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Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 07:23 AM PST

Moving Forward

by jbnr51

I posted this on MN Progressive Project yesterday -- it's a hyperlocal race, with little to nothing to do with the vagaries of national politics. But I know there are Minnesotans hanging around DK looking for ways to get involved at the local level too -- I welcome your help and support.

Hi folks! It's been a while since I've posted. If you noticed, thanks! If you didn't, I don't blame you. It's a sign of this community's quality that one of the site's principals can disappear for a couple of months and life in the blogs continues.

So where have I been? Here's the short version: in late October, Minnetonka City Council member Amber Greves announced that she would resign her seat, because she was moving with her family to Colorado. I got some strong encouragement from some folks close to the Council, discussed it with my wonderful wife. With her support, I decided that if the Council decided to hold a special election to succeed Amber, I would run.

They did, and I am. On February 14th, there will be a special election to fill the vacant At-Large B City Council seat, and my name will be on that ballot.

My platform is simple: we need new ideas and new leadership to lead Minnetonka forward. Our city has done pretty well weathering the storm of the past couple of years, but we still face significant challenges in the future. The same policies that led us where we are today aren't going to sustain the city's livability, our neighborhoods, or our small business community; we need to make Minnetonka a magnet for young families and young professionals looking to settle down and start families to keep our neighborhoods and small businesses strong.

The first thing I learned after officially announcing my candidacy was that I can't do this alone. I'm asking for your help: even if you don't live in Minnetonka, there are many ways you can help my campaign. Wherever you live, we all know that campaigns run on money, and this one is no different. If you can spare $10, $20, or $50, it would be a great help. If you live nearby, we'll be phonebanking and lit-dropping aggressively to get the message out to a relatively small universe of voters, and we'll need shoe rubber and phone skills to get that done.

I started blogging to build lines of communication, and later to build communities online, using the tools made available to us by the Internet. That same drive is what's informing my run for public office: to help citizens more effectively connect with and employ the services of local government, and to help that government be as efficient, open, and effective as possible. So while I might not be around the MPP front page on a daily basis going forward, know that the reasons I got into this blogging thing and the skills built up over six years of writing and communicating and community-building are being put to good use.

Of course, we still have a campaign to win. Please help in any way you can. And thank you for all you continue to do.


Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 09:29 AM PST

Why SoapBlox Matters

by jbnr51

Dean's diary gives you the gist of what's going on -- but there are some questions in the comments that bear more in-depth answers.

Namely, Why does SoapBlox matter?

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Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:02 PM PDT

Listening to the Locals: Minnesota

by jbnr51

((In the final days of an election, there is so much information from so many races, it's difficult to stay on top of every story and understand the subtle dynamics often at play on the ground. Thankfully, we have an expansive 50-state blogosphere to match our 50-state strategy. Over the last two weeks of the campaign, we've asked leaders of the state blogospheres to provide insight into late developments and share the stories of their states in a series we're calling "Listening to the Locals." SusanG)

Al Franken announced in early 2007 that he would run against Bush Republican Norm Coleman for the Senate seat once occupied by progressive hero Paul Wellstone. That event alone made Minnesota an interesting place to be during the 2008 election cycle.

Then, on September 17th, Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad announced his retirement, setting off a closely-watched race for his Third district seat. Excitement +1.

Just eleven days later, the Republican National Committee announced that it would hold its 2008 convention in St. Paul. Was the Republican Party looking to flip a state with a blue reputation but only went to the Democratic Presidential nominee by slim margins in the previous two elections? Excitement +5.

Minnesota is also the state first-term Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann calls home and sometimes does and says funny things that turn a race in an R+5 district into a tossup.

Needless to say, it's been a big cycle so far in Minnesota. Read all about it after the break.

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Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 07:07 PM PDT

50-State Blog Roundup, 10/5/2007

by jbnr51

Has it been a good political week?  A bad one?  Depends on where in America you are.  Have a peek at the headlines from around the 50-State Blog network:

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Cross-posted from MN Campaign Report -- link below

This shouldn't be read, insinuated, or in any way assumed to be an endorsement of the Franken for Senate campaign.  I myself am looking forward to a spirited, amicable, and reality-based debate amongst DFL candidates, and will decide who I'm supporting sometime next year.

But the image you'll find after the break is a pointed and effective critique of Sen. Norm Coleman's approach to the Iraq debate.  I'd put it here on the front page, but it's rather large.

And it will be a full-page ad in tomorrow's Star Tribune.  Check it out after the break.

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Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 03:30 PM PDT

50-State Blog Roundup, 6/1/2007

by jbnr51

So there's this thing called the 50-State Blog Network, and you should check it out -- it's made up of progressive community-based sites like this one, and it's committed to connecting readers to stories not just in our state, but all over the country.  This week the roundup is coming to you from Minnesota, where we have a top-tier Senate race against Norm Coleman, one of Joe Lieberman's best buds, and a third potential Dem candidate considering a run -- read the interview here.

On with the roundup!

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The St. Paul DFL (the Democratic Party here in Minnesota) held caucuses last night, and included a Presidential straw poll.  The results were interesting - check below the fold to see how your favorite candidate did.

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 08:20 AM PST

MN-Sen: Interview with Al Franken

by jbnr51

Cross-posted from Minnesota Campaign Report - if you're in Minnesota, drop by and start diarying locally too!

On February 14th, humorist and Air America radio personality Al Franken made official what political observers have long expected:  he will run for the DFL nomination for U.S. Senate in 2008, hoping to face off against incumbent Republican Norm Coleman.  In the wake of the announcement and, according to reports, several successful events to kick off the campaign, Franken took a few minutes to answer some questions about why he's running, major issues, and standing up to the right-wing smear machine.

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Cross-posted from Minnesota Campaign Report - but this analysis can be done pretty much anywhere :)

The National Journal (subscription req'd) recently dug into disbursement records for Congressional and Senate candidates in the 2006 election to answer an interesting question:  How much did a given candidate spend on each vote he or she eventually received?  Alternately, how efficiently did candidates spend their hard-earned warchests?

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Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 09:06 AM PST

How Lies Get Reported As Fact

by jbnr51

Cross-posted to MN Campaign Report - sorry for the paucity of links for readers outside Minnesota - if you watch the local blog scene here, hopefully you can divine the subject of critiques aimed at conservative pundits...

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives recently pushed through a bill raising the minimum wage.  Soon after, a Republican Congressman reported "something fishy" in the bill:  an exemption for American Samoa, where the Del Monte company, through its Starkist subsidiary, packs tuna for sale around the world. 

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In February 2005, Minnesota had three Republican Congressmen who would run for re-election:  Gil Gutknecht in the First District, John Kline in the Second, and Jim Ramstad in the Third.  None of them appeared especially vulnerable - Gutknecht and Ramstad were long-time incumbents, and Kline represented a district with a strong conservative bent.

But one of them will not continue on in the 110th Congress: Gil Gutknecht was met with a strong challenge from a public school teacher who mounted a  22-month campaign and defeated him.

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Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 06:35 AM PST

For Minnesota Readers only (sort of)

by jbnr51

It's a blog upgrade announcement, mostly, so if you're outside the Minnesota blogo/activist/readersphere, you probably won't care much.  But it's worth spreading the word, at least to me :)

When I started MN Campaign Report, as I've noted in response to several questions on how I got into blogging, it was pretty straightforward.  It had that orange banner on a white background Blog*Spot-default theme, and virtually no one read it.  Version 1.1 added a slightly more palatable theme, and in May 2006 I bit the bullet and went to a remote-hosted site using WordPress.  We've been at MNCR 2.0 been since then.

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