Ad Watch: DFL ad

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The DFL today is out with a new ad which tries to connect Tim Pawlenty with rising property taxes. See it here.

It’s funny the subject should come up, because we touched on it in the comments section of Polinaut in the item about the Wetterling ad against Bachmann. I indicated that Republicans have been so good at hammering the taxes issue, that it’ll take a lot of money and a lot of time to pin the “higher taxes” label on them again.

Lord knows Sen. Pogemiller has tried for a few years now, without a ton of success. Why? Because you have to explain the Local Government Aid formula. In 30 seconds or in a sound bite? Good luck.

The theory goes that Tim Pawlenty didn’t really cut taxes, he just pushed the taxes down to the local level by cutting state aid and then tried to blame the local leaders for being spending happy instead of cutting the taxes further.

It’s an argument with some merit. Just ask local officials.

They contend their budgets were already too tight and they’ve chopped to the bone. The Pawlenty campaign says they haven’t. In fact, they’re touting a property tax cap in some of their current commercials.

It’s a classic Democrat vs. Republican argument.

And potentially, a winning argument in a campaign. Some people think that’s why Republicans in the Legislature pushed for a property tax rebate in the last session, with the checks coming close to election time.

October 1, I believe is when the half-year property tax bills are due (at least that’s what my checking account says), so it’s probably no surprise the ad is being released around October 1.

Bottom line. Not all property taxes rose because of the cuts in local government aid. But many did. Some cities don’t get LGA.

And cuts in LGA have been going on since before Pawlenty even took office. The shift came partly as a result of a revamping of tax policy which took some of the burden off commercial taxpayers and put it on homeowners. Another came from the decision by the state to fund education, and take it off the property tax rolls. But where did that money come from? Ventura proposed it come from an expansion of the sales tax. But the Legislature, in an election year, didn’t bite. It took it from LGA.

And then, when it came time to cutting taxes, the state also cut the amount of scheduled funding for local schools.

Want to learn more. Here’s a blast from the past from Midday on the subject.

And we’ve got a ton of information on LGA here.

But none of it can be toldin 30 seconds.

  • Karl

    It’s an argument with some merit. Just ask local officials.

    So why did you reject it out of hand as “the Pogemiller argument” when I raised it in the last discussion on this topic, Bob? You suggested I didn’t know what I was talking about and that your own property taxes went up not because of Pawlenty-Bachmann tax policies but because of school levies and a green-space referendum.

    I’m glad you seem to have seen the light now.

  • Bob Collins

    I didn’t reject it out of hand as the Pogemiller argument. It IS the Pogemiller argument. And the problemw ith the Pogemiller argument isn’t that it’s right or wrong, the problem is it doesn’t lend itself to an explanation in a TV spot and that’s what the post you’re referring to was about.

    Yes, it’s an argument that can be made. It’s an argument that may be right or may be wrong.

    But in the post about Patty Wetterling’s ad, Patty Wetterling didn’t make that argument.

    If you’re going to paint Michele Bachmann as someone who’s going to raise your taxes, then you better at least TRY to make that argument. She didn’t. Personally, as I said, if the goal was an attack ad on Michele Bachmann, and I guess it was, aren’t there a lot more possibilities than explaining the LGA formula.

    Like I said, Pogemiller’s been making the argument for years. It hasn’t registered with anyone but the folks who want to understand LGA and maybe even enjoy talking about tax policy.

    Those people aren’t going to decide this election. They’ve already decided.

    We heard the term “devil” I believe at the DFL convention in which Wetterling was nominated, used to describe her (BAchmann). I’m pretty sure they werren’t talking about her position on LGA. So if you’re going to run a negative ad, either bring it on….or go in another direction.

    That’s the problem with that ad.

  • Ag

    I actually think this ad make the arguement pretty simple. Pawlenty cut money going to cities, and forced propert taxes up so they can still pay for things like cops. That is pretty simple to get.

    plus it shows Tim being dishonest about how he was going to handle LGA, again pretty simply

  • Bob Collins

    It DOES make it pretty simple. It just says that if your property taxes went up, it’s Pawlenty’s fault. Of course, as I indicated, not every city gets LGA. And not all property taxes go up because of LGA. They also go up because of school levies, and bonding referenda, or county taxes etc.

    As with all political ads, simplicity is a virtue, it’s just not necessarily contextual.

  • Karl

    And school levies are required because state funding for schools has not kept up with inflation.

    Speaking of Bachmann and problems, though, when is that inaccurate bio on Bachmann on your MPR Campaign 2006 page going to be corrected. It wouldn’t pass anyone’s reality check. She is not a “tax litigation attorney.”

  • Bill Prendergast

    Yeah, why don’t you correct that “tax litigation attorney” thing, Bob?

    Anyway–here’s Bachmann’s take on property taxes, judging from her actions so far.

    –She supports Pawlenty’s LGA cuts, helps get them through.

    –Her district, starved of operating funds, has to lay off teachers, city employees, police department personnel, cut the school bus service in her hometown, etc.

    –local government realizes it’s got to raise property taxes just to restore this stuff. our property taxes get raised, and Stillwater residents are suddenly faced with a $15 million school levy this year, just to keep the schools going.

    –Bachmann says that’s fine with her “property taxes are the most secure form of school funding.”

    –Bachmann tries to introduce legislation capping the property taxes and levies that she says fund the schools.

    –if that goes through, the public schools die the death of a thousand cuts over the next few years–because she stopped LGA, and she’s capped the property taxes and school levies–regardless of the actual need for that money to keep her district going.

    –Bachmann is offered and accepts more than $50,000 in campaign donations from a nut-house policy group called the Alliance For Separation of School and State (ASSS)–a group dedicated to ending all funding for public schools.

    See how this all goes together? For some people, destruction of funding that keeps local governments and school operating is a GOOD thing.

    It’s just like Michele said on the radio a couple of years back:

    “We’re in a state of crisis where our nation is literally ripping apart at the seams right now, and lawlessness is occurring from one ocean to the other. And we’re seeing the fulfillment of the Book of Judges here in our own time, where every man doing that which is right in his own eyes—in other words, anarchy.” – Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

  • Bob Collins

    //Yeah, why don’t you correct that “tax litigation attorney” thing, Bob?

    Because that’s what she says her occupation is and her bio says “state senator and tax litigation attorney.”

    Folks contend she hasn’t been in court, fine. She hasn’t prepared taxes in X years? Fine. How many years before she doesn’t get to call herself a tax litigation attorney? 1, 2, 3? Beats me. My mother called herself a hairdresser years after her last customer. Who am I to say she wasn’t?

    As for your timeline, it’s certainly legitimate for the purposes of reaching the conclusion you’ve reached.

    Make it work in a 30-second ad now. (g)

  • Bob Collins

    //And school levies are required because state funding for schools has not kept up with inflation.

    The state, however, didn’t just underfund based on inflation. Don’t forget the state delayed payments a full year once.

    In my district — So. Washington County — the levies were required for another reason. The district is growing and we “needed” another high school and another elementary school.

    Of course they also threw in another football stadium.

    Did we REALLY need another football stadium? Really? The Republicans would focus on that aspect of the spending and say no. Democrats would focus on the building itself and say yes.

  • Bill Prendergast

    I don’t know why you want copy for 30 second ads, but how about this, Bob:

    BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO OF BACHMANN.

    “Michelle Bachmann says education is her number one priority.

    PHOTO OF THE LGA CUTS BILL, DISSOLVE TO BACHMANN’S VOTE IN SUPPORT.

    But she supported cuts in state aid that forced local communities in Minnesota to cut education and raise property taxes.

    PHOTO OF KIDS GETTING ON TO SCHOOL BUS, A BIG RED “X” IS DRAWN THROUGH IT VIA ANIMATION.

    In Bachmann’s hometown of Stillwater, free school bus transportation was cut for hundreds of children.

    PHOTO OF PLEASANT LOOKING TEACHER POSING WITH CLASSROOM OF KIDS; A BIG RED “X” IS DRAWN THROUGH IT VIA ANIMATION.

    Teachers had to be laid off and the number of kids per classroom rose.

    HEADLINE IN LOCAL STILLWATER PAPER ABOUT HOW STILLWATER SCHOOL BOARD NEED $15 MILLION DOLLAR LEVY.

    And now the taxpayers in Bachmann’s hometown are stuck with a new $15 million school levy if they want to keep their public schools open.

    BACK TO THE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO OF BACHMANN, CLOSE IN TO EMPHASIZE HER SCARY EYES.

    Why did Michele Bachmann do that to the people who voted for her?”

