Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume XCVIII

- MN state representatives Joe Hoppe and Tara Mack (both Republicans) co-wrote a damning op-ed regarding the status of MNSure, the state's health insurance exchange. There is no doubt that the DFL is facing a difficult election season trying to defend this boondoggle, given that not one single Republican supported this law. And that's just one issue.

So when a political party woefully lacks any substantive issues on which to campaign, you can probably guess the card to be played by their lapdogs (in this case, veteran scribe Doug Grow) in the media.

Minnesota’s Republican Party roars into the election season with endorsed candidates that, with a only a couple of exceptions, have a striking similarity: They’re white guys.

The exception is in the 4th District, where Republicans endorsed attorney Sharna Wahlgren to go up against DFL incumbent Betty McCollum, who is seeking her eighth term in Congress. Additionally, in the 6th District, Rhonda Sivarajah is set to run in a primary against Tom Emmer, who was endorsed by that district’s Republicans.

At the state level, white guys ruled.

Essentially, Mr. Grow is merely parroting chanting points put forth by the DFL chair a few weeks ago. As such, I won't rehash what I wrote about the issue then. But think about it. Do you honestly believe GOP candidates' gender/race would be the constant focus of Dems and the media (pardon the redundancy) if their party had a winning (or even coherent) campaign message? That's one of those rhetorical questions.


- This year, veteran Minneapolis sports writer Sid Hartman will celebrate 70 years (seventy!) as a newspaper columnist and 60 years talking sports on WCCO radio.

For 18 years now, Sid has been part of a weekly TV sports round table called The Sports Show, seen every Sunday evening at 9:30 on the local CW channel. For the first 16 years it was he, fellow Star Tribune scribe Patrick Reusse and radio guy Dark Star on the round table with the festivities being moderated by Mike Max. When Star died two years ago, many felt that Sid's demeanor would become milder given his long time agitator (Star once called Sid "Sparky the Barking Fossil" on the air) had passed on.

Well.....not so much. If you have a half hour to kill, check out this past Sunday's episode with Star Tribune baseball beat writer LaVelle E. Neal III sitting in the middle chair. Let's just say that Sid's treatment of Neal had Reusse concerned (jokingly....I think) that there could potentially be a racial discrimination suit filed.




- When 30+ year incumbent Democrat Congressman Jim Oberstar was defeated in 2010 by upstart Chip Cravaack, it was perhaps one of the bigger upsets in an election dominated by Republicans. Unfortunately, Cravaack was defeated in 2012 by Rick Nolan, one of those old white guys the Dems seem to loathe yet have no problem electing to political office.

But I digress.

Nolan (like many Congressional Dems) will have quite a formidable foe this election cycle in businessman Stewart Mills.

Check out the Politico piece that dubs Mills "The Brad Pitt of the Republican Party.

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