Vol. 23, #05 – 11/07/16

//Vol. 23, #05 – 11/07/16

Dear Reader, we're sick of the left, sick of the right.
All they do is fight, fight, fight.
But this Online breaks big, certainly not little.
Read about Terri Bonoff Uniting the Middle!!!

A Shout and a Tout this Election

Since Online began publishing we have steered clear of actually promoting candidates for elected office. A not-so-careful review of the archives brings us to believe this may be a first. Whether or not it is, this is special. We first got to know Terri Bonoff when Sean Oyaas, a former N&O intern from back in the ballpark days, went to work for her at the Legislature. “You guys, I think Terri really is different. She has a plan to work with industry across the state to better match post-secondary training with their needs. Terri drives the special interests–and sometimes Majority Leader Bakk–nuts, voting no on close votes and wedging herself onto conference committees to improve bills.” The training plan did come together. The Pipeline is a partnership with business, through the State Chamber and MNSCU. Students have successfully been placed in good jobs with manufacturing, tech and medical employers across the state. This is one shining example of a stellar track record of accomplishment, made possible by someone willing to do the heavy bi-partisan lifting that comes at our State Capitol.

This Sean guy, with Terri’s encouragement, left her office and accepted a position of CEO in training at Cargill, a Minnetonka based Food Company of some sort. Last spring he announced that Terri was being recruited by Democratic leaders at the State and National levels to run for Congress in the Third District. Their assessment was that the incumbent, Erik Paulsen, has been running on the fumes of good will put in place by his two moderate GOP predecessors, Jim Ramstad and Bill Frenzel. President Obama carried that district twice; the voters there rejected the constitutional amendment on same sex marriage. The incumbent has been operating in the shadows cast by a reputation of a “nice guy.” He has voted several times this year to defund Planned Parenthood, delaying Zika research and the budget itself. He gets A’s from the NRA, holding firm to their direction while kooks continue to shoot cops and kids across the country. Almost simultaneously, Terri was in Saint Paul authoring the Freedom to Marry Bill while the incumbent was receiving an award for his work to get a same sex ban in the United States Constitution. The conversation went like this:

Concerned Parent (CP): Doesn’t Paulsen have a huge war chest?

True Believing Kid (TBK): Terri can raise the money she needs to make her case.

CP: Ok, active pro life legislator, pro gun, a nothing on climate change but he’s a nice guy.

TBK: He is so nice he can’t say no to Trump.

CP: What about the CEO in Training job?

TBK: D-Mac is young, they’ll find somebody else. If Terri’s in I am joining the battle. She is exactly the kind of person, down to her soul, that Congress needs.

So here we are election eve and so much has transpired in such a short period of time. Terri has raised the money. She has made the case that her adult life is a positive track record of stepping up, as a woman in business, as a Mom of four great kids, as a legislator with considerable bi-partisan accomplishment. As a candidate Terri has won by “uniting the middle” in an arguably GOP-leaning senate district. She dusted Congressman Paulsen so thoroughly in a debate last spring that he has eschewed all but one other opportunity, in the cozy confines of KSTP-TV, owned of course by Stan Hubbard, a double max contributor to the incumbent.

Some voters believing a Clinton Presidency is inevitable will vote GOP down the ballot for “balance.” The state of affairs in DC over the last eight years is that balance means doing little or nothing. Representative Paulsen spends an inordinate amount of time trying to turn back the clock and that gets us nothing but gridlock. Terri Bonoff will step up and work for progress, in education, fixing what needs to be desperately fixed with Obama care and, as she has always done, remembering who pays the bills and protecting their interests. If you are in the district or have undecided friends who are, please consider sending Terri Bonoff to Washington, and with luck she will take TBK with her.

Life Goes On

So in a couple days at least the firestorm of campaign commercials will have been doused and the winners and losers will get back to trying to govern, or not govern depending on philosophy, and we can all get back to the business of doing the more manageable things that actually make a difference. We want to share two great opportunities.

