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Sally Jo Sorensen
Sally Sorensen, an independent blogger, lives and works in rural Minnesota.
Recent Activity
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From the Minnesota Reformer GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis undergoes emergency surgery By Ricardo Lopez -October 26, 2020 GOP U.S. Senate candidate and former congressman Jason Lewis on Monday was rushed into emergency surgery because of a “severe internal hernia” after experiencing abdominal pain, his campaign announced. “Early this morning, (former Rep.) Lewis was rushed to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain,” his campaign said in a statement. “Following tests and examination, doctors determined that he is suffering from a severe internal hernia, a diagnosis which they indicated is life-threatening if not treated quickly.” His campaign said he... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at Bluestem Prairie
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The Republican Party of Winona County may not have been able to endorse a candidate in Minnesota House District 28A, but as the screengrab of its Facebook page above illustrates, it's distributing yard signs for write-in candidate Carl Mastenbrook out of its office in downtown Winona. The Winona County Republicans' website doesn't include the write-in contender on its "Our Candidates" page. Mastenbrook, a naval veteran and welder, is running to "Stop Mpls Crazy"--whatever that means. It's an odd charge to lob at Pelowski. David Montgomery reported in the 2017 Pioneer Press article, We calculated how liberal or conservative each MN... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
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As a long time reader of small town newspapers, we had read accounts of the rise of sketchy news sites with great interest. That reading helped process a "news" report, Gruenhagen votes 'yes' on bond bill, about the Gaylord Republican state representative's recent official Facebook post on the October 15 passage of the bonding bill in the Minnesota Senate. The online publication? SC Minnesota News, part of the Metric Media LLC network of 18 venues in the state. We recognized the brand from our earlier reading about a Tow Center for Digital Journalism report by Senior Research Fellow Priyanjana Bengani... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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We had been dismayed by news articles about Atlas Aegis recruiting special forces veterans to patrol Minnesota's polling places. Andrew Mannix had reported at the Star Tribune back on October 10, Private security company recruiting armed military veterans to guard Minnesota polls from 'Antifas' in November election. Minnesota election officials say they’re working with law enforcement to ensure voters won’t face intimidation at polling locations next month, responding to reports that a private security company is recruiting U.S. special operations forces veterans to protect the polls from “Antifas” intent on “destroying the election sites.” Atlas Aegis, a Tennessee-based company, posted... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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On Facebook Wednesday, Rep. Tim Miller shared the image at the top of this article, in a post whining about the West Central Tribune's endorsement of his DFL opponent. Miller wrote: Proof positive I have been faithfully serving the people of my district. The West Central Tribune Circulation once again did not endorse me. In the past it’s because I was too Republican. This year I’m not Republican enough for them. I don’t serve a Party or special interests. I serve the people of my district. I am proudly endorsed by the groups in the photo. I am also supported... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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After no endorsement in the 2018 First Congressional District race between Jim Hagedorn and Dan Feehan, Forum Communications has endorsed DFL challenger Dan Feehan for Minnesota's Fighting First congressional district. The chain publishes the Rochester Bulletin and Worthington Globe in the district. Headline: Endorsement: Dan Feehan is the right fit for U.S. District 1. Earlier, the Star Tribune endorsed Feehan in the October12 editorial, After close loss in 2018, Dan Feehan focused on First District's needs. Forum Communications Endorsement: Dan Feehan is the right fit for U.S. District 1 weighs the strengths of each candidate, concluding: Hagedorn was elected in... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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From the Minnesota Reformer: State Sen. Justin Eichorn tries to hold off Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht, with control of Senate at stake By Deena Winter -October 20, 2020 Justin Eichorn helped flip the Minnesota Senate when he beat then-Sen. Tom Saxhaug by fewer than 600 votes in northeastern Minnesota’s District 5 as part of a red wave in 2016, when Donald Trump was at the top of the ticket. This year, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party hopes to win the seat back with Rita Albrecht. The Bemidji mayor charges that Eichorn, who lives in Grand Rapids, has largely ignored her city, the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
