It's a gorgeous autumn day on the prairie, with signs of fall everywhere. The male goldfinches that come to our thistle feeder have traded their lovely yellow feathers for winter drab, and wild purple asters are in bloom. We're going mushroom hunting as soon as this post is up. Perhaps the recent "duck-hunting weather" will return for the hunters among us once the waterfowl season opens next Saturday.
Today's Mankato Free Press yields a bounty of election-related material, though none online. We'll transcribe the best.
LTE: "WALZ HAS SHOWN LEADERSHIP AS TEACHER, COACH, SOLDIER"
Sargeant Ryan Marti of St. Peter writes in support of Walz's candidacy. His words echo what other National Guard soldiers and former Walz students have told us ( they're usually not aware of our life as a blogger):
OLLIE OX UPDATE: Ryan Marti's letter is now online.
I've known Tim Walz as a teacher, a coach and leader. I've had the privilege of sitting in his classroom, running up and down the football field, and serving our nation under his leadership.
I am on deployment to Iraq.
Many of my fellow soldiers and former classmates have shown their support for Walz and I feel I must do the same.
In his classroom, Walz challenged us to think openly and consider all points of view. He taught us stand in the other person's shoes and to try and see the issue from their perspective.
Isn't this exactly what we want in a leader? Someone who will listen to everyone and make the right decision?
On the football field he continued to teach. He taught us that teamwork, discipline and hard work is the key to winning. Without having to be told, we knew it was OK to make a mistake, we also knew it was never OK to break a rule even if we got away with it.
Walz will do the right thing the right way. He will not cheat. I'm not saying that the other guy will or won't--I just know that Walz will be honest and true.
After high school Walz convinced me to join the National Guard. I still had more lessons to learn. Walz taught me what it takes to be a good leader, and I owe my leadership success to him.
Walz was an excellent soldier and is a natural leader, and nobody except those who have served with him, have the right to question his service. It says something about a man's character when everyone who has served with him respects him.
MANKATO FREE PRESS: "WALZ AD TACKLES HIS PAST AS A COACH"
Good news and mixed in an article on the first page of the B-section of the MFP. "Walz as tackles his past as coach" looks at the ad that's getting so much praise online. Mark Fischenich reports:
Some Mankato residents--particularly former West High School football players--are likely getting a kick out of the latest Tim Walz for Congress television commercial, regardless of whether they prefer Walz or Congressman Gil Gutknecht on Nov. 7.
Titled "Everyday Heroes," the second Walz ad focuses on his work as a teacher and football coach at West and his service in theArmy National Guard.
There are numerous opportunities for area resident to say, "Hey, look! isn't that....?" as the ad shows Walz with Scarlet footbal players, including the 1999 championship team. . . .
It's not just a Mankato-based ad, however. For Rochester residents, the ad concludes with Tim Walz speaking to the viewer from that city's War Memorial.
Fischenich then notes that the Walz-Gutknecht race "continues to be listed in the top ten or 20 percent of races for competitiveness" but has slipped in the "National Journal's rankings of House seats most likely to switch from Republican to Democratic control or vices versa. The reporter also notes that Walz received "kind words" by being put on the "emerging races" list by the DCCC, but missed getting the "Red to Blue" designation and the resources that would entail.
MANKATO FREE PRESS: CONGRESS FAILS ON FUNDING
Yesterday, he editors of the Mankato Free Press take a dim view of several new unfunded mandates in "Congress Fails in Funding:"
To Congress, both houses, for approving this week immigration-related measures but failing to provide any funding.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 228-196 to approve a new law that would require voters in federal elections to provide a photo ID.
The bill requires states to help poor people who don’t have photo IDs get them, but appropriates no money for the mandate. It’s another example of Congress being able to look good without making the hard choice of paying for inflicting their will on state and local government.
In another case, the Senate approved the building of a $6 billion, 700-mile fence along the Mexican border, but left out a key provision: the $6 billion.
Republican Rep. Gil Gutknecht and Democrat Rep. Colin Peterson voted in favor of the House plan.
Sen. Norm Coleman, R, and Sen. Mark Dayton, D, voted in favor of the Senate plan.
Over at the ActBlue Netroots Candidate page, Tim Walz is about $25 short of topping $12,000 and four contributors away from reaching 500. Go visit the contribution page and change that.
On the netroots, Minnesota Central outlines four problems with the first bill mentioned by the Free Press, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, in Gutknecht votes to suppress democracy; foster apathy.
Midwest Values PAC features the new Walz ad.