politics.mn

TruthToTell, Monday, Oct 15 - 9AM: ST. PAUL SCHOOLS LEVY: Yes for Kids?;

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

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In the midst of the increasing cacophony of voices and signs and debates and arm-twisting (especially by the Catholic Church) around voting “YES” or “NO” on the twoconstitutional amendments Minnesota voters will face on their ballots November 6 comes another ballot questions asking St. Paulites to vote for or against a $39 million levy referendum for the St. Paul Schools – $30 million to renew the district’s current levy and $9 million for new technology to be applied to a variety of learning, teaching and administrative uses.

For many supporters, it means contrasting votes. That is, many St. Paul advocates are chanting the refrain, “NO NO, YES. NO NO, YES. Another is, “Turn over the ballot and Vote Yes.”

Unlike the constitutional questions, which would severely curtail 1) the right of gays and lesbians to marry, and 2) the freedom to cast ballots without producing a photo identification card, the St. Paul Schools believes it must not only renew its expiring levy, now four years old, for another eight years, but to bring more current technology to teaching and learning.

Also – unlike constitutional amendments, the levy referendum must simply garner one vote more than 50% of the vote to pass.

Until very recently, no formal opposition had emerged to the referendum. The St. Paul Area Chamber, the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, and others occasionally at odds with the district and each other over policy and curriculum and operational decisions are joined in support of the levy referendum. Now, some people associated with St. Paul Republicans have emerged to oppose the measure, calling themselves St. Paul Votes No, saying the renewal and the additional technology portion should have split into two ballot questions, apparently agreeing that the renewal is necessary, but not the technology.

Even students are split. Certainly some St. Paul high school students have debated the pros and cons of the measure in the hallways and lunchrooms.

Others wonder why this question was added to a ballot where most of the usual suspects in support of referenda (yes votes) are likely voting “no” on the constitutional issues. It’s also possible that St. Paulites voting “no” on the referendum would vote “yes” to deny gays marriage rights and to require voter ID.

But some are equally likely to vote “yes” on all three or “no” on all three.

Confused? Get in line.

The pros and cons of the St. Paul levy referendum and the nuances of voting “yes” or “no” will be our topic this week. But we’ll also explore the whys and wherefores of previous referenda and the revisit the entire matter of property tax reliance for funding education and how we moved so far away from the so-called Minnesota Miracle of 1971 – from a switch in education funding to the income tax and back again in 40 years.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query a variety of opinionated stakeholders in seeking clarity on St. Paul’s levy request and education funding in general.

GUESTS:

JEAN O’CONNELL – Chair, St. Paul Board of Education

SIA HER – Coordinator, Vote Yes for St. Paul Kids

MADELINE DRISCOLL – President, St. Paul Central High School Senior Class

INVITED: CHRIS CONNER – former St. Paul School Board Candidate and leader, St. Paul Votes No

AND YOU! Call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, October 8, 2012

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Important Reminder: 

If you were convicted of a felony in Minnesota or any other state and as of Election Day you are NOT incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or supervised release, YOU CAN VOTE! In fact, the minute you have completed your felony sentence and are "off paper," you can register to vote OR you can register at your polling place on Election Day.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor you NEVER lose your right to vote. If you are in jail on Election Day and are not serving a felony conviction sentence, you have the right to vote by absentee ballot.

From time to time, we find it imperative to talk about incarceration rates in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States – and the toll such imprisonment – behind bars and out front of them – takes on a huge slice of our humanity and that of those incarcerated.

The lifetime branding of anyone jailed for anything in the US is devastating to them, but also to the community and families from which they come and to which most will one day return.

We’ve taken on an ethos about imprisonment and punishment that is uniquely American in its cruelty and disproportionate impact on offenders from poverty and, more often than not – of color.

In an excellent New Yorker Magazine piece, “The Caging of America,” Adam Gopnik quite eloquently relates the following on this subject earlier this year:

“…no one who has been inside a prison, if only for a day, can ever forget the feeling. Time stops. A note of attenuated panic, of watchful paranoia—anxiety and boredom and fear mixed into a kind of enveloping fog, covering the guards as much as the guarded.

“For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

“The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that.”

Burning up the wires now, among other issues, is the proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote or even register at the polls in future state elections. The ballot question is seen by many as a remedy for fraud that is very hard to prove and harder to be concerned about at the rate of illegal voting supporters keep citing as the reason why Minnesota should back away from its very liberal methods for ensuring higher turnouts than in any other state in the union.

Not so liberal are the various rights accorded those exiting jails and prisons after convictions have imprisoned them either physically or with paper – paroles and probation – at least in Minnesota, among them the right to vote. ((Other states have varying rules about the extent of such limitations.) The restriction is limited to felons (vs. the less severe misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors) and others adjudged incompetent or under guardianship (this is under major challenge as well). But it is the felons who voted in the last election that Voter ID proponents believe justifies this much broader restriction on voting – as if by voting, all of these offenders and ex-offenders are committing fraud by casting ballots, and purposely distorting the popular vote in this state.

The question for us is: Why? Why do we deny the voting franchise to convicted offenders at all? And, if we must deny the franchise to these men and women – most of whom are citizens of color – why should they not be allowed to vote after leaving prison, parole or not, probation or not? What are the percentages in essentially removing the citizenship of men and women who have done time or remain incarcerated? Just how much punishment is required of people who have already had their freedom to move freely outside of prison taken away?

Eventually these rights must be restored, but is it really all that important to deny the voting rights of anyone considered a citizen of the US, the state, the city in which they live?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with post-incarceration advocates and at least one political animal who supports the law as it stands.

GUESTS:

 MARK HAASE – Vice President, Projects and Operations, Council on Crime & Justice; Officer,Second Chance Coalition


 SARAH WALKER – Chief Administrative Officer, 180 Degrees, Founder, Second Chance Coalition

 

 MICHAEL BRODKORB – politics.mn blogger; Communications, social media, public affairs & research consultant; former Communications Director, Minnesota Senate Republican Majority Caucus

TruthToTell Oct 8: FELON VOTING: Deserved or Disenfranchised?; TruthToTell Oct 1: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Important Reminder: 

If you were convicted of a felony in Minnesota or any other state and as of Election Day you are NOT incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or supervised release, YOU CAN VOTE! In fact, the minute you have completed your felony sentence and are "off paper," you can register to vote OR you can register at your polling place on Election Day.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor you NEVER lose your right to vote. If you are in jail on Election Day and are not serving a felony conviction sentence, you have the right to vote by absentee ballot.

From time to time, we find it imperative to talk about incarceration rates in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States – and the toll such imprisonment – behind bars and out front of them – takes on a huge slice of our humanity and that of those incarcerated.

The lifetime branding of anyone jailed for anything in the US is devastating to them, but also to the community and families from which they come and to which most will one day return.

We’ve taken on an ethos about imprisonment and punishment that is uniquely American in its cruelty and disproportionate impact on offenders from poverty and, more often than not – of color.

In an excellent New Yorker Magazine piece, “The Caging of America,” Adam Gopnik quite eloquently relates the following on this subject earlier this year:

“…no one who has been inside a prison, if only for a day, can ever forget the feeling. Time stops. A note of attenuated panic, of watchful paranoia—anxiety and boredom and fear mixed into a kind of enveloping fog, covering the guards as much as the guarded.

“For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

“The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that.”

Burning up the wires now, among other issues, is the proposed Minnesota constitutionalamendment requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote or even register at the polls in future state elections. The ballot question is seen by many as a remedy for fraud that is very hard to prove and harder to be concerned about at the rate of illegal voting supporters keep citing as the reason why Minnesota should back away from its very liberal methods for ensuring higher turnouts than in any other state in the union.

Not so liberal are the various rights accorded those exiting jails and prisons after convictions have imprisoned them either physically or with paper – paroles and probation – at least inMinnesota, among them the right to vote. ((Other states have varying rules about the extent of such limitations.) The restriction is limited to felons (vs. the less severe misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors) and others adjudged incompetent or under guardianship (this is under major challenge as well). But it is the felons who voted in the last election that Voter ID proponents believe justifies this much broader restriction on voting – as if by voting, all of these offenders and ex-offenders are committing fraud by casting ballots, and purposely distorting the popular vote in this state.

The question for us is: Why? Why do we deny the voting franchise to convicted offenders at all? And, if we must deny the franchise to these men and women – most of whom are citizens of color – why should they not be allowed to vote after leaving prison, parole or not, probation or not? What are the percentages in essentially removing the citizenship of men and women who have done time or remain incarcerated? Just how much punishment is required of people who have already had their freedom to move freely outside of prison taken away?

