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Posts Tagged ‘Sally Jo Sorensen’

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who know about these sorts of things, and were told that if he had actually introduced the bills that he claims to have withdrawn, a record would exist for the legislation.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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Bradlee Dean Ordered To Pay Court Costs Of His Maddow/MnIndy Silencing Suit

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 8, 2012

Looks like Bradley Dean “Bradlee Dean” Smith, Minnesota hate preacher, radio show host, and Republican ally, forgot the first rule of SLAPPers — never sue anyone who can afford to fight you in court:

Via Ken Avidor’s Bradlee Dean Info, an interesting development in the defamation lawsuit Bradlee Dean and You Can Run International filed against MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, The Minnesota Independent and Andy Birkey:

from the D.C. Courts, dated June 25th:

Memorandum and Order Granting in Part Defendants’ Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Denying Plaintiffs’ Combined Motions for Reconsideration and Sanctions Entered on the Docket 6/25/12. Signed in chambers 6/25/12. Electronically filed via CaseFileXPress on counsel for the parties 6/25/12. Plaintiffs shall pay to Defendants fees and costs in the amount of $24,625.23 within thirty days.

Now, Smith will likely not have much trouble ponying up the dough — preaching hate to exurban white-flighters and their descendants is quite a profitable gig:

The Minnesota Independent examined some of Smith’s financial dealings in 2009 when new IRS 990 forms showed that he and his band mates were taking a ministerial housing allowance despite his organization being a religious non-profit as opposed to a church. Those housing allowances are meant only for “duly ordained” members of the clergy. Smith has refused to answer questions related to his ordination or which church his organization belongs to.

In 2008, Smith and his sidekick MacAuley, greatly increased their compensation and housing allowance. According to the group’s most recent 990 filing, Smith was paid $51,303 salary and $45,887 for the housing allowance, raking in $97,190. MacAuley’s compensation was a bit less coming in at $66,897 in 2008.

Still, this news has got to sting Smith in his pride, if not his pocketbook — at least, it would if the local establishment media deigned to notice it. Instead, as usual, it’s the local bloggers like Ken Avidor and Sally Jo Sorensen that are breaking the scoops the local big-media outlets won’t touch.

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“Agenda 21”: GOP’s Ongoing Demagoguing Of UN, Green Issues Draws Some Belated Attention

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 24, 2012

Minnpost’s Marlys Harris, whose CV includes such stunning pieces of hard-hitting journalism as “How to Marry a Billionaire” and “Millionaires-in-Chief”, must have thought she had the scoop of the year when she was lit-dropped on the way to the loo:

Turns out, some people don’t see sustainability as a good thing. To them it is an evil conspiracy whose tenets are embodied in a 20-year-old United Nations resolution ominously called Agenda 21. I only learned about it last weekend at the state GOP convention in St. Cloud when a man in a dark blue sports jacket thrust a paper about it into my hands as I was entering the powder room and rudely suggested I read it on the potty.


The pamphlet may be the first shot across the bow in Minnesota on behalf of a movement sweeping the country. Anti-Agenda 21 and anti- sustainability, it has its roots in the Tea Party and other libertarian groups who oppose any kind of smart growth, urban planning, density, mass transit and environmental regulation.

“First shot”? No, just the first one that Ms. Harris happened to notice. As Sally Jo Sorensen points out:

Sadly no. This isn’t the first shot by nearly a decade.

Allen Quist, who led the balloting at the end of the epic 23-round Thrilla in Vanilla at the Republican CD1 convention at the historic Kato Ballroom, lately has been touring Minnesota’s Tea Party circuit for months, warning about the terrors of Agenda 21, as well as lecturing about it from the bully pulpit of his congressional campaign website, after being one of the founding fathers of the Blue Helmet Fear Club, Agenda 21 Chapter.

Warnings about Agenda 21 have been standard fare among Minnesota’s Tea Party gatherings, have been for months.

And then Ms. Sorensen goes on to list a whole bunch of efforts over the past year by various Tea Party Republicans, particularly Allen Quist, to demagogue Agenda 21. (Furthermore, just to show that crazed, fact-challenged balderdash about Agenda 21 isn’t just the purview of Allen Quist and his sizeable following, Sorensen does a followup post to point out that Mike Parry, Quist’s GOP primary opponent for the right to lose to Tim Walz this November, is a co-author of a bill introduced in February to demagogue Agenda 21.)

Once again, Sally Jo Sorensen shows herself to be the hardest working journalist in Minnesota. She also happens to be a journalist whose stories and scoops are often lifted without credit by many establishment media outfits.

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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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Bradlee Dean’s Bigotry’s Running Out of Safe Havens

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 26, 2011

In light of Thalweg’s post yesterday over at RenPost about the Triumph of the Bigots in Tennessee, I thought I’d present some happier news about how the revenue stream of a local set of very similar bigots just got negatively impacted.

Remember how I told you the other day about how one of anti-gay nutjob and self-styled preacher man Bradlee Dean’s people was so ticked off at Sally Jo Sorensen’s attempting to interview him at his table set up outside the Hutchinson Walmart that he actually tried to call the cops on her?

Well, guess what — he won’t be setting up shop in front of Walmart any more.

Turns out that in order to get permission to have tables in front of Walmarts, Bradlee Dean’s “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide Ministries” tried to hide the truth about its virulently bigoted mission from the Walmart executives in Arkansas — and once the Walmart executives found out the truth, they banned Dean’s outfit from setting up shop in front of any Walmart.

(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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