    I couldn’t get the stuff about how she’s taken more than fifty grand from ASSS, an organization that wants to end all funding for any public education. We’d have to run that in a follow-up, if she claims that this ad is unfair.

    Or, we could run this one, if you think the “Bachmann is a nut” thing works better in a 30 second spot:

    “And what a bizarre time we’re in, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

  • Bob Collins

    I want copy for 30 second ads because that’s what I’m doing… analyzing ads and why politicians say what they say in them, and what their strategy is.

    The ad you wrote, by the way, is the one I would have expected to see in an “attack ad” against Bachmann.

    Why I didn’t see *that* ad still escapes me.

  • Bill Prendergast

    When you challenged me to do write a 30 second spot, I thought your implication was that it would be hard, or that it couldn’t be done.

    Now that we all know “LGA cuts=prop tax hike and levies” argument can be done (more or less) in a 30 second spot–you’ve moved on to the next question: why haven’t they done that?

    Your guess on that is much better than mine will ever be, because your area of study has been “analyzing ads and why politicians say what they say in them, and what their strategy is.”

    My main interest in this race is in something that the professional media seem loathe to cover–why are almost of the local professional news media content to allow Bachmann, a hatemonger and local protege of a national Christian fundamentalist movement, to run a stealth “mainstream” candidacy in Minnesota?

    I know the political reasons why Wetterling and Binkowski can’t say she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician, but why are the dailies and public radio treating that fact like it’s some state secret?

    On her March 2004 rally against same-sex marriage: “It will be an awesome day. We are going to be beseeching the Lord.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

  • Bob Collins

    I don’t understand. WHY can’t Binkowski and Wetterling says she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician? If it’s a bad thing — and I guess you’re saying it is — isn’t that THEIR job?

    I would disagree that it’s the media’s job to sound alarm that a Christian fundamentalist politician is running for office. It’s the media’s job to say who she is.

    If you listen to the interviews, for example, posted online and read the coverage of her legislative career, the role religion and her religious values play in her political life are hardly a secret. There’s every reason to believe that’s why she won the GOP endorsement in the first place and there’s a pretty good chance that the fact she is a fundamentalist Christian is why she could win in November.

    It’s not the media’s job to defeat the candidacy of Michele Bachmann. It’s Patty Wetterling and John Binkowskis’ job.

    THAT’s what I was talking about when I was wondering why on earth Wetterling was wasting her time trying to drum up some fear about Michele’s desire to raise taxes when you’ve pointed out the areas where she could.

    Is it that she’d turn off voters who are, themselves, fundamentalist? Possibly. If a fundamentalist Christian can get to Congress, the 6th District of Minnesota is the place to do it. That’s what the majority of voters desired, I guess.

    Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

  • Bill Prendergast

    Bob says:

    “I don’t understand. WHY can’t Binkowski and Wetterling says she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician? If it’s a bad thing — and I guess you’re saying it is — isn’t that THEIR job?”

    If they say a word about Michele Bachmann being any sort of Christian, they’re toast, politically, now and for the foreseeable–because that, in the minds of uninformed voters, indicates that Bachmann is the “pro-Christian” candidate in the race and opponents who “criticize her politics on the basis of her Christianity” are secular bigots. That’s why the candidates can’t raise it themselves.

    “I would disagree that it’s the media’s job to sound alarm that a Christian fundamentalist politician is running for office. It’s the media’s job to say who she is. ”

    That’s a remarkable statement coming from a member of the media, Bob. You can’t see how your second sentence immediately contradicts your first, can you?

    “Who she is” is a Christian fundamentalist politician–in your very next paragraph you refer to “the fact (that) she is a fundamentalist Christian.” Is the fact that she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician included in your bio of her? In any of the bios or articles dealing with Bachmann in the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, the St. Cloud Times, etc. etc.?

    I’m not alleging conspiracy, I’m alleging stupidity and failure in the press’ professional duty to inform the voters about candidates and elected officials.

    “the role religion and her religious values play in her political life are hardly a secret.”

    Reporting *that* doesn’t inform the public that she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician (as we both agree she is)–who’s following the agenda of a powerful national Christian fundamentalist political movement, outside the state. Look at her contributor’s list, Bob, if you think it’s your job to tell the public “who she is.”

    If, as you say “there’s a pretty good chance that the fact she is a fundamentalist Christian is why she could win in November,” don’t you think you should use the words “fundamentalist Christian” when reporting on her?

    Because you and I know she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician, but most of the voters simply don’t know that about her. She takes great pains to keep that “religious fervor/we should all get down on our knees/prophecy” stuff out of the papers before election time. If you guys don’t tell the voters, they’re not gonna find out about it until after she’s elected.

    And I’ll tell you another good reason that she could win in November–because the journalism professionals that covered Bachmann and this race have simply refused to acquaint their audiences with the fact that she’s a fundamentalist Christian poltician. When they refuse to print the documented truth about her worldview, they’re helping to elect Bachmann.

  • Bob Collins

    I’m sorry, I’m missing the exact point. Is it a bad thing to be a Christian fundamentalist? Is it worse than being a Catholic? A Jew? A Buddhist? A Muslim?

    Is there something illegal about her candidacy that I’m missing?

    Should I be describing myself as a Methodist writer?

  • Bob Collins

    And on the subject of Binkowski and Wetterling.

    Let me see if I have this straight.

    Wetterling and Binkowski would be “toast” politically for pointing out she’s a fundamentalist Christian.

    But Bachmann could win because the voters don’t KNOW that Bachmann is a fundamentalist Christian.

    So on the one hand, the voters would panelize Wetterling and Binkowski for pointing out she’s a fundamentalist Christian. But the same voters would also penalize Bachmann once they knew she was a fundamentalist Christian.

    In other words…they would respond positively to the concept of a fundamentalist Christian in penalizing Wetterling and Binkowski but would respond negatively to the concept of a fundamentalist Christian in penalizing Bachmann.

    You know what the 6th District race will come down to? Abortion. The same issue that drove Bill Luther out of the 6th District that opened up the seat in the first place.

    Why? Because the voters don’t penalize the views of fundamentalist Christians.

    If a fundamentalist Christian is good enough to vote, why aren’t they good enough to hold office?

  • Bill Prendergast

    “I’m sorry, I’m missing the exact point. Is it a bad thing to be a Christian fundamentalist? Is it worse than being a Catholic? A Jew? A Buddhist? A Muslim?”

    No, it’s not a “bad thing” to be a Christian fundamentalist, or even Christian fundamentalist politician–if the public knows that that is what you are all about, if the public knows that your agenda in office will be driven by a Christian fundamentalist political agenda. If they know that (because the dailies and public radio acquaint the voters with their record) then there’s nothing wrong with running as a Christian fundamentalist politician.

    It’s a “bad thing” when the press won’t report that a candidate for Congress is a “Christian fundamentalist politician.” A national Christian fundamentalist political program drives Michele Bachmann and her local political agenda, it permeates her political strategy and and drives her political rallies. That’s the “exact point,” that’s what’s wrong with failing to identify her as a Christian fundamentalist politician to the public.

    I don’t see the analogy between your Methodism and Bachmann’s Christian fundamentalist politics. Is it your “Methodism” that drives your political reporting? Are you allied with a national network of “politicized Methodists” who are trying to capture control of Minnesota’s Republican Party? Do you see now the difference between a person’s private religious beliefs and Michele’s attempt to make her sectarian religious beliefs into law/public policy?

    And it’s not just that she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician, Bob. It’s “a bad thing” to:

    1)–to be a Christian fundamentalist politician who is also a hatemonger and liar, who tells lies to feed homophobic paranoia:

    On what would happen if her same-sex marriage ban failed to pass in 2004: “…Our K-12 public school system, of which ninety per cent of all youth are in the public school system, they will be required to learn that homosexuality is normal, equal and perhaps you should try it. And that will occur immediately, that all schools will begin teaching homosexuality.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

    2)–to be a Christian fundamentalist politician who is the protege of a secretive national organization of wealthy and powerful Christian political activists.

    (Look at her contributors’ list, Bob, like I told you. Find out about an organization called the Council For National Policy. Look at the free radio air time Bachmann’s received over the past six years from Salem Communications to promote her candidacies, rallies, and agenda.)

    Bachmann’s religious beliefs are a matter of public concern because they aren’t just matters of private conscience, they’re part of a national political agenda that’s being written outside Minnesota. You have to get up to speed on this issue, Bob, if you really want to understand what this race is all about.

  • Bill Prendergast

    Your remarks on Binkowski and Wetterling:

    You’re missing the point again. If Binkowski and Wetterling INTRODUCE the issue of Bachmann being a “Christian fundamentalist politician”, they can be accused of politicizing religion in the 6th district race. If they, and not the media, introduce the “Christian fundamentalist politician” issue, Wetterling and Binkowski would be accused of attacking a candidate’s religious beliefs into politics for poltical gain. The voters would undoubtedly penalize them for doing that.

    So Binkowski and Wetterling can’t “go first” on the issue of Bachmann’s relationship to a national Christian fundamentalist movement, and Bachmann takes pains to conceal that affiliation at election time.

    I watched her delivering a detailed biography of herself to group of voters here last week–without any mention of her “Ten Commandments” rally, no mention of how “gay Minnesotans are targeting our kids,” not a word about her two two “anti-gay marriage” rallies at the capitol. She’s concealing her “Christian fundamentalist political agenda” from the voters, at least until the race is over–she’s running a stealth “mainstream conservative Republican” candidacy, again.

    That’s why it’s up to the media to get out the truth about Bachmann and her worldview and her agenda. The voters are not going to learn about it from Wetterling or Binkowski; if they’re the ones who raise the issue the Christian voters will crucify them, and they’ll stay crucified.

    And Bob, I honestly don’t know that Bachmann would be defeated if the media pointed out the fact that she’s “Christian fundamentalist politician.” Maybe there are enough votes for that kind of agenda in the 6th. I like to think that if the media informs the public about Bachmann’s hatemongering, her lies, her support for creationism on the school science curriculum, her CNP backers, her call for radio listeners to come down to St. Paul and enter the offices of her fellow legislators–I like to think that if the media puts all of that into their political voting, the voters will be informed enough to make an intelligent decision.

    What I do know is, the media has a duty to tell people about Bachmann’s worldview and about her national political backers BEFORE they vote. In your words: “It’s the media’s job to say who she is.”

    Why aren’t you doing that, Bob?

    And a Christian fundamentalist is “good enough to vote,” Bob, and they are “good enough to hold office.” But a “Christian fundmentalist politician” who’s also a proven hatemonger and paranoid is not good enough to hold office.

    Here’s what she said about Pawlenty’s “Tax-Free Zones” initiative: “…it’s all for the planned redistribution of wealth which is also stated in this document, the redistribution of wealth which is based on a new concept called equity. And it says this: we must not lose sight of equity, or fairness based on need. Where have you heard that here, today? From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” -–Senator Michele Bachmann, Edwatch conference, October 10-11, 2003

  • http://lloydletta.blogspot.com Eva Young

    Bob, Karl has provided you the evidence that Bachmann has padded her resume with the tax litigation attorney claim. Part of the responsibility of the press is to give fact checked information, rather than just the information the campaigns want to pass on.

    I’d also second Bill Prendergast’s point that the press does have the responsibility to expose Michele Bachmann’s theocratic views. She tries to call all opposition to her extreme agenda “anti-christian”. That’s not the case. Take a look at the stuff she talks about when she is a guest on KKMS. This sounds quite different than the stuff she talks about when she is on MPR.

    It’s perfectly relevant to cover when she is saying different things to different people.

    Also, on taxes, Bachmann did vote to increase taxes – she voted for the Health Impact Fee/tax in 2005.

    Here are some of her quotes:

    “We’re in a state of crisis where our nation is literally ripping apart at the seams right now, and lawlessness is occurring from one ocean to the other. And we’re seeing the fulfillment of the Book of Judges here in our own time, where every man doing that which is right in his own eyes—in other words, anarchy.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

    “Iran is at a point right now where America has to be very aggressive in our response. We can’t remove any option off the table, and we should not remove the nuclear response.”–Senator Michele Bachmann, interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio, May 3, 2006

    On her 2004 state capitol rally for a same-sex marriage ban: “Listeners should rejoice right now, because there are believers all across your listening area that are praying now. And I would say that if you can’t attend the rally, you can pray. And God calls us to fall on our faces and our knees and cry out to Him and confess our sins. And I would just ask your listeners to do that now. Cry out to a Holy God. He wants to hear us, He will hear us if we will confess our sins and cry out to Him. Our children are worth it and obedience to God demands it.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

    On same-sex marriage: “This is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understating that.”–Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

