This is Sally Jo Sorensen's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Sally Jo Sorensen's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Sally Jo Sorensen
Sally Sorensen, an independent blogger, lives and works in rural Minnesota.
Recent Activity
Image
Pioneer Public Television will be airing a debate between Minnesota House District 12A candidates Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley and Jay McNamar, DFL- Elbow Lake, on Thursday September 29 from 7 - 8 p.m. on Pioneer HD. Viewers are encouraged to call (1-800-726-3178), tweet (@PioneerPublicTV ) or email questions (yourtv@pioneer.org) to the candidates during the debates. Questions should be framed around policy and approaches to governing so that both candidates can answer, rather than being directed at only one of the contenders. The debate will be livestreamed at www.pioneer.org/live and will available for online viewing on Friday, September 30th by 12... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
While anti-Muslim rabble-rouser Ron Branstner and his followers claim that the used car dealer and former California Minuteman only shares "facts" in his presentations, last Thursday night in Aberdeen, SD, he shared one heckova whopper about the fire that heavily damaged Melrose's Church of St. Mary's back in March. Here's section of the video where Branstner makes the statement near the end of the presentation: Transcript: Oh yeah, he [older man from St. Cloud at the event] wanted me to point this out. We have one of the oldest churches in the country--I think it's four hundred somethingvyears old--in Melrose,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem is no friend of private prisons, so this fact check relates only to a claim made about legislation related to the Appleton prison in a lit piece Representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, has been distributing in doorknocks and lit drops in Minnesota House District 17A. As the photo above shows, the lit piece states that Andrew Falk "Never proposed or offered a bill addressing the Appleton prison closure." The prison closed in February 2010, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio. Falk maintains otherwise, stating that he worked with the late State Senator Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, on language... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Following the ruling by the Minnesota State Supreme Court declaring Bob Barrett ineligible to hold the Minnesota House District 32B seat and nullifying the November ballot in the district, two familiar Republican faces have declared their intention to seeks their party's endorsement for the February 14, 2017 special election. Sheldon Anderson, former Mayor of Wyoming, MN and aide to one-term wonder congressman Chip Cravaack, and Anne Neu, Minnesota House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) executive director, fundraiser and Chair of the new Friends of GOP Women committee, have declared their intent to run. At the Pioneer Press, David Montgomery summed up... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Tuesday, state representative Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, wrote in a headnote for Who should decide how much lawmakers get paid?, a Rochester Post Bulletin article shared with his Facebook friends: Democrats brought the bill to put this constitutional amendment proposal on this year's ballot through the legislature when they had full throttled control in 2013. Not one ordinary Minnesotan asked for it. Not one. It was devised by those feckless lawmakers who, knowing that we continued to squash salary increase proposals in the legislature, wanted to find another way to get their pay raised. That description--branding the measure partisan and... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Irony is a dish often served accidentally. Take the placement of two items on Thursday's opinon page in Willmar's West Central Tribune. There's this letter to the editor from Becky West of New London, Who does Baker really represent?, which begins: I was puzzled to read Rep. Dave Baker claim on his campaign website, "From the beginning, my goal was to fund our schools and see rural schools receive more equitable funding in comparison to metro schools." Really? Baker had a funny way of showing it when he voted to send a targeted $500,000 to the ritzy metro Eden Prairie... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Our friends at Pioneer Public Television sent us news about the first "Meet the Candidates" debate on Thursday, September 22: Pioneer Public Television has scheduled a number of candidate debates between Minnesota House and Senate candidates in the Alexandria and Fergus Falls area on Thursday September 22 from 7 - 10 p.m.. The debates will be broadcast live from Pioneer Public TV’s studios in Appleton and will be hosted by 8th Judicial District Judge Amy Doll of Morris, Minnesota. Viewers will be able to call (1-800-726-3178), tweet (@PioneerPublicTV ) or email questions (yourtv@pioneer.org) to the candidates during the debates. For... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
September 22 Update: The anti-refugee, anti-Muslim group Americans First, Task Force of Aberdeen, SD has deleted the post, while promising to vet all material on the impeccable anti-right online media sources it shares on its Facebook page. Of course, it asserts the truthiness of the impulse to post a bogus representation. Since their point was to illustrate that stabbings at a mall took place, they should be forgiven for posting the double-duty hoax using a decade-old photo of an inmate stabbed in a brawl in an incarceration facility. Because they fear Muslims, their hearts are pure. You betcha. [end update]... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
