But there's a major flub in Franson’s critics increase her determination:
A Democratic-Farmer-Laborite campaign official this week sent Internet links to an edited video clip of a recent Franson speech in Browerville in which she discusses a joke she told in March that led to statewide reaction.
In her March YouTube video, the Alexandria Republican said more food stamps are being distributed than ever while parks officials suggest that feeding animals makes them more dependent. The Welfare Rights Committee and others on the left criticized Franson for what they said was comparing welfare recipients to animals.
Franson repeated the story in Browerville, which drew laughter and applause.
“You guys laugh and you guys clap, but what I got from the inside of St. Paul was completely ugly,” she said in a portion of the speech the DFL did not post to YouTube. “I don’t want them to be poor. I want them to be able to better their lives.”
The Davis piece also ran in Franson's home town paper as Franson repeats food stamp joke at speech in Browerville.
Well, no. Bluestem got the same edited clip that Davis received, and asked, via Twitter, for a longer clip that would provide more context. Zach Rodvold, the DFL House campaign director, quickly posted this clip to the "dflhouse" Youtube channel:
And here's my tweet that includes links to both videos on the DFL House Caucus Youtube channel. Unless Eric Harpel's hacker broke in and posted that second longer version, I think it's safe to say the DFL House Caucus did indeed post both clips.
Indeed, one wonders where Davis learned of or saw the material he writes about, other than on the DFL House's channel. Did he receive a synopsis from the loyal opposition? Has other video footage been posted online somewhere else? Via twitter DM, Bluestem asked Mary Franson herself if other video were available and she said she knew of none.
UPDATE: In an email, Davis correctly notes that the DFL House Caucus didn't send the longer clip to him. It does not appear to Bluestem that second clip was sent to the caucus campaign's press distribution list. Likewise, bloggers who use only the first clip can't necessarily be faulted for not watching the longer clip, as there is no certainity that they saw the it.
In addition to tweeting it, the caucus should have provided an email update and unfortunate situations like this could have been avoided. [end update]
Bluestem hasn't found any other footage online of the tea party rally in Browerville; we've looked because we're curious what "Agenda" director Curtis Bowers, the keynote speaker, had to say at the same event.
While state progressive bloggers who are posting about this are using only the short clip that was first release, a Huffington Post article about it, Mary Franson, Minnesota State Legislator, Repeats Offensive Food Stamp Joke [UPDATED], includes the longer footage in the update. John Celock, state politics reporter and Patch liaison for The Huffington Post:
A longer version of Franson's remarks, posted on YouTube by the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party, show the lawmaker explaining to those assembled at a Tea Party rally that she is committed to changing entitlement programs and moving more people off of welfare. She said that the joke and her reaction after she first delivered it in March was part of that mission. . . .
Franson told the rally that in the wake of telling the joke she received death threats, 2,500 petitions to apologize and calls for her resignation, which she resisted. She said that she believes that she was able to continue to stand up for her beliefs despite that pressure. Noting that she grew up poor, she urged participants to join her in taking on liberals.
Franson also decried the lack of support she said she received from colleagues in the state legislature following her remarks. She said her only support came from Tea Party allies.
"What i got on the inside of St. Paul was completely ugly," Franson said of the aftermath of her original telling of the joke. "I got no support from my colleagues."
Bluestem hopes that Davis corrects his copy.
Does the longer version provide context that changes the meaning and impact of repeating the "joke"? That's a judgment call. For myself, I'd like to have viewed the entire speech.
It's not much different than back in March. A number of progressive bloggers used only a short clip edited from a longer Republican House Caucus video that was produced to share with Franson's constituents. Bluestem did not--and we looked at the bills Franson was touting. While using only the short sound bite might be good "messaging," Bluestem thought it was bad reporting--took away the freedom of readers to use their critical thinking skills.
As we see with one of Obama's remarks being taken out of context for an ad by Romney, there's a lot of fake outrage to be generated by cropping.
And then there's the real anger generated by things like the full March Franson clip. It's a stupid "joke" and Franson and other Republicans don't make clear how the "welfare reform" measures that they advocate--which do not include training, education or other means for improving one's ability to make a living--will improve the situation of poor families. Rather, they project the ideological bugaboo of "dependency." It's not particularly helpful for reducing poverty.
A final thought: The original video back in March was produced by the Republican House Caucus, and yet Franson says that none of her colleagues supported her. Is this accurate? As time allows today, we'll review the record, and if there's anything worth noting, we'll llet you know.
Here's the screenshot of Davis's original text:
Photo: Mary Franson