Thursday, July 26, 2007

Video: Al Franken Blasts Sen Norm Coleman For Lack Of Iraq Oversight

“This is Norm Coleman’s war as much as it is George Bush’s” — US Senate Candidate Al Franken.

In this video,Al Franken connects the dots between Senator Norm Coleman’s campaign contributions from defense contractor Halliburton to Coleman’s lack of oversight in the Iraq war and ultimately the deaths of US military personnel. This was shot on Wednesday as Franken stumped for support at the DFL SD 38 Family Picnic in Eagan, MN

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Republican Exposer Exposed

The Star Tribune revealed today that Republican Blogger and GOP SD 38B Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb was MN GOP Party Chair Ron Carey's Campaign Manager in 2007. Carey won re-election as chair in a close race against Joe Repya, who like Brodkorb is active in GOP SD 38.

Brodkorb, who devotes an entire rambling page of his blog to "disclosing" his ties to campaigns neglects to mention that he has been working for Ron Carey. Whether this is paid or volunteer work is unclear from the Star Tribune.

Brodkorb's page says his life "is one big disclosure" and he "has nothing to hide". So why is this rather important disclosure missing from his site? Brodkorb's "disclosures" only go through 2006. One has to wonder what other disclosures for 2007 are missing.

A quick check of Brodkorb's "tagged" archives finds that he has apparently not posted any stories about Ron Carey during 2007, nor has he posted any stories about Carey's opponent Joe Repya.

While Brodkorb has avoided "tagging" any of his stories with "Ron Carey" while he was Carey's campaign manager, he has posted many press releases for Carey on his blog without revealing he was working as Carey's Campaign Manager at the same time. Brodkorb also had Carey on as a guest during his May 26, 2007 radio show on AM 1280. That's just 9 days before the MN GOP Chair election. While I don't have an archive recording of the show, Brodkorb's blog promoting the show makes no mention of him working for Carey election. A tip of the hat to Flash for digging up that detail.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Returning Guardsman, Potential Congressional Candidate Earns Bronze Star

This Friday, Sargeant First Class Steve Sarvi of Watertown, MN will be reunited with his wife Barb, his daughter Mary-Kate and his sons Daniel and Nathan. It's been nearly 15 months since he last saw them.

He's coming home from Iraq a hero.

Just before he left Iraq, the Army presented him the Bronze Star which is given out for "heroic or meritorious achievement or service". Not only is the Bronze Star a capstone for a very distinguished 20-year military career, but the award recognizes a strength that could serve Sarvi and Minnesota well in the coming years.

Sarvi won the Bronze Star for his work in helping build local governments in Iraq. When you think about the chaos that shakes Iraq on a daily basis, creating a local government that people believe in, participate in and actually works is a huge achievement.

As Mayor of Watertown, making government work is exactly what Sarvi was doing before he left for Iraq. As he returns, he's setting his sights higher. This war hero's goal is to make the US Government work better. Sarvi is considering a run for Congress against another military man, Representative John Kline of Minnesota's second congressional district.

On his website, Sarvi hints at why he's contemplating running against Rep. Kline.
"While I am troubled by the direction our country has taken in recent years, both in foreign and domestic policy, I remain optimistic that the great experiment known as America will only continue to flourish. As a society we must rise to that age-old challenge to make our future better than our past".

Unlike Rep. Kline, Sarvi is a Democrat. He writes
"I appreciate the willingness of Democrats to embrace the things that bind us together, rather than focus on that which sets us apart".

Sarvi certainly knows the pain of being apart. For the last 15 months Sarvi has been separated from his family as part of the longest continuously deployed National Guard unit in Iraq. As he returns it's good to hear that he wants America to be reunited as well.

You can read and/or listen to an interview with Sarvi here.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Franken Outraises Ciresi and Coleman

If fund raising is the measure of how a candidate is doing, Al Franken wins the second quarter. He out raised both incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman and his DFL rival Mike Ciresi. Here are the initial numbers from Franken press secretary Jess McIntosh:

Total raised: $1,914,351
Avg. donation: $65.10
Total contributors (cycle to date): 36,297

By contrast Coleman raised $1.5 million and Ciresi $735,000 according to preliminary reports from their campaign

Coleman still leads in one important figure. Total cash on hand. He has nearly a $4 million war chest to wage his campaign. Franken and Ciresi who have not been fund raising as long have about $2,000,000 and $625,000 respectively.

Franken's campaign emphasized that there have been many donors and 95.7% of them under $100. There has been at least one donation from every county in Minnesota and from each of the 50 States.

In a prepared statement Franken Communications Director Andy Barr said "We made a conscious decision early on to rely on grassroots support to fund our campaign. Today, we've shown that when people come together, they can be even more powerful than the special interests and corporate PACs backing Norm Coleman. And we've shown that Al is a candidate who can bring people together around the progressive values we share."

Other notes about the fund raising from the Franken campaign:
• The average contribution to the campaign in the second quarter was $65.10.
• Nearly 2,000 people who contributed to the campaign in the first quarter, or nearly 20%, made another contribution in the second quarter.
• The campaign received only $5,500 from PACs in the second quarter, including $5,000 from Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) Prairie PAC and $500 from GMP Political Education League, the PAC of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers International Union. In the first quarter, Al received just $15,000 from PACs (including $5,000 from his own Midwest Values PAC), while Sen. Coleman received nearly a third of his total ($450,000) from PACs.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mr President, Resign Now

I don't usually post links to other media, but I have not heard a better case made for a President to resign (ever) than what Keith Obermann of MSNBC delivered on the eve of Independence Day. Take a few moments to watch, listen or read what he has to say.