    On same-sex marriage: “… This is an earthquake issue. This will change our state forever. Because the immediate consequence, if gay marriage goes through, is that K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural and perhaps they should try it.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

    On what would happen if her same-sex marriage ban failed to pass in 2004: “…Our K-12 public school system, of which ninety per cent of all youth are in the public school system, they will be required to learn that homosexuality is normal, equal and perhaps you should try it. And that will occur immediately, that all schools will begin teaching homosexuality.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

    “And what a bizarre time we’re in, Jan, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.” –Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

  • Bob Collins

    Eva, on the one hand you’re saying the press isn’t doing its job, on the other hand yo cite MPR as the source of the quote on Bachmann-Iraq (which, by the way was also highlighted on Polinaut)

    And Bachmann’s position on same-sex marriage has hardly been covered up.

    But what you’re pointing out here, of course, are views you disagree with. And that’s fine. You think they’re wrong. But you and Bill are both asking the media to also report they’re wrong.

    To you, those are “extreme positions.” Great, as I’ve said from the beginning, THAT’S Patty Wetterling’s job to make that the issue of the campaign and as I also said, I’m shocked she chose the taxes issue for her attack ad. It doesn’t make sense.

    And that’s why I also said that the fact she didn’t tells me there’s internal polling that says those “extreme positions” are held tightly in the 6th District and there isn’t political wisdom in criticizing them.

    And Bill, what you’re asking me to do because Bachmann is a fundamentalist Christian politician is the same thing Michael Brodkorb is doing to Keith Ellison because he’s a Muslim politician.

    And it’s odd you’d say Bachmann is keeping a secret of her Chrtistian fundamentalist positions.

    Search the Web site here for Michele Bachmann and you’ll find plenty of coverage.

    We’re not going to do a story that sais “Oh, my God, Michele Bachmann is a fundamentalist Christian politician.”

    Your last paragraph is just merely insulting. Yo give yourself far too much credit for holding the only wisdom between us on this race.

    Yours is what Kessler calls a “confirmational” (not in the religious sense, don’t worry) note that we get all the time. You judge a media’ s job based on how faithfully it reports what you agree with.

    If you want to beat Michele Bachmann go knock on doors, post more messages to blogs, hold a rally, buy some airtime, call a talk show or — here’s an idea — grab her opponents’ by the scruff of their necks and remind them that it’s THEIR job to defeat Michele Bachmann. Not mine.

    Sorry. No sale.

  • Bill Prendergast

    “But what you’re pointing out here, of course, are views you disagree with. And that’s fine. You think they’re wrong. But you and Bill are both asking the media to also report they’re wrong.”

    Bob–that’s not what we’re asking you to do, and you know it. Why mischaracterize our position like that, Bob? Why? You know that we’re not asking journalists to report that MB’s “extremists positions are wrong”–all we’re asking you to do is REPORT her extremist claims and positions, her outright lies and hate rhetoric, so that the voters can decide themselves.

    It’s not as if I’m asking you to condemn anything.

    “Your last paragraph is just merely insulting. Yo give yourself far too much credit for holding the only wisdom between us on this race.”

    I’m sorry you feel insulted, but if you think that Michele Bachmann’s Christian fundamentalist politics are no different than your Methodism–you’re NOT up to speed on this race, Bob.

    And as far, wisdom goes–we give you the dated quotes that prove Bachmann’s a liar and hatemonger–and you blithely ignore all, as well as your duty to inform the public about it. If you take an attitude like that, your “wisdom” will be criticized. If the press covering the ’68 presidential race refused to REPORT George Wallace’s record of racist rhetoric and remarks, they could have been fairly accused of a lack of “wisdom” and “judgment” wouldn’t they?

    Your other statement is wrong, and once again you mischaracterize my position. I don’t think that between the two of us, I hold the only wisdom on this race. I’m sure there’s a lot you could tell me that I don’t know about this race.

    What I was claiming is that YOU don’t know, or don’t care, about that fact that Michele Bachmann is sponsored by a nationally organized Christian fundamentalist political movement. It is called the Council For National Policy. It keeps its membership list a secret, but the presumed members include: Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, Ralph Reed, Phyllis Schlafly, Howard Phillips.

    Look at the Bachmann contributors list, Bob. This is not the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, this is a very real and powerful national organization of dominated by Christian fundamentalists. President Bush has addressed them. Part of their political strategy has been to sponsor candidates in local races–school board, etc–and groom them for higher local office.

