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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

It Is About Competing

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 05/10/18 12:47

by Dave Mindeman

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnet, cut a $30 million check to the Congressional Leadership Fund, under the watchful, encouraging eye of Norm Coleman.

$30 million.

Democrats have to compete with that. If they don't, we could once again be relegated to the minority in the House of Representatives.

Let me talk to the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party. Listen up. I agree with your assumption that until we get big money out of politics, nothing of value for the working class can be done. You are right - everybody on the left agrees with that.

But when you self righteously sneer at Democratic candidates who raise enough money to compete with well funded Republicans, you are giving guys like Sheldon Adelson a free ride.

Money raising Democrats are not the problem. They are not the enemy. It is the unlimited spigot of cash that Republicans can draw on that is the culprit. Remember that. Focus on that.

We cannot get that problem addressed until we have enough Democratic votes in Congress to move for change. It really is as simple as that. We will have to have well funded Democrats win these seats this fall to have any hope of getting campaign finance changed to a more fair and accountable system.

Too often, progressive voices chastise Democrats for raising large sums of money. This is hopelessly short sighted. Dems raise money to compete - Republicans raise hordes of money to bury us.

I, personally, hate the idea of money in politics. It is not free speech when wealthy donors can drown out the rest of us as if we do not exist. Corporations are not people, either, but until we can muster enough votes in Congress and the State Legislatures to get a Constitutional amendment change in that regard, we are stuck with it.

It all comes down to winning elections - and for the time being, unfortunately, it takes money to win elections.

So hold off on the self righteousness. When we have a majority of Democratic votes in Congress then you can shame them into doing the right thing.

And I believe they will - if we support them now.
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Norm Tries To Add On To The 2016 Field

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 04/27/15 10:54

by Dave Mindeman

Norm Coleman is your basic political equivalent of TMZ. He couldn't wait to blurt out a notice that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is going to run for President in 2016.

"I met with Rick Snyder yesterday. He's running. He's running," Coleman said at a Republican Jewish Coalition event in Las Vegas, according to The Guardian.

Everybody else, including Rick Snyder, is walking that one back... his spokesman said:

The feedback to Gov. Snyder at the RJC was excellent and created a lot of buzz. The Governor indicated that he's watching the Presidential race very closely and hoping a common sense problem solver emerges, but he has not made any decisions about entering the field at this time.

Still, Norm likes to dish out the inside info - and he is willing to share... with anybody....who will listen.

Stay relevant, my friend.
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Norm Gets It Wrong On Somali Recruitment

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 04/23/15 21:27, Edited: 04/25/15 10:48

by Dave Mindeman

I am more than a little troubled about Norm Coleman's Op-Ed in the Star Tribune, regarding the recruitment of young men in Minneapolis for the terror networks of ISIS and Al-Shabab.

I say troubling because I am a little leary of exactly what Norm Coleman would want us to do about this.

He focuses on what US Attorney Andy Luger said recently after some terror arrests:

"To be clear," he (Luger) said, "we have a terror-recruitment problem in Minnesota. ... This case demonstrates how difficult it is to put an end to recruiting here."

Regarding which, Norm extrapolates:

When the U.S. attorney tells the nation that Minnesota has a terror-recruitment problem, it is time for Minnesota to do something.

What bothers me about what Norm says here is that he seems to be saying that we aren't doing anything. And I would say that this is not true.

Back in November, US Attorney Andy Luger was invited to the White House and received Federal backing for an anti-recuritment program....

The one-year pilot program -- labeled Building Community Resiliency -- will include job creation and after-school activities and is likely to cost millions. The Obama administration has targeted Boston and Los Angeles for similar pilot programs aimed at other minority communities with strong ties to the Middle East.

This program has been put forward after consultation with the Somali community and looks like a very good first step in confronting the problem.

What is hampering efforts to gain trust in these communities is the tendency for profiling them...

Somalis have complained vigorously to Luger about racial profiling when they fly out of the Twin Cities. Describing it as a "serious and recurring problem."

What I fear Norm Coleman's "awareness" effort is going to do is worsen that profiling issue.

Yes, Minnesotans should be on the alert, but let's let the professionals work on the actual details of thwarting these recruitment practices. This is not a case for the average Minnesotan to get directly involved and hamper efforts of communication between law enforcement and the communities affected directly.

To me, Andy Luger is doing this right. He is not denying the problem exists - he seeks to confront it - and he is working with the Somali community to find those solutions.

There will be some natural conflicts between law enforcement and the Somali community as a whole, but I think Norm Coleman is wrong to broaden the activity via a "task force" or worse, put forward legislative hearings which would allow uninformed legislators to worsen or agitate the situation.

Norm is not addressing or forwarding a solution to the known root causes of this problem....

Job creation is likely going to be a key marker, community leaders say. Minnesota's demographers estimate that only 49 percent of the Somali-born population between the ages of 16 and 64 are working, based on survey averages from 2007 to 2011. In addition, among the men in Minnesota's five largest immigrant and refugee groups, Somali men of working age were most likely to struggle to find employment, demographers found.

Luger said a second, immediate issue is assuring Somalis that their personal freedoms will be respected even as federal authorities protect national security, especially at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

I am sure Norm Coleman means well. But he latches on to the same old tired Republican solution to these problems - fearmongering. We must isolate minority communities....single them out....force them to defend the group as a whole for the actions of a small group.

That is exactly what we do not need here. We need to help the Somali community co-exist in society and help them to deal with some of their own troubled youth. Not with fear, but with the compassion that is the only right way to change this disenchantment and hopelessness.

Norm is right about one thing....this IS a Minnesota problem and not just a Somali problem. And what they need is Minnesota's support, not more suspicion.
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