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Sally Jo Sorensen
Sally Sorensen, an independent blogger, lives and works in rural Minnesota.
Recent Activity
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On Wednesday, CURE’s Minnesota Local Energy Project released the Rural Electric Co-op Report Card, details the shortcomings CURE found on the websites of Minnesota's 44 rural electric co-ops. Rural Electric Co-op website omissions make it difficult for co-op member-owners to govern their co-ops properly. The Rural Electric Co-op Report Card is now available on the Minnesota Local Energy Project website. In addition to the report card, the site includes an explainer about the project: Q&A: Duane Ninneman on the co-op report card project: Duane Ninneman is Executive Director of CURE in Montevideo, Minnesota. He lives on a farm in Big... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Bluestem Prairie
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In Jeff Stein's article in the Washington Post, Trump’s trade war may have helped Democrats win the House, we find this: Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, which stretches south of the Twin Cities, includes a large concentration of soybean producers. Republicans lost that district Tuesday after the Democratic candidate campaigned on the idea that the president’s trade policies were devastating its farmers. “Family farmers in our district saw reliable markets disrupted by impulsive and unpredictable trade decisions,” said Democrat Angie Craig, who unseated Rep. Jason Lewis (R). “I heard a lot of the same things: They want a representative who will... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
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While the Minnesota Unique crowd is stressing the fact that the North Star state is now home to the only divided state legislature in the nation, it's probably more important for policy making that the Minnesota House has flipped, shifting the balance to the DFL. And the Senate Republican caucus still clings to a one-vote majority, the sort of thing that can prompt delays, as happened last May when state senator Carla Nelson was called away from St. Paul to tend to her gravely ill father. In short, while the legislature is more divided than that rest of the country... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
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While Minnesota's media reports on Kurt Daudt's descent from Speaker to Minority Leader, conservative sources note that state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, also sought the Republican House leadership position. On his campaign Facebook page, Miller posted on Saturday morning: Following a difficult defeat this week in the general election and falling into the minority, I offered a new direction by running for Minority Leader that would unify the MNGOP base for the hard work ahead. Unfortunately I fell short, but I am looking forward to working with Minority Leader (elect) Kurt Daudt toward this goal. Congratulations to Kurt. Congratulations to... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Late last month, Bluestem introduced our rustic readership to Sheri Auclair (above) in Jungian collective unconscious of MNGOP shared cray Stanek Halloween fundraiser video. Now the PAC leader, Minnesota Third Congressional Vice-Chair and Republican fundraiser is thinking of taking her maga magic to Florida. The Minneapolis Star Tribune's Stephen Montemayor reported in Minnesota Republicans puzzle over how to break statewide losing streak: Sheri Auclair, a Republican activist from Wayzata and vice chairwoman of the Third Congressional District’s Republican Party, was a big Trump booster in 2016. She is hopeful about Trump’s chances in the state but less so about the... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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A press release issued by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on Friday has Bluestem hoping that elections have consequences. With control of the Minnesota House flipping to the Democrats, it's likely minority lead Rick Hansen, DFL-S. St. Paul takes the gavel of the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee--and bills by CWD warrior Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, might be heard. We've spent the years of GOP leadership of the committee watching any real movement on CWD thwarted. One example? That awkward moment when the MNHouse enviro chair deals with CWD meeting partisan mischief. From the Board of Animal... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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The entire Republican ticket may have captured the hearts of voters in Morrison County on Tuesday night, but John Ulrick, a candidate for Soil and Water Supervisor District 4, lost his bid to protect the central Minnesota county's soil and water from Agenda 21. The loss came despite the recommendation of the Central Minnesota Tea Party, which posted in Support John Ulrick For Local Water Board: As you know, John Ulrick is currently running for local Water Board. This position will allow him to keep track of many Agenda 21 issues plus Property Rights. He is very knowledgeable and outspoken... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Submitted without comment from Politico's Morning Agriculture newsletter: AG'S SAFE HAVEN IN A DEMOCRATIC HOUSE: If the chamber flips today, Collin Peterson is likely to be agriculture's shelter from the effects of the "blue wave." The Minnesota Democrat is widely expected to return as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, a post he previously held from 2007 until 2011. If the blue wave is real: Polls suggest Democrats are likely to take the House (if one trusts polls these days). If that happens, portions of the agriculture industry could end up at odds with the new majority on a range... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Early Saturday evening, Minnesota Republican US Senate candidate Jim Newberger tweeted a campaign ad in which one of his own yard signs is set on fire with a sound track of sound bites from liberal figures playing in the background: Amy Klobuchar sides with the extreme. This November 6th, don't let the mobs win. Vote for Jobs not Mobs! pic.twitter.com/OUSZHx3iN3 — Jim Newberger (@NewbergerJim) November 4, 2018 Nothing owns the other side--or supports suspicion of violence by your opponents--than torching your own sign in a campaign ad. Perhaps the self-immolation is visually signaling something else. On Halloween, Mike Brest at... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Bluestem wishes all deer hunters in Minnesota good luck on this the firearms opener in the North Star State. On Friday, Minnesota Public Radio's John Enger reported Experts worry fatal brain disease could threaten Minnesota's $1B deer-hunting industry. Two side bar audio reports explored the implications on CWD in Minnesota: Chronic wasting disease hit Wis. hard. Can Minn. avoid the same? and How is Minnesota affected by CWD today? Minnesota First Congressional District Democratic candidate Dan Feehan tweeted: Ahead of tomorrow's deer opener, I want to thank my friend @reprickhansen for shining a light on Chronic Wasting Disease, which poses... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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In less than one day, the Hagedorn campaign in Minnesota's First Congressional District has gone from claiming reviewed ads paid the NRCC to telling the press they have no control over the independent expenditure commercials. The candidate himself engages in classic whataboutism aimed at local clergy. One constant remains: the campaign agrees with the anti-Soros message that's been condemned by local clergy, as well as state-wide and national Jewish groups. On Thursday, we noted in Hagedorn campaign embraces NRCC's anti-semitic anti-Soros ad condemned by Jewish Community Relations Council: Now the campaign of his Republican opponent, Jim Hagedorn, defends the ads... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
Bluestem has been following the coverage of the NRCC's ads linking George Soros to Minnesota First Congressional District Democratic candidate Dan Feehan in our posts Letter: So. MN clergy, 'In wake of shooting, Hagedorn must denounce anti-semitic campaign'; Strib: Hagedorn's fearmongering and bombast wrong for district; Feehan right choice for MN01 and MN01: NRCC head defends anti-Semitic ads demonizing Soros and Dan Feehan. Now the campaign of his Republican opponent, Jim Hagedorn, defends the ads that leaders in Minnesota's Jewish communities are condemning, John Molseed reports in Hagedorn campaign defends anti-Soros ad at the Rochester Post Bulletin: In portraying Soros... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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We grew up hearing one version of a president's reaction to a supreme court decision, but the New Georgia Encyclopedia sets the record straight in Worcester v. Georgia (1832): (Although Jackson is widely quoted as saying, "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it," his actual words to Brigadier General John Coffee were: "The decision of the supreme court has fell still born, and they find that it cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate.") Nonetheless, the sentiment is the same, as Sustain Atlanta noted in Remembering the Time Andrew Jackson Decided to Ignore the Supreme... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
UPDATE: The judge turned down Big Ag's request: .@MCEA1974 & the Assist Attorney General successfully defended @MnPCA’s extension of the public comment period for proposed expansion of a mega dairy in Winona County. In her decision, Judge said, “It’s better to have the right [EIS] decision than a rushed one.” #EISyes @LSPnow — LandStewardshipProject (@LSPnow) October 31, 2018 The Minneapolis Star Tribune and Winona Daily News report on an injunction sought by ag groups that would prevent the extension of the public comment period for the expansion of the Daley Dairy in Winona County. The move to expand comes at... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Browsing through Minnesota Campaign finance reports, we noticed that Action4Liberty PAC had gifted brand spanking new political committee Concerned Mothers of Minnesota $500. Most of the money ($6,390.00) contributed to the new fund shared by Republican activist Sherri Auclair appears to have gone toward this billboard, for which Auclair used a personal credit card to pay $9,189.13, listed as the committee's debt. Wow, fantastic billboard up on 394/169! @tim_walz wants to make Minnesota a sanctuary state for people here illegally! November 6th, we must reject that radical policy at the ballot.#OverthrowTheStatusQuo#MNGov pic.twitter.com/ksQQamiGGQ — Jeff Johnson (@MNJeffJohnson) October 9, 2018 But... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Over the weekend, Bluestem explored the reaction from Minnesota to Israel to NRCC ads attacking Minnesota First Congressional District Democratic candidate Dan Feehan in our posts Strib: Hagedorn's fearmongering and bombast wrong for district; Feehan right choice for MN01 and MN01: NRCC head defends anti-Semitic ads demonizing Soros and Dan Feehan. Now clergy members in the district are distributing a letter asking his Republican opponent, Jim Hagedorn, to denounce the ads. We've been sent the following letter from clergy by Faith in Minnesota, the 501(c)4 arm of ISAIAH. Here's the letter: . . .Southern Minnesota Clergy Issued the Following Letter:... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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by Carin Mrotz Guest author Last night, more than 2,500 Minnesotans attended the Interfaith Vigil for Tree of Life Synagogue. Many were turned away or congregated outside, and I'm so, so sorry that we ran out of space and couldn't accommodate everyone who wanted to join us. A few people have asked me to share my remarks for those who couldn't attend. Here they are: "I'm Carin Mrotz and I'm the director of Jewish Community Action. We organize Jews in Minnesota for racial and economic justice, and the core of our work is building power together with communities most impacted... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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It is a fact universally acknowledged that Minnesota employers are having a gosh-darned hard time finding qualified workers, while young people are all told to go to college.* The most recent example Bluestem has found of these lamentations is in the Pipestone Star article, Meet the Candidates Q&A with District 22A candidates, and candidates for the special Senator race. State representative Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, states in response to the question: 5. Many employers remain frustrated in their ability to find qualified workers for the available jobs. What role does higher ed play in addressing this problem? JS: I am one... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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On Friday, we posted material about in Strib: Hagedorn's fearmongering and bombast wrong for district; Feehan right choice for MN01. There's more today in the national and international press about the NRCC ad running in the district. At Mother Jones, Ari Berman reports in Republicans Refuse to Disavow Anti-Semitic Attacks on George Soros: A day after the deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the head of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee refused to disavow a campaign ad linking a Democratic candidate to George Soros, who was sent a pipe bomb last week and has been the subject of attacks... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Humorist and political scientist Leo Rosten is credited with defining "chutzpah" as "that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan." State Representative Mary Franson exhibits that sort of impudent audacity in RESISTANCE V. RESULTS, a new video on her YouTube channel in which she says "if you don't agree with what's happening, you call or email your elected officials to share your concerns. Shutting down a freeway isn't a way to make a point.... Here's that special moment: Why do we get... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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According to KSTP/SURVEYUSA: Feehan Holds Slight Lead Over Hagedorn. While the Star Tribune has just endorsed In Southern Minnesota has the opportunity to send thoughtful, well-spoken leader to Congress: Dan Feehan, the editorial board of the Star Tribune writes: Voters in southern Minnesota’s First Congressional District sent military veteran Rep. Tim Walz to Washington, D.C., in the last six House elections. By electing Dan Feehan, they can continue an honorable tradition of sending to Congress a military veteran and tireless advocate for those who have served.. . . Hagedorn has cast himself as a protector of the Mayo Clinic. The... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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You might think that with an awfully Ralph Nadery name like "Consumer Energy Alliance," a group might be in the business of defending consumers and ratepayers against the interests of energy corporations. You'd be wrong about that. We happened across a Business Wire press release on the Associated Press's website, Rep. Emmer and State Rep. Zerwas, at Consumer Energy Alliance’s Energy and Manufacturing Forum: Minnesota Needs Sensible Energy Solutions, reading: Oct 24, 2018--U.S. Representative Tom Emmer and State Representative Nick Zerwas were joined by business leaders, labor leaders, policymakers and academia today to discuss the need for bipartisan and sensible... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Are Minnesota Republican Attorney General Doug Wardlow's past statements irrelevant to the current race for the state attorney? They do seem relevant to news coverage about a U.S. Department of Justice decision to tell employers that it’s okay to discriminate against trans people in the workplace. A reader in Minnesota's legal community sent us an article published Thursday afternoon in Jezebel. Prachi Gupta reports in The Department of Justice Is Arguing It's Fine for Employers to Discriminate Against Trans People: Days after the New York Times leaked a memo demonstrating the Trump administration’s intention of undoing basic legal protections for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Doug Wardlow, Republican candidate for Minnesota Attorney General, took "$24,000 from owners and executives of the for-profit college chain Globe University, which was successfully sued for fraud by the state," Christopher Magan reports for the Pioneer Press. In Doug Wardlow criticized for taking contributions from donors behind fraudulent for-profit college, Magan reports: [Attorney General Lori] Swanson filed a lawsuit against Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business in 2014 after hundreds complained the schools deceived them. The case focused on the criminal justice programs that students said they were told would lead to careers in law enforcement. A judge... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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While Washington Post (via the San Jose Mercury News) reports Amid poisonous midterms, GOP leaders rush to condemn mail bombs, one statewide Minnesota Republican candidate might not be so sure. Gustavus Adolphus College math/computer science emeritus professor and Minnesota elections expert Max Hailperin called Secretary of State candidate John Howe on this retweet: Minnesota voters can reasonably ask what @HoweforSOS means by retweeting this. Better yet, they could vote for someone with better judgement and better taste. pic.twitter.com/OBp1NBDOyf — Max Hailperin (@MaxHailperin) October 24, 2018 Howe is the only Republican candidate--statewide or legislative--whom we've found getting into false flag conspiracy... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie