Tag Archives: Chip Cravaack

Watching the Watchmen: the bipartisan failure on privacy

The revelations about the NSA spying program have set off a firestorm of partisan finger-pointing (such as this from late last week).  The reality, though, isn’t terribly complex.  Both parties are responsible for selling your privacy down the river with these sorts of programs.  There have been five key votes since 2001 that have been responsible for these programs.

The pattern shows that it doesn’t matter who’s in charge of the Presidency or Congress.  Washington D.C. will vote to take away your privacy, while fighting to make more and more of their actions secret.  The solution to this issue can’t be solved by switching which party is in charge — but rather by a sustained effort to keep pressure on both parties to do the right thing.  We must remain vigilant.

Below is a chart that shows the bipartisan failure on this issue, including votes by Minnesota’s Congressional delegation.  Click on the chart to see a larger version.

bipartisanfailure

Data sourced from THOMAS.gov

Brodkorb’s blog goes from boring to lazy

Former Minnesota state Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb’s new blog, politics.mn, debuted back in August.  It seemed to be  promising.  After all, Brodkorb was highly influential in the Minnesota Republican Party until his dalliances with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch got himself fired and ended (for now) her political career.  Before becoming part of the party engine, Brodkorb ran his own influential blog, Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

Since its launch, though, Brodkorb’s new blog has mostly trafficked in regurgitated conventional wisdom (Kurt Bills is running a bad campaign?  Really?) and random fact-checking.  It’s been bland and boring, something that I don’t think anyone really expected.  Brodkorb presumably knows this stuff inside and out, so either he’s not as smart as everyone claims he is or he’s holding the juicy stuff. (Maybe his ongoing lawsuit over l’affaire Koch is tempering things, or perhaps Brodkorb really has turned over a new leaf.)

But the most recent post on the site, an “analysis” of Rick Nolan’s campaign for Congress in the 8th District turns the corner from boring to lazy.  The premise is intriguing:  are there things in Rick Nolan’s previous public service that are hurting his campaign this year?

And it all starts out well enough, with a recounting of Nolan’s history, including his well-documented and very public support of Ted Kennedy’s run against incumbent President Jimmy Cater (and Minnesota’s own Vice President Walter Mondale, who Brodkorb seems to be hinting still may be against Nolan).  Brodkorb also approvingly cites press releases from Nolan’s 2012 opponent, Rep. Chip Cravaack detailing missed votes by Nolan and statements 35 years apart that are in contradiction with one another.  OK, fine.  How is that impacting things today?

Well, the only evidence of Nolan having trouble today is the defection of two officials who supported one of Nolan’s opponents in the 2012 primary to Cravaack.  Why did these two officials choose to endorse Cravaack?  Must be the Kennedy issue or the other issues cited above, right?  Maybe Walter Mondale told them to switch sides?

Nope.  In fact, the two officials switched their support to Cravaack because of a specific current issue — mining.  Not a mention of Nolan’s past history at all.  Is there a lot of evidence that 8th District DFLers are hopelessly divided over Nolan?  There doesn’t seem to be.  Nolan easily won the DFL endorsement battle, which meant he was victorious among the very activists you would expect to have long memories about such things.

This post wasn’t “analysis” at all.  Rather, it was a chance to toss up some Chip Cravaack talking points about things in Nolan’s past, point out something unrelated and shout “Dems in disarray”.  That play was worn out years ago.  Sorry, Mike, we hoped for better.


%d bloggers like this: