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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Thursday, October 07, 2010

    Minnesota Focus: Progressive Candidates in Minnesota

    Here are some important candidates in Minnesota who deserve some serious support.

    Kieth Ellison for Congress:

    Ellison Forum Touts Potential for Clean Energy Jobs

    Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05) SLAMS Republican Hypocrisy on Tax Cuts for the Rich:

    Kieth Ellison on Social Security:

    Our country created this monumental program to address the lack of basic economic security among America’s seniors. Before Social Security, they struggled to put food on the table, obtain medical care, and keep roofs over their heads.

    During those desperate times, our nation stood up to care for people who needed help. Through the years, America’s commitment to our seniors has not wavered—and our country is better off for it. Social Security is the largest source of income for the majority of our seniors, lifting 13 million elderly Americans out of poverty.

    As Hubert Humphrey once said, “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

    Social Security embodies our ongoing commitment to care for one another, and to provide basic economic security for those who need it most. It represents our belief that everybody counts, everybody matters—regardless of age, income, or background.

    Like generations of Americans before us, we must continue looking out for the well-being of our neighbors. You can help me continue standing up for America’s seniors by pledging to vote for me in the November 2 general election...

    Thank you in advance for your ongoing commitment to strengthening the economic security of all Americans.


    Keith Ellison

    Kieth Ellison has been endorsed by:

    American Postal Workers Union
    American Federation of Teachers
    Education Minnesota
    International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
    International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Ironworkers
    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
    International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49
    Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council
    Minnesota Nurses Association
    Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council
    Minnesota Police and Peace Officer Association
    Sheet Metal Workers Local 10
    Teamsters Local 120
    Teamsters Joint Council 32 DRIVE
    United Auto Workers
    United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners
    Association of Flight Attendants
    Communication Workers of America
    Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union
    International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
    Laborers International Union of North America
    National Association of Letter Carriers
    National Education Association
    UNITE HERE Local 17
    SEIU-Minnesota State Council
    United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry
    Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers No. 1
    United Steel Workers
    Planned Parenthood
    Human Rights Campaign
    Sierra Club
    Citizens for Global Solutions
    Clean Water Action
    21st Century Democrats
    National Stonewall Democrats
    Stonewall DFL
    Humane Society Legislative Fund
    National Association of Social Workers

    Weekly Phone Banks for Keith Ellison for Congress:

    When: Every Sunday - Thursday from 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Where: Ellison Campaign Office (3017 27th Ave S, Minneapolis)

    Join us for weekly phone banks at the Ellison campaign office! To sign up, please contact Susy Bates at sbates@dfl.org or call (612) 655-5926.

    Tarryl Clark for Congress (MN-6):

    Tarryl Clark is running against right wing extremist Michelle Bachmann. Michelle Bachmann is one of the craziest members of Congress and an avowed Teabagger, while Tarryl Clark is a smart, progressive State Senator who would be an excellent addition to Congress.

    Tarryl Clark has led the fight to stop unfair insurance practices against American Veterans. In return for her support for Veterans, Tarryl Clark has been endorsed by Veterans and Military Families for Progress (a national organization dedicated to protecting the rights and needs of veterans, active-duty service members and their families).

    Tarryl Clark has also been endorsed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association:

    The MPPOA release said the group represents 8,500 police officers throughout the state:

    "[Clark] is dedicated to working with and advocating for Minnesota's law enforcement officers in Congress, just as she has in the state Senate," Executive Director Dennis Flaherty said...

    Clark's brother-in-law is a veteran Arizona police officer with SWAT experience, the release said.

    While Clark supports our troops and our cops, Michelle Bachmann has been one of the number one defenders of BP:

    You can find out more about Bachmann's craziness (often in her own words on video) from: Michelle Bachman Said What???

    Here is Tarryl Clark explaining her reasons for running:

    Michelle Bachmanm: crazy right wing teabagger. Tarryl Clark: supports our troops, supports our cops, and supports responsible government. I think the choice is clear. You can find out more about Tarryl Clark from her website.

    Mark Ritchie for Secretary of State in Minnesota

    Incumbent Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was one of the main factors that allowed a fair and accurate recount of Minnesota's Senate race that allowed the real winner, Al Franken, to take office. His honesty and careful attention to accuracy means he is a major target of the right wing who are angry that they couldn't stop the recount.

    Mark Ritchie has worked hard for veterans, troops:

    I was really happy to hear that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie had recently visited southeast Minnesota. The work that he has done for our veterans and troops is impressive.

    He's worked with the legislators to remove barriers so that there has been a 300 percent increase in military ballots cast successfully. A new military voter website implemented by Ritchie simplified the process of voting for military and overseas voters.

    Because Mark Ritchie's department prioritized military ballot protection, we have twice as many military ballots being cast, with half as many being rejected as the national average. He's honored as a patriotic employer in appreciation of his support of employees' participation in the Guard and Reserve. He also has championed legislation to assist small business owners returning from active duty.

    Ritchie has worked hard to clean up the election process and has launched many programs that remind people that their right to vote has been ensured thanks to the sacrifice and work of our nation's veterans.

    Mark Ritchie deserves our support to re-elect him Nov. 2.

    The Secretary of State Project has endorsed Mark Ritchie for Minnesota Secretary of State. Here's what they have to say about Ritchie:

    Mark Ritchie is a true progressive champion. In 2006, the long-time community organizer defeated Republican incumbent Mary Kiffmeyer to take the reins of the election process in Minnesota. Since taking office, Secretary Ritchie has campaigned tirelessly for instituting universal or automatic registration in his state. He has also been instrumental in the fight to expand Election Day Registration in other states, including a successful campaign in Iowa. Secretary Ritchie is perhaps best known for running a scrupulously fair and transparent election recount in the Franken/Coleman 2008 Senate race. Senator Al Franken was certified as the winner of that race by a mere 312 votes.

    Mark Ritchie has also been endorsed by AFSCME Council 5, Minnesota AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education, IBEW Minnesota State Council, Minnesota Farmers Union PAC, SEIU Minnesota State Council, and Teamsters Joint Council 32.

    Mark Ritchie was named Most Valuable State Official by The Nation:

    When this veteran activist ran for Minnesota Secretary of State, he argued that putting honest players in charge of counting votes was necessary to restore credibility to an electoral process that had been battered by Republican gaming of the 2000 presidential vote in Florida and the 2004 vote in Ohio. Ritchie won and two years later found himself managing the recount of one of the closest and most bitter Senate contests in American history. Attacked by right-wing media and faced with massive spending by national Republicans who did not want Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee Al Franken seated in a Senate where he would provide a critical sixtieth vote, Ritchie kept his cool. He ran a clean recount, emphasizing transparency and accountability, and delivered a credible result that survived legal challenges and gave the seat to the candidate who actually won the most vote

    Let's help Ritchie continue his excellent work keeping Minnesota's elections fair and accurate. Volunteer for Mark Ritchie's campaign.

    Rena Moran for MN State Representative 65A

    If elected in November, will be the only woman of color in the Minnesota House of Representatives. A social worker who specializes in child protection, Rena will bring an important voice to the State Legislature.
    Donate to Rena Moran

    Rita Moran has been endorsed by: Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, The Minnesota Sierra Club, Minnesota Women's Political Caucus, Progressive Majority, Education Minnesota and others. Find out more from Rena Moran's website.

    Paul Meunier
    Candidate for State Senate - District 49 (Challenger)
    Anoka County

    Paul Meunier is the candidate for Senate District 49. Paul is currently the Mayor of Ham Lake, MN. Paul is deeply connected to his community and is a strong voice on state issues. His opponent, Michelle Benson, is a staunch conservative. Progressive Majority fielded two candidates for state House in 2008 in this district, winning one of those races. Paul has an outstanding campaign. He has an active volunteer base and his campaign is being managed by a Progressive Majority farm team member. Progressive Majority staff recruited Paul in 2008 through local DFL partners. Victory in this race will be important to ensure that the DFL maintains its veto-proof majority, and will be an important inroad in a very tough county.

    Click here to support and learn more about Paul.

    Kevin Staunton
    Candidate for State House - District 41A (Challenger)
    Hennepin County

    Kevin Staunton is the city attorney for Excelsior, Minnesota running for State House in District 41A. This election, Kevin is facing an ultra-right wing incumbent who defeated Kevin in 2008. But Kevin isn't giving up - he's going to fight back, because there's more at stake if he loses. The current incumbent has voted against K-12 and early education bills and voted for raising property taxes. With redistricting looming, Minnesota needs Kevin in office to ensure that children get the best education possible. This is Progressive Majority's opportunity to unseat an unpopular conservative candidate in Hennepin County - one of our most important targets.

    Click here to support and learn more about Kevin.

    Greg Lemke
    Candidate for State House - District 9A (Challenger)
    Moorhead City

    Greg Lemke is a dynamic progressive running in one of the most Democratic districts with a conservative incumbent. Greg is a lieutenant in the Fargo, ND police department and he would be the only progressive police officer in the House. He also currently serves on the Moorhead City Council. In that role and in his role in law enforcement, Greg has been instrumental in the effort to protect the Red River Valley residents from recent flooding. Progressive Majority worked with Victory Fund to recruit Greg to run for this seat - one of the few powershift opportunities this year. We have worked with Greg to create strong campaign and finance plans, and has provided message training.

    Click here to support and learn more about Greg.

    Katie Rodriguez
    Candidate for State House - District 32B (Challenger)
    Hennepin County

    Katie Rodriguez is the candidate for House District 32B. Katie is a former public finance director in local government and has been a dynamic leader in this suburban district. Katie's opponent, Kurt Zellers, is a conservative and the House minority leader. Katie has one of the most dynamic campaign teams in the state. Katie has doorknocked over 2,000 doors. Katie's exceptionally strong campaign puts her in a position to be one of the pickups in tough districts in 2010.

    Click here to support and learn more about Katie.

    Derrick Lindstrom
    Candidate for State House - District 37A (Challenger)
    Dakota County

    In 2008, four DFL incumbents lost their bids for re-election in swing, suburban districts. In one of them, young Republican Tara Mack soundly defeated her DFL opponent, because the Democratic base was not motivated to support the incumbent. Derrick Lindstrom is a first-generation college graduate and a professor of Communication Studies. This district is in the highly targeted southern suburbs, where voters pride themselves on splitting their ballots. A win in this district would be an important pick up in the effort to build progressive power south of the Twin Cities.

    Click here to support and learn more about Derrick.

    Audrey Britton
    Candidate for State House - District 43A (Challenger)
    Hennepin County

    Audrey Britton is a communications and public relations professional with both public and private experience. She is running in a swing suburban district represented by one of the most conservative legislators in the Minnesota House. In 2008, Progressive Majority endorsed a candidate in this district and lost narrowly. Audrey has already knocked over 1,000 doors and her private sector background has proven a strong asset among swing voters. This district is located in suburban Hennepin County and will be an important pick up as we seek to grow progressive power further away from the urban core.

    Click here to support and learn more about Audrey.

    Chris Knopf
    Candidate for State House - District 53B (Challenger)
    Ramsey County

    Chris Knopf is a candidate for House District 53B, the only legislative seat in Ramsey County held by a Republican. Chris ran for this seat as a Progressive Majority-endorsed candidate in 2008 and lost 54-46. Chris is a lawyer who formerly served as regional director for the Trust for Public Land. Chris is running against Carol McFarlane, a former White Bear Lake School Board member who is perceived as a moderate Republican (despite a conservative voting record) in one of the most Democratic districts in the state with an incumbent Republican. Chris has a campaign manager, a strong core of committed volunteers, and a motivated base of citizen-leaders and environmentalists with whom we are working closely. By endorsing Chris, Progressive Majority will help to finish a complete sweep of House Districts in Ramsey County, one of our top targets at the state and local level.

    Click here to support and learn more about Chris.

    Jen Peterson
    Candidate for State House - District 57A (Open Seat)
    Washington County

    Jen Peterson is a dynamic progressive who will be the first Progressive Majority pipeline candidate in Minnesota. With strong Progressive Majority support, Jen won election to the Cottage Grove City Council, where she has worked to build a strong progressive base. In this swing suburban district, building an independent base is crucial for success in partisan election. Jen faces a staunch conservative in the general, and her win is crucial in order to maintain a strong majority in the house.

    Zak Chelbeck
    Candidate for State House - Distrcit 51A (Challenger)
    Anoka County

    Zak Chlebeck is a 27 year-old law enforcement officer in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities running for State House. Zak has been working full-time as a police officer since he was only 21, and recently earned a Master of Arts degree in police leadership from the University of St Thomas. Zak began working as a school resource officer in August 2007. Zak is running in a swing district that elected a strong Democrat in 2006, only to elect a staunch Republican in 2008. Zak has strong record of protecting the people of his community and will work to do so in the State House.

    Click here to support and learn more about Zak.

    Becky Fink
    Candidate for Anoka County Board - District 5 (Open Seat)
    Anoka County

    Becky Fink is lifelong Anoka County resident and has been an anti-homelessness advocate, DFL activist and volunteer for more than 30 years. Becky is running for Anoka County Board in 2010. Becky is running to replace conservative incumbent Scott LeDoux who has resigned his post due to progressive ALS. Becky has a terrific vision to ensure that everyone in Anoka County can thrive and would be an outstanding addition to the Anoka County Board.

    Click here to support and learn more about Becky.

    Hussein Samatar
    Candidate for Minneapolis School Board - District 3 (Open Seat)
    Hennepin County

    Hussein Samatar is a banker and community organizer and the founder and executive director of the African Development Center (ADC). ADC is an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that works with the African communities in Minnesota to start and sustain businesses, build wealth, and promote community reinvestment. Hussein formerly served on the now defunct Minneapolis Library Board and is a leader in Minneapolis. If elected, he will become the first Somali-American to serve on a Minnesota school board.

    Click here to support and learn more about Hussein.

    Becky Siekmeier
    Candidate for State Senate - District 52 (Challenger)
    Washington County

    Becky Siekmeier is a community activist and former long-time Best Buy employee running for State Senate. Becky is currently working to earn an MPA at the Humphrey Institute. She is a dynamic progressive who has a clear vision for improving Minnesota. She is running against incumbent Ray Vandeveer in a tough swing district. A victory here is an important step towards building a strong progressive movement in Washington County.

    Click here to support and learn more about Becky.

    Tanweer Janjua
    Candidate for Cottage Grove City Council (Open Seat)

    Now that Jen Peterson has decided to run for state House, her seat is open on the Cottage Grove City Council. Tanweer Janjua is running for election to this seat. Tanweer is a Pakistani-American and would be the only Pakistani-American elected to public office in Minnesota. He works as an architect for the University of Minnesota and has a clear vision for better land use in this suburban community. He has doorknocked over 500 doors - he started in March - and is well placed to hold this important local seat.


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