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
Between packing and moving our stuff, we've noticed that a Reuters article, published as Plan bee: Minnesota sets broad limits on chemicals blamed for bee decline in the Guardian, is getting a lot of play on social media. Heck, we've re-tweeted it ourselves. But a much more accurate picture of our state's concern emerges in Dan Gunderson and Elizabeth Dunbar's coverage at Minnesota Public Radio, reprinted here at the Duluth News Tribune as Seeking to reverse pollinator decline, Dayton orders limits on pesticide use. Same old frame, same old sources Look carefully at the sourcing in the Reuters story. It's... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem has to hand it to state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg. Nothing slips past the man. Take Governor Mark Dayton's widely reported remarks about the prison during a March 23, 2016 press conference. Minnesota Public Radio covered them. In March. The West Central Tribune/ Forum Communications covered them. In March. There's more, but Bluestem's readers will get the drift. On Saturday, August 27, 2016--more than five months later--Tom Cherveny reports in the West Central Tribune article, Governor to receive invite to tour Appleton prison: An invitation will be on its way to Gov. Mark Dayton to tour the Prairie Correctional... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
At the Pioneer Press, David Montgomery reports Republican lawmaker doesn’t live in district, should be removed from ballot, judge rules. According to page 5 of the Minnesota State Supreme Court Calendar for September, the high court will hear en banc oral arguments about the case on Tuesday, September 6. Montgomery reports: A state lawmaker may be kicked off the ballot after a judge found he doesn’t live in his legislative district. The final decision on whether state Rep. Bob Barrett should be removed from the ballot will be made by the Minnesota Supreme Court. But after reviewing evidence from Barrett... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Last February, Bluestem Prairie and nearly two hundred other people concerned about the status of Minnesota attended the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Pollinators Summit. While in the many months since we wondered that the work by the stakeholders at the meeting might be shelved, during a press conference this morning at the Minnesota State Fair, Governor Mark Dayton announced a sweeping Executive Order on reversing pollinator declines and restoring pollinator health: Executive Order 16-07 Here's the press statement from the Governor's office summarizing the actions: Governor Mark Dayton today issued Executive Order 16-07, requiring the state to take specific actions... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
We've seen a lot of malarky about metro light rail transit being circulated by placebaiting rural Republicans, but the August 19 statement by Tim Miller on his personal Facebook page tops them all: Wait for coming news. There never was a plan for light rail. It was all an excuse. Screenshot above. Bluestem thinks Tim might need to get out of Prinsburg once in a while, as entirely friendly and pleasant the conservative small city on Highway 7 is (we're not being sarcastic--it's a genuinely friendly place). We thought of this post today when a press release from Senator Ron... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Gentle readers: As some of you know, my landlord has sold my house and by August 31, I have to be out of the house where I've lived since the Spring of 2013. Things are looking up as far as finding a new place goes, but I didn't anticipate the added expenses of moving in my budget. Thus, though I conducted a fundraiser for Bluestem in June, I'm forced to turn again to your kindness and generosity to keep on. If you can spare a contribution at this time, thank you. Checks can be made out to Sally Jo Sorensen... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Commenting on an immigration-related meme shared on Facebook by Representative Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa on Tuesday, Representative Jim Nash, R-Waconia, shared the following family memory: Jim Nash My great grandparents did this in 1905 when they arrived at Ellis Island from Norway. Norwegian citizens one day American citizens the next. Invested into the community, jobs, voters, the whole shebang. "This" referenced The Draz's headnote: And...most importantly, they pledged their loyalty to the United States of America and its citizens. In fact, that flash citizenship process isn't quite how it happened. According to the National Archives, citizenship wasn't instantly granted upon swearing... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Tuesday's Star Tribune, J. Patrick Coolican reports in Speaker Daudt's crash last January reveals spotty driving record: The crash marked the latest in a long line of driving-related maladies for Daudt, the highest-ranking Republican in the state. In recent years, Daudt has been cited with four moving violations and two license suspensions for failure to pay fines in Minnesota. Daudt has received two tickets driving at least 15 miles per hour over the limit, a third for speeding and a fourth for texting while driving, all since joining the Legislature in 2010. The speaker declined to comment on the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Driving down I-35 near United Hospital and Children's Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota state representative Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, engaged in a distracted driving moment in order to snap a cellphone photo of a banner draped over an overpass. We post a screenshot of the photo, which he shared on Facebook about 30 minutes later, or so his reference to the time of the photo in the post would lead us to believe: On my way to a client site this morning, I saw this sign hanging on the first overpass south of Kellogg Blvd while traveling 35E southbound. Questions: •... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
According to his calendar on The Straight Way Ministry, anti-Islam extremist pastor Usama Dakdok will return to Greater Minnesota's Islamophobic speaking circuit in September and October. Dakdok compares Allah to Satan and calls Muslims "demons." September 20: Brimson The Egyptian-born Christian will speak to a closed meeting in Brimson, a tiny town in St. Louis County on September 20, according to the schedule. September 30: St. Cloud's Granite City Baptist Church On Friday, September 30, Dakdok will have a return appearance at the Granite City Baptist Church in St. Cloud; the topic of his talk is "Revealing the Truth about... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Answering a question about MNSure, Minnesota's health insurance exchange for those who don't receive affordable health care insurance from their employers or don't qualify for Medical Assistance/MinnesotaCare, Andrew Lang, the endorsed Republican candidate for state senate district 17 told listeners he couldn't afford MNSure. Lang said: . . .I've talked to a lot of people door-to-door, and what they're always saying, that's one of their big main concerns is health care has become so expensive, I can't afford it. I know for myself personally, I can't afford the MNSure program. It would . . . (laughs) It's as much as... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Are negotiations underway between the owner, Corrections Corporation of America and the State of Minnesota? How much is the closed Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton worth? The answer to the first question appears to be no, while finding the answer to the second is more complex--and CCA's current price tag may butt against a little-known state law passed in 2014. UPDATE August 19: About 20 minutes after this post was published, the West Central Tribune published Forum Communications political reporter Don Davis' article, Dayton not interested in Appleton prison purchase. [end update] Rumors of negotiations Earlier this summer, Representative Tim... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In June, Bluestem looked at the Republican State Leadership Committee's first quarter IRS Form 8872 Report of Contributions and Expenditures in our post, Control of #mnleg is on Republican State Leadership Committee's list: what's in Q1 report. The Republican State Leadership Committee gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the MN Jobs Coalition in 2014 to flip control of the Minnesota House from Democratic to Republican hands--and vowed in July 2015 to do the same thing for the state senate in 2016. It's time to take a look at the Q2 report, due July 15, to look for clues on... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Minnesota State Representative Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, campaigns online under the slogan of "People Before Politics" and a public persona who will: Listen carefully to your concerns and represent you reliably in the legislature Engage in healthy debate and endeavor to find common goals and common ground Be fair-minded in addressing constituent concerns, firm in standing for conservative principles That's not the person who showed up at the Freeborn County Republican Summer Picnic on Monday. Instead of Everybody's Favorite Elementary Teacher, Bennett put in an appearance as Your Bitter Aunt Who Fills Your Inbox with nastygrams long discredited by Snopes... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
When Barb Haley announced her run for MN House District 21A, housing wasn't one of the issues she brought up for the Red Wing-area open seat. It's a good thing, then, that the Builders Association of the Twin Cities' Housing First Network is there to Think Local for her. And for Dave Baker in Willmar and Jim Knoblach in St. Cloud. The videos never explicitly say "Vote for" Barb, Dave or Jim (or Roz, Randy and Chad), so these online ads aren't considered independent expenditures spent to get Dave, Jim, Roz and Chad re-elected or sweep Barb and Randy into... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Go to Representative Tony Cornish's campaign website--the one that's linked online at his committee's registration page at the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board--and visits the "Awards" page. You'll see a lot of information about awards and endorsements, including the one in the screengrab at the top of the page. What's left to the discerning voter is the fact that the awards were made years ago and the endorsements are for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. According to a text from Minnesota Farmers Union Government Affairs Director Thom Petersen, the MFU has yet to make an endorsement in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
