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Posts Tagged ‘Bluestem Prairie’

Chalk Up Another One For Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 1, 2014

The best blogger in Minnesota (and one of its five top journos, I don’t care what she says) has scored another scoop — and counted another coup:

A press release announcing resignation of Big Stone County Republican Chair Jack Whitley has been posted without comment on the Jeff Backer for MN House Facebook page. Clinton, MN., and Republican activist Brent Jacobson (pictured above) will serve as acting chair until the county unit elects a new chair in March 2015.

After Bluestem Prairie broke the story of Whitley’s extreme anti-Muslim status post on his personal Facebook page, Whitley faced what the Minnesota Daily called “near-universal condemnation” for calling for the mass murder of Muslims gathered at Mecca.

Sally Jo does things like this all the time. You should toss her a few coins, if you can.

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DFL HQ Joins Aaron Rupar In Ripping Off Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2014

This little thing from the DFL’s crack messaging staff appeared under my e-mail transom today:


Aug. 21, 2014


Three strikes, their out: Out of state groups continue to mislead, distort Congressman Collin Peterson’s record

Last night in a TV interview, Sen Torrey Westrom refused to condemn websites that have been called misleading by Minnesota newspapers, the third time that out of state groups have used misleading tactics to target Collin Peterson. “Misleading attacks and distortions aren’t the Minnesota way but Sen. Westrom refuses to stand up to his own party,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “The contrast couldn’t be more clear between Collin Peterson, who puts Minnesota’s farmers first regardless of the politics, and Sen Westrom, who has refused to stand up to his own party and condemn these desperate and misleading attacks.”



NRCC Used Fake News Website Criticizing Congressman Peterson. In 2014 the Twin Cities reported: “The new websites, even though they’re designed to look like local news sources, are actually advertisements – two of at least 20 targeting Democratic candidates for the U.S. House, and paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee.” [Twin Cities, 8/14/14]

  • Headline: GOP Creates Look-Alike News Sites Targeting Minnesota Democrats [Twin Cities, 8/14/14]
  • Headline: NRCC Launches Fake News Sites to Attack Democratic Candidates [National Journal
  • NRCC Used Fake Peterson for Congress Website to Solicit Donations. In 2014 the Star Tribune reported: “A Republican campaign group that set up fake 2014 election websites for Democrats, including Minnesota’s Collin Peterson, has tweaked the sites to make clear that donations sent through them will benefit the GOP. The National Republican Congressional Committee recently made the changes after Washington, D.C.-based watchdog groups raised concerns about the sites possibly violating Federal Election Commission rules.” [Star Tribune, 2/17/14]
  • Headline: GOP group tweaks its ‘Collin Peterson for Congress’ website [Star Tribune, 2/17/14]
  • Headline: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Head of NRCC for Fake Campaign Websites; Congressman Peterson one of NRCC’s Targets [Politics.MN, 3/12/14]
  • NRCC Used Minnesota Twins to Attack Congressman Peterson. In 2013 the City Pages reported: “In a new radio spot, the National Republican Congressional Committee uses audio from the Twins’ dramatic
    1991 Game 7 World Series win against Collin Peterson, the Democrat who has represented southern Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District since that same year.” [City Pages, 12/13/13]
  • Headline: Republican attack ad uses Minnesota Twins against Collin Peterson [City Pages, 12/13/13]
  • Headline: DFL blasts Republicans for politicizing Minnesota Twins [City Pages, 12/16/13]

Ellen M. Perrault

Communication Director

Minnesota DFL

First off, somebody needs to read up on the difference between “their” and “they’re”.

Second off, the Torrey Westrom interview aired August 18, not “last night” (August 20).

Third off, the reason I know this is because Bluestem Prairie broke that particular wrinkle of the story (Westrom’s refusal to disavow the fake site) on August 18, right here:

Not only that, but Bluestem Prairie was the first media in Minnesota to post about the fake website back in February 2014, in NRCC creates fake Collin Peterson site “to lure” voters, CNN special investigations unit reports.

Last week, Bluestem posted about yet another fake site from Westrom’s Beltway Republican supporters in MN07: DC-based national Republicans launch fake news website against Collin Peterson.

C’mon, Ms. Perrault. It won’t hurt you to credit your actual sources. You know full well Bluestem exists.

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Bluestem Prairie: Where You Can Read Next Fortnight’s City Pages News Today

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 27, 2014

On January 14, 2014, Sally Jo Sorensen did a post on the hypocrisy of one Stewart Mills III, of the Mills Fleet Farm family, currently running as a Republican against Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District — and she provided detailed proof, discovered by her, that Mills’ anti-Cash-for-Clunkers attitude is of extremely recent origin:

While the headline of Renee Richardson’s 2009 report about the program in the Brainerd Dispatch was lukewarm, the Mills employee interviewed for Car program had a few clunkers of its own states that “there is no question that it was a success”:

Thinned ranks of automobiles on area dealership lots attest to the popularity of the Cash for Clunkers program.

“It worked very well for sales,” said Rick Goble, Mills Motors director of operations. “It was a challenge to administer. There was a great deal of confusion but it was certainly a boost to business.” . . .

. . . Goble quoted the National Automobile Dealers Association’s report that the program started with 30 federal employees and about 200 contract workers, which grew to nearly 5,000 in the last two weeks.

“They started with far too few of people,” Goble said. “Overall, there is no question that it was a success and nobody could have estimated the kind of demand there was, and everything got overwhelmed that’s just the way it was.” . . .

This isn’t the first time Bluestem has seen a split between Three’s anti-government statements and the amount of public investments he puts in his pockets.  Check out last July’s Hurdles, barriers & handicaps: Mills Fleet prince hates ’em, forgets about millions in subsidies, wherein Bluestem looked at the tax breaks and subsidies that Mills Fleet Farm stores have received.

On January 27, 2014, Aaron Rupar of City Pages ran the same story, without crediting Ms. Sorensen:

In light of those statements [attacking Cash for Clunkers], it’s interesting to note that Rick Goble, director of operations for Mills’s car business, Mills Automotive, said back in 2009 that Cash for Clunkers “worked very well for sales… it was certainly a boost to business.”

Furthermore, a July 2009 Mills Automotive ad refers to the company as your “Cash for Clunkers Headquarters!”

And yes, I took a screen shot.

This is not the first time Rupar’s done this sort of thing.

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CP Best Blog: Sally Jo Sorensen’s Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 21, 2013

For years and years and years and years now, I’ve been telling anyone I can run down and force to listen to me that Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie is the best blogger in Minnesota and one of its five best journalists.

Now, it looks like she’s finally getting some long-overdue recognition of her overall awesomeness:

..Bluestem has gained widespread notoriety, from journalists and politicos alike, over the past few years as a progressive hub for in-depth, witty, and irreverent analysis on rural politics in Minnesota. Sorensen is a master aggregator of news big and small, and she still finds time to beat the mainstream media to scoops. She covers everything from the frac sand mining debate to Michele Bachmann and everything in between.

If you want to know what’s going on in Minnesota in general and the non-Twin-Cities parts of Minnesota in particular, spend some time reading a few weeks’ worth of Bluestem Prairie. That’ll bring you up to speed.

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Why You Should Read Bluestem Prairie, Groundhog Day Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 2, 2013

Why should you read Bluestem Prairie? Because of stories like this one on a particularly stupid and crazy state rep’s playing with imaginary legislation:

Publicity-hungry Representative Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder) is withdrawing two controversial bills he didn’t yet introduce, and will fight for NRA lobbyists’ talking points instead in the coming gun legislation hearings in the Minnesota House  Public Safety Committee.


When Bluestem reads through the introduction of bills (January 31, January 28, January 24, January 22, January 17, January 14,  and January 10), we don’t see that Cornish ever introduced that bill. We checked with friends who know about these sorts of things, and were told that if he had actually introduced the bills that he claims to have withdrawn, a record would exist for the legislation.

In short, Cornish is once more all hat and no hopper.

And there are also these two stories on neo-Nazism in Southern Minnesota, here and here — and the connection to the anti-immigrant movement in the state.

Go forth and read, and toss her a few shekels if you’re so minded. Thanks!

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Why All Minnesotans Should Read Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 21, 2012

It’s because Sally Jo Sorensen has a lot on the ball.

For example, remember the tale of Michael “Arthur Dimmesdale” Brodkorb? The guy who is now suing for wrongful termination and is holding up the state senate for $500,000 in what no less a person than Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman calls “blackmail”?

Some of the folks who had to deal with Brodkorb during his time as a senate staffer are now opening up to reporters about what it was like to have to deal with him every day:

Michael Brodkorb created a hostile work environment months before he was fired in the wake of Amy Koch’s resignation, a Republican state senator tells City Pages.

Brodkorb, the Republican Senate caucus’ former communications director, was “abusive,” “vicious,” and “threatening,” according to our source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to potential litigation. The senator says “numerous” state legislators complained to former Majority Leader Amy Koch about Brodkorb.

“He was the ultimate hostile work environment, and what we couldn’t figure out is why Koch wouldn’t fire him,” our source said. “She wouldn’t take any action against him. Well, he was the guy we found out was in control.”

“Well, he was the guy we found out was in control.” Which, if this sounds familiar to you, is likely a sign that you are already a Bluestem Prairie reader:

For months, Bluestem routinely wrote about “Majority Leader Michael Brodkorb” but we didn’t identify the manner which he drew his power from Senator Amy Koch. Now news reports and literature provide as much a glimpse as we need.

It’s true. Here and here and here are examples of this.

BSP: Where you can read Minnesota’s news three months before the StarTribune gets it — if the folks running what’s left of the Strib ever get it. I think that rates putting a little money in her tip jar, don’t you?

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ALEC Cutting Back On 2012 Election-Year Spending? Yes, In Minnesota

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 23, 2012

Why it’s a good idea to check out Bluestem Prairie every so often — stories like this one:

The financial erosion of the Republican Party of Minnesota under the management of Tony Sutton (who brought Baja Sol to the brink with his lovely wife Bridget) appears to have altered the river of cash that waters the broader conservative valley in the North Star State, and this brings Bluestem to the second news item mentioned in the lede.

The conservative megablog True North reports that Two Major Minnesota Conservative Think Tanks Join Forces.

Upon reviewing the press release, our conclusion is that the wedding of the Center of the American Experiment and the Minnesota Free Market Institute isn’t a merger, but rather a consolidation at a moment of coming austerity and ambition on the part of those big donors who’ve been funding the Republican Party (MPR reports that the party received only $255 from small donors in 2010). ALEC’s think tank division, the State Policy Network, lists both organizations in its directory entry for Minnesota.

Go read the whole thing, and you’ll also see how Primera bigwig and hardcore Fundie Robert Cummins has bought himself several prize political plums in a cronyism orgy.

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To Understand The Minnesota Legislature, Follow Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 8, 2011

It’s really that simple.

See, for example, this.

And this.

And this.

And this.

All in the space of two days.


(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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In Which I Turn Over My Blog To Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 16, 2011

It’s Sally Jo Sorensen’s world; the rest of us just play in it on occasion.

Here is a great piece by her on Tom Emmer, Tony Sutton and the Republican Party of Minnesota’s self-destructive purity crusade.

Here is another great piece by her, this time on the Republican determination to put the screws to homeless vets.

Speaking of the homeless, here she is taking Steve Drazkowski to the woodshed for his let’s-spit-on-the-homeless-people attitude.

Finally, here she is pointing out the bizarre attitude the local GOP exhibits towards newly elected Hibbing state representative Carly Melin.

I am in awe.

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