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Sally Jo Sorensen
Sally Sorensen, an independent blogger, lives and works in rural Minnesota.
Recent Activity
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Bluestem's editor has been working on an investigative piece of uncertain significance, prompted by tips from Republican readers in a central/far exurbia Minnesota house district. While we're waiting for documents, here's another fine piece from South Dakota News Watch. We were glad when Amendment C, which was backed by the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity (lots of postcards from that group), crashed in South Dakota's primary. Concerns arise as dueling ballot measures both seek to expand Medicaid coverage in South Dakota by Stu Whitney Some advocates for Medicaid expansion in South Dakota are concerned that two ballot measures with different... Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Bluestem loves a good fact check, and Deena Winter's latest at the Minnesota Reformer catches endorsed Minnesota Republican candidate Matt Birk in a good one. Short skinny: Birk said in a Facebook video that he's on the board of directors at the Wakota Life Center and: “What these pregnancy resource centers do is they actually enable women and families to choose life, and they’re not funded by the government,” he said. “They’re all funded through private donations.” Apparently, Birk isn’t aware that the Wakota Life Center was awarded $350,000 per year, for five years through the state Department of Health’s... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Reading around, Bluestem is struck by the peculiarity of Republican Party endorsements of candidates for secretary of state in Minnesota and South Dakota. Kim Crockett and Monae Johnso We've been covering the Kim Crockett beat since mid-May's MNGOP endorsed secretary of state candidate's election ignorance pairs well with past racism. Crockett added anti-semitism to that laundry list, as we noted five days later in GOP SOS candidate we scolded for racism, incompetence gets antisemitism added. Most recently on the Crockett beat, Deena Winter reported in Crockett is part of a national push to recruit an ‘army’ of activists to watch... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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On Friday we posted Fergus Falls Pride: GOP Senate primary challenger Miller schedules anti-LGBQT event, leading with a Facebook post by the extreme-edge group, Rocks and Cows of Minnesota. We also noted coverage in the Fergus Falls Journal, Events prompt concern: Political rally and religious gathering occur next to Pride drag show. We post our screenshot of that post at the head of this article since Rocks and Cows has walked back its characterization of the rally. Here's that narrative. The next day, the Journal reported a different narrative in Peaceful coexistence: Event hosts encourage amicable gatherings: . . .... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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It seems a cruel irony to read the headline in the Mitchell Republic, Abortion illegal in South Dakota due to Supreme Court ruling; special session of Legislature planned, after watching talks collapse for a special session to resolve unfinished budget and tax relief issues in Minnesota. Heckova view from here in the Sisseton hills. But for all its faults, reproductive rights are still legal in Minnesota. We recommend a Star Tribune feature, Current and former Minnesotans remember life before Roe v. Wade. But back to South Dakota. Jeremy Fugleberg reports at the Republic: Abortions are now a crime in South... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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With the Republican Party scorn of anti-unity primary bids by Jeremy Munson in the first congressional district and Doug Wardlow in the state Attorney General race, you'd think endorsed candidates wouldn't be encouraging renegade candidates in other districts. Not so for endorsed Republican Minnesota Senate District 17 candidate Glenn Gruenhagen, Glencoe. During the 2013 marriage equality debate in the Minnesota House, the notoriously anti-gay Gruenhagen said Homosexuality is a 'sexual addiction, Baird Helgeson reported in the Star Tribune. When the Rocks and Cows of Minnesota shared the Saturday, June 25 event poster at the top of this post, it noted:... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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This essay by Aaron Brown, first published by the Minnesota Reformer, is a great read for students of Minnesota political history and everyone else. Bluestem's not quite sure why it brings to mind non-Range "investments" like carbon capture and sequestration projects and such, but what do we know. From Mesaba Energy to Foxconn, boondoggles light money on fire by Aaron Brown An old friend in Iron Range politics once said it was easier to get people riled up about $25,000 in wasted taxpayer money than $10 million. “Twenty-five grand is a pickup truck,” he told me. “Ten million is incomprehensible.”... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Sextus Empiricus wrote "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small." On Tuesday, the South Dakota state senate impeached Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, removed him from office, and barred him from holding any public office in South Dakota again. The decision is a consequence of Ravnsborg killing Joseph Boever in September 2020 while the Highmore man was walking on the shoulder of the highway where the state's top law man was paying more attention to his device than the road. Ravnsborg career has been ground to dust. Boever's fate was much more brutal. As Tom Lawrence noted... