Friday, April 29, 2005

Beer, Cigarettes & Guns fund Kennedy Campaign

If Republican Mark Kennedy is elected to the US Senate, these are some of the people he will owe favors to:
National Beer Wholesalers $10,000
National Rifle Association $1,000
RJ Reynolds PAC (Cigarette maker) $1,000

Other big or notable Kennedy donors:
Northwest Airlines $5,000
Qwest Communications $10,000
Health Savings Account PAC $1,000
Association of Building and Contractors $10,000
Target Citizens Federal Forum $7,500

Strangely enough, all of the controversial groups (Beer, Guns & Tobacco) made their donations to Kennedy's 2006 House campaign and the funds were then rolled over to his Senate campaign. Many journalists are going to miss those donations because they're not itemized on his Senate campaign report.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

What President Bush forgot to mention

From the Star Tribune/Associated Press:
"If you work hard and pay into Social Security your entire life, you will not retire into poverty," President Bush said during his hour long news conference Thursday night.

Bush spoke as White House officials issued written material saying the type of change he had in mind could be accomplished with a "sliding scale benefit formula."

That would mean lower payments for future retirees of middle and upper incomes than they are currently guaranteed -- a fact Bush himself did not mention during the 60-minute session.

"The money from a voluntary personal retirement account would supplement the check one receives from Social Security," Bush said. He added that personal accounts would also leave retirees with nest eggs that can be passed along in the future, but that was another case in which he omitted key details.

Administration officials have told Republicans in Congress that lower-income workers who retire with personal accounts would be required to purchase annuities to guarantee themselves a lifetime benefit. In some cases, the cost of the annuity would deplete their personal accounts, leaving nothing to be inherited.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Interviews With All 3 DFL Chair Candidates Now Online

Brian Melendez PhotoHear them on "Inside Minnesota Politics with Peter Idusogie"

On this week's show: Brian Melendez talks about faith, values & the DFL "We've let the Republicans claim they are 'holier than thou' and we've let them get away with it."

Brian says Republicans are "manipulating voters with their talk of religion", while the values the DFL party is really closer to most religions values. He has some ideas about how to call Republicans out "on their own hypocrisy".

Listen and hear about how why Brian is against a "one size fits all" campaign strategy.

There are two other candidates for the job -- Betty Folliard and Josh Syrjamaki. Interviews with those two candidates are also posted on our Inside Minnesota Politics website. On May 21st, the DFL State Central Committee will choose one of these three to head the party.

Talk back to "Inside Minnesota Politics"
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Wetterling closer to running for real

A campaign office suite downtown St. Paul and a brand new website which is NOT at (at least not yet) indicates Wetterling is all but officially in the race for U.S. Senate.

Update: The site is now on line at Apparently the staff was still getting the site on line when they sent out the announcement.

No WMDs Found -US Ends Iraq Investigation

Investigation closed in Iraq. No "Weapons Of Mass Destruction" found.

"After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted," wrote Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, in an addendum to the final report he issued last fall.

"As matters now stand, the WMD investigation has gone as far as feasible."

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, speech to UN General Assembly, Sept. 12, 2002

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, Jan. 9, 2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
- George W. Bush, address to the U.S., March 17, 2003

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, speech to VFW National Convention, Aug. 26, 2002
Read more quotes here

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

2nd Of 3 DFL State Chair Candidate Interviews

The next edition of "Inside Minnesota Politics with Peter Idusogie" is now available. Download it now and listen to it when ever you want. You can also stream it on line.

On this week's show: Former State Representative Betty Folliard tells Peter Idusogie she wants to lead Minnesota Democrats back into the majority. She is one of three candidates running for DFL State Party Chair. Betty talks about what the DFL message should be, running the party like a business and how to attract three important groups John Kerry lost.

There are two other candidates for the job. Last week we interviewed Josh Syrjamaki. On our next show we will talk with Brian Melendez.

In our political news headlines: Republicans are upset that one of their own has Indian financing and the inside scoop why one incumbent Republican Minnesota Congressman is not raising as many dollars as he has in the past.

Having trouble downloading the show? See our website for trouble shooting tips and links to download podcast receiver software (Windows and Mac!)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Beer and Defense Contractors fund Kline campaign

Rep. John Kline (R- MN 2nd District) is apparently a little more secure in his position this year. He's raised a little more than half of what he raised by this time in 2003. ($117,075 vs. $218,787) But the sources for Kline's contributions remain the same. Alcohol (National Beer Wholesalers Association - $5,000) and defense contractors (Aliant, Lockheed Martin, US Defense PAC and others).

Perhaps he isn't expecting much of a fight in the 2nd Congressional District in 2006. In 2004 he raised and mostly spent $1.5 million on the campaign. His opponent Theresa Daly raised and spent about $1.1 million . She's apparently running again having already raised about $50,000.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Minnesota’s first political podcast debuts

First shows focus on DFL State Chair race

Big media conglomerates no longer have a monopoly on Twin Cities political talk radio. Starting this week, “Inside Minnesota Politics” is bypassing radio and delivering its weekly program directly to the public on mp3 players – a form of communication known as “podcasting”.

Show host Peter Idusogie (E-doo-SOH-gee) says the podcast’s goal is to “give you a perspective on Minnesota politics that you just can’t get from the dry words in the newspaper or a blog, and to give you the depth that you can’t get from broadcast TV and radio news.”

Idusogie is a former candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd District. He continues to remain politically active, offering non-partisan solutions on matters that affect our nation.

The show’s first programs are focusing on the three-way race for DFL State Chair. All three candidates — Josh Syrjamaki, Brian Melendez, and Betty Folliard — will individually talk about what the DFL needs to do to win in 2006.

“The State Chair race was a natural place to start,” says Michael McIntee, the program’s producer. “Short of who to endorse for Senate or Governor, it’s the biggest decision the DFL will make this year because the next state chair can have a large impact on the direction of the party and its chance of success in the 2006 election. We’re very excited that all three candidates immediately agreed to be on the program.”

McIntee is the former Senior Manager of Programming for All News Channel on DirecTV and has worked in television news for more than 25 years.

“Podcasting is a great way for people to get to know a candidate,” said McIntee. “It’s powerful, easily distributed and intimate. You learn more about a person listening to them speak than just reading what they said. (Former Vice Presidential candidate) John Edwards is already podcasting. I think you’re going to see a lot of candidates in the future do the same.”

To listen to the show, visit
For more information, contact Michael McIntee

Sunday, April 03, 2005

You pay 2 1/2 times the tax rate of the rich

More evidence today that the middle-class is shouldering more and more of the tax burden while the wealthiest Minnesotans are paying the lowest effective tax rate.

And these latest numbers don't even include state "fees" that are rising at a record rate.

The worst news is our state tax system is going to become even more regressive. And as far as the theory about taxing the wealthy driving away jobs? The states with the lowest income tax rates also have some of the worst economic conditions.

Solution? Take a look at what Growth and Justice has proposed. It's something both business and progressives can get behind.