Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Politics on a stick

(Photo: North Star Liberty)
I visited our State Fair (it's a great state fair) on Sunday. The afternoon torrential downpour failed to dampen the spirits, spending, or appetites of the true Minnesota State Fair-goers I observed.

Since I was there with my family, I couldn't be a total political geek, but I took whatever chances I could to greet a few statewide candidates and indulge in a little political geekiness:
  • AM 1280 The Patriot - we arrived just as Northern Alliance Radio hosts Brian "The Last Honest Sno-Cone Salesman" Ward (Fraters Libertas), John Hinderocker (Power Line), and Chad the Elder (Fraters Libertas) were taking their places on The Patriot porch. What amazed me most during their opening monologues was their ability to stare into space and deliver a stream-of-consciousness on current events in fine radio voices. We are not worthy!

  • KTLK-FM - no live remote broadcasts from the fair on Sunday, not even from the lilting voice of news reader Erica Ward or lightning-fast enunciator and Queen of the Freeways Kirsten Kline. But they did have plastic tote bags.

  • Minnesota Secretary of State - an SOS staffer walked me through a demo of the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal, which is designed to mark ballots for the blind, vision impaired, or others who might have trouble marking a conventional ballot. At least one of the units will be available this fall at most polling places, thanks to HAVA funds.

  • Republican Party of Minnesota - Derek Brigham's sign was on the literature table, one of a few local candidates with a presence there.

  • Tim Pawlenty campaign booth - I think I know why the campaign bugged out early: the loud noise and "music" (yes, I am over 40 years old) blaring out of the adjacent arcade seemed to be designed to repel anyone of voting age.

  • Sue Jeffers campaign booth - while Jeffers was greeting other voters, I went looking for a free campaign button and met none other than Shar from Minneapolis, Julie, and Laura (not Laura Lehmann) from CCARL, the anti-stadium tax people. The group is busier than ever, even after the recent Hennepin County board vote to authorize the Twins stadium tax. To paraphrase their slogan, they're not giving up and they're not going away. Check out the CCARL web site for more. Sue Jeffers is running as a Republican against the endorsed candidate, incumbent Tim Pawlenty, in the Republican primary election next Tuesday, September 12. Sue loves talking the issues, and she is well-informed, down-to-earth, well-spoken, and conservative. She was upbeat and energized even as storm clouds gathered over Machinery Hill. At the booth they were replaying Sue's great State Fair interview with Jason Lewis. As we made our way across the fairgrounds, I saw many people wearing her campaign buttons. Did I mention that you can vote for Sue Jeffers for Governor in the Republican primary election next Tuesday, September 12?

  • Jeff Johnson campaign booth - my neighbor in Plymouth who is running for Minnesota Attorney General was cheerfully standing post at his booth, not far from the Jeffers booth. He was also having a good old time at the fair, even with the "out-of-state" folks who didn't want a politician to interrupt their feast of hotdish-on-a-stick (deep-fried-candy-bar-on-a-stick is so 2005, don'tcha know).

  • Taxpayers League of Minnesota - same booth, slightly different location in the Grandstand from when I worked there last year. I picked up a few of their boldly designed publications, and their latest, their 2006 Piglet Book, an eye-opening guide to Minnesota pork-barrel spending big and small (highly recommended, download the PDF). David Strom was not there.

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