Rep. Ryan Winkler deletes racially-charged tweet; can’t delete national outrage
After the Supreme Court struck down major portions of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional this morning, State Representative Ryan Winkler took his rage to Twitter:
Wow. “Uncle Thomas”? Wow.
For those of you who grew up in a post-racial America, Winkler was referring to black Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who sided with the majority on the Voting Rights Act ruling, as an Uncle Tom. As Wikipedia defines it, an Uncle Tom is “an epithet for … a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people…”.
After Rep. Winkler got into a Twitter argument with the Late Debate's Jack Tomczak, the story was picked up by the local press.
Later, [Winkler] tweeted: “Deleted Tweet causing offense regarding Justice Thomas. I apologize for it, but believe VRA decision does abet racism.”
And then the story was picked up by the national press.
However Mr. Winkler, whose site says he has an undergraduate history degree from Harvard and a law degree from the University of Minnesota, seemed to dig the hole deeper in a subsequent tweet, in which he said the racism of the term “Uncle Tom” was disputed and unknown to him.
Rep. Winkler has apologized.
"In expressing that disappointment on twitter, I hastily used a loaded term that is offensive to many. My words were inappropriate and I apologize."
Does racism still exist in America? Of course it does. But we can never repair the wounds made by the tragic history of our nation if our leaders resort to offensive name-calling and bullying when they don’t get their way.
Kurt Zellers running for governor
This afternoon, Rep. Kurt Zellers announced in Maple Grove that he would run for governor of Minnesota. His campaign released the following video centered on the fact that Zellers took on Governor Dayton once before and prevailed.
Zellers said that he would seek the Republican Party’s endorsement, but wouldn’t shy away from going to a primary without it.
Zellers enters a gubernatorial race with Scott Honour and Jeff Johnson. Sen. Dave Thompson says he will file paperwork for the gubernatorial race tomorrow and formerly announce his campaign Wednesday.
Kurt Zellers making announcement Sunday; owns ZellersForGovernor.com
Kurt Zellers, current state representative and former Speaker of the Minnesota House, will make an announcement about his political future on Sunday at 3pm from Maple Grove.
It is very likely that Zellers will be announcing a gubernatorial campaign. His fundraising arm “Volunteers for Zellers” purchased the domain name “ZellersForGovernor.com” two days ago on June 18.
"ZellersForSenate.com" is not registered by anyone.
This invitation was e-mailed out this morning:
Seven-Word Movie Reviews: Man of Steel
Jack is a movie optimist; he looks forward to movies expecting them to be good.
Ben is a movie pessimist; he expects most movies to be terrible and disappointing.
We’re going to start watching movies this summer with the goal of writing seven-word movie reviews. First up: the Superman reboot “Man of Steel”.
Seven-Word Movie Reviews
Jack: "Too much. Too new. Too loud. Wasted."
Ben: "Alien fight. Earth just in the way."
Should you see it?
Radio talker Jason Lewis will not run for office in 2014
Jason Lewis, host of the political radio talk show “The Jason Lewis Show” heard locally on Twin Cities News Talk AM1130, announced this evening on his show that he would not be running for any political office in 2014.
Jason Lewis from his show:
We have one political party: the Establishment Party. And that, my friends, is the reason that I have chosen not to run for political office. That I have chosen to stick right here where I am liberated and can speak my mind and not have to carry the Party line.
As many of you know, I’ve been toying with the idea – and it actually became much more than toying. This is the most serious I’ve been about running for public office since I actually ran for public office all the way back as a youthful indiscretion in 1990. I’ve been talking with people for weeks and months; many of them haven’t been talking back, but I’ve been talking with people.
And I’ve come to the conclusion that at this point in time that what I would have to leave on the table, the price of this would be too great for my family, too great for my profession. I’ve sort of climbed atop a perch I don’t want to give up, I’ll be the first to admit that, but I was willing to do it. But, when it comes to family and what’s best for them, that was a different calculation: the time way from home. The time way from the people I love. I didn’t not enter that lightly.
And then I would be remiss if I didn’t simply tell you the truth, and the truth is that for all the talk on talk radio, for all of the talk about changing the country, there is an amalgamation of special interests in this country to whom Big Government has been good, whether it’s Big Government of the Right or the Left. They don’t want to change.
They jump from political office to political office. They’re career politicians. Worse than that, they’re career staffers that go from one – you know – from Tim Pawlenty to whoever else they can get to pay them. We are governed in so many ways my a mercenary of public bureaucrats, of staffers, of congressional staffers, of committee staffers, and they don’t care about ideology.
And I’ve got news for you: The people that fund so many of these campaigns that raise the money necessary to defeat somebody who is going to be awash in cast like, say, Senator Al Franken, they don’t care about ideology either.
They care about access.
They care about access. They will only fund you if you can win, because what they’re paying for is not a Barry Goldwater firing that shot across the bow in 1964 or Ronald Reagan in 1968. The establishment money wants access. And so they want you to be malleable. They want you to make certain you’re not too far out there.
They want you to have a good shot of winning and the only way to win is to get on board with immigration reform, subsidizing student loans, Medicare Part D, war in Syria, going after the NSA leaker, all of the things the political parties agree on. And they are Legion.
The biggest lie is that there’s a polarization of the body politic. Special interests have homogenized the parties. There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them except in degree; except as to how fast the country will be bankrupt – not whether or not we’re going to be bankrupt – Detroit comes to mind.
So, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is, depending on your point of view – those of you, many of your e-mails were encouraging me to throw my hat in the ring – that bad news is it’s not the right time for me. It’s not the right time for the country to take the message of real change; we still haven’t gotten there yet.
There’s still more education that needs to be done and hopefully I’ll continue to do it here.
And it’s not the right time for my family.
Lewis then starts talking about a project he plans on doing instead of a campaign for public office.
Election Update: Peterson for Sixth, Benson for First, MPLS DFL endorses Pizza
Here are three updates about upcoming elections in Minnesota.
First, Republican State Senator John Peterson is jumping into the Sixth Congressional District race for Michele Bachmann’s seat.
Pederson said, “I am very humbled by the great deal of unsolicited encouragement I have received from supporters to pursue this congressional seat. I am always grateful to be able to meet the residents I aspire to serve and I am looking forward to getting this campaign started.”
Pederson has won four elections in the last six years in this Congressional District, two for the St. Cloud City Council and two for the Minnesota State Senate.
Second, Republican State Representative Mike Benson is running against Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesota’s First Congressional District.
In a recent interview with the Post-Bulletin, the two-term state representative said he was prompted to run because of concerns about the growing number of federal mandates and regulations being forced on the states.
"I don’t want my legacy to be that I was willing to accept that the better days of America are behind us, and I don’t think they have to be," he said.
Benson, who represents District 26B in the Legislature, becomes the first Republican to announce a 2014 run against Walz, 49, a former Mankato high school teacher who was first elected in 2006. It appears he may soon have plenty of company, with several Republicans expressing interest in taking on Walz.
Finally, the Democrat–Farming–Laborer Party of Minneapolis failed to endorse a candidate in the race for mayor of Minneapols. The culprit: pizza.
On the fourth ballot, Andrew continued to hold his lead on Hodges, 51 percent to 45 percent — still short of the 60 percent required to win endorsement.
But then all of Hodges’s supporters walked out (a move that other candidates, including retiring Mayor R.T. Rybak, have pulled before). While they snacked on pizza outside the Convention Center, back inside, the fifth ballot tested if there were still enough delegates to reach quorum and proceed.
Not long before midnight, the ballots came up short, and as a result the day reached its seemingly foregone conclusion: There would be no endorsement.
So everyone continues to the general. The ranked preference ballot in Minneapolis makes it easier for an independent candidate (and Late Debate guest) like Cam Winton to get more votes than the five DFLers in the race with him.
Great, now I’m hungry for non-quorum pizza.
Rhonda Sivarajah is running for Congress
Rhonda Sivarajah, Chair of the Anoka County Board and former candidate for lieutenant governor of Minnesota, announced this morning in Ham Lake that she would be running for Minnesota’s sixth congressional district made open by Michele Bachmann.
Sivarajah also launched a website at RhondaForCongress.com.
Sivarajah will seek the Party’s endorsement but has made no pledge to abide by it. Tom Emmer, the first Republican candidate to declare for this seat, would abide by the Party’s endorsement according to Emmer “volunteer strategist” Rep. David FitzSimmons.
Rhonda Sivarajah making announcement tomorrow morning in Ham Lake
Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah will be making an announcement Wednesday morning regarding her future. I am assuming that she will declare her candidacy for Minnesota’s open Sixth Congressional District.
The announcement will be made tomorrow at 9:30 am at the Victory Auto on State Highway 65 and Constance Boulevard in Ham Lake.
Sivarajah would be the second Republican candidate (Tom Emmer was the first) to campaign for Michele Bachmann’s seat.
Bicyclists, boozers, and booze bikes
Apparently, it’s Bicycle Awareness Week in Minneapolis because three stories involving bike chains popped up in the news this weekend.
First up, bicycle groups are trying to get more women to bike to work. The whole story is unintentionally hilarious, but here are my highlights.
Just 25 percent of Twin Cities bike commuters are women. While that is on par with the national average of 24 percent, it marks a decline from the 33 percent the Twin Cities recorded in 2008, according to some counts.
Advocates say three major factors keep women off the roads: safety, gender roles and certain stereotypes of the male-dominated biking community, such as skintight jerseys and shorts.
Male bicyclists in “skintight jerseys and shorts” isn’t a biking problem, it’s a national scourge. What part of biking through Uptown makes you think you’re competing in the Tour de France? You’re 45, you wear spandex, and America is ashamed of you.
Because many women are responsible for child care and domestic responsibilities, they run multiple errands at places such as the dry cleaner, library or grocery store on the way to and from work. As a result, women view biking to work as unfeasible…
That’s because biking is unfeasible. Bicycles are only a mode of transportation if you have no real responsibilities in life.
But, bicycles do have a plus-side. Let’s say you want to drive home after tying one on. You can legally get home on a bicycle!
Two-wheeled tippling is legal in Minneapolis, but not without risks. One study conducted by Minneapolis found that bicyclists were impaired by alcohol or drugs in nearly 6 percent of the nearly 3,000 bicyclist-motorist collisions that occurred between 2000 and 2010, including 12 fatalities.
The other 94 percent of bicyclist-motorist collisions were the result of jerk-ass bicyclists in spandex thinking traffic rules don’t apply to them and obnoxiously getting in the way of a far more powerful car.
So you can bike drunk. And thanks to the people at Pedal Pub, you can get drunk while biking. But some people have a problem with that.
“Everyone’s welcome in the neighborhood, but we ask that you respect that we live here,” Cowles said. “It’s a safety concern and a noise concern.”
Cowles is one of a growing number of neighbors who aren’t having quite as much fun as the 16 people riding the rolling bars. For months, a Facebook page has been taking complaints. On the page, there’s a picture from a bike that wasn’t able to get out of the way of an ambulance and home video of just how noisy they can be.
Someone finally figures out how to have a great time on a bike and the No-Fun Police show up to try to stop it.
However, not many from the No-Fun Police came out to protest the 4th annual Northeast Pedal Pub races. The video from WCCO only shows three people protesting, so maybe it’s not actually news.
Well, what have we learned:
- Don’t bike to work; there’s no shower and you can’t run errands.
- Do bike to the bar; you can legally bike back home if you’re in Minneapolis.
- If you hate fun, don’t live in a neighborhood known for its bars.