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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 35,296

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

MN-01: Feehan makes closing argument: 'Change is coming'

With the clock winding down on the 2020 campaign, DFL congressional candidate Dan Feehan campaigned in Rochester to make his closing argument for his candidacy.

Feehan told union leaders Friday that he would be a voice for organized labor and support proposals that strengthen workers right to organize.

"Time to go on the offensive. That's where I would be," Feehan told members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 343 labor union in Rochester. "At a time when income inequality is growing exponentially in this country, we have to be able to protect the right of women and men to organize and fight for a living wage."

Feehan is running against GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Blue Earth native who is seeking his second term after beating Feehan by a margin of 1,300 votes two years ago. Political professionals are predicting a similarly close race, as the Cook Political Report moved its rating from "Lean Republican" to "Toss Up."

When Feehan asked members what they wanted out of the next Congress, Chad Katzung, the local's business manager, told him, "To be brutally honest, it's for Congress to stop attacking us."


Pushing Deep Into G.O.P. Turf, Democrats Are Poised to Expand House Majority

“The Democrats’ green wave in 2018 has turned into a green tsunami in 2020, which combined with ongoing struggles with college-educated suburban voters, makes for an extremely challenging environment,” said Corry Bliss, a Republican strategist who helped lead the party’s failed effort in 2018 to protect its House majority, referring to the torrent of Democratic campaign cash. “There are about a dozen 50-50 races across the country, and the most important factor in each is if the president can close strong in the final stretch.”

The terrain for House Republicans was not supposed to be this grim. But Mr. Trump’s stumbling response to the pandemic and inflammatory brand of politics have alienated critical segments of the electorate, particularly suburban voters and women, dragging down congressional Republicans and opening inroads for Democrats in districts that once would have been unfathomable.

“I don’t think too many people would have thought that at the beginning of this cycle, but we are playing deep into Trump country,” Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, the chairwoman of House Democrats’ campaign arm, said, noting that “a third of a billion dollars” and strong recruits had yielded “a good secret sauce.”

Eyeing new opportunities in districts that have traditionally been conservative strongholds, Democrats have charged into suburbs across the country. In the Midwest, they are targeting Representatives Don Bacon of Nebraska, Ann Wagner of Missouri, and Rodney Davis of Illinois. They are also storming once ruby-red parts of Texas, positioning themselves in striking distance of picking up as many as five seats on the outskirts of Houston and Dallas.


MI-03: Meijer Campaign Admits to Illegal Donation through Shell Corporation

After getting caught in a potential illegal straw donation scheme, the Meijer camp is attempting to clean up their mess by claiming a “paperwork error” was at fault. But as an attorney with the independent, nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group Campaign Legal Center makes clear, “this is a serious violation, so it looks like the donor acted quickly after getting caught.”

Here’s what we still don’t know:

Why was this shell corporation, Montcalm LLC, set up just days before the donation? As the FEC complaint notes, “There is no public record of Montcalm LLC conducting any activities other than making a political contribution.”

If the donation was above board, as the Meijer camp’s attorney claims, what is the purpose of this company?

Why did CLF only file an amendment once the Meijer camp was caught and started getting negative press?

Did Peter Meijer, whose family set him up with a $50 million trust fund, ask his family to funnel $150,000 to help his campaign?

As a reminder, creating a LLC with the purpose of disguising a campaign donor is a violation of federal election law, and can result in prison time. Trump associates Igor Furman and Lev Parnas were arrested earlier this year by federal agents following a similar complaint for the same practice.

Key points from The Detroit News’ Melissa Nann Burke

“Fischer [of the Campaign Legal Center] said CLF’s amendment shows that the allegations in his complaint were correct.

“The newly created ‘Montcalm LLC’ was not the true source of the $150,000 super PAC contribution. This is a serious violation, so it looks like the donor acted quickly after getting caught,” Fischer said.

“The law requires that big donors be publicly reported— and the public has a right to know if a billionaire is bankrolling a super PAC supporting his son’s run for office. It shouldn’t take a legal complaint for a super PAC donor to disclose what should have been made public in the first place.”

The FEC complaint notes that Montcalm LLC lacks a business imprint or an online presence such as a website, social media account or business record.

“There is no public record of Montcalm LLC conducting any activities other than making a political contribution,” the complaint states.

Without that record, the Campaign Legal Center suggests the entity would not have had sufficient income from assets, earnings or business revenue or investments to cover the $150,000 contribution “without an infusion of funds provided to it for that purpose.”

The complaint alleged that whoever created, operated or contributed to Montcalm violated the law by making the contribution to CLF but attributing the source to Montcalm.

The complaint also asks the FEC to probe whether Montcalm failed to register as a political committee as required by federal law.”


NC-08: Republicans drop $2 million to help Rep. Richard Hudson a week before Election Day

A top Republican outside spending group has disclosed that it will spend $2.05 million to air ads against Pat Timmons-Goodson, the Democratic former North Carolina Supreme Court justice who is in a tight race to unseat Rep. Richard Hudson in the state’s 8th Congressional District.

The late-stage move by the Congressional Leadership Fund is a sign that Concord’s Hudson, whose district backed President Donald Trump in 2016 by a 53%-44% margin, could be in trouble.

The CLF, which typically spends money in competitive races, has now committed $3.6 million to the race. The area has not been competitive territory for Democrats since Hudson took the seat in 2013. A recent redistricting, combined with a strong candidate for the Democrats, has made the race a potential addition to the party’s majority in the House of Representatives.

They’re scared to death,” said Thomas Mills, an adviser to the Timmons-Goodson campaign. “This is what I call a panic buy.”

The 8th District stretches from Cabarrus County to Cumberland County, where Fayetteville is located.


Virginia's blue wave shows no sign of slowing ahead of key House races next week

Two years ago, Virginia Democrats won a majority of their state’s congressional seats for the first time in a decade, part of a national trend that made Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaker of the House.

Republicans vowed to wrest back those gains, especially in districts that had long been GOP strongholds.

It isn’t going to happen, at least not this year. Nonpartisan forecasters predict Democrats will hold on to their 7-to-4 advantage in House seats and may even pick up an eighth.
The Republicans’ weakness in the Old Dominion results from three trends, which echo their challenges in much of the rest of the country. President Trump has acquired what analysts call a “toxic” reputation in the state. Demographic shifts that already helped Democrats in Northern Virginia have now spread to suburbs around Richmond and Hampton Roads. And a split between hard-line conservatives and center-right voters hampers the GOP’s ability to compete.

“Virginia has become a safely blue state,” said David Wasserman, House editor of the Cook Political Report. “The Republican collapse in the western Richmond suburbs is breathtaking.”

Assuming the forecasts are correct, the Nov. 3 results will cement the Washington region’s congressional delegations as overwhelmingly Democratic.


Bonus Tweet of the Day


PA-10: Long lines again at York County election office on last day to request mail-in ballot

Voters were lined up again at the York County Administrative Center on Tuesday to cast their votes, with about 50 people waiting outside at one point just to drop their completed ballots in the outdoor collection box.

Tuesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline to request a mail-in ballot in-person or online, as well as the deadline to take advantage of early in-person voting, in which voters could apply for their ballot at the elections office, then fill it out on the spot and submit it.

York County Commissioner Julie Wheeler said there was a steady stream of people lined up Tuesday inside the elections office, but she had good news for those who are nervous about making it to the front of the line in time.

"For anyone that is in line by 5 o'clock, we will ensure that we process their request for a mail-in ballot," Wheeler said.

To help streamline the process, Wheeler said employees from the elections office combed the line and provided voters with paperwork so they could start filling out and submitting their applications while they wait.


What happened in Omaha?

Fell asleep for most of the evening and woke up to scattered tweete about Trump's Omaha rally becoming a clusterfuck. Even Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman is commenting.

Arizona State Senate moves from 'Tilt' to 'Lean' Demcratic (flip)


Police cars revolving light AZ Rating Changes Police cars revolving light

After reviewing final campaign finance reports in AZ we have 3 changes in our forecast. 1 favor's R's, 2 favor D's.

As a result of these changes...

AZ Senate | Tilt D → Lean D (FLIP)

50.6% D Majority
20.8% Tie
28.6% R Majority

NEW FLIPPABLE: Mike Erickson for MN-HD35A

In his May 31, 2019, legislative update, John Heinrich wrote this:

“I will continue working to secure funding for the Highway 47/Ferry Street railroad overpass as well as for the expansion of Highway 10 to three lanes in both directions (between Hanson Blvd and Round Lake Blvd). Both of these projects will improve safety, allow for easier and faster travel, and boost our local economy. I pushed hard for them this year, but unfortunately the legislature did not pass a bonding bill this session. With no bonding bill, most local infrastructure projects like these didn’t receive any state funding this year.

However, next session is a non-budget year in which bonding will be a bigger focus, and I am optimistic we can fund these important projects when that time comes.”

Apparently that time has not yet come. Last night party loyalty won out over the interests of the district's constituents - Heinrich voted NO!

Thankfully for the residents of Anoka and Ramsey, more pragmatic Republicans were willing to reach across the aisle to get the measure passed, leaving open the possibility we can still enjoy the benefits to the community the project(s) will bring.

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