How much training should police and peace officers receive in the use of their firearms? State Representative and Minnesota House Public Safety Chair Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, seems to have grown conflicted about this topic in 2016. Back in July, Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire reported in Castile shooting renews calls to boost Minnesota police training: House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee Chair Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, doesn't have a lot of interest in additional training requirements for police. Cornish, a former law enforcement officer, said there's already plenty of training. "When it comes right down to it, all... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In what may be the only debate in Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District race, Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan and Republican challenger Stewart Mills III will face off at 10: 00 a.m. Via livestreaming provided by The Uptake, readers can watch the forum here. Click on the video to make it play. The Duluth News Tribune's editorial board writes in Mills-Nolan II: Can’t-miss debate is today in Duluth: The granddaddy of races around here this election season — outside of the shambles of the presidential runs, of course — has to be the race for the 8th Congressional District. Republican Stewart Mills... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Over the past few years, Bluestem has reported that the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future is a marketing campaign authorized and paid by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, a state government agency. According to the November 17, 2015 Meeting Minutes for the Lignite Research Council (a North Dakota state agency that reports to the Industrial Commission), the commission has authorized a total of $3,600,000 ($600,000 annually) for the effort to provide relation relations for lignite coal (page 3). The funds come from a tax on lignite that the state of North Dakota gets on each ton of coal mined.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
The public fretting by a supporter of state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, over the federal political action committee kept by the DFL ally Alliance for a Better Minnesota got us thinking about what Miller's own caucus's own federal committee was up to. Turns out to be doing more in 2016 than the ABM Federal PAC. According to the most recent Statement of Organization on file with the FEC, the House Republican Campaign Committee "FEC Committee ID #: C00487678 This committee is a Local committee of the Party." (bold in original). In the House Republican Campaign Committee April Quarterly report to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Update September 29: The mailing that Regan received is from 2016, but it's not from ABM's federal PAC. Rather, it's from the Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund, a state political fund. Here's the side of the card that includes the disclaimer as is required by state law: It's not the text that Regan described in her letter and it's not from the federal fund. We've pointed out to Regan and in this post that it's a common practice of ideological non-profits like the Alliance for A Better Minnesota (on the left) and the Freedom Club (on the right)... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
By not paying close attention to Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson's testimony, Ricardo Lopez conflates February's Pollinator Summit and separate special registration review of neonicotinoid insecticides in his Hot Dish Politics post, House GOP criticize Dayton's executive order on pollinator rules. Lopez writes: Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson and some DFL legislators pushed back at Republican criticism that farmers and other agriculture operators were not included in the process. They said the administration invited GOP legislators to a February summit and that more than 400 public comments were received, including some from industry representatives. Um, that's not quite what... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
The Minnesota House Agriculture Policy Committee will hold an informational hearing on Governor Dayton's Executive Order 16-07: Directing Steps to Reverse Decline and Restore Pollinator Health in Minnesota at 9:30 this morning. Sources tell us that farm groups are expected to complain that they didn't have a place at the table for the development of the policy. However, our understand is that the policy is based on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture review of neo-nics and the discussions at the MDA Pollinator Summit in February. Representatives of ag groups and ag industry interests did attend the summit (we embed the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
While Greater Minnesota House Republican caucus members have made an issue of fundraisers held in the metro for DFL challengers, Bluestem has noticed that they themselves aren't shy about taking a bit of that sweet metro honey themselves. Take this coming Thursday's fundraiser for state representative and powerful chair of the Minnesota House Ways and Means chair Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud, in the heart of cake-eater country, hosted by members of the Republican urban elite. (Invite above). The email from Brian McClung's email address (by Zellers on behalf of Zellers,) notes: Jim Knoblach's race is key to Republicans maintaining control... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In our earlier posts, Greater hater Usama Dakdok adds Duluth & Brainerd events to fall tour in Minnesota and Fall tour: Islamophobic pastor Usama Dakdok to speak in Brimson, St. Cloud & Grand Rapids, Bluestem has kept track of the fall speaking engagements in Minnesota by anti-Muslim extremistUsama Dakdok. Dakdok compares Allah to Satan and calls Muslims "demons." According to his calendar, Dakdok has added a stop for a "ministry event" at Wadena's Zion Free Lutheran Church on Saturday, October 8, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The church is part of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, a small association... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
After we posted Carpetbagger Bob Barrett's bid blown, Representative Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, tweeted at our editor: @sallyjos he should resign now — Rep. Rick hansen (@reprickhansen) September 8, 2016 It's a fair suggestion. If an individual isn't eligible to run in for office in a district because of failure to meet a residency requirement, she or he isn't eligible to hold office. Not only is Barrett still representing the people among whom he doesn't live, but he's able to use state resources such as staff, facilities and the like. Moreover, it's likely he's still drawing a paycheck (the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In MN Jobs Coalition tracker Kip Charles Christianson jostled parade volunteers at Raymond Harvest Fest Parade, Bluestem examined the tracker's aggressive and physical behavior in a small town parade. The post included the full text of a letter from DFL MN17A candidate, former state representative Andrew Falk. Falk's letter to the editor was published in last week's Clara City Herald; in the Wednesday, September 7 edition of the small-town paper, Mike Thein, a supporter of freshman state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg responds. It's a mighty peculiar document, not just in terms of Thein's omission of the most vexing part of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In MN Supreme Court: GOP House lawmaker disqualified in 4th-term bid, Minnesota Public Radio's Brian Bakst reports: The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled a Republican state House incumbent ineligible for November's election amid questions about his residency. Justices ordered a February special election for that seat after accepting the findings of a court-appointed referee that Rep. Bob Barrett doesn't live in the Chisago County district northeast of St. Paul that he now represents. Barrett is who owns a home in a nearby district but rented a property in the one he ran in. The decision means the Minnesota House will... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Those who follow the public relations charm offensive (is there anything else?) pushed by the North American High Speed Rail Group know to look for the changes that magically appear in different press accounts. There's a fun contrast in reports of next week's Chinese rail delegation visiting next week. On Wednesday, Janice Bitters reported in the Finance and Commerce story, Chinese investors consider MN high-speed rail proposal: That’s the question a group of Chinese investors and technical advisers visiting the state next week will discuss before deciding whether to back a proposed privately funded $4.2 billion high-speed passenger rail line... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Here in rural Minnesota, Bluestem finds that many of our neighbors are concerned about the decline of pollinators. One action that helps bees and other pollinators is to provide habitat (though this in itself doesn't solve the complex matrix of habitat, parasites, pesticides and fodder that factors into the problem). In Wednesday's Brainerd Dispatch we read in Chelsey Perkins' story, Baxter City Council: A buffet for the bees: Pollinator garden planned for Baxter park: A storm-damaged area of Loren Thompson Park will soon see new life with the planting of a pollinator garden. The Baxter City Council learned about plans... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
The release of the Minnesota House's unscientific State Fair poll results--which found that fairgoers favored gas tax increases and allowing transgender people to pee in the bathrooms of their choosing--has overshadowed the results of the polling at the state senate's fair booth, which included a different set of questions. As a gardener, rural resident and citizen, Bluestem Prairie found fairgoers' responses to Question #3 the most interesting: Because of the effects on bees and other pollinators, which of the following should the legislature enact to restrict the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids? A) Totally ban the use of neonicotinoids for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Joseph Wang, CEO of the North American High Speed Group, tells Heather Carlson at the Rochester Post Bulletin that he was "shocked" that America had no high speed rail system when he moved to the United State in 1991. Bluestem thinks the bigger shocker here is Wang's claim that the Chinese high-speed rail system was built and operational when he lived in China until 1991. It wasn't. Carlson reports in Chinese rail leaders to talk high-speed rail in Rochester: In an interview, Wang said he understands that many Americans are skeptical of high-speed rail. But he said he has seen... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
At 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Minnesota's Supreme Court hears oral arguments that could remove Rep. Bob Barrett (R-Taylors Falls) from the November election ballot. A District Court judge has found Barrett does not live in his 32B district as he claims. The Uptake will live stream the hearing. Watch here by clicking on the Youtube: Michael McIntee at the Uptake notes: If Barrett loses, not only would he not be on the ballot; the people who live in the Taylors Falls district of 32B could be without representation in the Minnesota House until after Valentine’s Day — more than a month... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie