On Saturday, Bluestem Prairie reported in Call MN Action Network & tell Norm Coleman to stop wasting rich people's money on junk mail that an oversized postcard had been sent to voters inSenator Jim Carlson's Dakota County district (SD51).
Friends in Big Stone County report getting the same junk mail, only asking them to call Senator Lyle Koenen. Following the death of Gary Kubly during the 2012 session, the Clara City Democrat served the county in the western boundary waters for eight months before redistricting placed the county in Torrey Westrom's district.
Bluestem's world headquarters is located in Koenen's district, but we didn't get the postcard, nor was it littering the post office where everyone in Maynard receives his or her mail. Yet. Sending the Koenen postcard to people who only wish they were still represented in the Minnesota Senate by the genial DFLer seems like another waste of rich people's money on Norm's part.
Their money might be better spent on the Big Stone Arts Council's project in Ortonville to repurpose the old lakeside city Water Plant building as an arts center.
It's the sort of project that's perfect for private philanthropy--and would assist the Upper Minnesota River Valley's local arts economy. Perhaps Norm could also charter a bus next fall for the Meander. While some of the artists are known to be dirty hippies, we believe that the rural jobs they generate are neither Republican nor DFL.
To contact the Minnesota Action Network, call Norm Coleman at (612)247-3536 or send mail to PO Box 16285, St Paul, MN 55116. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message via the Minnesota Action's Facebook page (we recommend using Facebook messaging rather than posting your request on the page itself).
This contact information comes from the Minnesota Action Network IE PAC registration with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board and the MAN's Facebook page. While the PAC and the a nonpartisan Minnesota 501 (c)(4) non-profit corporation legally are separate entities, they share a domain name (mnactionnetwork.org) and leader, so we're betting those messages will reach him.
Ask the Minnesota Action Network to remove your name from its mailing lists and ask Norm charter a bus for the Meander next fall as well as find an angel or two for the Big Stone Arts Council.
Some final questions
We're left with a few questions after learning about this second Did the Minnesota Action Network send the postcard to all DFL-held state senate districts? Or just those in districts for which the Senate DFL Caucus was fined $100,000 for breaking campaign finance rules? (The candidates themselves were not fined).
Whatever the case, the junk mail will certainly give Koenen and Carlson time to defend themselves, aswell as provide an excuse for the DFL Senate Caucus and its independent allies to lob a few rounds themselves into vulnerable Republican districts.
Just as with the rich conservative money, we'd rather that the rich Democrats donors spend their own money on projects that will help the poor, educate the young, and enrich the lives of communities, but in the post-Citizens United, all we'll get is those lousy postcards.
It's not small change. Minnesota Public Radio's Catharine Richert reported in Big money pours into battles for Minnesota House that by the October 20 pre-general election reporting deadline, $344,468 was spent in independent expenditures by both sides (exclusive of the candidates themselves) in House District 12A (where Big Stone County lies), while $403,643 had been spent in House District 17B and $204,947 in House District 17A.
That's a total of $953,058 for three rural districts--and the numbers should climb when the final year end reports are posted in February (party, caucus committee and independent expenditure committee & fund reports are due February 2 and the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board usually posts pdfs of the documents by the next day). That's a lot of prints and sketches.
Update: A reader in Senate District 20 has sent us an image of the postcard voters in Kevin Dahle's Senate District 20. We're sure that residents of the Northfield senator's district can nominate a worthy cause toward which the money can be directed.
The three postcards we've seen so far were sent to districts named in the DFL Senate Caucus campaign rules violation. Could there be a pattern here?
We've just learned that voters in SD2 received the junkmail asking them to call Senator Rod Skoe. Skoe isn't named in the campaign finance violation findings, but the competitive House District 2A race between winner Dave Hancock and DFL incumbent Roger Erickson salted the earth with $344,849 of outside group independent expenditures by the pre-general election reporting cut-off date of October 20.
In its October 20 report pre-election report, the Minnesota Jobs Coalition reported spe
While Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race in HD2A, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson took that race; Collin Peterson triumphed in the MN07 part of the district, while Stewart Mills won in the section of 2A in the Eighth.
On the "B" side of SD2, Republican candidates swept the district winning every race with the exception of Collin Peterson in the MN07 slice of the district. Even Michelle MacDonald and Scott Newman won.
Photos: Minnesota Action Network's Lyle Koenen postcard, front and back.
If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
Email subscribers can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.