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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A new column published by the Minnesota Reformer, by Michelle Witte, the executive director of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, complements earlier posts about elections and voting in Minnesota. Reformer staff member Deena Winter included background on the piece in Tuesday's Daily Reformer email newsletter: I recently interviewed the head of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota about Minnesota Republicans endorsing secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett, an election denier. I wasn’t sure the League would have much to say, as it’s nonpartisan, but Executive Director Michelle Witte had puh-lenty to say about it. “To me, it’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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It's hotter than First Baptist Hell in here in South Dakota, where There’s No Air Conditioning for Impeachment Trial of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, Bob Mercer reports for KELO: Short sleeves might, by necessity, be the “in” look Tuesday at the South Dakota Capitol, as the impeachment trial for suspended state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg begins on summer’s first morning in a Senate chamber that lacks air-conditioning. Overhead chandeliers that are normally lit stayed off Monday afternoon in an effort to keep the huge two-story room as cool as possible, while legislative staff wrapped up preparations for the first such... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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A friend sent us the picture above, of an ad in the Saturday, June 18, 2022 Ely Echoe about the showing of Dinesh D’Souza’s "2000 Mules," a movies purporting to prove 2020 election fraud. Many disagree. At the Washington Post, Philip Bump wrote ‘2000 Mules’ offers the least convincing election-fraud theory yet. But our correspondent was curious about something else. His question related to the absence of a disclaimer for any of the candidates--Republican endorsed Minnesota House District 3A candidate Roger Skraba, nonpartisan St. Louis County Sheriff open seat candidate Chad Walsh, and Republican Secretary of State candidate Doug Wardlow.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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I've been a big fan of Minnesota's No Child Left Inside program ever since I first heard Jamie Becker-Finn talk about HF133 back in 2019. While my own childhood growing up near St. Peter by a lake and Minnesota River Valley woods--and an organic micro-farming father who knew a lot about geology and nature as well as fishing and hunting--provided a good foundation for enjoying the outdoors, not all kids have that opportunity. Thus, I appreciated this passage in Roy Heilman's column in the Mankato Free Press, DNR roundtable features more questions than answers: A week ago Friday, it was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been posting about the ignorance, antisemitism, and racism that mark the candidacy of the Republican endorsee for Secretary of State, Kim Crockett. Retired Gustavus Adolphus College math and computer science professor turned elections expert Max Hailperin pointed out another example of Crockett's basic misunderstanding of voting, via Twitter: Let me strengthen this. Not only is it not true in *every* city, it isn't true in *most* cities in Minnesota. I don't have the exact numbers, but based on 2020 data, I'm sure she's wrong in the majority of cities. And by the way, exceptions in 2022 include at least... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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I straw mulched a large garden this morning, as the heat and wind began to swell. The needed chore drained my ambition for the day. Hope to use the slight cool of tomorrow morning to write up some original posts. For now, here's a follow-up article from a series at South Dakota News Watch. We's posted SD News Watch: SD teachers endure new stress as politics & culture war seep into classrooms and Retired S.D. educators uneasy about recent political & cultural pressures on teachers. There's another part of the dis at South Dakota News Watch. Here's the YouTube of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been catching up with lawn and garden work before an excessive heat watch sets in for the weekend. We enjoyed this opinion piece in the Minnesota Reformer. Women leaders needed in the Legislature — now | Opinion by Beth Peterson, Minnesota Reformer There’s only one state in this country with a female majority in its state legislature, and unfortunately, it isn’t Minnesota. In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, women are 50.3% of the population but only hold about 36% of the state legislative seats. The number is drastically lower for women of color, who are 18.2% of the Minnesota... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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We were looking forward to working in rhymes in our coverage of Minnesota State Senate District 12, but we've learned a third party candidate has joined incumbent Republican Torrey Westrom, La Grande Township, and DFL endorsed candidate Kari Dorri, Ortonville. And Ashley Klingbeil's no fake cannabis supporter thrown on the ballot to siphon voters away from marking a Republican box. At the Alexandria Echo Press, Al Edenloff reported on June 1: A few other local and state elections will add some spice to the general elections: . . . Senate District 12. Because of redistricting , the Republican incumbent, Torrey... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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Readers can savor Max Hailperin's series about voting in Minnesota at the MN Reformer, most recently the article Election administration explained: How and why polling places are computerized. The series is a good antidote to misinformation about elections and voting. Secretary of State Steve Simon is also pitching in. We just received this press release: Secretary of State Steve Simon Announces Minnesota Election Facts Webpage Easy-to-access information to correct the record on misinformation about elections and voting in Minnesota SAINT PAUL – Today, Secretary of State Steve Simon announced the launch of the Minnesota Election Facts webpage dedicated to ensuring... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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More Rushmore State politics--for those who didn't get enough Restoration noir (but don't miss the iambic pentameter) in their college English classes--from South Dakota News Watch. We last posted about the South Dakota Attorney General in Joseph Boever's killer Ravnsborg confirms he's not seeking re-election as Attorney General. Here's the new SDNW piece: Attorney general intrigue: Future roles uncertain for Jackley, Natvig — and Ravnsborg by Stu Whitney Jason Ravnsborg’s decision to not pursue re-election as South Dakota attorney general doesn’t rule out the possibility of him serving in state government following the November election, several South Dakota Republican officials... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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UPDATE 6/15: At Dakota Free Press, Cory Allan Heidelberger has another take on Keintz' withdrawal in Keintz Withdrew from District 1 House April 22; Vacancy Occurred After June 7 [end update] Another candidate is absent from the race in South Dakota Senate District 1: incumbent Democratic state representative Jennifer Keintz, Eden. We noticed Keintz's absence on the South Dakota Democratic Party's list of 2022 Democratic Candidates and that at the Republican blog Dakota War College, 2022 Candidate List updated. The list of primary candidates at the South Dakota Secretary of State notes "(Withdrawn 04/22/2022)." List here, page 2. As far... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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On Sunday morning, we posted Two Sioux Falls men among 31 Patriot Front members arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, identifying the Rushmore State's wannabe-violent homophobic white supremacists as James Michael Johnson, 40, and Derek Joseph Smith, 24, who were booked for Criminal Conspiracy. On Monday, Cory Allen Heidelberger posted photos of these charming gentleman in Two Sioux Falls Men Among 31 Arrested for Plot to Stage Riot at Idaho LGBT Festival at Dakota Free Press. In recognition of his relatively elder status in the goon squad, we've posted Johnson's mugshot at the top of this post. Here's Smith: The Dakota... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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Two residents of Sioux Falls were arrested in Coeur d’Alene Idaho in a group of Patriot Front members who were planning to disrupt a local Pride rally. The Kootenai Co Sheriff's Office Booking Summary Report, Press Log for`05:00:00 06/11/2022` and `05:00:00 06/12/2022 includes James Michael Johnson, 40, and Derek Joseph Smith, 24, as booked for Criminal Conspiracy (called "conspiracy to riot" in the news reports below). The log book includes residences and ages, but we are not posting their addresses as doxing isn't our purpose. As the log changes daily, we've posted a copy here at Scribd. Neither man has... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been light on content for the past few weeks, as our rather extensive vegetable gardening has been pushed back into June by a cold and wet spring. And don't get us started about the endless lawn mowing. It's minor compared to what our farmer neighbors here in northeastern South Dakota have been going through. It's a good thing prevented planting provisions are part of crop insurance policies. Here's a report from South Dakota News Watch's Kylie Carlson on the not-drought this spring. Wet weather forcing South Dakota farmers to delay or cut back on planting of crops Recent rains... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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Eight days ago, we posted Breaking Ravnsborg? Joseph Boever's killer won't seek re-election as SD Attorney General, an article based on Dakota News Now/KOTA, Austin Goss's report Sources: Ravnsborg will not pursue re-election in 2022. Like many South Dakotans, we were pleased. We're even more happy now that Ravnsborg has confirmed Goss's sources. Austin Goss tweeted Friday: Just received the following from Jason Ravnsborg pic.twitter.com/YyhgJhj8EZ — Austin Goss (@AustinGossSD) June 10, 2022 As Goss noted back on June 2: . . . Ravnsborg first won the office in 2018 after winning in a crowded state Republican convention race. He would... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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Back in May, we reported In MN Senate District 15, Larvita McFarquhar vows to take back country from Gary Dahms. Since then, conservative outlet Alpha News reported Restaurant owner who defied Walz shutdown to run for Senate--an article reprinted in the End Times Buzz. Action 4 Liberty's Jake Duesenberg frothed in Heroic Figures from COVID Lockdowns File for Office: What can we say besides "JUSTICE FOR LARVITA!". That was the mantra we had at the end of 2020. Larvita is a single, black mother of four beautiful daughters who also refused to give into tyranny. She said she had to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie
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Late this morning, we posted Eligibility questioned, Logan Manhart withdraws from South Dakota District 1 House race. Since then, the story has become real news. An Associated Press article, South Dakota House candidate withdraws from District 1 House race after residency questioned, has been widely published, including this version at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Republican SD House candidate Logan Manhart withdraws from race: A Republican candidate for the South Dakota House announced Wednesday he is withdrawing his candidacy amid a challenge from his Democratic rival over his eligibility for the race. Logan Manhart of Bath, who was running as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2022 at Bluestem Prairie