Eventually these rights must be restored, but is it really all that important to deny the voting rights of anyone considered a citizen of the US, the state, the city in which they live?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with post-incarceration advocates and at least one political animal who supports the law as it stands.

GUESTS:

 MARK HAASE – Vice President, Projects and Operations, Council on Crime & Justice; Officer,Second Chance Coalition


 SARAH WALKER – Chief Administrative Officer, 180 Degrees, Founder, Second Chance Coalition

 

 


 MICHAEL BRODKORB – politics.mn blogger; Communications, social media, public affairs & research consultant; former Communications Director, Minnesota Senate Republican Majority Caucus

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just a couple of days left to help approve of KFAI respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. CALL NOW: 612-375-9030 – or go online atwww.KFAI.org and PLEDGE PLEDGE PLEDGE!

Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

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One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues:www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

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As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesotans have allowed their education systems to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but from where those funds come. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

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*See “How to Succeed in Business…”

TruthToTell Oct 8: FELON VOTING: Deserved or Disenfranchised? - AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 10/08/2012

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Important Reminder: 

If you were convicted of a felony in Minnesota or any other state and as of Election Day you are NOT incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or supervised release, YOU CAN VOTE! In fact, the minute you have completed your felony sentence and are "off paper," you can register to vote OR you can register at your polling place on Election Day.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor you NEVER lose your right to vote. If you are in jail on Election Day and are not serving a felony conviction sentence, you have the right to vote by absentee ballot.

From time to time, we find it imperative to talk about incarceration rates in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States – and the toll such imprisonment – behind bars and out front of them – takes on a huge slice of our humanity and that of those incarcerated.

The lifetime branding of anyone jailed for anything in the US is devastating to them, but also to the community and families from which they come and to which most will one day return.

We’ve taken on an ethos about imprisonment and punishment that is uniquely American in its cruelty and disproportionate impact on offenders from poverty and, more often than not – of color.

In an excellent New Yorker Magazine piece, “The Caging of America,” Adam Gopnik quite eloquently relates the following on this subject earlier this year:

“…no one who has been inside a prison, if only for a day, can ever forget the feeling. Time stops. A note of attenuated panic, of watchful paranoia—anxiety and boredom and fear mixed into a kind of enveloping fog, covering the guards as much as the guarded.

“For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

“The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that.”

Burning up the wires now, among other issues, is the proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote or even register at the polls in future state elections. The ballot question is seen by many as a remedy for fraud that is very hard to prove and harder to be concerned about at the rate of illegal voting supporters keep citing as the reason why Minnesota should back away from its very liberal methods for ensuring higher turnouts than in any other state in the union.

Not so liberal are the various rights accorded those exiting jails and prisons after convictions have imprisoned them either physically or with paper – paroles and probation – at least in Minnesota, among them the right to vote. ((Other states have varying rules about the extent of such limitations.) The restriction is limited to felons (vs. the less severe misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors) and others adjudged incompetent or under guardianship (this is under major challenge as well). But it is the felons who voted in the last election that Voter ID proponents believe justifies this much broader restriction on voting – as if by voting, all of these offenders and ex-offenders are committing fraud by casting ballots, and purposely distorting the popular vote in this state.

The question for us is: Why? Why do we deny the voting franchise to convicted offenders at all? And, if we must deny the franchise to these men and women – most of whom are citizens of color – why should they not be allowed to vote after leaving prison, parole or not, probation or not? What are the percentages in essentially removing the citizenship of men and women who have done time or remain incarcerated? Just how much punishment is required of people who have already had their freedom to move freely outside of prison taken away?

Eventually these rights must be restored, but is it really all that important to deny the voting rights of anyone considered a citizen of the US, the state, the city in which they live?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with post-incarceration advocates and at least one political animal who supports the law as it stands.

GUESTS:

 MARK HAASE – Vice President, Projects and Operations, Council on Crime & Justice; Officer,Second Chance Coalition


 SARAH WALKER – Chief Administrative Officer, 180 Degrees, Founder, Second Chance Coalition

 

 


 MICHAEL BRODKORB – politics.mn blogger; Communications, social media, public affairs & research consultant; former Communications Director, Minnesota Senate Republican Majority Caucus


56:05 minutes (51.34 MB)