    If you don’t know about that, and if you don’t know that CNP members and organizations are contributing to Bachmann and have been giving her free air time own their Christian radio outlets in Minnesota to promote her candidacy, rallies and agenda–then you’re not up to speed on this race.

    And I suspect that you DIDN’T know that, Bob, because you and your colleagues never report on it. Take a look at that contributor’s list, Bob.

    I’m sorry you don’t like the tone of this, but you seem to think the problem here is people like Eva and Bill. I think the probem is journalists who will fight for their reputations like cornered dogs when someone points out their failure to report to the public on a vitally important political phenomenon.

  • Bill Prendergast

    Bob Collins wrote to Bill:

    “And it’s odd you’d say Bachmann is keeping a secret of her Chrtistian fundamentalist positions.”

    “Search the Web site here for Michele Bachmann and you’ll find plenty of coverage.”

    Bob, I did as you suggested and searched for the coverage of Michele Bachmann’s current “Christian fundamentalist positions”. I did an advanced search, I put in the phrase “Michele Bachmann” and the word “fundamentalist.” Then I did the same search with the word “fundamentalism” instead of “fundamentalist.” One of these searches should have worked, if there’s “plenty of coverage” as you say—right?

    The only thing these searches turned up that mentions Michele in connection with a “Christian fundamentalist political agenda” is the string of posts between you and me—the ones where I practically beg you to identify Michele publicly as a “Christian fundamentalist politician”.

    I wrote to you that “Bachmann takes pains to conceal that affiliation at election time.” And I can’t find any coverage on your website of “Christian fundamentalist political positions” that Michele Bachmann owns up during the current election cycle. I can’t find anything on your website that would lead a reasonable person to dispute my statement.

    So what did you mean when you said I’d find plenty of coverage here? Which coverage here, exactly, are you referring to, when you dispute my claim that: “Bachmann takes pains takes pains to conceal that affiliation at election time”?

    If you can direct to me to the MPR coverage you’re referring to—all the coverage that reports Bachmann identifying her Christian fundamentalist agenda and associations for voters at election time–I’d be very grateful to you, Bob. But if you know that no such coverage exist–please don’t send me off on a wild goose chase.

    I wouldn’t do that to you.

  • Bill Prendergast

    And…Bob’s gone from this thread. It’s been more than twenty four hour since his last post to this thread.

    Look, Bob–I open up Polinaut today and I read that these are your favorite words:

    my favorite words… “you didn’t answer my question.”

    So please answer mine, Bob. Here’s recap–

    1) I wrote you that Michele Bachmann tries to conceal her fundamentalist agenda around election time.

    2) You disputed that, and you said that it was strange that I would say that, you indicated that there’s “plenty of coverage” right here on your website that would refute my view–that MB takes pains to conceal her affiliation to the Christian fundamentalist political movement at election time.

    3) So I looked, because you said it was there, and that there was plenty of it.

    4) I didn’t find any coverage at all showing that “during election time, MB is open about her affiliation to the Christian fundamentalist political movement.” I can’t even find an article here that identifies her as a Christian fundamentalist.

    5) I did two searches, but maybe I missed it. So I wrote you again, Bob. I asked you the following question:

    What did you mean when you said I’d find plenty of coverage here? Which coverage here, exactly, are you referring to, when you dispute my claim that: “Bachmann takes pains takes pains to conceal that affiliation at election time”?

    Your favorite words: “You didn’t answer my question.”

    If you decide to start answering questions again, here’s another one for you.

    Bob said: “And Bill, what you’re asking me to do because Bachmann is a fundamentalist Christian politician is the same thing Michael Brodkorb is doing to Keith Ellison because he’s a Muslim politician.”

    I’m not following the Keith Ellison situation, and you are, so you can express an informed opinion about this:

    Eva and I have sent you hatemongering statements made by Christian fundamentalist politician Michele Bachmann, lies directed by a self-styled “Christian” at an entire community of law-abiding Americans. These are quotes out of her own mouth, documented.

    Has Ellison himself made hatemongering statements against minorities, as Bachmann has? I honestly don’t know whether he has or hasn’t. If he has libeled an entire community of Americans the way Bachmann has, your analysis might be valid. If he hasn’t, it isn’t.

    Your favorite words, Bob: “You didn’t answer my question.”

    They may become my favorite words, too.