale (DFL-MN) by his successor Governor Rudolph G Perpich (DFL-MN).
Perpich himself was a candidate for reelection lost to Congressman Al Quie (IR-MN). The eight-member Congressional Delegation was split four-to-four with notable names on both sides of the aisle. Arlen Erdahl (IR-MN01) was elected in his first term to the seat vacated by Quie, Congressman Thomas Hagedorn (IR-MN02) was reelected to his third term, Congressman Bill Frenzel (IR-MN03) to his fifth term, Congressman Bruce Vento (DFL-MN04) to his second-term, Martin Olav Sabo (DFL-MN05) to his first-term, Congressman Rick Nolan (DFL-MN06) to his third-term, Arlen Stangeland (IR-MN07) to his first full term after a Special Election in 1977 and Congressman James Oberstar (DFL-MN08) to his third term.
Additionally, another historic moment occurred, the 134-member State House resulted in 67-67 tie.
This information is drawn from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office and on file in the Legislative Reference Library. https://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/sessions/electionresults/1978-11-07-g-sec.pdf
This Is Now
Two women hold the US Senate seats for the first time in state history US Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) is seeking her third-term against Jim Newberger (R-MN) and US Senator Tina Smith (DFL-MN) faces State Senator Karin Housley (R-MN).
In polling, Klobuchar leads with as much as 30-points over Newberger and Smith up to a 9-point advantage over Housley.
The 538 Model has Klobuchar with a 99 in 100 chance of winning or 99.9%. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2018-midterm-election-forecast/senate/minnesota/
In four polls, Real Clear Politics shows a significant lead for Klobuchar, well outside of the margin for error averaging 22.3%.
The 538 Model has a 9 in 10 chance of Smith winning the seat or 90%.
In three polls, Real Clear Politics shows a lead for Smith with an average of 7.6%. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2018/senate/mn/minnesota_senate_special_election_housley_vs_smith-6303.html
All of the Constitutional Offices are up for consideration with Congressman Tim Walz (DFL-MN01) squaring off against Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R-MN). Every poll on this race shows Walz with an advantage and the latest stretched it out to 9-points over Johnson.
There have been four polls on this race two from inside the state and two from outside. Each shows Walz with a lead and the highest amount is 9-points and the lowest 5-points with a 7-point average and only one has him not exceeding 50%+1 with the margin of error.
One other notable election for Attorney General pits Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-MN05) against a former State Representative Doug Wardlow (R-MN). Ellison election is a point of high attention because he is experiencing his own #MeToo allegations. We are hearing Ellison is down 4-points in recent polling.
The polling on this race is in a virtual tie, which is largely attributed to Ellison losing votes with women and will not likely carry the full Democratic based in his election. Two news sources are seeking to open Ellison’s sealed divorce records to see if they contain anything relevant to the allegations. We expect the votes for Noah M Johnson (Grassroots-Legalize Canabis) will be far higher in this raace compared to anyother same party candidate on the ballot.
Four of the Eight Congressional District contests are poised to see a potential shake-up and could change the current balance from five DFLers to three Republicans to the same mix overall, but with a shift in certain seats. The Twin Cities media market is flooded with commercials both pro and con for candidates in each of these contests.
1st Congressional District
The open seat created with Walz’ departure to seek statewide office, just as Quie did in 1978, pits former Assistant Secretary of Defense Dan Feehan (DFL-MN01) against Jim Hagedorn (R-MN01). Hagedorn is running for the third-time and narrowly lost to Walz in a district carried by Donald J Trump by nearly 15-points. Trump held an event in the district last week in Rochester.
Real Clear Politics labels this race as a Toss-up. To date no polling is available.
2nd Congressional District
The south suburban 2nd Congressional District seat won by former Conservative Radio Talk Show host Jason Lewis (R-MN02) is a repeat performance with Challenger Angie Craig (DFL-MN02) is highly likely to flip this election. Lewis bested Craig by only 1.79% but there was a third-party candidate in the race which drew close to 8% of the vote, in a district carried by Hillary Clinton by 1.19%.
There have been two polls in this race. The Ny Times Poll is showing Craig with as much as a 12-point lead over Lewis.
3rd Congressional District
This contest between Erik Paulsen (R-MN03) who has by all accounts the closest voting record to Trump with 98% and Phillips Distributing Millionaire Executive Dean Phillips (DFL-MN03). This district went strongly for Clinton with 9.36% of the vote.
A KSTP Survey/USA Poll, which is viewed as having a conservative bias shows Phillips with a plus 5-point advantage over Paulsen.
538 Model shows a 5 in 6 Democratic win or an 82.5% advantage for Phillips compared to a 1 in 6 or 17.5% chance Paulsen wins. All of the polling in the district give Phillips the advantage. In each of the polls Phillips wins outright or when combined with the margin of error. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2018-midterm-election-forecast/house/minnesota/3/
Finally, the 8th Congressional District opened by the retirement of Nolan has former State Representative Joe Radinovich (DFL-MN08) who lost his house seat in 2014 largely due to his support for Gay Marriage. Against St Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber (R-MN08). Trump carried the district by 15.39% and has campaigned in the district for Stauber.
There is one poll in this race Ny Times/Sienna showing Radinovich with a 1 point advantage.
Internal polling for Radinovich also shows a 1-point advantage.
If there is a blue tide election in Minnesota it could crash on the shores of the great Gitche Gumee or travel the state like the glacier did. The Trump support is rooted in what is called Greater Minnesota, but his tariff war with the Chinese is having a splotchy impact throughout the state. On the Iron Range the steel tariffs are popular because they help shore-up the taconite industry, but in the agricultural communities the impact on soybeans and pork are having the opposite effect. The question is will farmers support Republican candidates at Trumps request?
Federally, the retention of the two US Senate seats and potential pick-ups in two Republican held seats makes this a very dynamic election in the Land O’ 10,000 Lakes, even when true Minnesotans know there are 11,082 lakes in total.
Just as in the book turned into a movie by SE Hinton called That Was Then This Is Now, which was filmed in Minnesota, the concept of what happened in the past looks incredibly interesting when viewed in current considerations like the Trump Era and the #MeToo movement.
This election should settle the dispute of whether Minnesota is a blue or a purple state.
With the World Series just getting underway we thought the metaphor apt because if media outlets truly did call campaign ads correctly, then, ones that fell below a certain level would be called out, or a clarifier would be displayed on each ad run on that particular network.
Political ads are quite pervasive. We see them on Facebook, and we even saw someone we recognized on a Hulu. We saw Mollie Fragnito, in Alliance for a Better Minnesota ad, talked about being a nurse and shared having a preexisting condition and topped it off by saying she would be voting for a Democrat in November.
So far three claims made this election we have seen truly are merely throwing red meat to the viewers and are not correct ads against both US Senator Tina Smith (DFL-MN) and 8th Congressional District Candidate Joe Radinovich (DFL-MN) calling them “career politicians,” is a lie pure and simple.
If being a staff person makes someone a politician, but what is the definition of a career? Prior to being elected as Lt Governor in her own right Smith, played a supporting role as Chief of Staff to Governor Mark Dayton (DFL-MN) and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak (DFL-Minneapolis). Granted these were partisan jobs, but it doesn’t seem to embody the spirit of the term politician, because that is largely left to the officeholder.
Similarly, Radinovich served a single two-year term in State House, which is far from what could be deemed as a career.
She Just Doesn’t Sound Minnessotan
Additionally, we find an ad running against Gubernatorial candidate Congressman Tim Walz (DFL-MN01) and Attorney General Candidate Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-MN05) financed by the Freedom Club State PAC, to be laughable. In their campaign finance and public disclosure report they spent $234,188.95 and if it was on the following ad they wasted their money.
The ad shows a redhaired woman listing off the reason she doesn’t support either candidate and makes a specious claim, that she had supported Democrats in the past, but that “I can’t trust them.” Is unadulterated crap.
One main reason this ad will not work is that the woman talking doesn’t sound like someone from Minnesota just listen to how she phrases her words, it’s clear she is from somewhere else and not here. Sounds more like someone from south of the Mason Dixon line trying to northernize her speech pattern.
There were a number of firsts that occurred in the 1998 Governor’s race besides the My Three Sons Primary and the election of third-party candidate Jesse Ventura, In 1997, the Ted Mondale for Governor campaign took out, what is known as the First Paid Political Advertisement. It has been documented numerous times and at the time Mondale Campaign Manager Jim DeMay thought it was just a throwaway item. The ad ran for three months and cost $300.00. We later learn the ad bore fruit for Mondale when he collected campaign money out at a fundraiser in Silicon Valley.
Here is the article that ran in Wired Magazine entitled This Mondale Comes in First.
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If someone wants to see the divides in our state it is clearly evident from the State House Legislative District maps from 2016. When you view it, you will see a saturation of the DFL members in the metropolitan area and a spattering of DFL legislators in the Duluth and the Arrowhead region, along with the regional centers of Rochester, Morehead, Mankato, Winona, and Austin.
After the 2016 election, Republicans held a 77-vote majority while the DFL held only 57 seats. Already, the DFL has regained a hotly disputed seat in another regional center, due to the suspension of the campaign by Rep Jim Knoblach (14A, St Cloud) because of sexual abuse allegations by his daughter. In order for the DFL to gain the majority, they would need to run the table in the metro and gain additional seats elsewhere. In light of the #MeToo movement and because of the influence from Donald J Trump (R) this election women candidates, especially on the DFL should gain 5-6 points. We anticipate any election result from 2016 that is within 5% points to be in play, especially where an incumbent is a man and the challenger a woman.
The high concentration of DFLers in districts within the 494/694 ring accounts for 40 out the 41 seats either completely or with a majority of the district within the boundary. Rep Dario Anselmo (R-49A, Edina) is the sole exception.
We believe the bordering districts that lie just outside the 494/694 ring are the districts that will determine who holds the House Majority in 2019. We believe the races in these buffer districts are the ones to watch.
We will list the competitors this election and show the results from 2016. If the seat is open then the 2016 results will have no bearing.
|33B||Cindy Pugh||Republican||(Incumbent)||Cindy Pugh||14836||60.34%|
|Kelly Morrison||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Brad Brothen||9715||39.51%|
|34B||Dennis Smith||Republican||(Incumbent)||Dennis Smith||13773||55.83%|
|Kristin Bahner||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Kristin Bahner||10841||43.95%|
|37B||Nolan West||Republican||(Incumbent)||Nolan West||11473||50.26%|
|Amir Joseph Malik||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Susan Witt||11305||49.52%|
|39B||Kathy Lohmer||Republican||(Incumbent)||Kathy Lohmer||13793||59.02%|
|Shelly Christensen||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Alan Kantrud||9564||40.92%|
|42A||Randy Jessup||Republican||(Incumbent)||Randy Jessup||11662||50.18%|
|Kelly Moller||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Barb Yarusso||11537||49.64%|
|48B||Jenifer W. Loon||Republican||(Incumbent)||Jenifer W. Loon||13559||62.25%|
|Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Ben Sherlock||8183||37.57%|
|49A||Dario Anselmo||Republican||(Incumbent)||Dario Anselmo||13075||51.04%|
|Heather Edelson||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Ron Erhardt||12499||48.79%|
|52A||Regina Barr||Republican||(Incumbent)||Regina Barr||11001||50.17%|
|Ruth Richardson||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Mary T’Kach||10880||49.62%|
|53B||Kelly Fenton||Republican||Kelly Fenton||13740||56.35%|
|Steve Sandell||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Alberder Gillespie||10620||43.56%|
|54A||Keith Franke||Republican||(Incumbent)||Keith Franke||10483||51.43%|
|Anne Claflin||Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Jen Peterson||9877||48.46%|
Last week, the Chinese Government Sponsored Newspaper China Daily took out a four-page insert in the Des Moines Register criticizing the Donald J Trump tariffs on commodities, particularly soybeans and attempted to bring the issue directly to Iowa farmers. The Des Moines Register is the statewide paper of Iowa as the Star Tribune is here in Minnesota and it covers many of the issues important in the Hawkeye State. Information we have about Iowans is they are very parochial and not likely to accept information from an outside source even if it is accurate.
The advertisement didn’t go unnoticed and it seems to have become the crux of Trump’s argument for the Chinese tampering with the 2018 elections. Additional during his comments at the United Nations, where he first broached the issue, Trump also claimed soybean prices are rebounding after the initial fall. We have looked and soybeans may have moved up slightly, but the price is not back to where it was prior to the discussion over tariffs commenced.
There may be an end around.
We understand the tariff on soybeans is only on the raw produce, but not on processed beans. In this article from AGWeb there is a discussion of the sale of crushed Soybeans being shipped to Chine via Argentina via a grey market. https://www.agweb.com/article/tariff-loophole-how-us-soybeans-might-be-getting-to-china/
The question is what impact the soybean tariffs is having here in Minnesota. Minnesota is the is the 3rd largest producer of soybeans as shown here https://www.statista.com/statistics/192076/top-10-soybean-producing-us-states/, behind Illinois and Iowa.
If rural Minnesota voters supported Trump in the 2016 election, as we know many did, we wonder if the institution of tariffs on soybeans and other commodities produced here will unsettle this support.
When Trump comes to Rochester later in the week for Congressional Candidate Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) we will hear whether the enthusiasm for Trump remains or his luster is showing signs of tarnish.
The September Campaign Finance Reports show Gubernatorial candidates Congressman Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R-MN) having comparable amounts of money on-hand moving into the last 6 weeks of the campaign; Walz has $1,051,316.76 and Johnson $1,007,318.79. Walz out-raised and out-spent Johnson significantly.
The DFL Party handily eclipsed the Republican Party bringing in $6,153,119.88 and spending $5,588,257.31 with nearly a million still on-hand compared to $843,397.50 in receipts, $1,014,180.43 spent and only $171,108.13 cash remaining. Granted, fundraising continues.
The DFL House Minority Caucus raised $2,811,475.38 besting the Republican Majority with $1,365,447.02, which is nearly $1.5 million more. The DFL also spent $1,630,617.99 compared to $773,792.79, which is over $900,000 more and reports $1,637,065.41 on-hand while the GOP declares $1,289,554.33 or $600,000 more.
We also included the Senate Caucuses because of the Special Election in Senate District 13. The DFL clearly outpaces the GOP in all areas.
|Tim Walz (DFL)|
|Jeff Johnson (R)|
|Keith Ellison (DFL)|
|Doug Wardlow (R)|
|Secretary of State|
|Steve Simon (DFL)|
|John Howe (R)|
|Julie Blaha (DFL)|
|Pam Myhra (R)|
|(MN DFL State Central Committee)|
|DFL House Caucus|
|Republican House Caucus|
|DFL Senate Caucus|
|Republican Senate Caucus|
|(Senate Victory Fund)|
Rep Jim Knoblach (R-14N St Cloud) announced today he is withdrawing from his candidacy for reelection citing an MPR story in which his daughter Laura alleges an abusive relationship since the age of nine. For the record Checks & Balances is the first media resource to call attention to this issue we published Rep Jim Knoblach Facing Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Daughter on January 04, 2017. We followed up later with Corroborating Information on the Knoblach Story January 18, 2018.
This legislative seat has seen the highest campaign expenditures in the last two elections. This means, barring any significant effort by the Republican Party through court action, it appears Dan Wolgamott (DFL-St Cloud) will be unopposed.
Today, the MPR two stories by Nina Moini and Briana Bierschbach are MN Rep. Jim Knoblach ends campaign ahead of MPR abuse allegations story and Minnesota state Rep. Jim Knoblach drops re-election bid, citing MPR News investigation.
The NPR show 1A ran a program on Ranked Choice Voting today, and Checks & Balances Publisher Shawn Towle sought a spot on the panel. When called back by producer Andi McDaniel he was informed the panel was full but could submit a comment through the voicemail which...
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Some disturbing information has come to our attention, alleging Rep. Jim Knoblach (R-14B, St Cloud) engaged in an abusive relationship with his daughter Laura, which if true are damning. We have received screenshots from her personal Facebook page, which has since...
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