  • First, on Wednesday, November 9, there will be a fundraiser benefiting the Luminarias, a Twin Cities based non-profit organization dedicated to helping adolescent Guatemalan girls break the cycle of poverty through housing, education and youth development. They empower girls to re-imagine their futures and become the women they aspire to be. From its residential home in San Lucas Sacatepequez, girls flourish in a nurturing environment where they talk, laugh, reflect and grow every day. They play in an orchestra, compete in soccer games, take karate lessons, and forge lasting friendships. Additionally there is guidance to help the girls involved enroll in the best local middle and high schools to advance their secondary education. Upon graduation, most girls return to their communities and enroll in University with continued financial support. The girls that graduate learn to gain independence by reintegrating with their communities, and they make room for new girls to enter the program. The event will be at the Summit Brewing Company, 910 Montreal Circle in Saint Paul. You can learn more at http://www.luminariasproject.com/ and buy tickets though Eventbrite or the Luminarias Facebook site.
  • MEDA is celebrating its Sapphire Anniversary in conjunction with its annual Black Tie Ball on Saturday, November 19, at the Depot in Downtown Minneapolis. We are long enough in the tooth to go back to MEDA’s earliest days and are proud to celebrate the success that MEDA has brought to many minority businesses, some directly in the N&O network. MEDA is a nonprofit organization that helps minority entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can become stable, long-term employers with adequate capital planning, growth strategies and solid infrastructures. This event annually is considered one of the premier networking events and they always “WOW” when it comes to silent and live auction items. FFY www.meda.net.

A Cozy Read by the Fire

Longtime Online reader and really longtime friend of the family Patrick Delaney had his first work of fiction, Odd Jobs, published this summer. By the time we got around to grabbing a copy it was too late for our summer reading issue but that may be a bit of a blessing. We were able to give this collection of connected fictional stories a more careful read and do Pat and potential readers a bit more justice. Odd Jobs offers glimpses into the many experiences young people gain during breaks in schooling to earn money for expenses and beer (in our case beer and other expenses). These are jobs that teach you hard work and give you real life glimpses into what it takes to keep a business going. Often these jobs provide young people the motivation to move on and finish their degrees.

Delaney is a retired lawyer who while practicing was both well known and highly regarded for his legal writing skills. He has successfully transferred that to fiction, if not fictionalized real life. It is fair to say that you will find shared, almost universal experiences and recognize many of the characters from your own Odd Job days.

The easiest way to buy a copy is through Amazon, Odd Jobs by Patrick Delaney.

Happy Trails to a Middle-of-the-Road Trailblazer

If you didn’t get the chance to read Jon Tevlin’s salute to outgoing Hennepin County Commissioner Randy Johnson, here is a link. It does provide us with an opportunity to share his comments about Wheelock Whitney, 2016 Firecracker of the Year, sent a few issues ago:

Great choice! Wheelock hired me in 1962 when I was in high school and he started his 1964 US Senate campaign. It was my first paid job. (Years later, I recalled that he paid me $25 per month and he was sure it was $25 per week!) I was the ultimate go-fer. We had several campaign offices, but little remembered by anyone is the six months we were in the basement of Wy Spano’s father’s medical clinic on University Avenue (little known Minnesota political factoid). Wy was the campaign media person and Dan Cohen was the researcher and speech writer.

The campaign put me in charge of the Republican Convention endorsement demonstration–heady stuff for a 17 year old. We handed out “Whistles for Whitney” and I gave one to Polly, bought her a hamburger, asked her out, and we got married a few years later. (Now, she is a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat…I think that is progress).

At Wheelock’s memorial service, we talked with Kathleen. Politics have sure changed since the 1960s days of the (mostly) Republican Young Turks: Whitney, Andersen, Quie, Forsythes, Blatz, Head, Pillsbury, Frenzel, Durenberger, Yngve, Popham, Flakne, Schwarzkoph, Janes, Provo, etc. As I looked over the group at Wayzata Community Church, I realized that I am probably the last elected official in that tradition. I don’t think there is a book there, but perhaps a retrospective for your newsletter.

Randy is leaving a well-earned legacy of public services, as in service to the public. Some day we will share a few tales from “Randy’s Hood” of our own but we’ll let Commissioner Johnson say goodbye in his own words.

By |2016-11-07T15:21:53-06:00November 7th, 2016|Categories: Newsletter|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mark J. Oyaas is a principal in Neerland & Oyaas, Inc., a public affairs consulting company. His work includes advising clients on business opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors. In addition to coordinating government relations projects, Mr. Oyaas heads up the firm's communications services under the "germ of an idea" banner.

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