Monthly Archives: February 2009

No Smoking in Cars with Children Present

The Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee, chaired by Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, approves SF 359, a bill banning smoking in cars when children are present. Appearing in the video in order: Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL – St. Paul, sponor of the bill; Phyllis Sloan, La Creche Early Childhood Center; Joseph Chlebeck; Dr. Ed Ehlinger, University of Minnesota. The opponent to the bill does state his name, but we do not have the spelling. Sen. David Hann, R – Eden Prairie, who opposes the legislation, raises the question about extending the ban to homes. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Multiple Ballots, Same Person? Nope!

By Noah Kunin, Senior Political Correspondent
 
UPDATE: We spoke with Paul Tynjala, St. Louis county Director of Elections and confirmed that these envelopes that were missing voter signatures were just used to transfer UOCAVA (overseas military ballot) materials.  Inside the envelopes were all the necessary legal information, including voter signatures.  
On Wed. Feb 25th lawyers for former Senator Norm Coleman made a presentation of illegally cast absentee ballot envelopes from St. Louis county whose ballots were counted on November 4th, 2008. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

“Oh no, they forgot to label the ballots!”

By Noah Kunin, Senior Political Correspondent Republican Election Judge Pamela Howell recounts an exclamation made by her colleague on Election Day 2008 that she forgot to label duplicate ballots as such. This error, as cited by attorneys for former Senator Norm Coleman, opens the possibility for double counting of original and duplicate ballots.  This testimony was stricken from the record after attorneys for Al Franken objected to not being provided documentaion given by Howell to Team Coleman.  Team Franken also objected to a Coleman attorney coaching or “refreshing the memory” of Howell while the court recessed from cross-examination. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Gov Pawlenty’s Transportation Stimulus Press Conference

This is the uncut raw video of the 2/25/09 press conference held by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in St. Paul, MN at the MN Capitol. The Governor discusses the Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds marked for highway and roads in Greater Minnesota (non-metro). Slight edits for sound. VIDEO: Noah Kunin – Senior Political Correspondent Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Obama address highlights our audacity of hope

We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States will emerge stronger than before. That was the message sent by President Obama during his address to the joint session of congress on Tuesday night. Like a doctor talking to the family of an obese patient who has just undergone quadruple bypass surgery, President Obama had to walk the tightrope of instilling a sense of urgency and a sense of optimism to the American people. For, just like our hypothetical heart patient, America as we know must undergo a metamorphosis or all of America’s yesterdays will have “lighted fools the way to dusty death.”
Metamorphosis- change- is what we bought when we elected Obama- and the time has come- as he said- to act boldly and wisely. Among the metaphors that Obama used to illustrate the change that lie ahead what struck me most was his mention of the town Greensburg, Kansas,
 a town that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community  how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Economic Hotdish Served to Pawlenty

By Noah Kunin, Senior Political Correspondent
 
Dan McGrath, Executive Director of TakeAction Minnesota and other interest groups has served MN Governor Tim Pawlenty with a recipe (and an actual hotdish) for “economic success”. In a counter framework to Pawlenty’s budget, the recipe calls for equitable effective tax rates between top and bottom income brackets as well as reinvestment in green jobs.  More text coming from Senior Political Correspondent Noah Kunin. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

DFL Governor Candidates Picking On Pawlenty

Steve Kelley, Matt Entenza, Susan Gaertner, Mark Dayton, Paul Thissen were mindful that they were in Governor Tim Pawlenty’s home precinct as they spoke to DFLers on Sunday.  The occasion was a celebration of the DFL capturing all of the legislative seats in the Governor’s home district (SD38), including the house seat the Governor used to hold.  
 
  Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Op/Ed-Obama And Lincoln

About this video:Last week I brought to your attention the far flung theory of Russian academic Igor Panarin, who foresees civil war in the United States arising from the current economic crisis With Obama’s new Director of Intel Dennis Blair telling congress that the number one security peril facing the United States is global economic turmoil, has the Intel community agree with Panarin?Furthermore, is the Obama strategy of inviting comparison between himself and Lincoln an example in “be careful what you wish for?” ……………Dennis Trainor, Jr is a regular video contributor to TheUptake.org. He was a writer & media consultant for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign & a 2007 “Best of YouTube” nominee for his work as writer/ performer on “The Hermit with Davis Fleetwood.” He is currently at work on two books: “My Progressive Dilemma” (chronicling President Obama’s 1st year in office) and a novel adapted from his play, “I Coulda Been a Kennedy.” Contact: dennistrainorjr (at) gmail (dot) com Continue Reading →

Filed under:

The UpTake Meet-n-Greet

Well over 50 people came out to the Groveland Tap in St. Paul on a cold February night to meet fellow livebloggers, political junkies, and citizen journalists. For that, we thank you. Here are a few thank you and what-to-expect speeches from UpTakers Jason Barnett, Mike McIntee, and Noah Kunin. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

MN Senate Election “Fatally Flawed” says Coleman Camp

By Noah Kunin, Senior Political Correspondent2/17/2009
Ben Ginsberg, representing former Senator Norm Coleman (R), ratcheted up the rhetoric in the Election Contest trial today by calling the initial election between Coleman and Al Franken (D) as “fatally flawed”.  
“The more you see that whatever Minnesota law is…it is practiced very differently from county to county and that is a fatally flawed election” Ginsberg said Tuesday afternoon.  Ginsberg continued arguing that “unequal standards” had been applied to similarly situated ballots. 
 
For example, in Carver county election officials were meticulous in checking if the individual witnessing the absentee ballot was a registered voter or not – county election officials would then reject ballots were they could not find proof of witness voter registration.  In Scott county, election official did not check witness voter registration at all.  
Marc Elias, representing the Franken campaign, said that if Team Coleman considers the election to be systematicallyflawed they should file a contest with the US Senate as opposed to an Election Contest.  Ginsberg sardonically replied that bringing Coleman’s concerns to the US Senate would be like dealing with a “stacked deck.  The US Senate is currently controlled by Democrats.  
Ginsberg still held out hope that the three judge tribunal would reconsider some of its earlier decisions and allow additional categories of rejected absentee ballots to be opened and possibly counted. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Human side of budget cuts- Quick On The UpTake Feb 15, 2009

Governor Tim Pawlenty’s proposed budget slashes dollars for Health and Human Services. We hear testimony from Ann Milikan about how she may die if the state cuts Minnesota care. We get help in covering this story from Marty Owings of KFAI and www.myradiofreenation.com We talk about the www.powderhorn365.com photo project with founder Amy Wurdock, get a first hand report from The UpTake’s Corrine McDermid in Denver on President Obama signing the stimulus package there, and The UpTake’s Executive Director Jason Barnett tells us how other independent media are looking at The UpTake as a model they might want to follow. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

The Ballots That Won’t Count- Quick On The UpTake For Friday Feb 13, 2009

A court ruling that limits the number of ballots to be considered in the election contest trial between Norm Coleman and Al Franken could be bad news for Coleman.  We get details about the ruling, listen to a live news conference with the Franken campaign lawyer Marc Elias and talk about press access to the Minnesota Legislature with Checks And Balences Shawn Towle.  Should the government decide who is and who isn’t media? Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Franken Attorney On Court Absentee Ballot Ruling

Franken Campaign attorney Marc Elias says today’s court ruling that eliminates “a large chunk” of rejected absentee ballots the Coleman campaign wanted counted is the court sticking to the letter of the law.   Elias says the ruling did not mention any of the “equal protection” argument the Coleman campaign has been presenting, indicating to him that ultimately the Coleman campaign is not going to prevail on that argument.  
This is a clip from the “Quick On The UpTake” show. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Military Families Protest Governor Sending MN National Guard To Iraq

This month about 1,000 Men and Women in Minnesota’s National Guard will head for Iraq.  For some this is a second or third tour of duty that won’t end until February of 2010.  For 22 of them this is their 4th tour of duty. 
 
Peace supporters, troops supporters, Iraq war veterans, Afghanistan war veterans and members of military families sent Minnesota’s Governor Tim Pawlenty a letter asking him to do whatever he can to stop what the group calls the illegal deployment of Minnesota’s National Guard.  The group says the National Guard was authorized to be deployed because Iraq was a threat to the United States and that is no longer the case.  
On Thursday, the group protested outside the Governor’s mansion in St. Paul.  Speakers included an Iraq war veteran, a military family member (although not a family member of one of the Minnesota Guard being deployed) and Women Aganist Military Madness member Marie Braun who read a letter from rom Iraq’s Muslim Peacekeeper Sami Rasouli.  
Below is the letter the group sent to Governor Pawlenty:
 
Dear Governor Pawlenty,
It recently came to our attention that on February 13, more than one thousand Minnesota National Guard troops will be mobilized to go to Iraq. This deployment occurs even as there are plans for the U.S. military to start drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Judge “Not Buying” Coleman Lawyer’s Argument

Was it courtroom levity or an indication the court may rule against the Norm Coleman campaign?  Coleman attorney James Langdon was explaining why the court should count certain absentee ballots when he looked at Judge Denise Reilly and said “I see you are not buying this.”  
Reilley laughed and replied “I thought I had a poker face.”  
“No I don’t think so” said Langdon.  “What can I tell you that will help you buy it?”  
Reilley smiled and said “My concern is that the legislature passed a statute, and I took an oath to uphold the law.”  
Langdon then asked “And how are you not upholding the law, may I ask…” Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Op/Ed-The End Of America

President Obama’s stimulus package is intended not only to shore up the economy, but the U.S. psyche. The American Dream itself. But what if we euthanize the American Dream? The Uptake wants to hear your voice. Submit your own video “letter to the editor.” Continue Reading →

Filed under:

It’s Patriotic To Vote

How does Minnesota get so many of its citizens to vote?  The state is consistently tops in the nation in voter turnout.  Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie gives his explanation at the National Association of Secretaries of State gathering in Washington DC.  Video courtesy of CSPAN. Watch Ritchie’s entire keynote address here. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Instant Runoff Voting And MN US Senate Race-Quick On The UpTake

Minneapolis will be using Instant Runoff Voting in its next general election. We talk with the head of Fair Vote Minnesota Jeanne Massey which has been championing the use of IRV. She ends up debating the issue with Brad of Bradblog.com. In the second half hour we talk with Hamline Law Professor David Schultz who is helping write a law that could seat Al Franken as US Senator while the election contest drags on in court. Schultz says the court challenge and appeals could go on for five months. Continue Reading →

Filed under: