No doubt about it: the congressional race in Minnesota's Fighting First is sizzling. It's 92 degrees in Mankato right now, according to the Free Press's front page, with a possible 101 forecast.
In today's paper, Mindy Bartell writes:
Republicans unfairly trash military records
I’m writing in response to the attempted “swiftboating” of Tim Walz’s military service in the Your View letter by Major Walter Gates on July 22nd. Tim Walz’s military record has never been a secret. His campaign literature is clear. Mr. Walz served our country for 24 years in the Army National Guard. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Italy where he served doing the supply lines between Turkey and England, and providing base security and training for soldiers on their way to Afghanistan
The Republican Party has used this tactic of questioning someone’s honorable military service to assassinate their character in the past couple of elections on Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia. In both cases the information put forth was proved to be lies and misinformation.
It’s sad that there are people who are serving in our military that are willing to unfairly trash a fellow soldier’s record for political means.
It's said that those who point fingers get four pointed back at them. So it is with Jack Halverson, who--after thanking Tim Walz, Major Gates, and all American troops for their service-- wonders a bit about Gil Gutknecht's ratings by some veterans' groups:
Web site raises questions in Congressional race
In a recent letter to the editor, a reader expressed a desire to find out deployment information of Tim Walz, candidate for Congress in the 1st District. Numerous newspaper articles and Tim himself have included the specifics of that deployment to Italy — a year he spent away from his wife, daughter and his job as a classroom teacher. I would like to express my gratitude for Tim’s sacrifice. I also want to express my gratitude to the letter writer, currently serving in the military, and to thousands like him for their sacrifices. Our country owes them and all veterans our most sincere thanks and support.
But, like the letter writer, I have a question to which I would like an answer. What has Tim’s opponent (not) done to earn the 33 percent approval rating of the Retired Enlisted Association in 2004, and the 20 percent approval of the Disabled American Veterans in 2005 (a huge jump from the 0 percent he earned from the same group in 2004), according to www.Vote-smart.org?
Over at Minnesota Campaign Report, read all about Walz's challenge to debate Iraq policy with Gil Gutknecht. MnCR notes:
Keep watching for how quickly Gutknecht responds to this call for debate. If he responds too quickly, it makes him look desperate. If he waits too long, it makes him look like he’s stonewalling the voters of CD1. Debates are always a tense little tango between opposing campaigns. Nevertheless, it is good to see Team Walz taking the initiative and forcing Gutknecht to play the game on Walz’s home court.
On Saturday, Power Liberal observed that "Blue Stem Prairie is gracious enough to note the coverage of the first in this week's blog house without mentioning the fact that they should probably have been included."
That's mighty kind, but we didn't mind. Other blogs did the thinking, I did the linking. If you can make it to Club 331 in Minneapolis, help rew and The Wege supply another rhyme Thursday.