While you’re waiting for that pile of Surrebuttal Testimony on the Mesaba Project, check out this just arrived compilation of Jonathan Larson’s series of essays on Populism written for Daily Kos.


For more of his work, check out elegant-technology.com


It’s going to take a while, I’ve got an inbasket exploding with Surrebuttal Testimony, and tomorrow the P.O. Box will be full, and of course I’m having technical difficulties, but sometime soon…



Yes, Drazkowski and Rowley — they’re trying to outdo each other in gaffs and insensitivity to audience and just plain blowing it. There are times when politics is so damn disgusting and I’m so contorted by cringes at the bizarre statements and antics, and there are other times when it’s a real rip-snorting laugh. Last night was both. Packed house at the Zumbrota VFW for their seasonal candidate forum. Ranging from CD2 to County Commissioner, it was a stage full.


From left to right, it was Steve Betcher for Goodhue Co. Attornty (unopposed); Dean Albers and Doug Klatt for Goodhue Co. Sheriff; Richard Samuelson for County Commissioner District 2; Jim Bryan for County Commissioner District 4 (on far right); Paul Hardt, House 36B – running against no-show Pat Garafolo (Welch and Warsaw Twp. in Goodhue Co.); Mike Osskopp for Kline and Colleen Rowley for CD2; Carolyn Sampson, Senate 36 – running against no-show Pat Pariseau (Welch and Warsaw Twp. in Goodhue Co.); Steve Murphy and Steve Drazkowski for SD28; Gary Iocco and Sandy Wollschlager for House 28A; Steve Sviggum and Jeff Flaten for House 28B. It was a free for all, not enough time for questions though, and what time there was, it wasn’t questions, it was primarily attack on those wedgie issues.

To wit, or to be witless… I swear this is true. Someone asked about immigration and Osskopp and Rowley answered sort of, and then Steve Drazkowski jumps in and says that an answer to the immigration is that we already have a group, the Minute Men, patrolling our borders, and that’s what we need. Really. Even the woman next to me had her face scrunched up in “I can’t believe he really said that” disbelief. Yes, it was one of those days…

There was also the obvious plant question about gay marraige, demanding to know why Murphy wouldn’t allow Minnesotans to vote on an amendment prohibiting gay marriage, Murphy did a good job in clearly stating “We don’t need an amendment” and then pointed out the laws already there, and then Drazkowski jumped in and went wacko. Um, earth to Draz, if you’re so interested in preserving marriage, why did you get divorced????? Maybe try preserving your own, and then stick your nose in others business? We could have interesting campaigns with dueling divorce files! And most of that is public information.

Rowley was an embarassment, in pissy attack mode rather than address issues, offer something for people to vote FOR. It’s a sad day when Osskopp looks good in comparison — I had years of gorounds with Mike in “Nuclear Waste Daze” when he was the Rep. for Florence Twp. area, when he was in AM Radio Talk Show Host mode, and yes, he is presenting better after some experience, but still, it’s the comparison that’s troubling…
It was packed when I got there 15 minutes before showtime, by far the best attended campaign forum I’ve been to this season. They were setting up another row of tables in the back so I did get a seat, and settling in, see none other than my arch-nemesis Steve Sviggum at the table in front of me. As Rowley was going around introducing herself to the folks, Terry Rogers trailing behind, she got to Sviggum’s table and was going across and she didn’t recognize him! Um, one would think… at the table, they were pretty suprised, I was thinking of interjecting with, “Hey, Colleen, you’ve got to meet Steve here, he’s got political aspirations of his own!” but I was good and sat there quietly emitting a couple of unrestrainable snorts as the folks gave each other “Oh My Dog” raised eyebrows.

We’ve been on a first name basis for a while now, I lived in Kenyon after my escape from Prestigious East Phillips in ’92… ’93? I’m sure our names for each other aren’t always printable, but we always manage to talk wtihout bodily harm. His demeanor went ugly last campaign season with this letter (sent just after he also sent one to Jean Poppe about her “Popsicles with Poppe”):


And my response — the guys at 1500AM were snorting and hooting, without a doubt the most hilarious radio interview I’ve ever done, and all at Steve’s expense:


Yup, he should have known better. This campaign, he’s been on his best behavior, he’s not been an intrusive jerk, and I should have thanked him for that — but I was on a mission, intent on getting his take on personal property taxes — more on that in a seprate post. And again a disturbing comparison, but compared to Drazkowski, Sviggum is the essence of moderation.

Sandy Wollschlager did very well in that free for all, she was tied with Sviggum in solid engaging presentation (maybe everyone’s getting tired, but the just seemed either really boring or utterly off the wall), and responded ON POINT! So rare last night. She got extra credit for explaining how personal property tax negotiations had worked out well for the Cannon Falls School District, no other candidate was willing to say they’d stand up and fight for our tax base. In this community, that’s a huge issue, and she has experience in holding the utility’s feet to the fire, saying that “it’s on the gable… it’s worth it to fight for some of these issues,” noting that her school district went from potentially receiving a nominal “gift” to a $6.2 million contract. That’s the kind of response we need to utilities’ dream of eliminating utility personal property tax. I’d talked to all the other candidates about this and handed them my question at the St. James forum so there’s no reason they couldn’t have had a coherent answer, it’s the most important economic issue facing this area now, but noooooo… they don’t have a clue. Sandy had the right answer, showing by example how to reserve this revenue for local government.

Here’s Sandy with supporter Tina Tunevin, and that’s not Dag Knutsen, though he was there somewhere…


Only a few more days…

How did I forget to put this up???

Here’s the Order: order-on-motion-for-sd-mcgp.pdf

mncoalgasplant.com filed a Summary Judgment (Summary Disposition) Motion that was heard earlier this month. We lost — Motion Denied — essentially the ALJ said that neither he nor the Commission has jurisdiction to address whether the IRR’s certification of the site was false or fraudulent and whether the West Site is an Innovative Energy Project under the statute. That the IRR Commissioner must “designate” the site and it doresn’t really matter whether it’s a false or fraudulent designation, “the authority to review the IRR Commissioner’s designation of the West Range Site must reside, if at all, in some court of competent jurisdiction in the Judicial Branch.
Once more with feeling… Here’s the IRR Commissioner Certification: irrrb-nov-7-2005.pdf

Here’s the site — this is the greatest infrastructure photo I’ve ever seen:


And this, viewing from a long ways away, only accessible by 4 wheeler and foot:


And here’s the SEH map of just the road infrastructure that is needed:


OK, fine, whatever… we can do this…

Hatch goes to the dogs

October 29th, 2006

Hatch — a Bitch’s choice!


This BarkBack Hatch Fundraiser was something new, and Krie was almost perfect. For an old dog who spent all her days in a kennel, until now, well, she was wide eyed and didn’t quite know what to do. When we got there, they have gated entries so the other dogs won’t get out, and it was so packed that I was a tad bit nervous about her, it meant pushing through people and dogs. New for her, new for me, dogs and people everywhere, and there was only one dog that she interacted with that… well, they had this thing going, it was as if this Boston Bull was teasing her, daring her to chomp. Krie was cool, but ultimately took a nip at his butt, and no more. One dachshund followed Krie intently for a while, but she didn’t envision “lunch.”


Most were used to dog parks and this place, DowntownDogs. I can’t imagine a better place to do dogcare, it’d be good to drop the girls off just to socialize and be dogs. Check their site, Downtown Dogs, what a great way to spend the day.