The heavy, wet, somewhat unseasonable snowfall has knocked out our satellite internet, with the dish filling with snow and ice. The same has happened with our back-up location, and our phone hotspot has limited bandwidth. Bluestem Prairie will be back as soon as our equipment clears up. Please remember that rural Americans often don't have the choices for internet that many of our fellow Americans enjoy. Ironically enough, a local provider marked the paths for fiber installation here in Summit in the last few weeks. Those spray-painted marks are buried under the snow. See you as soon as we can. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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On May 7, 2019, Congressman Jim Hagedorn hosted a small business roundtable for Small Business Week. A couple of days later on Facebook, he shared the message and photo in the screenshot at the top of this post. Here's what he wrote: Gary Steuart of Steuart Laboratories, Mabel - Always happy to learn more about the amazing small businesses of southern Minnesota like Gary’s organic manufacturing business from Mabel! Based on what the men are wearing, the photo is from the day of the roundtable (see photo here). We are deeply surprised that the congressman could learn much more about... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Update 10/17: The image and post captured Friday in the screengrab have been removed, but the October 21 Meet and Greet is still on, as is Representative Brian Johnson guest spot.The campaign wrote Saturday morning in a new Facebook post: "Just a reminder for a Great event coming this Wednesday!!! Don't miss it!!" The updated image is posted at the end of this article. [end update]. Julie Buria, the endorsed Republican candidate in Minnesota House District 6B, centered her October 21 Meet & Greet at the Rink Sportsbar and Grill around support for law enforcement, urging supporters to "Come meet... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Another development in the North Star State's struggle with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer, in a press release from the Minnesota: Chronic wasting disease confirmed in Houston County farmed deer herd Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been confirmed at a Houston County white-tailed deer farm. A 2 ½-year-old white-tailed doe tested positive for CWD after it died; all farmed cervids that die or are slaughtered must be tested for CWD. The herd has been quarantined and the herd owner is cooperating with the Board of Animal Health’s (Board’s) CWD investigation, which includes evaluating herd records and animal movements... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Following a reader tip five days ago, on Sunday, Bluestem Prairie posted Pioneer Public TV debate: Bill Ingebrigtsen doesn’t believe racial discrimination is a thing: The Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio and KARE-11 Minnesota Poll Shows 56 Percent of Voters Recognize Racial Inequality, The Voice of Alexandria reported on September 30. But former Douglas County sheriff and Alexandria-area Republican state senator Bill Ingebrigtsen told viewers during a Senate District 8 debate on Pioneer Public TV that he doesn't think racial discrimination should even be a topic of discussion. He's having none of it. . . . . The Minnesota DFL... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Back in July, we broke the story of Baldurshof: Third Hof of the Asatru Folk Assembly setting up in Murdock, Minnesota. Murdock residents have organized against the whites-only AFA, which has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. We weren't able to make the Murdock city council meeting last night, but the Star Tribune and Fox9 news sent reporters. At the Star Tribune, John Reinan reported in Big crowd in Murdock, Minn., grills representative of controversial Nordic heritage church: The two sides were crystal clear Wednesday night as a packed town hall in this western... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been covering chronic wasting disease incident and policy in Minnesota since Bambi was a fawn, and post this press release as part of that effort. Deer hunters urged to submit samples in chronic wasting disease sampling areas Mandatory carcass movement restrictions in effect for disease management and control zones Minnesota deer hunters should be aware of chronic wasting disease regulations and sampling as they plan ahead for upcoming deer seasons, including the antlerless-only and youth deer seasons that take place from Thursday, Oct. 15, to Sunday, Oct. 18, and the opening weekend of firearms deer season Saturday, Nov. 7,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Environmental Working Group's AgMag has posted Giant Potato Grower Threatens What’s Left of Our Land, commentary by Evelyn Bellanger, who--as noted in the author's bio at the end of the post--is a member of the Ojibwe Nation: Evelyn Bellanger, of Pine Point, Minn., a member of the Ojibwe nation, has a master’s degree in American Indian studies. She is a member of the Rights of Manoomin and the Elders Indian Affairs Commission. She is a historical trauma presenter, writes educational articles for the tribal newspaper Anishinaabeg Today and is writing a memoir. A taste of the column: The White Earth... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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At the Minnesota Reformer, the ever-intrepid Deena Winter digs into What is that crass billboard about Gov. Tim Walz? And what does “rocks and cows” mean?. It looks like Bluestem was so beguiled by the large (and mostly former) Rocks and Cows Facebook pages we neglected to follow the money being gathered in the GoFundMe account post pinned to the top of the now defunct page. Winter reports: As it turns out, however, this campaign against Walz did not spring from the grassroots, nor the rocks. It sprang from a billboard company. Specifically, Dan Franklin,director of operations of Franklin Outdoors... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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While our governor is capturing the headlines for the Women for Trump bus tour in Minnesota--witness the headline in the Forum Communications chain article SD governor leads 'Women for Trump' bus--another guest elected official might warrant a bit of scrutiny. Let's take a look at Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. We quoted one of her tweets from the road today, along with a question: Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge attended Sept 23 White House discussion with state attorneys general on protecting consumers from social media abuses.Nine days later, Trump was hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19. Has she tested for COVID-19? https://t.co/NXshoemIiI... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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The Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio and KARE-11 Minnesota Poll Shows 56 Percent of Voters Recognize Racial Inequality, The Voice of Alexandria reported on September 30. But former Douglas County sheriff and Alexandria-area Republican state senator Bill Ingebrigtsen told viewers during a Senate District 8 debate on Pioneer Public TV that he doesn't think racial discrimination should even be a topic of discussion. He's having none of it. His DFL-endorsed opponent tweeted about it on Saturday: Senator Ingebrigtsen, on MN's racial disparities in our debate Thursday: "We shouldn't even be talking about this, people. We shouldn't even be discussing this.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Looking to see what was up our favorite Minnesota rural grassroots conservative Facebook group, we found that the billboard people, Rocks and Cows and National Guard Cooks of the North was no more. The site had close to 40,000 members when we last visited. But a Facebook search yielded Rocks and Cows of The North and National Guard Cooks The Sequel, created today by Brent Seifert, one of the original administrators. As the screengrab from his Facebook page at the top of this post illustrates, Mr. Seifert blames Governor Walz and his staff: “Woke” up this morning to find our... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been following Daniel Newhauser's articles at the Minnesota Reformer detailing the coronavirus and ethical challenges Minnesota First District Congressman Jim Hagedorn has created for himself. Now Newhauser's posted another gem in Politico, The mystery of a GOP congressman's seemingly rent-free campaign office: For at least seven years, GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn appears to have enjoyed rent-free use of a campaign office supplied by a political donor — which would be a clear violation of federal election law that comes amid mounting scrutiny of his finances. In dozens of filings with the Federal Election Commission, as early as October 2013... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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The notion of using food as a weapon is a cliche, but telling voters to support President Trump at an event to promote the Farmers to Families Food Box Program is a violation of the Hatch Act, the Hill reports in USDA's Perdue fined for violating Hatch Act while promoting food boxes: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was found to have violated the Hatch Act in August by encouraging voters to support President Trump at an event to promote the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. In a Thursday letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Perdue was ordered to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been following Minnesota's frac sand battles since Trix's mother was a pup- or at least 2011 with Connecting the dots on fracking sand: from Hay Creek Township's citizens to the New York Times. The latest wrinkle in this tale of frac sand versus farmland? At the Star Tribune, Matt McKinney reports Company wants to take Minnesota county's frac sand ban to U.S. Supreme Court, and at the Forum Communications outlet, Rivertown, Matthew Guerry reports Minnesota Sands asks U.S. Supreme Court to review Winona County's silica sand mining ban. Since the Rivertown's article named the company and the county in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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The October 3 Taking Back America - Pro Constitution Protest that MN07 Republican candidate Michelle Fischbach and State Senator Torrey Westrom had planned to host was cancelled, but area Trump supporters still conducted a parade through Crow Wing County, Johanna Armstrong reports in Caravan through county shows support for president. Armstrong reports: Supporters of President Donald Trump gathered in the parking lot of Plumbers Inc. in Fergus Falls Saturday morning with their cars decorated in American flags, Trump flags, Gadsden flags, Thin Blue Line flags and more. The event, organized by Fergus Falls realtor Roger Hahn, went through a number... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Via the Star Tribune, Steve Groves of the Associated Press reports in Aide: Noem has no plans to get tested despite Trump event: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has no plans to get tested for the coronavirus before heading back to the president's campaign trail this week, even though she attended a fundraiser with the president shortly before he tested positive. President Donald Trump's announcement last week that he tested positive led to a flurry of testing by other politicians, including from three Minnesota congressmen and a U.S. Senate candidate who had flown on Air Force One. The Minneapolis steakhouse... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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In early November 2018, we reported In the ultimate dumpster fire, Jim Newberger campaign torches own yard sign to own the libs: 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 the conservative Daily Caller reported in Minnesota Senate Dems Raise Significantly More Money Than Republican Challengers: . . . Klobuchar, who is running against Jim Newberger, has raised $7,412,107 for her reelection campaign, according to the Star Tribune. Conversely, Newberger has only raised $210,846, which... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie