Scenes from the MN State Fair

Minnesota Report

The 2019 Minnesota State Fair attendance was a record-setting 2,126,551, now granted there was a lot of repeat visitors, but it is impressive none the less. Checks & Balances attended the fair four times and we have a few features of the trips to share.

Publisher Shawn Towle, soon to be an announced candidate for Congress in the 6th Congressional District stopped by the Republican Party booth and saluted the President in the most appropriate fashion. The reference to the Roman Coliseum should be applied here.

The first being the annual State Fair Polls from each of the legislative booths The Minnesota House of Representatives 2019 State Fair Poll and the Minnesota State Senate 2019 State Fair Poll which we always call attention to had robust participation.  We always follow these questions into the legislative session because it provides somewhat of a primer for what is top of mind with legislative leadership.


The House results are The Senate results are

In addition, home town artist Dessa, also known for her political consciousness, graced the Leinenkugel Lodge during the last two nights of the fair. 

Once again, the crop art took on a political bent. State Auditor Julie Blaha even submitted an entry and took a prize with Third Premium.






The Great-Minnesota-Get-together remains great.

Fischbach Cometh

Minnesota Report

Former State Senator and short-lived Lt Governor Michele Fischbach (R-MN) announce her reentry into politics by challenging Congressman Collin Peterson (DFL-MN07). Last election, Peterson had a closer than normal election finishing with 52.10% over Dave Hughes 47.64%.

We doubt Fischbach will bet any closer since this race will be more a referendum on Donald J Trump (R) more than anything else. Even in the 7th Trump’s popularity is flagging and as the full impact of the trade war with China is felt next summer Trump’s effigy might be swinging from many flag poles.

He is not only an imbecile he is a threat to our nation and should be tried for treason.

Checks & Balances’ St Cloud Effect

Minnesota Report

Our publication Checks & Balances has played an interesting role in the politics of St Cloud. In 2006, we wrote the first item about how Sue Ek (R), Republican candidate for an open House seat was not a resident of the district, but rather St Paul. Now, we know it may be hard to keep from confusing the various Saints, but the mileage between the two cities might have been a clue.

If you would like to read the precedent-setting case, one where the courts removed a candidate from the Primary ballot.

Secondly, and far more significantly would be our story about Laura Knoblach and her abuse at the hands of her father Rep Jim Knoblach (R-14A, St Cloud). Even though he suspended his campaign Knoblach still received 41.67%.  We will remind people who misguidedly believe MPR caused Knoblach’s decision, our story ran January of 2017 and is the only place to give the story any attention.

The ability of Dan Wolgamott recaptured the seat in light of this issue provides a blue dot in a sea of red.

The Reddest Congressional District

Minnesota Report

The 6th Congressional District contains 13 House districts and 8 Senate Districts and only a single one is in the DFL column. That single seat is held by Rep Dan Wolgamott (DFL-14B, St Cloud). This is why Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN06) is able to chair the Republican election efforts across the nation. He is seen as having a safe Republican seat, but there is a big announcement coming about Emmer’s 2020 election set to occur later this year. Hint, hint.

The last election, Emmer faced Ian Todd (DFL-MN06) and trounced him 61.11% to 38.75%. Emmer outspent Todd significantly. Emmer raised $2,203,827 and spent $2,159,205 compared to $83,118 raised and spent $81,577. The nearly 3-to-1 expenditure produced an expected result and we hear Todd is coming again.

It seems clear something different needs to occur.

Omar’s Response to Netanyahu

Minnesota Report

We just received this release.

Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Decision to Deny Her Entry into Israel

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to deny her entry into Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government. Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress.  Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories.  Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.

“As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is my job to conduct oversight of foreign aid from the United States of America and to legislate on human rights practices around the world. The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”

The St Paul City Elections Set to Get Messy

Minnesota Report

The bane of Ranked Choice Voting is set to occur this November. Now, that the field is set we will watch how the different candidates, carve each other up or appeal to voters to be their second-choice. Again, a Primary system offers a more concise opportunity to have two candidates facing-off to provide less confusion. All told there are 28 city council candidates.

Ward One

Incumbent Council Member and DFL endorsed candidate  Dai Thao (DFL-Ward 1) is being challenged by Anika Bowie, who lists herself as a Minneapolis NAACP Vice President, Liz de la Torre comes forward with public health advocate and Abu Nayeem, community activist. Bowie and de la Torre both challenged Thao for the DFL endorsement and in spite of claiming irregularities in the endorsement process, fell far short.

Ward Two

Incumbent Council Member and DFL endorsed candidate Rebecca Noecker (DFL-Ward 2), Lindsay Ferris Martin, Helen Meyers, Bill Hosko (R) and Sharon Anderson, a true gadfly candidate.

Ward Three

Incumbent Council Member and DFL endorsed candidate Chris Tolbert (DFL-Ward 3) is facing Patricia Hartmann, an attorney and Macalester-Groveland resident

 Ward Four

Incumbent Council Member and DFL endorsed candidate Mitra Jalali Nelson is being challenged by Tarrence Robertson-Bayless, a major in the Minnesota Army National Guard, and Chris Holbrook a Libertarian who ran for Governor in 2014 and St. Paul mayor in 2017. Sorry, but third-party candidacies in St Paul always fail.

Ward Five

Incumbent Council Member Amy Brendmoen again did not receive the DFL endorsement and has three challengers Bob Blake, solar energy installation business owner; Jamie Hendricks, who owns the North End Free Pantry; and Suyapa Miranda, past executive director of the St. Anthony Park Community Council.

Interim Council Member Kassim Busuri is running for the position he stated during the appointment process he would not do so. Both Nelsie Yang and Danielle Swift (Gr), identify as Community organizers, Terri Thao, a former planning commissioner, Greg Copeland who may be getting up to the gadfly status and Alexander Bourne, a self-defined entrepreneur are also seeking the Sixth Ward seat.

Incumbent Council Member and DFL endorsed candidate Jane Prince is running against artist and community organizer Mary Anne Quiroz, Kartumu King, a Dayton’s Bluff resident and David Thom, owners of Groomsmen, a dog grooming shop in Minneapolis.

Is DHS Persecuting Immigrant Communities?

Minnesota Report

Since before the selection of Tony Lourey DHS head and now Pam Wheelock, “The Fixer”, we have been hearing about tactics being used against the immigrant community who are professionals providing mental health services through ARMHS (Adult Rehab Menial Health Services) being taken to court for incorrect filings and missing paperwork. We have made calls into the department but as of ye hey remain unanswered.

The way we understand this issue, the person who used to help these communities file their paperwork properly and then when no longer there the workload was shuffled around and the auditing kicked in and people were found o be ou of compliance, having been paid for work which was undocumented.

The sad part is when in court they are given a choice plead guilty to a felony and your record can later be expunged. The people in the Attorney General’s Office should be ashamed of themselves and Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) should do something about it, and public accounting should be known.

Morrillo-Alicea’s Undeserved Title


Watching Almanac last week caused and sharp retort when former SEIU President Javier Morillo-Alicea was also introduced as a former member of the Democratic National Committee. Tort Law discusses the removal from office for three reasons Malfeasance, Misfeasance, and Nonfeasance. During his four-year term, we can contend he was guilty of at least one Feasance because he never did the job. He never attended a Democratic National Committee meeting even when it was held in Minneapolis.

Morillo-Alicea has often been in a position of critique over others, we have suffered his rebuke and slurs of character, but to continue to allow people to hold your up as a pillar for something one didn’t do is a blatant discredit to all others who render public service. In the military ranks, those who serve and claim more than they are due are sharply like claiming one was a Navy Seal is met with a quick negative response by the community. Or resume’ padding which is what this is, is a reason for the loss of a job.

Face it’s, liars should be called out when they become known, and not protected because they have friends in high places. What’s worse is he has been known o take pride in his failure to do his duty that the DFL Party delegates entrusted him to do.

Word and the Squad v. Mr Vomit

Minnesota Report

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN05) and her fellow members of “The Squad” Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) (D-NY14, Ayanna Pressley (D-MA07) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) have not been silent in their sharp criticism of Donald J Trump (R) of whom we are taking to call the Vociferous and Vile Mr Vomit.

Extending our comical metaphors seems apt, and hopefully, Omar will continue in her spoken word role, as Word

Email Blocked When Quoting Trump

US & Minnesota Report

Here is a funny aside, Checks & Balances has an email distribution list, which anyone can sign-up for, but when we quoted Donald J Trump and the restatement of those quotes by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN05) in our first paragraph of a story those messages were blocked due to the usage of offensive language.

It is an embarrassment when the leader of the free world can no be quoted nor should children be subjected to his words be because they are vile.

The Coming of the Four Horsemen

If you want to be memorable in Minnesota State Capitol politics it is good if you are referred to as something other than your name. It is often helpful when a term or a phrase can be applied to your, group, issue or initiative. If you want to be known as something...

NPR Censors Opposition Comments on RCV

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...

Structuring a Deal in Budget Negotiations

Minnesota Report When we listened to House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) discuss the ongoing budget negotiations, of which he is not a participant in the discussions, we found it interesting that he declared his assessment of where the state can go based...

read more

Busuri Reneges on Pledge Not to Run

Minnesota Report We were in conversation with appointed St Paul Ward 6 City Council Member Kassim Busuri yesterday morning when we learned he would be filing to seek the seat rather than adhering to the pledge he original made, not to run when he was originally...

read more

Budget Impasse Continues

Minnesota Report People were told Sunday negotiations would continue, last night, Governor Walz (DFL-MN), House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) met to discuss the stalled budget negotiations. This...

read more

2019 University of Minnesota Regents Selection Results

Minnesota Report The results of the University of Minnesota Regents selection was announced by voice vote, but no documentation was available from the floor yesterday. As we now know, Mike Kenyanya was selected as the Student Regent, Jaynie Mayeron 5th Congressional...

read more

Subscribe to Checks and Balances

Checks & Balances is experiencing some dramatic changes. We are creating a more robust site for your viewing pleasure.

Subscribe to Checks and Balances

Donate to support Checks & Balances

Checks & Balances is the site of the first paid political advertisement in the history of the Internet.