Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hennepin County needs commissioner with conservative compass

One of the important local races in 2008 will be to replace the solidly conservative Penny Steele on the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in District 7. Activists on both sides of the Twins stadium subsidy battle will remember Steele, along with Commissioners Gail Dorfman and Linda Koblick, as tireless defenders of the taxpayer and limited government in the face of tremendous pressure from the subsidy recipients.

With Steele not running for reelection at the end of her term this year, county conservatives will want another commissioner with a steel backbone, so to speak, to protect the taxpayer and stand in the way of runaway government growth, including a taxpayer-financed stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. (If you doubt the urgency of this need, just look at the bottom of the receipt for anything you bought in Hennepin County since the subsidy went into effect.)

Although the board is a nonpartisan one, and party affiliations will not be on the ballot, political parties can endorse. Delegates to the Hennepin County Republican convention on February 23 will choose between two candidates for the endorsement, Jeff Johnson and Warren Limmer. Limmer (R-Maple Grove) is a fifth term state senator; Johnson is a Republican former state representative from Plymouth, who ran for Minnesota Attorney General in 2006.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Paulsen launches campaign for the Third

Erik Paulsen (photo: North Star Liberty)
Hitting the conservative themes of smaller government and lower taxes, accountability and results, and speaking strongly against the No Child Left Behind Act, current Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie) launched his campaign for the Minnesota Third Congressional District today.

Paulsen announcement (photo: North Star Liberty)
Paulsen spoke before an energetic crowd of several hundred at Scenic Heights Elementary School in Minnetonka. Many families were there with their young kids, strollers, and baby carriers in tow. To accomodate them, popcorn, cookies, and even face painting were available.

Paulsen promised a vigorous campaign for Congress. They all do, but Paulsen served as a Washington legislative assistant and state director for Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN3), the current, twelve-term Third District Congressman, whose work ethic for retail campaigning is legendary. (Ramstad was reportedly on his way back to Washington, D.C. during Paulsen's event.)

Among the elected Republicans present were state Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) and Sen. Gen Olson (R-Minnetrista), as well as Jeff Johnson, candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner, and Alice Seagren, Minnesota Department of Education commissioner.

Although most of the buzz about the DFL challenge in the Third has centered on state Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka), one Republican activist I spoke with today had praise for the speaking skills of another Democrat primary candidate for the seat, political newcomer and Iraq war veteran Ashwin Madia of Plymouth. Minnesota Monitor conducted a live blog (online chat) with Madia in December.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Whither conservatives now?

'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson

Doing our part. Stepping up to the plate. Stepping up for service. Stepping up to do the right thing. —Fred Thompson

Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote the perfect obituary for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign yesterday, a tribute to the man, his integrity, and his campaign.

Fred Heads can continue to honor the conservative cause by printing, reading, and replaying Thompson's pre-Iowa caucuses speech; by fondly remembering the phrase "no hand shows" as a rebuke to the mainstream media circus; and by keeping the faith in the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thompson: the $1 million man

Congratulations to the Fred Thompson presidential campaign on raising $1 million in the ten days since January 4. This will enable Thompson to get out his true conservative message in a big way this week in South Carolina.

Rasumssen reports that Thompson is now in a statistical three-way tie for second in the January 19 South Carolina primary election.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party

FRED THOMPSON, JANUARY 10, 2008 REPUBLICAN DEBATE, MYRTLE BEACH, SC: "This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future.

"On the one hand, you have the Reagan revolution. You have the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national security. On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in. He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies. He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy and the tradition of 'blame America first.' He believes that Guantanamo should be closed down and those enemy combatants brought here to the United States to find their way into the court system eventually. He believes in taxpayer-funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas.

"He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA says it was because of his opposition to vouchers. He said that he would sign a bill to ban smoking nationwide.

"So much for federalism. So much for states' rights. So much for individual rights. That’s not the model of the Reagan coalition, that’s the model of the Democratic Party."

Monday, January 07, 2008

Presidential politics: American Idol or The Apprentice?

Conservative commentators from Rush Limbaugh to Jason Lewis have been bemoaning the fact that the presidential campaign has centered on superficialities and presentation, quips, sound bites, and celebrity. Yet they already seem to have written off the only true conservative in the race, a month before Super Tuesday, rather than lead the way by supporting him on this crucial "job interview."

That got me to thinking: will the electorate this year pick the next leader of the free world as if they were watching American Idol, or The Apprentice?

American Idol is a competition that rewards performance. The contestant who can charm the audience, deliver a technically superior performance, stir the emotions, wins.

The Apprentice is a competition that rewards results through leadership. The contestant who can lead their team to sell the most, create the best marketing campaign, stage the best charity fundraiser event, wins.

In this age of talk radio, instant messaging, online social networks, online on-demand video, and blogs, we the people will have more influence over what kinds of campaigns are waged because more than ever, we will be the campaign.

This is good news for conservatives. Rather than a media-driven campaign of emotions and visuals, we can wage a campaign of ideas and principles. Rather than complain about campaigns and debates that are more Entertainment Tonight than The McLaughlin Group, we can change the debate, one voter at a time.

Whom would you rather have choose the next president, Simon Cowell or Donald Trump? What qualities will our country truly need in our next president?

To get started, go to and read how Fred Thompson would lead this country to security, unity, and prosperity with a steadfast return to the conservative principles that made this country great. Then help this country say to Thompson, "You're hired."

Friday, January 04, 2008

What's more important than being a good candidate?

Robert Redford in The Candidate, photo (c) 1972 Warner Bros. Pictures
"Ultimately, when we make up our minds we should think about the qualities the candidate would bring to the Oval Office--and not just whether or not they would make a good candidate." —The Wall Street Journal, "What we want in a president," January 2, 2008

"What do we do now?" —Robert Redford as candidate Bill McKay in The Candidate (1972), after winning the election

How many times have conservatives been convinced to trade their ideological convictions for "electability?" Be pragmatic, would you rather support a true conservative and lose, or a moderate Republican and win?

Well, after getting Governor Green Jeans, JOBZ, North Star Commuter Rail, smoking bans, and public subsidies for billionaire baseball team owners and an industry that is burning our food for fuel while billions of barrels of oil sit untapped under our feet, I would rather support a true conservative and WIN! That's why I will be supporting Fred Thompson at my precinct caucus on Tuesday, February 5, 2008.

Conservatives will never again be a factor in U.S. politics until we take back the Republican Party. That won't happen until we show up to the caucuses and conventions, and get conservative candidates endorsed and elected. Only then will real conservative change be possible.

Read more at the True North precinct caucus page for further info on getting involved. Those of us with jobs and kids can't go to all of the rallies and meetings, but the change we want won't occur by leaving it all to someone else (hello, Democrats outnumbered Republicans at this year's Iowa caucuses by nearly two-to-one). I hope to see you there on February 5.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Caucus day

One of the penalties for not getting involved in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. —Plato

On this Iowa Caucus Day, it's appropriate to note that this is a critical year for Minnesota conservatives to show up at their precinct caucuses on February 5th, and not just because it's a presidential election year. I think of the precinct caucus as the topsoil of a political party's grassroots. If a party's BPOU (Basic Political Operating Unit) has a good turnout at its precinct caucuses, it has a better chance of robust volunteer campaign support at the phone banks, lit drops, and parades from now until Election Day.

In the other direction, it is the best opportunity of the political season for party members to influence their party platform and promote the candidates of their choice. Anyone who will be of voting age on Election Day and largely agrees with the party's principles can attend. This means you! The caucus is also your entry point into the BPOU, county, Congressional District, state, and national party conventions, and to voting at these levels. This is the process that the parties use to endorse candidates and shape their platforms.

If you are unhappy about the direction of the Republican Party of Minnesota, if there's a crucial legislative race in your district this year, if you want to stand in the way of a Democrat White House this November, log off and show up!

The world belongs to those who show up to the meetings. —Unknown

See the True North caucus primer for more how-to tips on finding and attending your caucus, what to expect, and how to make a difference.

Plan now to attend your precinct caucus on Tuesday, February 5, 2008. Click here to find your caucus location.