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
Did Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt break the spirit of Minnesota Statute 10A.071 and violate Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Advisory Opinion 287 (Gift to official of special seating rights at athletic event) when he purchased a ticket to sit in Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Timberwolves owner (and Minnesota United FC investor) Glen Taylor's luxury suite during a Vikings game earlier this month? A few days back, the Star Tribune's stadium beat reporter Rochelle Olson shared an interesting series of tweets: Can anyone confirm @kdaudt is in Glen Taylor's suite @usbankstadium for Vikes game? pic.twitter.com/3Er4eU7mAn — Rochelle... Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Behind the firewall at Politics in Minnesota's Capitol Report, Kevin Featherly reports in Did Koch brothers-funded data platform swing election outcome?: Various explanations have emerged for the outcome of the recent Minnesota legislative elections, which saw Republicans maintain their House majority and gain back the Senate. One popular explanation is that a flawed presidential candidate depressed turnout on the Democratic side. But another factor is being offered by Republicans as a partial explanation, at least with respect to House races: the power of digital data. . . . Golnik acknowledged that the HRCC has access to i360’s consumer data mine... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
It didn't take long for Minnesota Republicans to get comfortable with the things they'd scolded DFLers about in their campaign literature. In the Star Tribune article, GOP senators move into building they fought to stop, Patrick Condon reported on Thursday: Sen. Warren Limmer’s new office in the politically toxic Minnesota Senate Building has a smashing view that includes a close-up of the State Capitol, St. Paul’s High Bridge, the downtown Minneapolis skyline and the northwestern horizon that stretches toward his own district in the Maple Grove area. “I’ve got it all. I’ll never get any work done,” Limmer joked Thursday,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Earlier this week, Bluestem crossposted Stewart Mills is wasting his money on a recount, by Max Hailperin, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics at Gustavus Adolphus College. In 2014, Hailperin was awarded the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion “in recognition of his service and contributions to election-related technology and legislation." Mills could have read the post (or used some common sense) and spared everybody some time and money. Instead, he had to get both sides mobilized before he discovered what Hailperin discussed. Bluestem doesn't think that math is for smartypants; instead, those formulas pretty much... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
UPDATE 12/5: Via the Morning Hot. the Star Tribune's J. Patrick Coolican reports: Also, can Rep. Bob Barrett -- determined by a court not to live in his district -- vote during special session? Rep. Rick Hansen tells me he’s preparing expulsion bill. [end update] At Politics in Minnesota's Capitol Report, Kevin Featherly reports in Leaders reach tentative agreement for special session: Many months after the idea was first broached, it now appears a special session will happen. Four legislative caucus leaders met Friday with Gov. Mark Dayton and agreed in principle to hold a special session. “We don’t have... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A headline posted Thursday night on the Grand Forks Herald's website, SEC orders former Minnesota oil exec to pay $8 million in North Dakota oil terminal stock manipulation scheme, prompted Bluestem to click on the link. Could the article be about former Northern Gas and Oil executive Michael Reger, whose giving to Minnesota Republicans and its allies (the Minnesota Jobs Coalition and the Republican State Leadership Committee) we chronicled on our March 2015 post Merchants of Daudt I: flipping the MN house on the rising plume of North Dakota oil money? Yeah, it's that guy. Tom Howard of the Billings... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem's new home gets its electrical from an electrical cooperative, like the homes and businesses of many Greater Minnesotans. Some of our power as co-op members is in danger of dimming. From our friends at Clean Up the River Environment (CURE), a grassroots rural environmental organization based in Montevideo, Minnesota: Local control of electricity is under attack. Basin Electric, an energy supplier for many co-ops across Minnesota and the Dakotas, is attempting take away co-op members ability to negotiate with local clean energy producers. This would put massive limitations on local control of clean energy in the future. We can't... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Is Theater is not a place for liberal rants, Steve Moore's letter to the editor of the Alexandria Echo, brilliant satire or the reaction of a conservative to the cast of "Hamilton" addressing Vice President-elect Pence from the stage after the play's end? Moore writes: To the editor: I am a conservative and a voter. I want to express my disappointment of politics now moving into live theater. Theater to me has always been a time to get away from daily issues and enjoy the story and performance. However, after recent events, I have decided not to attend AAAA Theatre's... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Guest post by Max Hailperin Crossposted from Medium Stewart Mills, a repeatedly unsuccessful candidate for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, has decided to pay for a recount of his race, which was not close enough to qualify for a free recount. MPR’s Brian Bakst reported that Mills said “we are well within the margin where a hand recount, where human eyeballs on every ballot could make the difference between victory and defeat.” Bakst also reported that “he’s not alleging fraud or impropriety. But he said people might not have properly darkened ovals or could have left stray marks on their ballots... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On the Minnesota 7th District Republican Party's Facebook page, Republican congressional candidate David Hughes, who announced Monday that he'll challenge incumbent Collin Peterson again after nearly accidentially winning the seat, gives an "Angry" response to a shared photo with the caption: YUP - the Black Caucus is still Left. And still there dragging other Black Americans down with them. We've captured this special moment in Minnesota political social media in the screengrab at the top of this post. For some reason, Bluestem doesn't think Hughes is angry about the homophone error, but the fact that the Congressional Black Caucus exists.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In FEC Deadlocks on Candidate Registration Case, Bloomberg BNA's Kenneth P. Doyle reports: Emmer, DNC Cases Dismissed In other action, the FEC voted unanimously to dismiss a case (MUR 6794) involving appearance by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) in a television and internet ad for a home remodeling company. In the video, Emmer stated that he was a candidate for Congress and stood in front of an “Emmer for Congress” sign. Emmer’s campaign committee acknowledge that Emmer filmed a testimonial for the company at its request but claimed the company was not authorized to broadcast it, and upon learning that the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
All summer long and into the fall, voters here in Minnesota House District 12A kept hearing about a "metro" fundraiser for former state representative Jay McNamar. One Backer backer wondered aloud in a letter to the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune: I wonder why McNamar goes to the metro for his campaign funding. Surely he must know that they expect favors back from him. . . . How can you have your slogan as a “voice for rural Minnesota” and go to the metro for your funding? You cannot. If the Backer backer was serious about that Q &... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Fake News A Problem For An Informed Citizenry, Swift County Monitor editor Reed Anfinson considers the contagion of fake news: Stories about how fake news pervades the internet and how it even helped Donald Trump win the presidency have been wide spread in the news media over the past couple weeks. First, we don’t think the Republican candidate won because of fake news. He won because a majority of those who voted in states that count in the electoral college did so because of his conservative social stands, because he was a Republican, because many undecided voters detested Democrat... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Guest post by Maren Joyce Schroeder Crossposted from Sensible Minnesota November 8th marked a big day for cannabis advocates. Ballot questions were passed in four states legalizing adult use, and four more states legalized medical cannabis. Sensible Minnesota congratulates the tireless efforts of advocates in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada for legalizing adult use and in Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota for medical use. We also applaud the hard fight put up by advocates of adult us in Arizona who were ultimately overcome by a reefer madness ad campaign funded by Chandler pharmaceutical, a company which manufactures fentanyl, and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Looks like people in West Central Minnesota aren't buying into negative cracks about Willmar's downtown and its diverse atmosphere--and it's not just about rejecting anti-Muslim activist Bob Enos at the polls. On November 19, the West Central Tribune's Shelby Lindrud reported in Council discusses value of investing in downtown Willmar: Christianson questioned whether focusing on downtown was a good use of money at all, since in his opinion the average person in Willmar does not go downtown. Only specific people frequent the businesses downtown, Christianson said. "I look at it as a political correct thing, and PC is down the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem wondered about a cryptically boastful press release we received at 12:24 p.m. this afternoon from North American High Speed Rail Group strategic communicator Wendy Meadley. A Google alert we just received for a news article published online before noon this morning may provide the answer. In Future of private high-speed rail project uncertain, updated five hours ago, Heather Carlson reports: Those looking for an answer to whether private investors will build a high-speed rail line from Rochester to the Twin Cities will just have to keep on waiting. Wendy Meadley, who has been overseeing the rail project work, said... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Call it a victory for organized rural people over corporate interests. At the Star Tribune, Karen Zamora and Josephine Marcotty report in Winona County passes frac sand ban, first in the state to take such a stand: Winona County commissioners voted Tuesday to ban the highly contentious industry of frac sand mining, making it the first county in the state to take such a stand. After a 40-minute discussion in front of a roomful of community members, the ban passed, 3-2. Commissioner Marie Kovecsi, who voted for the ban, said there are seven frac sand operations and an active mine... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A friend who had attended Sunday services at Centenary United Methodist Church in Mankato was pleased to pass on news of an inclusive Community Wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday night at the First Congregational United Church of Christ Mankato (Facebook page). We have posted the flier for the gathering at the top of this post, since we like the message of strength and thanks: Through music and prayers, sacred writings and reflections, we'll come together to give thanks for the blessings of this one good earth that we have been given to share fully and joyfully. The congregation's Facebook... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Interested in helping to "prescribe salaries for legislators"? Minnesota voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution that would place the determination of legislative salaries in the hands of an independent board (see restrictions below). Now the Governor is taking applications for the council. And yes, the Council will "take into account any other legislative compensation provided to the legislators by the state" so those per diems, benefits, housing allowances and whatnot else will be part of the discussion. From the Governor's Office: Governor Mark Dayton is encouraging all eligible Minnesotans to apply for one of the eight current... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Browns Valley Republican lawmaker Jeff Backer's personal Facebook page, Backer backer Allen E. Anderson shares a post from the Taxpayers League expressing outrage about about the departure of the Car2Go car-sharing service from the Twin Cities market: "Car rental taxes are an easy target for politicians because they only affect visitors, not residents, right? Wrong. Short term rental services have sprung up, catering to downtown residents and others who don't need or want the cost and upkeep of owning a vehicle. But the service couldn't survive with the high rental car taxes plus the high local taxes and fees... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Following a community meeting at St. Dominic's Church in Northfield Sunday at which people shared "their worries, concerns and even alleged instances of discrimination in town," Northfield's City Council passed a resolution promoting a "safe, inclusive and welcoming community," the town paper reports. Known since 1914 by the slogan, "cows, colleges and contentment,"not everyone feels secure since the November election, Philip Weyhe reports in Northfield Latino community pushes for city backing: Since the United States presidential election Nov. 8, several Northfield Latino community members have been voicing their worries, concerns and even alleged instances of discrimination in town. At Tuesday's... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
The Bemidji Pioneer and Lakeland Public Television are reporting that incidents of harassment in Bemidji, Beltrami County seat, college town and center for many many Native American services has led to the creation of #BemidjiRespect. No word on the nature of the incidents. The Pioneer's Matthew Liedke reports in Rallying around respect: Group of Bemidji residents prepare statement to promote unity: Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht and a group of residents are working to highlight Bemidji as an inclusive community after they’ve heard of several recent incidents of hostility and harassment toward local citizens. The effort began Friday, when Albrecht was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
It's best to open a fundraising appeal with a telling anecdote that touches readers' hearts, minds and wallets. I'd like readers to schedule a donation to a unique, strategic, and most of all, grassroots environmental group for Give To The Max Day--or give on November 17. But it's hard to pin down one story to let you know how valuable CURE (Clean Up The River Environment) is for those of us who live in the Upper Valley of the Minnesota and the rest of the state. Does "the" story start with sitting in a Lutheran church in Granite Falls with... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Goodhue County, center of the citizen resistance against North American High Speed Rail Group's proposed private high speed rail line from near the Twin Cities to Rochester almost, voted solidly for Donald Trump in last Tuesday's election. Bluestem is left to guess that opponents of new passenger rail lines--and the use of eminent domain to secure some of the property upon which those rails would be laid--had other issues that led them to vote for Donald Trump for president. Because if there's one thing Donald Trump likes, it's high speed rail. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in Will Donald Trump... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Not every candidate preaching fear and loathing of Muslims and refugees was swept into office Tuesday. Anti-refugee demagogue Bob Enos lost his bid for Willmar City Council to civic-minded long-term Willmar resident Fernando Alvarado. In the West Central Tribune, Shelby Lindrud reports in Alvarado defeats Enos in Willmar Ward 3 race: The decision in Ward 3 has been made, with voters choosing Fernando Alvarado over Bob Enos to sit on the Willmar City Council. The vote tally was 1,151 for Fernando and 678 for Enos. Alvarado will replace Councilman Steve Ahmann, who decided to seek election to the Kandiyohi County... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie