Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume XCVI

- Over the past few election cycles, factions of the Minnesota Republican party (whether it be libertarians, TEA party members, social conservatives, etc.) have not been shy about engaging in a little infighting. Because we live in a state that leans Democrat, such intra-party squabbling largely contributes to resounding electoral losses, evidenced by a Republican not winning a statewide election since Gov. Tim Pawlenty was barely reelected in 2006.

But could the tide finally be turning? There seemed to be a more unifying feeling among GOP activists after this past weekend's convention, whether it was coalescing behind a US Senate candidate (Mike McFadden) who was not abiding by the party endorsement or the universal disgust towards gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert. On the flip side, perhaps there's some tension emerging in the DFL camp given the reaction to incumbent State Auditor Rebecca Otto receiving a primary challenge.

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin made it clear that the party will protect Otto, who was endorsed for re-election at the party’s convention over the weekend.

“Although he was a one-time House DFL leader, Matt Entenza has a history of running in DFL primaries. His last-minute filing is an insult to the hard-working DFLers he has to win over,” Martin said. “The DFL takes the endorsements of its candidates seriously and will put the full weight of its party resources behind Auditor Otto’s candidacy. I am confident that she will prevail in the primary and general election.”

Entenza hit on two progressive issues in particular — his staunch opposition to voter identification legislation and proposals to ban gay marriage in the state. He pointed out that Otto, a former legislator running for her third term as auditor, voted in favor of those proposals in the Legislature.

“She voted with Republicans to place a ban on marriage equality on the ballot and voted in support of Voter ID legislation restricting Minnesotans’ access to voting,” he said.

I know State Auditor is not one of the more glamorous races, but the DFL primary is at least shaping up to be a donnybrook. Getcha popcorn.

- Tom Emmer is the GOP-endorsed candidate in the Sixth Congressional District looking to replace current Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is not seeking reelection. Despite overwhelmingly receiving the Republican party nod in CD6, Emmer still faced the prospects of two primary opponents in Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and former state rep and prior Taxpayers League of MN president Phil Krinkie.

But as of yesterday, the list of Emmer's primary challengers has dwindled to one.

Krinkie, who is a former president of the Taxpayer's League of Minnesota and once served in the state House, said in a statement:

“It has been a spirited contest and I greatly appreciate all of the support and encouragement I have received from family, friends and conservatives across the country.

"But given the momentum of the Republican endorsement process, matched with the realities of a three-way primary, it has become clear that the responsible decision is to exit the contest and return my focus to advancing the conservative agenda in Minnesota."

I guess it's back to his capacity as board member of the Taxpayers Le....Oh, wait.

- It was three years ago today when I made my debut as a weekly radio host on the Northern Alliance Radio Network on AM 1280 The Patriot. While I had for many years dreamed of an opportunity to have my own show, I had no idea how personally fulfilling it would be. 

In the more than 150 broadcasts I have conducted, I've chatted with politicians, political candidates, political wonks, sports wonks, active professional athletes, retired professional athletes, bloggers, authors, beauty pageant winners and just regular folks with wonderful stories of faith in Jesus. Yes, one can easily ascertain that I have a very eclectic show, which is a testimony to our Operations Manager Lee Michaels. Never once has Lee offered suggestions on how I should alter my programming (though he'd be perfectly within his right to do so). The complete artistic freedom I am afforded is something that just isn't common in major market talk radio. As such, I never take it for granted.

There's plenty of fringe benefits as well. Broadcasting from the Minnesota State Fair every year ensures I have free admission into "the great Minnesota get-together" on at least 3-4 occasions.And because I receive media credentials, I am up close and personal in covering myriad political events.

This gig has also led indirectly to my having the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a Saint Paul Saints baseball game as well as be a judge in a beauty pageant. But most rewarding of all is this humble little radio program has allowed me to meet many wonderful people whom I now call friends. Can't put a price on that.

I believe it's safe to say that I've gotten way more out this radio show than I have put in. What a wonderful (and unexpected) blessing.


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