An unknown entity has hired Survey Sampling International (SSI) to conduct a survey of voters in Minnesota House District 12A, but one voter who picked up a call IDed as SSI. 320-335-2732 described what appears to be very close to a push-poll. Bluestem established the identity of the survey company by calling the number above. Former state representative Jay McNamar is challenging Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley, for the seat once more. The race is a reprise of the 2014 contest in which Backer defeated McNamar by 660 votes. MinnPost places it among The 25 legislative races to watch in Minnesota... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A friend who attended the Renville County Fair in lovely Bird Island on Friday sent us the photo above of the collage of signs hanging in the booth for the Renville County RPM (Republican Party of Minnesota). We suppose that's one way to spend the remaining $500 of that big fat PAC check that the BPOU didn't pass on to Representative Miller. Update: At a nearby county fair, the Stevens County Republicans didn't see any reason to be anything other than positive about their own candidate, so this doesn't seem a coordinated strategy among Greater Minnesota Republican party units. [end... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Don't let the headlines about the possibility of a special session--ones like Happy faces, not happy talk for special session in the Fargo Forum, Months in to talks, no special session on the horizon in Finance & Commerce, or Squabbling continues on MN special session, light rail on Minnesota Public Radio--fool you. It's not the need for a tax or bonding bill that Dayton and legislative leaders renewed talks this summer about special session. Oh no. At a free Clearwater County GOP ice cream social in Bagley, Minnesota, on July 21, state representative Steve Green, R-Fosston offered attendees an inside... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
It's been a quiet week in Minnesota's Lake Wobegon-like prairie Seventh Congressional District. Capitol Chatter's Don Davis writes in Some U.S. House Races In National Spotlight that MN07 isn't one of them: In 2014, national Republican had hopes of ending Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson’s tenure, and spent money to help state Sen. Torrey Westrom compete against the incumbent, but it appears neither party will spend national resources on the race this year. The 7th Congressional District, encompassing all of western and part of central Minnesota, has been Peterson’s for nearly 26 years. Dave Hughes appeared optimistic after he won... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Backer sows division, a letter to the editors of the Fergus Falls Journal, Greg Boole of tiny Campbell, Minnesota, has had it with place-baiting: I recently received a letter from State Rep. Jeff Backer that included slurs against “Minneapolis liberals,” “St. Paul liberals” and “homosexual activists” and “Metro Jay” referencing Jay McNamar, an Elbow Lake resident who grew up in Ada. Like Trump, Backer fails to grasp the fact that we are all in this together. Differing politics, differing regions, differing religions, differing orientations need to be treated as humans, part of our communities and part of our state.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Two photos on Coalition of MN Businesses 17A education postcard worth a thousand words, Bluestem Prairie looked at a piece of junkmail sent to competitive House districts that praised Republicans for education funding. It's an awkward moment for them, because the 2015 historic funding levels praised in the lit piece only came about after Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill that short-changed our schools. But House DFLer have gotten hold of a piece that's even more egregious, using the same boilerplate language to praise the 2015 vote--on the part of a state representative who wasn't even elected to office... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing. While we were looking for information about freshman Representative Jason Rarick for our last post, Two photos on Coalition of MN Businesses 17A education postcard worth a thousand words, we stumblegoogled over the Pine City Republican's Facebook page. Not only has the 24-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 110 received the endorsement of the 49ers (the International Operating Engineers Local 49, not the football team), he recently scored a selfie with former DFL state senator Florian Chmielewski. Although Chmielewski is still a lively part of the eponymous Chmielewski Funtime Band... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Last week, voters in Minnesota House District 17A received a postcard praising Representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, who the "Coalition of Minnesota Businesses (CMB) . . .a non-partisan, grassroots organization comprised of 11 employer groups" claims "puts our students first." Miller's actual history on education funding is a much less rosy story (more on this later in the post), and two of the photos on the postcard might be telling us more about Miller's priorities than the Coalition of Minnesota Businesses knows. What were Tim Miller's photos really about? Looking at the photos on the right of the card (image embedded... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Monday, Minnesota House Public Safety committee chair Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, via urged voters in House District 31B to vote for incumbent Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, in light of the latter's staunch Second Amendment record and endorsement by gun rights groups: Republican State Representative Tom Hackbarth northeastern Anoka County, needs the help of every "Pro Second Amendment" voter in his district. He is endorsed by the NRA with an A+ rating! He also has the support of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance with an A+ rating. Tom's opponent received a "B" rating from the NRA! Call your friends... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie