Jay Reding.com

Is Klobuchar Responsible For Minneapolis’ Crime Surge?

Martin Andrade takes a dispassionate and logical approach to this question and finds that indeed, the Hennepin County DA’s office bears some responsibility for the massive increase in crime in Minneapolis in the last few years.

The typical DFL response — that cuts to state aid are responsible for the surge in crime doesn’t hold much water. St. Paul, a city right next to Minneapolis with an equally diverse population and many of the same basic problems, has seen crime rise at a rate lower than the national average of 2.5% for violent crimes. Yet St. Paul was also the “victim” of much of the same cuts in local assistance funds. Basic logic says that if one factor is predominantly responsible for an effect, it should have the same effect in all places where that factor is present. Yet that certainly isn’t the case.

Even if one accepts that it’s not totally fair to put all this on Klobuchar’s shoulders, and there are certainly a number of factors which have exacerbated the level of crime coming out of Minneapolis, she is still the DA of Hennepin County. She is still responsible for prosecuting criminals, and if a bunch of recidivists start committing crimes in her jurisdiction that is not a very positive recommendation of her skills. I think Andrade’s argument is quite right: the actions of the DA’s office have indeed lowered the “opportunity costs” of crime to the point where violent offenders just aren’t sufficiently deterred from committing crimes.

Granted, the utter decay of the Minneapolis police force hasn’t helped — political correctness has tied their hands and there is no leadership at the top, betraying the hard work of those officers who want to do their jobs and do them well. Nor does it help that Minneapolis has an utterly dysfunctional political culture “led” by an ineffectual mayor and a City Council that consists of DFL hacks. Minneapolis is an always has been a one-party city — and look at where that’s led them. In contrast, St. Paul has done well under the Democrat-turned-Republican Norm Coleman and the moderate Democrat Randy Kelly. Now that St. Paul’s DFL base has turned against Kelly for the apostasy of supporting President Bush and elected yet another feckless hack, perhaps St. Paul will begin to see some of the same problems that Minneapolis has.

In any event, whether one lays the blame on Klobuchar’s feet or the Minneapolis political machine, the source ends up being the same: the DFL’s inability to do what needs to be done to run the city of Minneapolis. For too long Minneapolis has been a one-party town, and whenever a political party, be it Democrat, Republican, or otherwise is freed from the pressure of having to compete for office the result is a political system that serves itself rather than the public. (I’d argue that Sioux Falls was much the same way, except Sioux Falls is smaller and is more or less immune from the problems of a big city. If the trend in its local governance continues along with the amazing population growth around the city, that could change.)

Minneapolis is not well served by one-party rule, and the DFL’s complacency on key issues has made Minnesota as a state slowly slide more and more towards the GOP. As people take a good hard look at Klobuchar’s real record: what she’s actually accomplished rather than what she claims to have accomplished, her current position at the top of the polls may well begin to slide.

UPDATE: In the last graf, I meant to say Minneapolis rather than Minnesota – my mistake.

39 responses to “Is Klobuchar Responsible For Minneapolis’ Crime Surge?”

  1. Erica says:

    We’re not well served by one-party rule unless the ruling party is Republican.

  2. Mark says:

    I thought I could smell the distinct odor of desperation from the north. This is a fight I invite GOP weasels to bring on. They can fire the first potshot about the Hennepin County Attorney being responsible for a 7% increase in crime in Minneapolis….and the DFL can respond with the most ferocious litany of program cut citations forced upon the city by Pawlenty budget cuts, with respected city and county officials giving personal testimonials about the cause-and-effect of these cuts. Of all the cheap stunts that have backfired on Mark Kennedy thus far (“Republican? Who me?”, “Vote an accountant into the Senate who hasn’t been a CPA since the 1970s), a desperation ploy like you and the Kennedy campaign seem to be gaming for has the potential of not only fast-forwarding your own demise, but lending inadvertant credibility to the talking points of the state DFL and reducing Pawlenty’s likelihood at re-election. By all means, do this, guys!

  3. Seth says:

    Ok first, one party rule in Minnesota? Heard of a guy named Pawlenty? What about the state house? And the Senate before voters started figuring out how bad the GOP is.

    I’m sure you blame the bad in Minneapolis on the DFL and all the good things about the city are clearly the product of hard work from Pawlenty and Mark Kennedy. Give it a rest.

    If you’re comparing Minneapolis to St. Paul and saying that all things considered crime should be the same, you haven’t been over the river in far too long. St. Paul and Minneapolis are night and day. You can walk around the streets of St. Paul at two in the morning completely safe–because it’s almost deserted most of the time.

    If you think people in St. Paul like Norm Coleman you really haven’t been over the river in a while.

    Not to mention this is the lamest political stunt the GOP could pull–and stupid. Voters in Minneapolis are going Klobuchar either way, and voters in Greater Minnesota aren’t going to base their vote on the crime rate of Northern Minneapolis.

    You neocons are reaching–and sinking fast.

  4. Jay Reding says:

    Ok first, one party rule in Minnesota? Heard of a guy named Pawlenty? What about the state house? And the Senate before voters started figuring out how bad the GOP is.

    Yeah, that Minnesota sure is a one-party state. I mean they’ve had a GOP governor since 2002!

    Give me a break…

    I’m sure you blame the bad in Minneapolis on the DFL and all the good things about the city are clearly the product of hard work from Pawlenty and Mark Kennedy. Give it a rest.

    Kennedy’s old House district didn’t include Minneapolis, so no. Minneapolis has been controlled by the Democrats for decades now at nearly every level. The problems in Minneapolis can’t be passed off to anyone else but the people who actually run the city.

    If you’re comparing Minneapolis to St. Paul and saying that all things considered crime should be the same, you haven’t been over the river in far too long. St. Paul and Minneapolis are night and day. You can walk around the streets of St. Paul at two in the morning completely safe–because it’s almost deserted most of the time.

    No, it isn’t. Evidently you haven’t been to Saint Paul in a very long time…

    If you think people in St. Paul like Norm Coleman you really haven’t been over the river in a while.

    Nonetheless they enjoy the improvements he made to the city, and the fact that he put St. Paul’s financial house in order after years of mismanagement. St. Paul wouldn’t be where it is without his leadership, and it takes an incredible amount of disingenuousness to argue otherwise.

    Not to mention this is the lamest political stunt the GOP could pull–and stupid. Voters in Minneapolis are going Klobuchar either way, and voters in Greater Minnesota aren’t going to base their vote on the crime rate of Northern Minneapolis.

    They will vote based on how well Klobuchar has done as a public servant, and it’s not surprising that she’s crowing about how she prosecuted tax cheats — because it would seem that her record at prosecuting murderers, rapists, and robbers is far more spotty.

    You neocons are reaching–and sinking fast.

    Here’s a hint: the term “neocon” is not some phrase meaning “people I don’t like.” The fact that so many lefty trolls use that term without having even the foggiest clue as to what it actually means just provide further evidence that they can’t seem to sit down and read a book that can’t be colored in.

  5. Eracus says:

    Whenever the issue is accountability, the DFL always cries poor. It’s always about the money and the problem is always somebody else’s fault. Most Minnesotans, particularly upstate, are sick of it. That is why the GOP, such as it is, has produced a US Senator, a governor, and a majority in the House and will probably do so again.

    The funny part is that if you really look at Minnesota’s GOP leadership, they’re really just among the first of the latter day left-wing radical hippies to put away the pipe. They’re certainly not conservative, all they do is compromise, and they typically make their decisions based on the last person they heard argue a good point. They do not inspire more than enough to get elected, but are at least accountable, which is more than can be said for the Minnesota DFL, whose solution to rising crime is more opera.

    And then crying poor.

  6. Mark says:

    “They will vote based on how well Klobuchar has done as a public servant, and it’s not surprising that she’s crowing about how she prosecuted tax cheats — because it would seem that her record at prosecuting murderers, rapists, and robbers is far more spotty.”

    The challenge is on Kennedy’s shoulders to find a Minnesota equivalent to Willie Horton worthy of your bloated rhetoric. Until you do, the attempt at guilt-by-association will fumble as badly as those Kennedy has already tried. Kennedy’s pattern from 2004 seems to be holding. The more people get to know him, they more they dislike him. Attempting to pin north Minneapolis crime rates on the Hennepin County Attorney will reinforce into voters’ minds why he nearly lost to an inarticulate political novice in 2004 in a district that went 57% for Bush.

    “Yeah, that Minnesota sure is a one-party state. I mean they’ve had a GOP governor since 2002!”

    Is their no demagogic depth too low for you to sink. In the last half century, Minnesota has had far more Republican Governors than DFL Governors. The GOP has held the Minnesota House since 1998. Two of the three statewide offices are held by Republicans. Are you trying to make an ass out of yourself with the above statement? That’s the only plausible explanation for your trying to get the “one-party state” canard to fly amongst people with all-too-convenient facts in their arsenal.

  7. Mark says:

    Eracus:

    “Most Minnesotans, particularly upstate, are sick of it. That is why the GOP, such as it is, has produced a US Senator, a governor, and a majority in the House and will probably do so again.”

    Most “upstate” legislators are DFL. The GOP’s gains in Minnesota have come entirely from country club Republicans in the outer suburbs.

  8. Eracus says:

    “Most “upstate” legislators are DFL.”

    You are correct, Mark, which should give you some indication of the level of DFL corruption and voter disenfranchisement that exists in rural Minnesota, and why the GOP’s gains have come largely from “country club” Republicans in the outer suburbs, most of whom happen to own property up here and understand what’s going on.

    If you’re DFL, you get your road paved. If you’re not, you pay for the pavement. If you’re DFL, you can burn anything you want wherever you want. If you’re not, you must go to the dump and pay the fee. If you’re DFL, you can alter your shoreline and drain your hot tub right into the lake. If you’re not, you’ve got a wetland problem and a DNR lawsuit. And so on.

    The DFL’s agenda of “peace, equality, and justice” is just code for “corruption, intimidation, and extortion.” It’s all based on property seizures, restrictions on public lands, and raising taxes to pay for it all. Politics ain’t beanbag, I know, but upstate legislators are all DFL for a reason, Mark, and it’s not because they were all fairly elected. It’s because if you oppose the DFL’s one-party rule up here or otherwise antagonize the DFL machine, you’ll soon find your hunting camp burned to the ground, your taxes raised 30%, and your trees diagnosed with some rare disease that requires them to be cut down and burned at your own expense.

    That’s how the DFL works up here, Mark.

  9. Mark says:

    Eracus, Jay talks about irrational conspiracy theories in the post above this one regarding 9/11. Looks like you should join the same clinic he suggests 9/11 conspiracists join.

  10. Seth says:

    Jay–
    Weird that you would say I haven’t been in St. Paul in a “very long time.” I live and work there. You should stop by some time. In your infinte wisdom, please tell me more about the city in which I reside. Since you’re the expert.

    I noticed in the graph you cited that violent crime drops consistently throughout the late 90s and then starts rising around 2002–which, if I’m not mistaken, is about the same time that Tim Pawlenty took control of the state budget. This is not to mention that crime is more related to things like employment and wages than attorneys, so the governor would have a little more responsibility there.

    Tell me the makeup of the Minnesota House and then tell me we have one party rule. And it’s cute to hear you talk about “left trolls” in the same place where you say I don’t know what a neocon is and I’m just calling people names.

  11. Seth says:

    Eracus–
    The GOPers in the suburbs I’ve been talking to realize that despite all of the claims by Republicans to be lowering taxes, their taxes are going up. And it’s costing them a lot more to send their kids to college in Minnesota, thank you very much Tim Pawlenty.

    You’ve leveled some pretty significant charges. Care to be more specific or name names or provide one single example?

  12. Mark says:

    Seth, this is the same crackpot bait-and-switch ploy Eracus tried when caught red-faced in a previous inconsistency.

    When you and I raised objections to tax cuts and the Bush economy almost exclusively benefitting the wealthy, Eracus went on to tell us how the rich pay all the taxes while the freeloading sweating classes lap up the freebies from the entitlement trough. But when pressed with the question of how expects to keep trailer-park conservatives in the GOP fray by redefining them as the new “welfare mamas”, he completely revamped his argument suggesting that anybody over $18,000 is considered “rich” and actually pays more in taxes than the rich.

    Now, Eracus tried to get away with the premise that upstate Minnesotans “sick of the DFL” were responsible for electing Republicans to Minnesota government. But when reminded of the pesky fact that upstate Minnesota is majority-DFL, his claim is now that Minnesota DFL voters maintain their allegiance to the party or risk their homes being torched, their wives being raped, and their children being enslaved.

    With so many Republicans getting elected in the “one-party DFL state” of Minnesota in the last few years, the DFL really needs to get its legbreakers in check for ’06. Those pitchfork-wielding voters upstate need to have the fear of God put into them that there will be DIRE consequences if they don’t vote for Hatch and Klobuchar this fall!

  13. Mark says:

    Jay and Eracus, if you’re in for an early Halloween scare, I crunched some numbers regarding primary turnout in key metro area counties, including those which Republicans depend upon for huge margins to be competitive statewide. To say the turnout was bleak for your side would be an understatement.

    In the core metro area, a ratio of Democratic turnout to Republican turnout yielded a 78% DFL advantage in Hennepin County and a 74% DFL advantage in Ramsey County (that compares to 59% Kerry in Hennepin and 64% Kerry in Ramsey in 2004)

    No big surprises, you say. Well let’s dig a little deeper…

    The three most heavily populated suburban counties (Anoka, Dakota, and Washington) need to produce double-digit victories for Republicans to have a chance of winning in most Minnesota elections. George Bush’s 2004 victories of 51% in Dakota, 51% in Washington and 53% in Anoka didn’t cut it. How’d the GOP fare in the ’06 primary? The DFL had a turnout advantage of 64% in Anoka, 63% in Dakota (and keep in mind, this is Pawlenty’s home county), and 58% in Washington. In all three of these counties, Mike Hatch got more votes from primary voters than did Tim Pawlenty…..significantly more.

    Perhaps the worst news for the GOP came from the Republican strongholds of exurbia where the country club Republicans I cited earlier reside. Of the seven main exurban strongholds (Carver, Scott, Wright, Stearns, Sherburne, Isanti, and Chisago), Democrats bested the GOP in primary turnout in five of them….all counties represented by Mark Kennedy in Congress! Democrats outpolled the GOP in Isanti County 61-39, in Chisago County 64-36, in Sherburne County 52-48, in Stearns 59-41, and in Wright, Kennedy’s home county, by 56-44). Only in Scott and Carver Counties were more Republicans than Democrats motivated to head to the polls, and by advantages of 0.8% in Scott County (60% Bush in ’04), and 1.2% in Carver County (63% Bush in ’04).

    Worried yet, boys?

  14. Jay Reding says:

    Worried yet, boys?

    Um, no, because primary turnout has nothing to do with general election turnout. The DFL had a marginally competitive primary between Hatch and Lourey. (Well, not really competitive, but more so than the GOP primaries.) The GOP’s slate of candidates was already set. None of the primaries were competitive at all.

    It’s not even remotely an apt comparison, because there was no reason for GOP voters to go to the polls, which would naturally depress turnout. You’re going to get more DFL voters in a primary election where there are competitive DFL races, but not any competitive GOP races.

  15. Jay Reding says:

    And for the record, I didn’t say Minnesota was a one-party state, I said Minneapolis was a one-party city. The problems with crime in Minneapolis are a direct result of the DFL machine that runs that city, of which Klobuchar is a part.

    Trying to shift all the blame to Pawlenty is just another example of how desperate the DFL is to try to whitewash their pathetic record. Of course it’s not the fault of the people who are actually responsible for fighting crime in Minneapolis – they’re Democrats, and we all know that Democrats can never be blamed for their own mistakes!

  16. Mark says:

    Jay, here’s the way you started the last paragraph in your original post: “Minnesota is not well served by one-party rule”.

    Perhaps it was a snafu and you were really talking about Minneapolis instead of the state. Even so, that’s the line that caught everyone’s attention. And I’ve seen numerous reports on how one of the fastest-growing crime rates in the country is in cranberry red Tulsa, Oklahoma. I assume that’s a consequence of one-party Republican rule in Tulsa, right?

    Only the Becky Lourey diehards believed there was a competitive DFL gubernatorial race, and even discounting Lourey’s 77,000 votes, the DFL still drew in more primary voters than Republicans by a 3-2 margin. If not for “real Republican” Sue Jeffers on the ballot, the GOP primary turnout would have been even more embarrassing. And that’s the point. If Minnesota Republicans are this unmotivated in September, they have a long ways to go to become competitive in the November elections. You picked an ironic time to move back to Minnesota.

  17. Eracus says:

    To the contrary, Mark, what was clearly established was that you are and remain a complete fraud and an idiot who has no idea what you are talking about. Your tax argument was not with me, but with the 2003 US Census, which you may review here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/03in05tr.xls and which clearly demonstrates that the top 1% of American income earners pay 34.27% of all income taxes, that the top 5% pay 54.36% of all income taxes, that the top 10% pay 65.84% of all income taxes, that the top 25% pay 83.88% of all income taxes, and that the top 50% pay 96.54% of all income taxes, –while the bottom 50% pay less than 3.5% of all income taxes according to the latest data released in October 2005 by the Internal Revenue Service. I have spelled it all out for you again here as you seem incapable of reading a chart or applying basic math.

    I also provided you with the legislated standards by which “the rich” and “the poor” are defined as established by the US Health and Human Services Department, which you may again review here: http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/05poverty.shtml and which of course establishes, once again, your inability to entertain facts in evidence contrary to your pathologically delusional state. I should further point out that what I wrote was not that the lower 50% paid “more” or “too little” in taxes, but that they paid TOO MUCH in income taxes, that they should in fact be relieved of that burden, and that the only thing standing between tax relief for the lower- and middle-class is the Democratic Party. Your problem, my dear boy, is you don’t even understand the position of your own party, how it frames its argument, or what its objective is. You’re just another useful idiot mouthing off bromides and palliatives and hurling insults and falsehoods like some Pavlovian dog whenever anyone challenges the latest new Stalinist line the Democrats come out with.

    I have never written anything of the sort as what you have suggested above and you very well know it, else you would have quoted it accurately and completely. But being unable to refute the facts of my argument, being unable to respond logically, coherently, with any semblance of rational argument owing to your inability to think critically, all you can do is lie and deceive and hope no one will confront you for the lying fraud that you are. We do, however, expect nothing less from the DFL and the modern Democratic Party and it’s ignorant rank-and-file supporters.

  18. Eracus says:

    Those GOPers in the suburbs are talking about property taxes, Seth, which are on the rise because the DFL controls most local governments, especially upstate. What they’ve lost in state funds from the reduction in income taxes and lower rate increases in the budget, they’re simply recovering by raising taxes on private property and small business owners. Since the tax increases also go to support DFL entitlements in the form of administrative expansion, salary increases, and greater pension benefits, it’s a net loss only for those outside the DFL gravy train competing with the State for that next dollar of income in the private sector.

    That’s why we don’t have any job growth up here, because there’s very little if any private investment. There’s no extra money — most of it all goes in one way or another to the DFL in higher property taxes, higher levies, and higher assessments that do nothing but feather the nest of local DFL administrators and their pet projects and institutions.

    It’s why small businesses and family farms are failing from the iron range to the prairie, and why it’s easier to start a meth lab up here than it is to get a small business loan. Alot of the rise in city crime rates, for instance, especially drug-related crimes including those in Minneapolis, have their origins in the economy of scale the rural environments provide. Production is not a problem, neither is transport nor distribution. Law enforcement is the problem, and the local DFL governments would rather add another park or “green space” than finance the harsh reality of interdiction and law enforcement, prosecution, and incarceration. They’d rather punt and have a grass roof instead.

    As for more specific examples, all I will say is hunting shacks burn down all the time, trucks get wrecked, roads are torn up for months on end (usually beginning with every election year) and commercial licenses and building permits are all controlled by the local DFL administration, which keeps a close eye on who’s who in the local community and where they do their business. These are small towns, afterall. While the DFL meets in the Town Halls and the usual fraternity halls, the opposition meets in other people’s homes. That’s just the way it is, because that’s the way it has to be. The only time we see the GOP up here is for photo-ops and such, like the fishing opener or something. Big deal. It’s just not a fight they can win right now.

    As I’m sure you understand, not everything gets reported in the Minneapolis StarTribune, on WCCO or Minnesota Public Radio. The smoking ban, for instance, shuttered 14 private businesses up here so far and plans for the new “recreation center” have already shut down half a dozen more through eminent domain. That’s all DFL. There is no other structure, no other government alternative, no other voice, no legal recourse. Who can afford it?? It’s why we have a $40 million high school in a town of 14,000 people, where there are more administrators, teachers, teaching assistants, guidance counselors, coaches, athletic directors and maintenance workers employed than there are students enrolled.

    That’s all DFL too, and they’re all paid a handsome penny. The janitors clear $62,300 a year, and that’s just the kitchen guys — for 9 months a year, paid vacation included, holidays, sick leave, etc. And that’s just the high school. What d’ya think’s going on at the local university and community college? We got all that too. So what, you’re complaining about tuition increases?? Don’t blame Pawlenty, Seth. This is the DFL’s game. They own the floor, and they have owned the floor for some 50 years. There are retired teachers living up here on $250,000 a year. I know, because they’re my neighbors.

    That’s what I think is so deliciously ironic about your and Mark’s constant rantings and ravings here on Jay’s blog. You guys really don’t appear to understand the reality you’re living in at all, at least not beyond the most superficial level. I share with you, I truly do, your passion and your concerns for the little guy, the working man and his family, his trials and tribulations battling against the omnipresent, indefatigable political machine of the bourgeois State, which saps his labor and his life before he’s had the chance to enjoy the freedom and financial independence he has earned with his own blood, sweat, and tears. I am that guy. The difference is, you guys think you’re the ghost in the machine, but you’re not. You ARE the machine. You just can’t see the forest for the trees.

    How else can you explain the rise of Keith Ellison as the new face of the Minnesota DFL?

  19. Mark says:

    Eracus, while I’m fiercely opposed to business-killing and freedom-killing smoking bans, there are very few counties upstate that have imposed them, and several of the counties that have are Republican strongholds (McLeod, Meeker Counties) while Duluth liberals voted one down. I’ll give you the smoking ban issue though…..DFLers are out of their minds to support those bans.

    The rest of your paranoid conspiracy theories fall flat though. Of course there’s a loss of jobs and family farms in “upstate Minnesota”, but guess what, jobs and family farms are being eviscerated in rural areas across the country, in no small part because of your party’s cheek-and-jowel relationship with corporate interests seeking to expand their horizons to the Third World at the expense of upstate Minnesotans. Meanwhile, is the job scene or family farm solvency in “upstate South Dakota” any better than it is in northern Minnesota? Or how about ruby-red upstate Kansas? Most surveys indicate things are even worse there. Is that the fault of the Minnesota DFL as well?

    And how exactly does Keith Ellison fit into your conspiracy theory?

  20. Seth says:

    Eracus–
    1.) I realize that a guy running on a platform of peace as a moral virtue and making sure every person in a society counts sounds radical to you. It was a bitchslap to the Republicans I particularly enjoyed and will enjoy again when Ellison gets about 70% of the vote in November and Fine comes close to finishing in third.

    2.) We’ve been over the fact that the rich pay a lower share of taxes relative to their wealth several times here. That’s when Jay wanted to consider net worth as a factor when figuring out income taxes and I wanted to consider income when figuring out income taxes.

    3.) Again with the conspiracies–give me an example of these DFL-controlled local governments that are raising taxes in GOP suburbs. Give me a name or a specific example. If the GOP can win state leg. seats, what exactly is the problem at the local level? Let’s be specific instead of the usual Republican crap about these boogeymen out there.

  21. Eracus says:

    While it may be due to the limitations of this medium, it’s interesting how both of you consistently re-frame your arguments to suit your a priori conclusions whenever you are confronted with factual evidence that contradicts your original premise. Mark, for example, avoids the issue of DFL local government monopoly and its ruinous impact on small businesses and family farms by now asserting “everybody does it” from the Dakotas to Kansas, and then explains the negative consequences with the usual liberal canard about corporate interests and the GOP, as if the Democratic Party doesn’t also have a “cheek-and-jowl” relationship with evil corporations, greedy capitalists, and ubiquitous special interest groups. My, my. As for Keith Ellison, let’s just say blatant anti-semitism, flaunting the law, and representing copkillers and the Nation of Islam is a long, long way from Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone.

    Seth, meanwhile, thinks that if a man should cut down his own timber, mill his own lumber, and build his own house, his self-made “net worth” now should be taxable as a function of income, because, well, afterall, it’s “income” in the sense the builder now has made something more than what Seth has made, so he should be taxed “relative to his wealth” to help even things out. Marx and Lenin believed the same thing, of course, as did Mao, which should help explain what the fighting’s been all about for the last 100 years or so. You’re in the wrong country, Seth. Head east.

    Next Seth implies that the issue of DFL-controlled local governments in upstate Minnesota has anything at all to do with rising taxes in GOP suburbs. That’s not what I argued. What I said was that here, in upstate Minnesota, the problem at the local level is we have one-party rule and while there is widespread opposition, it has no representation in either of the three branches of local democratic government. The main reason, I suspect, is because the DFL controls all the local print and broadcast media, all the local school and water districts, all the corporate boards of the local utility co-ops and social services organizations, the local DNR and transportation administrations, the township and city councils, the polling services, the courts, and the local law enforcement agencies. That the DFL certainly has the facilities and knows how to deal with any “troublemakers” should be obvious.

    A more specific example of how all this works might be the DFL’s ridiculous solution to the problem deer population ransacking garbage cans and backyard gardens in the City of Bemidji, and also causing accidents and property damage up and down the local highways and city streets. Notwithstanding the fact the area borders several State forests and parks and is home to a legion of avid hunters and myriad social services in need of food, the DFL nevertheless passed a new ordinance establishing a new Department of Lawn Police (I kid you not) to extract financial penalties from any private landowner with a birdfeeder less than 8 feet off the ground or a garden without a fence at least 4 feet high. No guns allowed, y’see, Seth. The Second Amendment be damned.

  22. Seth says:

    Eracus–
    Wow. Simply dimwitted.

    We’ve also been over the fact that regarding income, the rich pay a lower share of taxes relative to the income they receive. And yes I do believe in a progressive income tax. That may make me a follower of Mark and Lenin but it also makes me a follower of Abraham Lincoln, who enacted the first progressive income tax in the United States.

    Next. First you said, “Those GOPers in the suburbs are talking about property taxes, Seth, which are on the rise because the DFL controls most local governments…” Then you said that “the issue of DFL-controlled local governments in upstate Minnesota has anything at all to do with rising taxes in GOP suburbs” is “not what [you] argued.” Wow. Look out Tony Snow, you’ve got some competition!

    Again, with all of these conspiracty theories about the DFL control of everything, I’ll ask for a third time for some specific examples or kindly ask you to quit yapping. The Bemidji city council elections are non-partisan last I checked, so I’m not quite sure how the DFL could own it.

  23. Eracus says:

    Seth, it is you who asserted this strawman argument challenging how “DFL-controlled local governments are raising taxes in GOP suburbs” as if somehow a GOP suburb would have a DFL-controlled local government. That’s not at all what I said. That’s what YOU said. My response, to clarify, is that many people living in the suburbs also own property upstate where the townships and city councils are controlled by the DFL, which, having lost its dominance in the State legislature, has merely shifted its confiscatory income tax regime to confiscatory tax rates on real property and small businesses. Your point was somehow that rising tax rates experienced by suburban GOPers was all Tim Pawlenty’s fault. My point is that Tim Pawlenty hasn’t got a thing to do with rising local property taxes, sales tax increases, education levies, municipal assessments and the like whether it’s in Bloomington or Tower, MN. I suspect you don’t own any real property, else you would not be so ignorant of or confused by the facts of this issue.

    Further, your reading comprehension disability has also apparently distorted your grasp of history. Lincoln did not institute “the first progressive income tax in the United States.” It was a war tax he used to pay the Union Army and to regulate war profiteering. It was repealed by Congress after the war and did not re-emerge until after the turn of the century with the ratification of the 16th Amendment. You got the party right though — it was not the Democrats but the Republicans, particularly Teddy Roosevelt, who took on the wealthy merchant monopolies and the financial trusts and banks they controlled, most of whom were owned by Democrats.

    As for “specific examples” of DFL control, I just cited you some eleven or twelve administrative services in one single northern Minnesota town. Why not just take Duluth as your example? Hibbing perhaps? Are you really this dense?? Finally, there’s this little turdball: “The Bemidji city council elections are non-partisan last I checked, so I’m not quite sure how the DFL could own it.” Non-partisan. No DFL. Really.

    I happen to live in Bemidji, Seth. Thank you for making abundantly clear you’re just another fraud who doesn’t have any idea what you’re talking about. You’re just making stuff up.

  24. Seth says:

    Eracus–
    Please name me one member of the Bemidji city council who ran as a member of the DFL.

    I wish more Republicans today were as sensible as Lincoln was during war–actually paying for it as we go is a proposition that would get laughed out of a GOP caucus today. Same with regulating war profiteering. And Roosevelt did a good job taking on the monopolies. I wish more GOPers today would do the same, except they’re in the pockets of the CEOs. Eisenhower was just about the last Republican of any standing in the party to put America in front of big business.

    You keep saying the DFL controls everything up there without naming anyone actually in the DFL who actually controls anything. You can come up with the names of 15 different local government entities and I’m glad you’re reading the local section of your newspaper. But that doesn’t mean the DFL is running anything and it doesn’t mean that it’s being run in a corrupt manner. I would ask you for one specific example again but you obviously prefer whining about the monsters under your bed.

    For the record, the people in the suburbs are pissed at the GOP because they hear all this flowery talk about lower taxes and then all of their taxes go up. I’m talking your Brooklyn Park, Minnetonka, Eden Praire.

    Also, while summer homes in greater Minnesota are great to have–and no, I don’t own any property like that–the plight of the “many people living in the suburbs [who] also own property upstate” is not exactly what I would call the most pressing issue for Minnesota to address.

  25. Mark says:

    Eracus, I don’t know how things work in Bemidji, but I’ve lived in four different communities in Minnesota and Iowa and none of them have partisan designations for their local elected officials. Do you have proof that these Gestapos on the Bemidji city council are DFL or are you just assuming they are because, “hey, if Eracus opposes a politician, he/she has to be DFL”.

    “You got the party right though — it was not the Democrats but the Republicans, particularly Teddy Roosevelt, who took on the wealthy merchant monopolies and the financial trusts and banks they controlled, most of whom were owned by Democrats.”

    And Teddy Roosevelt was installed as Vice-President for the sole purpose of marginalizing his political influence in upsetting the McKinley-era Gilded Age apple cart. Kinda backfired when McKinley got assassinated though, didn’t it?

    “Mark, for example, avoids the issue of DFL local government monopoly and its ruinous impact on small businesses and family farms by now asserting “everybody does it” from the Dakotas to Kansas”

    Eracus, my premise was so basic that I thought even you might have the cerebral aptitude to comprehend it. You’re suggesting that the loss of jobs and family farms in “upstate” Minnesota are a product of DFL governance. In order to make the sale on such a notion, you have to be able to point to demographically similar regions of the country not represented by the DFL who are faring better. Considering the areas of the country represented by elected officials from your party are doing even worse that “upstate” Minnesota, your entire argument fails miserably.

    “As for Keith Ellison, let’s just say blatant anti-semitism, flaunting the law, and representing copkillers and the Nation of Islam is a long, long way from Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone.”

    And I’m sure you were a big DFLer in the days of Humphrey and Wellstone, right?

  26. Eracus says:

    “Please name me one member of the Bemidji city council who ran as a member of the DFL.”

    Seeing as how you already know everything, Seth, why don’t you just help me out and name me one member who didn’t? Oh, wait, I mean not counting the Green Party. And while you’re at it, given that Bemidji is the Beltrami County Seat, why don’t you just help me out some more here and identify for me all the GOP representatives I have at the city, county, and state level who share my private property and small business concerns. You know, the ones who believe in income tax cuts, property tax relief, private investment and who voted against the sales tax increase, their own 6% pay raise, and the smoking ban. I sure would appreciate it, so thanks in advance. And, oh, by the way, since you don’t own a summer home (I don’t either) just exactly what sort of real property do you own Seth? You no doubt own your own house and lot, of course, and are completely happy paying 12-15% property tax increases year after year, right?? You can afford it, no doubt, and you support your local DFL government.

    And Mark, the reason there are frequently no party designations in local government registers is because it’s usually all the same party. In a supposedly democratic community, such things just don’t look good.

    Bemidji has been a DFL stronghold for so long the only loyal opposition it has now comes from the Green Party, which doesn’t believe the DFL city council is radical enough. Before the US Olympic Curling Team brought the cleansing light of sunshine into our fair city, for instance, they were trying to tear down our statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox because they represented northern European white male aggression and indifference to the forests, animals, and Native Americans. Target, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart were okay, though, as were Applebee’s and the Ground Round because they’re all outside the city limits (no accountability) but still provide a healthy revenue stream via the city sales tax (more money). Of course most of the family-owned small businesses, from the hole-in-the-wall restaurants to the local pharmacies, have all gone under, but hey! The city slogan is Bemidji Leads!! And we just got another Event Center. Not enough parking available at the site, of course, and between all the university and high school facilities, there’s really no need for an Event Center, but it’s lots and lots of money for the local DFL to spend on local union labor contracts. Think it’ll come in on budget?

  27. Seth says:

    Eracus–
    The point, which you are unable to read, is that no one runs as a Republican or Democrat in city council elections in Bemidji. Let me give you a little clue. When you go to vote, if there are little letters that say ‘R’ or ‘DFL’ next to a candidate, then that is what party they belong to. In some elections, there is no little letter next to the name. We call these “nonpartisan elections,” because no one claims a party affiliation when running them. So we don’t know whether they are Democrats or Republicans unless we go check their voter registration. You probably couldn’t accomplish that because you can’t read past a second grade level, and I’m not gonna be in Bemidji anytime soon, so it looks like we just won’t be able to tell.

    Again, I’m still looking for one DFLer running things at the local level in Bemidji. Give me a name or shut your mouth. I think this is the fourth or fifth time I’ve asked the same question. Maybe you’ve missed it the first four times. Just one name. One. Come on.

  28. Eracus says:

    You are as stunningly insolent as you are ignorant, Seth. A fine DFL combination. But please, please, don’t shut up. Whatever you do, don’t shut up. Keep it coming. We so much need you to stay on message for everyone here to see and understand the type of person who represents and supports the Minnesota DFL. It can only help our cause.

    First, I can’t imagine anyone but a deaf, dumb, and blind DFL flying pig being so completely stupid that they would actually suggest that the absence of a little “R” or a little “D” after a candidate’s name on an election ballot signifies a “non-partisan” election. I would think that nobody could possibly be that stupid, but then here you are. Do you honestly believe that –suddenly– after months and months of campaigning, mass mailings, radio ads, and local newspaper and television coverage that people around here wouldn’t know exactly which candidate represents which party if there’s not a little “R” or a little “D” after their name on the ballot? ARE YOU QUITE INSANE???

    Next, you want some names. You must have a name!! A name!! Just one name!! Okay, Seth, here are some names: Mary Israelson, Nancy Erickson, Barbara Meuers, Richard Lehmann, Onen Markeson, Roger Hellquist, Jerry Downs, Ron Johnson, Tim Faver, Keith Winger, Kay Mack, Ann Allen, Tony Murphy, Duane Ebbighausen, James Worcester, Julie Harris, Richard Mork, Vernon Nelson, Judy Dvorak, Jim Rafferty, Howard Schultz, Dick Vesely, Dan Drusch, Sharon Campbell, Brad Davenport, Dave Carpenter, Scott Hildebank, Pete Mitby, Evert Wickstrom, Bob Wagner, Phil Olson, Ken McBride, Daisy Ritter, Chris Lidstrom, Jan Enquist, Donna Ward, Sue Broki, Lynette Nieuwsma, Sid Sletten, Rich Riewer, Dan Edens, Sam Mason, Sheldon McRae, Lyle Robinson, Doug Larson, Al Snider, Bill Iverson…. Oh!! Do you want the names of their lawyers too? Because I can get those for you if it’ll help.

    And so now you know exactly what, Seth? That there is no DFL dominance in Bemidji? Or that you are so completely and hysterically fanatical in your misinformed and misguided beliefs that nothing –no fact, no reason, no rational argument, real event, or epiphany– can possibly persuade you that you have no evidence for what you believe and are instead completely and totally out of your freaking mind??

    But don’t let me stop you, Seth, oh no. You keep up the good work, boy!! The DFL really needs you to help us all understand what a good deal we got having really smart grown up people like yourself to look out for the rest of us poor dumb peons just trying to earn a living.

    By the way, you didn’t answer my question about whether you own your own house and lot and support the local DFL government increasing property taxes every year at rates higher than any real estate asset can possibly appreciate. My property taxes have gone up almost 30% over the last 3 years. How much have your taxes gone up, Seth?? Come on, I gave you some names afterall. Why don’t you tell us now how much you pay in property taxes? I mean, afterall, you’re such an expert on all this “relation to net worth” stuff. How much do you pay in property taxes, Seth? What’s your increase for 2007? Mine’s 12%. What’s yours? You do own your own house and lot, don’t you, Seth? You pay income taxes too, right? I mean, you don’t get a refund or anything like that, right? Right, Seth? I mean, it’s September 15th. You sent in your quarterly income tax estimate today, right?

    p.s.

    In case this is all still way too far over your head, Seth, let me clue you in. You have just made a complete ass of yourself describing Bemidji politics to a Bemidji businessman having probably never ventured within a hundred miles of Bemidji yourself. As I said earlier, it is abundantly clear you have no idea what you are talking about. It might be a good idea just to admit that and move on. On the other hand, you could just tell us you’re only 14-years-old, home using your Mom’s old computer, and that we’ve all just been had.

  29. Seth says:

    Eracus
    Just stunning. I’m happy you can name some names of people who live in Bemidji and are elected. Problem is, near as I can tell, they all ran in non-partisan races, meaning voters don’t know whether Ann Allen is a Democrat or a Republican when they vote for Bemidji County recorder. I’m still waiting for you to name me one person who ran as a Democrat for office in Bemidji. The problem with this is that you can’t because Bemidji elections are non partisan. And if you think the average voter is paying enough attention to that race to figure it out, I’ve got a sunny tropical getaway vacation spot for you in International Falls. I’ll sell it to you real cheap.

    Since you can’t see you’re an idiot we’ll just call it good. With people like you in the Republican Party, I fell very good about the ability of Democrats to pick up some seats in this election.

    Whether I own my own property and what I pay in property taxes is none of your f***ing business.

  30. Eracus says:

    Still living with mom and dad, eh?

  31. Seth says:

    Eracus strategy memo:
    1.) Look like an idiot.
    2.) Refuse to answer simple questions.
    3.) Look like an idiot some more.
    4.) Continue looking like idiot when claiming voters can a.) identify the Bemidji County recorder and b.) whether she is a Democrat or Republican and then c.) factor that into voting decisions.
    5.) When firmly backed into corner, insult someone because he won’t tell you how much he pays in taxes.

    I find it hard to believe you are a businessman because I really doubt whether you could run a lemonade stand.

    But all of the insults in the world won’t make Bemidji municipal elections partisan races.

  32. Eracus says:

    But you’re still living at home with mom and dad, right? And they told you there is no partisanship in Bemidji. And you believe them because they were right about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy…..

    Honestly, Seth, you have a problem. You are insane. You keep advancing the same stupid tripe expecting a different result. Bemidji is a small community. When we see a dozen lawn signs in some local candidate’s yard, have our mailboxes stuffed with their campaign literature, and hear their ads broadcast twice an hour on radio, we pretty much know where things stand. And we really couldn’t care less what some stupid citidiot, who has never lived a day in Bemidji, imagines he knows about our local politics. We are amused only to the extent you are determined to make a complete ass of yourself arguing topics and themes about which it is abundantly clear you know nothing about. We expect nothing less from the DFL and its toadies, however, who are legion in the belief of things that simply are not true and deeply committed to little more than infantile, wishful thinking.

  33. Seth says:

    Eracus–
    I propose a deal. I’ll drive up to Bemidji. We’ll meet somewhere. We’ll go ask 100 registered voters in Bemidji if they know a.) who the Bemidji County recorder is and b.) what party she belongs to.

    If we get the correct answer, Ann Allen, and people say she is a DFLer (and then we go verify that she really is a DFLer) from 10 people, I’ll give you $1,000. If not, you owe me $1,000.

    If everyone in Bemidji “pretty much know[s] where things stand,” then surely at least 10 of 100 people would be able to verify what you’ve said.

    Now, since you’re a businessman, I’m going to let you put your money where your mouth is. If you’re so confident about this stupid, stupid crap you’ve been spewing on this website, then this is a golden opportunity to make some dough. Otherwise, shut your trap.

  34. Eracus says:

    Grow up, Seth. You have been exposed as a total fraud. Your juvenile proposition now only more illustrates the fact you are merely a poseur, as insecure in your identity as you are in your argument, which is pathetic in either case.

  35. Seth says:

    If I’ve been exposed, why don’t you want to take my money?

    You are the one that thinks the Bemidji County recorder has name recognition and a large amnount of power to dole out gifts to her political friends. Give it a rest.

    Shut your trap.

  36. Eracus says:

    “If I’ve been exposed, why don’t you want to take my money?”

    Because it would be your mommy’s and daddy’s money, Seth, and they obviously need it for your nurse and medication. As you continue to assert unfounded, uninformed arguments you succeed only in appearing more insane and more pathetic with each repetition. You cannot respond logically, because reason and common sense proves you exactly wrong. But you persist, nonetheless, with “shut up, shut up” always your last resort because as a fool you’ve nothing else to offer.

  37. Seth says:

    Ok since you won’t put your money where your mouth is (or more likely because the lemonade stand didn’t do as well as you thought it would this summer), do you really even think that one in ten people knows who Ann Allen is? Do you really think that everyone on that list you named is a member of the DFL? And do you really think the Bemidji County recorder has enough power to do much of anything other than record?

    From what you’ve said above, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding ‘yes.’ And you’re calling me a fool and insane?

    Can we put you in charge of something important with the Republican Party sometime soon?

  38. Eracus says:

    Obviously, Seth, you’ve never lived in a small town. And you tell me, how much power does the director of the Recorder’s Office have when she is responsible for recording, indexing and archiving various official documents including property deeds, financial mortgages, legal affidavits, plat and land surveys, property easements and rights-of-way, mechanic liens, corporate contracts, and military and veteran affairs as they relate to Beltrami County?

    Once again, your ignorance is appalling. Please tell me you’re only 14-years-old and still living at home with mom and dad.

  39. Seth says:

    Eracus for Beltrami County GOP Chair