Category Archives: Politics

Political Scare Postcards

It’s an election year, so the political mailers are coming fast and furious. You know it’s bad when you can’t tell the difference between the Republican and Democrat scare mailers.

What’s a scare mailer?

The ones with manipulated photos, misleading attacks, charged language, and not a damn positive thing to say.

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MN House 58A: Koznick Reveals Fear-Based Strategy, Preese Offers Hope

Today saw a few interesting twists in Minnesota state politics, including the Republican-controlled Senate ousting a member of Governor Tim Walz’s cabinet and a DFL House member disclosing that he had COVID-19. But no twist was bigger than Republican Representative Jon Koznick of Lakeville mistakenly emailing strategy talking points to his Democratic opponents instead of his Republic colleagues. Oops.

It’s more than embarrassing, however. On the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, when we’re reminded to ‘never forget,’ the Minnesota Legislature debated whether or not to override an extension of Walz’s emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,800 Minnesotans have died, more than 190,000 Americans have died, and we’re debating whether or not this is an emergency.

It’s the content of Koznick’s strategy that goes beyond embarrassing. He was attempting to urge his Republic colleagues to stay on message in the debate:

“COVID issues are not our winning message. PUBLIC SAFETY is our ticket to the majority, let’s win with that.”

Continue reading MN House 58A: Koznick Reveals Fear-Based Strategy, Preese Offers Hope

Cory Booker: George Floyd Is a Referendum on Us

A couple weeks back Senator Cory Booker appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to talk about George Floyd and the protests and the reaction. It’s an incredible interview and I encourage you to watch it.

The whole interview is about half an hour, but there’s about a 15-minute chunk that gets away from the current politics and focuses on racism and this moment in America that is just powerful stuff.

Booker and Colbert have been discussing the protests in Washington D.C. and how President Donald Trump cleared out Lafayette Park for a photo opp, and Colbert asks what it’s like in D.C. right now and if this is a harbinger of things to come. Booker launches into a very personal and emotional response that is worth your time:

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Ruth Richardson: A Story I need You to Hear

Ruth Richardson is a state legislator in the next town over. I’d vote for her if I could, but she’s not in my district. I’d vote for her because she is a giant of strength and conviction.

In the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, she shared a very personal story that I need everyone to hear. It gets at the heart of how things are different for Black people in America.

Richardson had to tell her Black son, Shawn, not to go for a run in the neighborhood: “I had to tell my little boy that you can’t run in our neighborhood.”

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Better Politics, Please: Last Day

Today is the last day of my Kickstarter project for Better Politics, Please.

It’s also been one week since a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. We’ve had a week of protest, looting, and violence.

And, oh yeah, we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

So it’s been a rough week. I have no words. It’s hard to end this project strong, when so many have greater needs.

I also think this project is more necessary than ever.

So today is your last chance to pre-order my book. I’d love to have you join the cause.

We all have a lot of work to do. It’s overwhelming. But I encourage you to listen, read up, and do something.

Thanks.

Better Politics, Please: UPdate

In the midst of a pandemic, I launched a Kickstarter for a new project. I’m pleasantly surprised to see people responding. We hit the initial goal last week, so the project is happening. Now we’re working on stretch goals to make it even better.

Launching a project like this is always a scary undertaking. You never know if this is a good idea that people will support or if you’re about to crash and burn.

It’s also scary because I’m talking about politics. That can be such a hot-button topic these days. Even when you think it can and should be simpler (in the midst of a global pandemic) it just gets more ridiculous.

But I’m hopeful. The whole point of the project is to find some common ground, to show that we can disagree and still get along.

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Better Politics Please

I’m launching a new project.

The Pitch

Politics can be pretty divisive and depressing. What happened to hope? Too often, politics feels like a battleground where we lob accusations back and forth. And that’s not likely to change after November’s presidential election, no matter who wins or loses.

Politics have long been divisive and people will always disagree. But I have hope that we can do better.

So I’m launching a new project. It will be a book of political profiles, titled Better Politics, Please, that will tell encouraging stories of finding common ground. 

Yeah, that’s a tall order these days. 

But if we want to make civic engagement civil, it starts with we the people. I hope you’ll join me in creating better politics, please.

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Super TuesDay 2020 Thoughts

It’s Presidential Primary Day here in Minnesota. I like to capture my thoughts in the moment, because sometimes things change so much and so fast it’s hard to remember what we actually thought.

And sometimes it’s funny to see how wrong we are.

Back in November I shared my thoughts on the Democratic Presidential Primary. Folks have actually voted since then, and everything has changed. Pete Buttigieg dropped out Sunday and Amy Klobuchar dropped out yesterday, making this a simpler race.

I’m voting for Elizabeth Warren.

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Impeached

I just wanted the U.S. House of Representatives vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

It’s only the third time in history a president has been impeached.

I watched it gathered around the TV with my daughter, watching as the votes came in and waiting for it to hit the magic number (thank goodness for PBS where the vote count was broadcast silently with no blathering commentary).

I wrote about impeachment before, and my view hasn’t really changed. Though I did notice that instead of directly responding to any of the charges and saying he didn’t do it or it’s not wrong or it’s wrong but not impeachable, they made a whole bunch of ridiculous arguments. Perhaps my favorite was that the economy is doing well, so you can’t impeach Trump.

(Look at ’em, Trumping away!)

The Day’s Gonna Come

It’s a dark day for the United States when a president can so brazenly flout the rule of law, and even worse that a political party will blindly allow him to do so. I don’t have much hope that Senate Republicans will do the right thing and remove Trump from office.

They’re going to wish they did, because a reckoning is going to come.

My daughter’s social studies class watched some of the impeachment speeches in the House today, and she came home so incredulous about the ridiculous things all those old, angry, white men were saying (and she’s not wrong on that lack-of-diversity slam). It’s not even like we’ve talked that much about impeachment in our house. She figured this out on her own.

I think voters can figure it out as well.

(Well, I hope they can. I hoped the same thing in 2016 and was proven so horribly wrong.)

So What Now?

  • Call your representative and thank them for a ‘yes’ vote or let them know how you feel about a ‘no’ vote (or a ‘present’ vote, ug, Gabbard).
  • Call your senator and ask them to vote to remove.
  • Find out who’s running in your area, for every level of office, and get involved somewhere, somehow.