Tom O’Connell

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Join us Monday as TTT brings on the New Year with our wishes for 2014

Make a New Year's resolution to support quality local public affairs programming. Donate to TruthToTell's parent, CivicMedia-Minnesota today!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The New Year’s holiday is a time of promise; marked by those ever hopeful New Year’s resolutions and celebration of better times ahead. In that spirit, TruthToTell will be speaking with Minnesotans across the state, including you, to gather big ideas and special wishes for 2014. Our focus will be both light and serious: from the sheer delight of a good poem, to the mind-turning power of a good idea; to the solidarity that comes with communicating with each other across region and circumstance.

TTT’s Michelle Alimoradi and Tom O’Connell will have Representative Carlos Mariani and Marcia Avner in studio to provide some context for our conversation and add a few New Year’s wishes of their own. Please join our conversation with your thoughts by calling us on Monday at 612-341-0980. 

On-air guests:

CARLOS MARIANI – MN Representative, District 65B, Director, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership 

MARCIA AVNER - Former Communication Director for Senator Paul Wellstone, Public Policy Director, Minnesota Council of Non-Profits, faculty with Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

TruthToTell- Monday, Dec 30: Bring on the New Year! Big Ideas and Holiday Wishes for Minnesota in 2014

On-air date: 
Mon, 12/30/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Make a New Year's resolution to support quality local public affairs programming. Donate to TruthToTell's parent, CivicMedia-Minnesota today!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The New Year’s holiday is a time of promise; marked by those ever hopeful New Year’s resolutions and celebration of better times ahead. In that spirit, TruthToTell will be speaking with Minnesotans across the state, including you, to gather big ideas and special wishes for 2014. Our focus will be both light and serious: from the sheer delight of a good poem, to the mind-turning power of a good idea; to the solidarity that comes with communicating with each other across region and circumstance.

TTT’s Michelle Alimoradi and Tom O’Connell will have Representative Carlos Mariani and Marcia Avner in studio to provide some context for our conversation and add a few New Year’s wishes of their own. Please join our conversation with your thoughts by calling us on Monday at 612-341-0980. 

On-air guests:

CARLOS MARIANI – MN Representative, District 65B, Director, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership 

MARCIA AVNER - Former Communication Director for Senator Paul Wellstone, Public Policy Director, Minnesota Council of Non-Profits, faculty with Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

TruthToTell, Monday, Sept 2−9AM: VIKINGS STADIUM: Skirting the Voters Legal?; CivicMedia/MN LEGACY SPECIAL: Part Two of CIRCLE OF THE WITCH: 1970s Feminist Theatre Collective; TruthToTell, AUG 26: COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS: Unheralded Housing Affordability

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, September 2, 2013

 

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

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The KFAI Community Radio App is now up and running!!

That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for

Android (http://bit.ly/KFAIonAndroid),

iPhone (http://bit.ly/TTTon_iPhone), and

iPad (http://bit.ly/TTT-on-iPad) mobile devices.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While the state and Stadium Authority wrangle with the Wilf family over the latter’s personal and business financials before it approves a new Viking Stadium, a Hennepin County District Court case is asking a judge to order enforcement of a City Charterprovision for a public vote on any city expenditure of $10 million or more on private entities has been awaiting a ruling.

Minneapolis Mayoral candidate Doug Mann – one of the 35 candidates now running for that office – chose to make this one of his main issues in that race. In an uphill battle and representing himself, but supported by a resurrected Minneapolis Farmer-Labor Association and opposed by the City of Minneapolis and other defendants, Mann contends that the city’s share of the stadium – $309 million – cannot be paid out without a public referendum called for in the City Charter after a 1997 voter–passed initiative. This would contravene a specific legislative override of that charter provision by the law authorizing public involvement in building the Vikings Stadium – the override language saying, “…without regard to any charter limitation, requirement, or provision, including any referendum requirement.”

Reportage on this has pointed to some inconsistencies in Mann’s lawsuit, but it was taken under advisement, in any event.

Mann is up against state law allowing for special legislation empowering city councils to act as they see fit on a given project if not already authorized under state or local law. With a home rule charter like that governing Minneapolis, voter-approved amendments normally carry great weight with courts, but the state override, once approved by the City Council, theoretically negates any local laws to the contrary. Mann insists this goes against the state constitution.

As quoted in the StarTribune, Mann’s argument is that, yes, “The legislature has authority to repeal laws, including the city charter provision,” said Mann...“It’s another question if they have the right to disenfranchise the voters of Minneapolis by overriding a right that the local governments have under the state constitution” to approve special laws through a governing body or public referendum. But the judge warned Mann that constitutional questions can only be resolved in Ramsey County court – the jurisdiction for resolution of state legal questions.

At this writing, the judge, Philip Bush, has not likely issued his ruling. But he acknowledged that Mann has raised some intriguing questions about the role of the state constitution in special legislation overriding certain local laws and ordinances.

These are some of the questions we want to explore with Mr. Mann and David Tilsen, a former Minneapolis School Board member and a leader in the Farmer-Labor Association, on the one hand, and at least one labor leader, Wade Luneburg.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL will talk with these guys about the stadium issues and about the deeper issues surrounding the overriding of local charters and ordinances by state fiat.

GUESTS:

DOUG MANN – Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate; Plaintiff in the case of Mann v. Minneapolis

DAVID TILSEN – Member, Minneapolis Farmer-Labor Association; former Mpls. School Board member

WADE LUNEBURG – Member, Stadium Implementation Committee; Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 17, of Hospitality workers union in the Twin Cities.

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In addition to our weekly public affairs program, TruthToTell, CivicMedia produces documentaries on culturally and politically important Minnesota and Twin Cities organizations of historical note, originating as“Minneculture” specials on KFAI Radio and financed primarily by Minnesota’s Legacy Fund. Our planned series recalling the Vietnam era’s activist 1970s in Minneapolis-St. Paul and their influence on our political and cultural landscape starts with a two-part retrospective of the collectivist Circle of the Witch Theatre troupe, a premiere feminist change agent of early 1970s Minnesota, presenting homegrown plays and dealing out lessons in women’s social and economic change. Parts One and Two first aired on KFAI FM 90.3, 106.7 & live at KFAI.org.

These were plays, sketches and multimedia presentations that jerked a tear or two or took a good bite out of conscience and traditional sensibilities about the roles and pigeonholes to which women were so often assigned back then. Most say the change to real equity has, like the issue of race in America, been far slower than it should have been. Comedy and tragedy shared the stage.

The “ouch” musical satire of “Sexpot Follies” was met with the occupational hazards for women and the internalized conflicts between mothers and daughters of “Lady in a Corner”, or the history-tracing and often sad “Time is Passing” and the abstractions of the “The Changebringers.”

Many of the women that formed the collective and shared all its original playwriting, composing and performing duties also lived communally with other women, and some men as well, including this series’ co-producer, Tom O’Connell, a freshly retired political science professor from Metropolitan State University and CivicMedia’s Board Chair.

Andy Driscoll wrote, produced, recorded and edited this Special.

Minneculture Producer is Nancy Sartor

The four women here of the founding seven members formed the core in what would become a company of some 24 rotating cast members and creators, and as you will hear, took their often biting and pointed satirical sketches to college campuses across the state:

Sandy Pappas helped found the small company. She started life as an actress and theatre major, but her politics simmered and ultimately boiled over into running for elected office. For 27 years, Sandy’s held state Legislative office, the last 21 as a Minnesota state senator, and, now, President of the Minnesota Senate.

 

 

 

 

Company co-founder and Pennsylvania transplant Susan Gust would co-found a construction and community development company here at age 23, then start the ReUse Center in Minneapolis after working  on economic and environmental justice issue. Today, Susan teaches and consults on social justice through Community-based Research.

 

 

 

Circle of the Witch company member Jo Haberman, a near North Minneapolis native, has devoted the last 30-odd years to community organizing and collaboration, especially working with young people, and now with the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board.

 

 

 

Another Circle of the Witch original, Micaela (Mickie) Massimino, arrived here from the East Coast for her baccalaureate studies in feminist art at the University of Minnesota, jumped into the theatre troupe, ultimately departing for journalism jobs and college teaching back east before settling into her present job as an editor for the Sacramento Bee.

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RECENT SHOW

TruthToTell, AUG 26: COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS: Unheralded Housing Affordability - AUDIO is UP HERE; VIDEO Coming
 
On-air date: 

  Mon, 08/26/2013

Listen to or download this episode here: 

 

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

NOW! Hear TruthToTell live OR later on the KFAI Community Radio App

That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for

Android (http://bit.ly/KFAIonAndroid), 

iPhone (http://bit.ly/TTTon_iPhone), and 

iPad (http://bit.ly/TTT-on-iPad) mobile devices.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How many conversations have we had about affordable housing options around the state and Metro and, especially when foreclosures mushroomed, plus what to do about underwater mortgages when home values tanked?

And about all those unenforced efforts to create affordable housing options under Minnesota and Met Council policies, especially in suburban areas panicked over a surge in “those people” if affordable housing came to fruition?

And, then, the seemingly unstoppable flood of absentee property acquisition and ownership – and neglect – by landlords unwilling to maintain rental units and spawning the very creation of our inner city slums in what became a cycle of conditions that had institutionalized that neglect so that a century of poverty and exploitation became the norm in too many neighborhoods?

Then, the flood of well-intentioned quest for using homeownership as a tool to combat absentee neglect only to find subprime mortgages flourish and unscrupulous banks and mortgage brokers willing to throw buyers into houses they could ill-afford and into debt that took those properties away again, leaving them to fend in the streets.

And what about all those properties abandoned turning entire blocks into ballparks or prairie?

Did anyone mention community land trusts as a serious way of providing perpetually affordable land use options and affordable housing opportunities? If we did, it was in passing. No dwelling.

Monday morning, we’ll dwell on the subject a good deal longer and learn much more about what on the surface seems like an sensible and underutilized option for cities, states and Metro areas feeling responsible for providing adequate and affordable shelter for their citizens.

We can start with this question: is housing or some form of shelter a right of societal or community membership? If so, why haven’t we explored these options and supplied such shelter for all over the last 200 years around here – longer elsewhere?

What is a land trust, anyway? What and who started this concept? And why does it seem on the surface to make so much sense even for smaller communities within communities?

 

Of course, one must qualify and be willing to give up ownership of the land to own the house on it. We’re a land-hungry breed, so this may be tough even for the poorest among us.

Lots of questions to answer.

But we’ll do our best enlighten us all about this concept and its possibilities for all of our communities. TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with at least one Community Land Trust executive and get our questions answered about the potential for– and the limitations of – community land trusts.

On-air guests: 

JEFF WASHBURNE – Executive Director, City of Lakes Community Land Trust, Minneapolis


GREG FINZELL – Executive Director, Rondo Community Land Trust, St. Paul


CivicMedia/MN LEGACY SPECIAL: Part Two of CIRCLE OF THE WITCH: 1970s Feminist Theatre Collective- AUDIO HERE

On-air date: 
Wed, 08/28/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

In addition to our weekly public affairs program, TruthToTell, CivicMedia produces documentaries on culturally and politically important Minnesota and Twin Cities organizations of historical note, originating as “Minneculture” specials on KFAI Radio and financed primarily by Minnesota’s Legacy Fund. Our planned series recalling the Vietnam era’s activist 1970s in Minneapolis-St. Paul and their influence on our political and cultural landscape starts with a two-part retrospective of the collectivist Circle of the Witch Theatre troupe, a premiere feminist change agent of early 1970s Minnesota, presenting homegrown plays and dealing out lessons in women’s social and economic change. Parts One and Two first aired on KFAI FM 90.3, 106.7 & live at KFAI.org.

These were plays, sketches and multimedia presentations that jerked a tear or two or took a good bite out of conscience and traditional sensibilities about the roles and pigeonholes to which women were so often assigned back then. Most say the change to real equity has, like the issue of race in America, been far slower than it should have been. Comedy and tragedy shared the stage.

The “ouch” musical satire of “Sexpot Follies” was met with the occupational hazards for women and the internalized conflicts between mothers and daughters of “Lady in a Corner”, or the history-tracing and often sad “Time is Passing” and the abstractions of the “The Changebringers.”

Many of the women that formed the collective and shared all its original playwriting, composing and performing duties also lived communally with other women, and some men as well, including this series’ co-producer, Tom O’Connell, a freshly retired political science professor from Metropolitan State University and CivicMedia’s Board Chair.

Andy Driscoll wrote, produced, recorded and edited this Special.

Minneculture Producer is Nancy Sartor

The four women here of the founding seven members formed the core in what would become a company of some 24 rotating cast members and creators, and as you will hear, took their often biting and pointed satirical sketches to college campuses across the state:

Sandy Pappas helped found the small company. She started life as an actress and theatre major, but her politics simmered and ultimately boiled over into running for elected office. For 27 years, Sandy’s held state Legislative office, the last 21 as a Minnesota state senator, and, now, President of the Minnesota Senate.

 

 

 

 

Company co-founder and Pennsylvania transplant Susan Gust would co-found a construction and community development company here at age 23, then start the ReUse Center in Minneapolis after working  on economic and environmental justice issue. Today, Susan teaches and consults on social justice through Community-based Research.

 

 

Circle of the Witch company member Jo Haberman, a near North Minneapolis native, has devoted the last 30-odd years to community organizing and collaboration, especially working with young people, and now with the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board.

 

 

 

Another Circle of the Witch original, Micaela (Mickie) Massimino, arrived here from the East Coast for her baccalaureate studies in feminist art at the University of Minnesota, jumped into the theatre troupe, ultimately departing for journalism jobs and college teaching back east before settling into her present job as an editor for the Sacramento Bee.

CivicMedia/MN LEGACY SPECIAL: CIRCLE OF THE WITCH: 1970s Feminist Theatre Collective - Part 1

On-air date: 
Mon, 08/26/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

In addition to our weekly public affairs program, TruthToTell, CivicMedia produces documentaries on culturally and politically important Minnesota and Twin Cities organizations of historical note, originating as “Minneculture” specials on KFAI Radio and financed primarily by Minnesota’s Legacy Fund. Our planned series recalling the Vietnam era’s activist 1970s in Minneapolis-St. Paul and their influence on our political and cultural landscape starts with a two-part retrospective of the collectivist Circle of the Witch Theatre troupe, a premiere feminist change agent of early 1970s Minnesota, presenting homegrown plays and dealing out lessons in women’s social and economic change. Parts One and Two first air on Monday and Wednesday at 7:30PM on KFAI FM 90.3, 106.7 and streaming live at KFAI.org.

These were plays, sketches and multimedia presentations that jerked a tear or two or took a good bite out of conscience and traditional sensibilities about the roles and pigeonholes to which women were so often assigned back then. Most say the change to real equity has, like the issue of race in America, been far slower than it should have been. Comedy and tragedy shared the stage.

The “ouch” musical satire of “Sexpot Follies” was met with the occupational hazards for women and the internalized conflicts between mothers and daughters of “Lady in a Corner”, or the history-tracing and often sad “Time is Passing” and the abstractions of the “The Changebringers.”

Many of the women that formed the collective and shared all its original playwriting, composing and performing duties also lived communally with other women, and some men as well, including this series’ co-producer, Tom O’Connell, a freshly retired political science professor from Metropolitan State University and CivicMedia’s Board Chair.

Andy Driscoll wrote, produced, recorded and edited this Special.

Minneculture Producer is Nancy Sartor

The four women here of the founding seven members formed the core in what would become a company of some 24 rotating cast members and creators, and as you will hear, took their often biting and pointed satirical sketches to college campuses across the state:

Sandy Pappas helped found the small company. She started life as an actress and theatre major, but her politics simmered and ultimately boiled over into running for elected office. For 27 years, Sandy’s held state Legislative office, the last 21 as a Minnesota state senator, and, now, President of the Minnesota Senate.

 

 

 

 

Company co-founder and Pennsylvania transplant Susan Gust would co-found a construction and community development company here at age 23, then start the ReUse Center in Minneapolis after working  on economic and environmental justice issue. Today, Susan teaches and consults on social justice through Community-based Research.

 

 

Circle of the Witch company member Jo Haberman, a near North Minneapolis native, has devoted the last 30-odd years to community organizing and collaboration, especially working with young people, and now with the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board.

 

 

 

Another Circle of the Witch original, Micaela (Mickie) Massimino, arrived here from the East Coast for her baccalaureate studies in feminist art at the University of Minnesota, jumped into the theatre troupe, ultimately departing for journalism jobs and college teaching back east before settling into her present job as an editor for the Sacramento Bee.

TruthToTell, Monday, Dec 10–9AM: TONY BOUZA: Stream of Thoughts on Cops, Media and Life; TruthToTell, Dec 3: METROPOLITAN STATE: That OTHER 4-year Public University

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, December 10, 2012

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For many of us TONY BOUZA’S forever been an enigma. This erudite retired cop and former Minneapolis Police Chief has blown most of us away with his extraordinary command of the language and the kind of candor that makes most Minnesotans squirm. This is not a state given easily to the sort of directness Tony Bouza’s pretty much always brought to the table.

But, for some us, too, a cop is a cop – and our observations of the police culture, especially as lived inside the Minneapolis Department over these many decades has led to some serious distrust of that culture’s propensity for violence, deception and self-preservation, often at the cost of innocent lives. An entire organization dedicated to stopping police brutality thrives in Minneapolis  with no shortage of cases to protest almost every week.

At first blush, Bouza’s appointment by Mayor Don Fraser in 1980, it was thought that, together, the guys would either watch the Minneapolis cops clean themselves up or be cleansed by these two brilliant politicians. Neither happened, for the most part, and certainly not for long. The Minneapolis Police Department remains one of the most notorious nests of thumpers and liars and those who protect them by either covering up their crimes and misdemeanors (and felonies) or failing to report the transgressions they know are illegal. Bouza’s only one of several former cops to come forward with the ugly truths about policing.

Now comes a little tome in which now 84-year-old Tony Bouza, already an author of some note, has compiled a captivating series of essays on what he says have been Lessons Learned (Southside Pride, June, 2012). His opening piece on one of his most admired adversaries, the late anti-war activist, Marv Davidov, is similar to the eulogy he delivered at Marv’s life celebration to a packed house at St. Thomas University over a year ago, and the picture of them facing down each other through Honeywell’s Defense fences is a well-staged classic. Bouza’s wife Erica was on the other side of that fence with Davidov.

Bouza winds up this booklet of memories with a scathing denunciation of what he calls the out-of-control police culture in America, tracing his credibility to make such a judgment across his career and retirement years – just shy of 60 of them as this is written. We’ll explore his views on this subject in depth.

In between those bookends of columns are a bit under 100 pages of newsprint containing his observations on the passing scenes of life as he’s encountered it from his days as a rookie in New York City where his native Spanish language came in handy during a tale of real intrigue he recounts as an indictment of dictators everywhere through his stints in other cities, even a treatise on Minnesotans and Media and Picking Police Chiefs and Racial Profiling.

Well, you get the idea. It’s hard to say if anyone else’s stream of consciousness writing on such a variety of topics would fascinate as much as Tony’s does, but it’s an unlikely match at best.

I hope we can do justice to it by spending an hour with Tony Bouza this week on TruthToTell. In any event, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will try and over as many of the better bases in Bouza’s book as possible.

FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF TONY BOUZA

 


MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The story of that other Twin Cities four-year higher education institution – Metropolitan State University – never really started out as a competitor for the University of Minnesota. It was designed to do much of what the UofM was not doing – appealing to older, especially older workers from underserved populations – surely more Latinos and African-Americans – to complete their degree programs based on the competence they had acquired in their lives and work.

It started in 1971 as Minnesota Metropolitan State College, thanks to a legislative mandate, and some 46 faculty members – more than half of them part time, what they now refer to as community faculty – started classes in 1972, and graduated their first 12 students in 1973. They did all this from unlikely venues for a higher education institution – from a storeroom in the Capital Center Skyway as the first administration office to rather ill-equipped “classrooms” in downtown buildings, church basements, synagogues and outlying commercial structures.

The whole thing was originally geared to cover only the upper division – the last two years – of a normal 4-year college, but highly keyed to individuals wanting to – finally – finish their undergraduate education. This non-traditional approach turned Metro State into something of an enclave of rebellious promoters of higher ed who believed in the inherent learning abilities of people for whom completing a degree had been difficult, if not impossible, in the normal course of life: poverty, the need to work instead of the formally schooled, racism, etc.

This became a school that recruited and welcomed those folks, teaching them what it means to be an educated person, preparing them for learning late in life and for lifelong learning – never stopping to see learning as valuable, ongoing asset in all we do. For those who had working and living experiences that could be converted to college credit, devices and evaluations were created to recognize them. This, too, shortened the time commitment that would be otherwise required to get that BA degree. (Eventually, Metro started adding several Master’s programs).

Presidents and faculty were picked to run the place who agreed with the philosophy that all people can learn – and should and be credited for it – and you didn’t need too formal an enrolment and teaching environment to do so. A cadre of counselors and advisers who doubled as instructors guided students from getting the word out to dragging them in the door to sign on and helping them design their degree programs – a mishmash of classes, tests, transfer credits and prior learning experiences. Dr. David Sweet was the inaugural president, followed by Dr. Reatha Clark King and several others leading up to today’s Dr. Sue K. Hammersmith. The campus is large and growing all the time, familiar for it’s 4-story glass edifice sitting on Dayton’s Bluff overlooking downtown St. Paul. Several hundred faculty teach several thousands of students, now.

Then, in 1994, the Legislature turn what had been a beloved rebel into a true 4-year university, so great was the need to provide not only a continuum from community and technical colleges to Metro, but a true freshman through senior alternative to the U, often in applied curriculums – that is, classes that prepared for jobs at less expensive rates than the larger school in town. Not everyone in this school thought that was progress.

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL (Class of 2002) and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with one of the truly successful graduate, now a community faculty member and a newly reelected state senator; an old guard professor near retirement; a graduate for whom Metro changed an otherwise troubled career and who now contributes mightily to its curriculum; and yet another who constantly reminds the administration of its duty to a now-huge faculty and student body:

GUESTS:

 STATE SEN. SANDRA PAPPAS (DFL-65, St. Paul) – President, Minnesota State Senate, Metro State Community Faculty member; Metro State graduate.

 TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Political Science and History, former Dean of Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University.

 


 

 JASON SOLE – Community Faculty, Criminal Justice Studies, Metropolitan State University

 MONTE BUTE – Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University

 

 

 


truthToTell, Monday, Dec 3–9AM: METROPOLITAN STATE: That OTHER 4-year Public University; TruthToTell, NOV 26: ENCORE: ALL ABOUT THE COURTS AND JUDGES: Dispensing Justice? Or Bias?

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, December 3, 2012

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New Main Rising.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The story of that other Twin Cities four-year higher education institution – Metropolitan State University – never really started out as a competitor for the University of Minnesota. It was designed to do much of what the UofM was not doing – appealing to older, especially older workers from underserved populations – surely more Latinos and African-Americans – to complete their degree programs based on the competence they had acquired in their lives and work.

It started in 1971 as Minnesota Metropolitan State College, thanks to a legislative mandate, and some 46 faculty members – more than half of them part time, what they now refer to as community faculty – started classes in 1972, and graduated their first 12 students in 1973. They did all this from unlikely venues for a higher education institution – from a storeroom in the Capital Center Skyway as the first administration office to rather ill-equipped “classrooms” in downtown buildings, church basements, synagogues and outlying commercial structures.

The whole thing was originally geared to cover only the upper division – the last two years – of a normal 4-year college, but highly keyed to individuals wanting to – finally – finish their undergraduate education. This non-traditional approach turned Metro State into something of an enclave of rebellious promoters of higher ed who believed in the inherent learning abilities of people for whom completing a degree had been difficult, if not impossible, in the normal course of life: poverty, the need to work instead of the formally schooled, racism, etc.

This became a school that recruited and welcomed those folks, teaching them what it means to be an educated person, preparing them for learning late in life and for lifelong learning – never stopping to see learning as valuable, ongoing asset in all we do. For those who had working and living experiences that could be converted to college credit, devices and evaluations were created to recognize them. This, too, shortened the time commitment that would be otherwise required to get that BA degree. (Eventually, Metro started adding several Master’s programs).

Presidents and faculty were picked to run the place who agreed with the philosophy that all people can learn – and should and be credited for it – and you didn’t need too formal an enrolment and teaching environment to do so. A cadre of counselors and advisers who doubled as instructors guided students from getting the word out to dragging them in the door to sign on and helping them design their degree programs – a mishmash of classes, tests, transfer credits and prior learning experiences. Dr. David Sweet was the inaugural president, followed by Dr. Reatha Clark King and several others leading up to today’s Dr. Sue K. Hammersmith. The campus is large and growing all the time, familiar for it’s 4-story glass edifice sitting on Dayton’s Bluff overlooking downtown St. Paul. Several hundred faculty teach several thousands of students, now.

Then, in 1994, the Legislature turn what had been a beloved rebel into a true 4-year university, so great was the need to provide not only a continuum from community and technical colleges to Metro, but a true freshman through senior alternative to the U, often in applied curriculums – that is, classes that prepared for jobs at less expensive rates than the larger school in town. Not everyone in this school thought that was progress.

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL (Class of 2002) and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with one of the truly successful graduate, now a community faculty member and a newly reelected state senator; an old guard professor near retirement; a graduate for whom Metro changed an otherwise troubled career and who now contributes mightily to its curriculum; and yet another who constantly reminds the administration of its duty to a now-huge faculty and student body:

GUESTS:

 STATE SEN. SANDRA PAPPAS (DFL-65, St. Paul) – President, Minnesota State Senate, Metro State Community Faculty member; Metro State graduate.

 TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Political Science and History, former Dean of Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University.

 


 

 JASON SOLE – Community Faculty, Criminal Justice Studies, Metropolitan State University

 MONTE BUTE – Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University

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Monday, November 26, 2012

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back in February of this year and a couple of years backTruthToTell aired a couple of editions exploring the possibility of instituting an entirely new way of selecting our judges in Minnesota. Wisconsin’s circus of judicial elections, especially for the state Supreme Court over there (think shoving the face of a colleague there last year), is a very bad one in the minds of many court-watchers. That electoral system only mimics those envisioned in the outgrowth of the US Supreme Court ruling negating one of Minnesota’s cherished Judicial Canons that had, till then, prohibited as a possible conflict any overt campaign discussion of issues that could one day come before the court for which a given candidate was running. The 5-4 SCOTUS ruling opened wide the political campaigns of judges and justices, and this politicization of judicial races portended for the legal community nothing but trouble.

Legislation promoting a state constitutional amendment ordering new system of appointing judges and justices, then putting their performance before public scrutiny later – when their terms came up for renewal – has fared poorly over several sessions, despite it promotion by some of Minnesota’s most prestigious political and legal celebrities.

I erred in last Winter’s announcement and script when I stated that this new system of appointing judges called “retention elections” – was supported by Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke, whose credentials as a Chief Judge and an Assistant Chief Judge among the 62 judges of the Hennepin Court are significant, to say the least. Judge Burke wrote and simply stated he has never supported the proposed system.

So I wrote and called to discover that Judge Burke favors the election of judges in Minnesota. I then suggested that he come on, not just to defend the judicial electoral status quo, or some variation of it, but to discuss the plethora of reforms needed in the courts and criminal justice system.

So. From the horse’s mouth, as it were, we delve into court reforms and criminal justice disparities along with the ways judicial campaigns should be conducted if straight elections are to remain our primary selection method.

Of course, governors will continue to appoint when judges step down or retire before their terms are completed, and the field of candidates will be, as currently done, whittled to three by a nonpartisan merit selection commission, and from those top three contenders, the governor will usually – but not always – make his (or her) appointment. He or she may appoint whomever they wish as Gov. Pawlenty and others have done.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend the hour with:

HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE KEVIN BURKE.

 

 


TruthToTell, Dec 3: METROPOLITAN STATE: That OTHER 4-year Public University - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 12/03/2012
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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The story of that other Twin Cities four-year higher education institution – Metropolitan State University – never really started out as a competitor for the University of Minnesota. It was designed to do much of what the UofM was not doing – appealing to older, especially older workers from underserved populations – surely more Latinos and African-Americans – to complete their degree programs based on the competence they had acquired in their lives and work.

It started in 1971 as Minnesota Metropolitan State College, thanks to a legislative mandate, and some 46 faculty members – more than half of them part time, what they now refer to as community faculty – started classes in 1972, and graduated their first 12 students in 1973. They did all this from unlikely venues for a higher education institution – from a storeroom in the Capital Center Skyway as the first administration office to rather ill-equipped “classrooms” in downtown buildings, church basements, synagogues and outlying commercial structures.

The whole thing was originally geared to cover only the upper division – the last two years – of a normal 4-year college, but highly keyed to individuals wanting to – finally – finish their undergraduate education. This non-traditional approach turned Metro State into something of an enclave of rebellious promoters of higher ed who believed in the inherent learning abilities of people for whom completing a degree had been difficult, if not impossible, in the normal course of life: poverty, the need to work instead of the formally schooled, racism, etc.

This became a school that recruited and welcomed those folks, teaching them what it means to be an educated person, preparing them for learning late in life and for lifelong learning – never stopping to see learning as valuable, ongoing asset in all we do. For those who had working and living experiences that could be converted to college credit, devices and evaluations were created to recognize them. This, too, shortened the time commitment that would be otherwise required to get that BA degree. (Eventually, Metro started adding several Master’s programs).

Presidents and faculty were picked to run the place who agreed with the philosophy that all people can learn – and should and be credited for it – and you didn’t need too formal an enrolment and teaching environment to do so. A cadre of counselors and advisers who doubled as instructors guided students from getting the word out to dragging them in the door to sign on and helping them design their degree programs – a mishmash of classes, tests, transfer credits and prior learning experiences. Dr. David Sweet was the inaugural president, followed by Dr. Reatha Clark King and several others leading up to today’s Dr. Sue K. Hammersmith. The campus is large and growing all the time, familiar for it’s 4-story glass edifice sitting on Dayton’s Bluff overlooking downtown St. Paul. Several hundred faculty teach several thousands of students, now.

Then, in 1994, the Legislature turn what had been a beloved rebel into a true 4-year university, so great was the need to provide not only a continuum from community and technical colleges to Metro, but a true freshman through senior alternative to the U, often in applied curriculums – that is, classes that prepared for jobs at less expensive rates than the larger school in town. Not everyone in this school thought that was progress.

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL (Class of 2002) and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with one of the truly successful graduate, now a community faculty member and a newly reelected state senator; an old guard professor near retirement; a graduate for whom Metro changed an otherwise troubled career and who now contributes mightily to its curriculum; and yet another who constantly reminds the administration of its duty to a now-huge faculty and student body:

GUESTS:

 STATE SEN. SANDRA PAPPAS (DFL-65, St. Paul) – President, Minnesota State Senate, Metro State Community Faculty member; Metro State graduate.

 TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Political Science and History, former Dean of Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University.

 


 

 JASON SOLE – Community Faculty, Criminal Justice Studies, Metropolitan State University

 MONTE BUTE – Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University

TruthToTell, Monday July 30-9AM: REGULATING MINNESOTA POLLUTERS: Impossible?; TruthToTell, July 23: LABOR IN CRISIS: Fair Trade vs. Foreign Policy?

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, July 30, 2012

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

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Things have not improved since a year ago April when TTT presented a two-week series on the ravages of sulfide mining to come if PolyMet and other mining companies have their way with us – us being Minnesotans of all sorts.

While some delays have been invoked over the applications for DNR-issued mining permits, the political powers that be continue to pressure the relevant state and federal agencies regulating Minnesota industries of all sorts to look past the potential harms bubbling up into our environment – our water, air and food – by industries given too much deference and pitting economic benefits against human health and other natural resources and animals.

Here are some questions we posed last year for our guests – and you, the public – last year in the face of local area legislators and St. Paul regulatory authorities pushing through permits to further pollute those resources we rely on to give life to all living things:

What more are we willing to sacrifice in terms of what we’re able to eat, drink and breathe in order to provide some – perhaps a lot – of short-term construction work – along with far fewer full time, permanent jobs?

These are but a few questions that require some deep and introspective thinking and evaluating by millions of people who surely want clean air and water and unadulterated food, but who have, through no fault of their own, found themselves unemployed, limited in their training and education to the work they did before and eager to earn a living for themselves and their families.

That’s what makes projects like the PolyMet Copper-Nickel Mine project well north of the Twin Cities such a seductive venture. The mine would be dug smack in the middle of the Superior National Forest, in what is called the Duluth Complex – a relatively untapped lode of these metals – the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation.

All local and statewide politicians, several labor groups and the Chambers of Commerce are one in arguing this issue: create the jobs – and forget the environmental damage their work may cause in both the long and short term. They claim this all-new, non-ferrous mining operation will produce the important copper and nickel used in a variety of products we use every day – with an interesting emphasis on renewable, rechargeable and critical-use tools – like batteries, hybrid vehicles, and pollution-reducing catalytic converters. Clever marketing.

Some local state representatives, senators, mostly Democrats last year, and joining them this year – Republican majorities - and even Amy Klobuchar and Jim Oberstar, endorse the project and angrily dismiss worried environmental groups and the Fond du Lac tribe’s arguments and even the Environmental Protection Agency’s lowest environmental rating as just so much (as if job-killing were an active agenda for clean water and food). The company isn’t much talking, so we can only consult their website for what is little more than a marketing pitch.

It would be easy to keep our focus on mining and the sulfuric acid aftermath of mining copper and nickel in Minnesota’s copper-rich Duluth Complex.

But this time we want to spread our wings a bit and remind our listeners that regulation in Minnesota may be silo-ed – isolated, that is – by agencies like the DNR (whose job includes the promotion and enabling of mining in the state, not just the protection of fish and wildlife); like the MN Pollution Control Agency, whose job has evolved to actually permitting pollution in greater quantities, then turn around and issue warnings when that pollution becomes dangerous to human health – but never shut down a polluter, whether a dangerous coal-fired utility, an animal or dairy feedlot with dangerous wastes overflowing into ditches and waterways feeding the rivers, or a waste-burning plant in the middle of the city threatening the breathing of residents; and like the Minnesota Health Department, which talks a good game, but is powerless to step in and actually require revisions in business practices that would save lives and ensure safer operations for the public health. Years of agency staffing with corporate sympathizers has left us bereft of real regulation.

In other words, we want to talk about regulation and its effectiveness – or lack of it – in protecting the public welfare over the economic benefits of deferring to corporate interests with the excuse that jobs are somehow in jeopardy if regulation imposes restrictions on those corporations…or, perhaps, denies them the authority to open shop at all without proving first that an enterprise will be safe for human and animal exposure.

After all, wasn’t regulation instituted to PREVENT harm to living beings? Why can’t we require an industry claiming to be safe for the environment to PROVE IT FIRST??

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with those who are feeling slightly less powerful than the companies, politicians and state agencies turning the notion of regulation on its head and forcing victims to do the proving.

GUESTS:

 PAULA MACCABEE – Attorney, Water Legacy and Sierra Club North Star Chapter


 ROBERT DESJARLAIT (Ojibwe-Anishinabe) – Co-Founder, Protect Our Manoomin (Wide Rice); Of the Red Lake Anishinaabe Nation; Visual artist, historian, educator and traditional dancer.


BRUCE JOHNSON – Retired MPCA Regulation Staff and Northern Minnesota resident.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the election season of 1972 – when George McGovern was challenging the policies and programs – not to mention the leadership – of Richard Nixon in the latter’s first term and the continuing war in Vietnam (remember the Kent State student killings in 1970, Nixon’s 1969 bombing of Cambodia – less than year in office – and the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam), millions of rural and blue collar voters – much as they have more recently as Tea Party members – piled into the polls to vote for Nixon in direct contravention of their unions’ leadership. At least that’s how it appeared.

The Committee to Re-Elect, the Nixon machine found guilty of the Watergate break-in and laundering of campaign funds plus a massive cover-up a couple of years later, leading to Nixon’s unprecedented resignation in disgrace – portrayed George McGovern as little more than a professorial flake of a progressive. The campaign against the man who would have ended the Vietnam bloodbath at least three or four years and thousands of American and Asian lives before it finally stopped may well have succeeded based in major part on the abandonment of rank-and-file union members that year. This carried on right through the election of Ronald Reagan where more damage, perhaps fatal blows, were inflicted on collective bargaining and worker protections, including health and pension benefits. And, still suburban working class men and women vote Republican in significant numbers.

We have written and discussed how the rank-and-file’s shift to the right has flown in the face of all that labor’s founding forefathers sought in the bloody battles for recognition and certification representing overworked and underpaid workers in almost every one of America’s industries – most of them gone now, thanks to so-called free trade policies of Republican administrations and buttressed by gutless Democrats – all of whom have lost sight of labor’s struggle and heritage in the fattening of the middle class through the post-WWII decades, including two more conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

How does war and fair trade mix? How does the loss of many rank-and-file union members – especially the trades – to Republicans who have shipped their jobs overseas and given tax and regulatory breaks to those who have exploited labor while destroying the environment many unions believe impedes job creation sit with a public whose support organized labor has needed down through the ages?

Many authors have written well about the millions of Americans so willing to vote against their own best interests, but where was labor leadership when it came to standing up against the forces of evil here and overseas – against war when the crunch came? What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank first raised this issue. But that included seniors and previously declared liberals in one bellwether state’s voting public.

Linking labor’s overseas strategy and tactics in times of war and third world development issues. The AFL-CIO has adamantly avoiding opposing America’s involvement in war dating back years and several conflicts, cooperating and colluding with the CIA and other agencies. In a review of the book authored by one of this Monday’s guests, Dr. Kim Scipes’s AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), social critic and writer Paul Street writes: 

Unbeknownst to most American union members and many U.S. labor officials, and without their support, the top foreign policy operatives of the AFL and the AFL-CIO have consistently collaborated with American government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in carrying out an imperialist foreign policy that has attacked working and living standards in “developing countries” (known as “Third World” nations during the Cold War).

Anytime you’re inclined to label labor as “imperialist” – stand back. But, as Scipes – a prolific professor of sociology at Purdue University and a long time labor union member and supporter – writes in his preface: “This is a book that has been very difficult for me to write. I am a strong believer in collective action, and especially collective action by working people, so as to improve their wages, working conditions, and the general conditions of their lives. Also, I am a strong believer in unions…” He goes on to list his union affiliations. But he also goes onto state flatly that the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program and leadership “…support and have worked to extend the U.S. empire. Besides attacking workers and unions around the world who challenge U.S. corporate investment…the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program can exist in the United states only by attacking labor democracy within the U.S. labor movement itself.”

He also says this program started about 100 years ago.

What have been the ramifications of all of this “empire” support as we have engaged in wars and exploitation all around the planet? And what about its effect on the Fair Trade Movement. How can the AFL-CIO possibly justify its behavior elsewhere as it opposes NAFTA and colludes with U.S. government adventurism overseas?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query the author and his reviewers – plus state and local labor leaders – in search of answers to the many questions these issues raise.

GUESTS:

  KIM SCIPES, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (North Central); Author, AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)


  PETER RACHLEFF, PhD – Professor of History, Macalester College, St. Paul; Labor Historian


  JOSH WISE – Director, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

 

  TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Social Science, Metropolitan State University; Chair, CivicMedia/Minnesota; Labor Historian

TruthToTell, Monday July 23-9AM: LABOR IN CRISIS: Fair Trade vs. Foreign Policy?; TruthToTell, July 16: NICK COLEMAN THE SENATOR: Right Up There with Fritz and Company

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, July 23, 2012

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the election season of 1972 – when George McGovern was challenging the policies and programs – not to mention the leadership – of Richard Nixon in the latter’s first term and the continuing war in Vietnam (remember the Kent State student killings in 1970, Nixon’s 1969 bombing of Cambodia – less than year in office – and the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam), millions of rural and blue collar voters – much as they have more recently as Tea Party members – piled into the polls to vote for Nixon in direct contravention of their unions’ leadership. At least that’s how it appeared.

The Committee to Re-Elect, the Nixon machine found guilty of the Watergate break-in and laundering of campaign funds plus a massive cover-up a couple of years later, leading to Nixon’s unprecedented resignation in disgrace – portrayed George McGovern as little more than a professorial flake of a progressive. The campaign against the man who would have ended the Vietnam bloodbath at least three or four years and thousands of American and Asian lives before it finally stopped may well have succeeded based in major part on the abandonment of rank-and-file union members that year. This carried on right through the election of Ronald Reagan where more damage, perhaps fatal blows, were inflicted on collective bargaining and worker protections, including health and pension benefits. And, still suburban working class men and women vote Republican in significant numbers.

We have written and discussed how the rank-and-file’s shift to the right has flown in the face of all that labor’s founding forefathers sought in the bloody battles for recognition and certification representing overworked and underpaid workers in almost every one of America’s industries – most of them gone now, thanks to so-called free trade policies of Republican administrations and buttressed by gutless Democrats – all of whom have lost sight of labor’s struggle and heritage in the fattening of the middle class through the post-WWII decades, including two more conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

How does war and fair trade mix? How does the loss of many rank-and-file union members – especially the trades – to Republicans who have shipped their jobs overseas and given tax and regulatory breaks to those who have exploited labor while destroying the environment many unions believe impedes job creation sit with a public whose support organized labor has needed down through the ages?

Many authors have written well about the millions of Americans so willing to vote against their own best interests, but where was labor leadership when it came to standing up against the forces of evil here and overseas – against war when the crunch came? What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank first raised this issue. But that included seniors and previously declared liberals in one bellwether state’s voting public.

Linking labor’s overseas strategy and tactics in times of war and third world development issues. The AFL-CIOhas adamantly avoiding opposing America’s involvement in war dating back years and several conflicts, cooperating and colluding with the CIA and other agencies. In a review of the book authored by one of this Monday’s guests, Dr. Kim Scipes’s AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), social critic and writer Paul Street writes: 

Unbeknownst to most American union members and many U.S. labor officials, and without their support, the top foreign policy operatives of the AFL and the AFL-CIO have consistently collaborated with American government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in carrying out an imperialist foreign policy that has attacked working and living standards in “developing countries” (known as “Third World” nations during the Cold War).

Anytime you’re inclined to label labor as “imperialist” – stand back. But, as Scipes – a prolific professor of sociology at Purdue University and a long time labor union member and supporter – writes in his preface: “This is a book that has been very difficult for me to write. I am a strong believer in collective action, and especially collective action by working people, so as to improve their wages, working conditions, and the general conditions of their lives. Also, I am a strong believer in unions…” He goes on to list his union affiliations. But he also goes onto state flatly that the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program and leadership “…support and have worked to extend the U.S. empire. Besides attacking workers and unions around the world who challenge U.S. corporate investment…the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program can exist in the United states only by attacking labor democracy within the U.S. labor movement itself.”

He also says this program started about 100 years ago.

What have been the ramifications of all of this “empire” support as we have engaged in wars and exploitation all around the planet? And what about its effect on the Fair Trade Movement. How can the AFL-CIO possibly justify its behavior elsewhere as it opposes NAFTA and colludes with U.S. government adventurism overseas?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query the author and his reviewers – plus state and local labor leaders – in search of answers to the many questions these issues raise.

GUESTS:

  KIM SCIPES, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (North Central); Author, AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)

  PETER RACHLEFF, PhD – Professor of History, Macalester College, St. Paul; Labor Historian

  JOSH WISE – Director, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

 

 

 

 LINDA HAMILTON – President, Minnesota Nurses Association

  TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Social Science, Metropolitan State University; Chair, CivicMedia/Minnesota; Labor Historian

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Monday, July 16, 2012

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Nick Coleman.

Who? That writer from the Strib? The columnist who used to write for the Pioneer Press?

No. That Nick Coleman is the son of the Nicholas David Coleman who left a significant mark on Minnesota’s political landscape for well over 30 years and would likely have kept it up for another 20 or 30 had he survived the leukemia that killed him in January of 1981.

Like Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Don Fraser, Rudy Perpich, Wendy Anderson, Al Quie and Elmer Andersen and probably about two dozen other truly prominent political movers and shakers from the 1960s onward, Nick Coleman was, for his time in Minnesota’s recent history (that being the last 50-75 years) a rock-solid political animal and a flawed personality who charmed the hell out of friends and enemies alike.

Nick served as the Minnesota Senate’s Majority Leader for a major part of his political life – almost 20 years. He presided over Senate passage of the original Minnesota Miraclewhich  marked the shift in education financing from the very regressive property tax to the very progressive (and most say fairer) income tax.

It says something about the state of the state’s slide toward a much more conservative tenor and rancorous political climate that the Minnesota Miracle eroded before our very eyes to where we once again fork over more in property taxes to fund education than we do in fairer income taxes. People bitch a lot more over property taxes than the small slices they pay in income taxes, so conservatives (of both parties) have successfully shifted the burden to a tax that knows no downward income limits: it penalizes the poorest of us and forces school districts to run a-begging to residents who have watched their property taxes rise either by rate increases or based on rising property values.

Nick didn’t hang around long enough to see this erosion and the decided disappearance in political civility that has accompanied the emergence of a wholly radical right wing in Minnesota.

Still, Nick’s was a life of color, of ups and downs, of marriage, divorce, remarrying and the raising of yet another generation of five men and a woman, most of whom have made their marks in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on the Twin Cities’ and Minnesota’s political and cultural scene. Nick Coleman, the Younger, made his mark as a wry observer of the  passing scene in sports, culture and politics. Brother Patrick is a steward of the state’s historical collections, the younger Chris Coleman has risen to be a two-term mayor of St. Paul, the one to truly follow in his father’s footsteps.

It took another former state Senator, John Watson Milton, a former colleague of Nick’s, six years to research the nooks and crannies of Nick’s life and history. For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman and the High Tide of Liberal Politics in Minnesota, 1971-1981 (Ramsey County Historical Press, 2012) is Milton’s lengthy tome in which junkies like yours truly can really become immersed, but it’s also a completely thorough historical treatise on Coleman’s Irish roots in an Irish town like St. Paul became while tracing Nick’s fascinating life as a human and political animal.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will talk with the author and a couple of those closest to Coleman throughout his life. (We'll also chat for a time with Brian Kaller, who's back in the Cities to talk about his new homeland - Ireland – and its survival in the face of austerity. Brian's writing for several blogs - his own and other publications about his observations of Irish culture and economies.)

GUESTS:

JOHN WATSON MILTON – former State Senator and Ramsey County Commissioner; Author, For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman and the High Tide of Liberal Politics in Minnesota, 1971-1981 and several other books and novels.

PATRICK COLEMAN – Second Eldest of Nick Coleman’s sons and Manager of Collections for the Minnesota Historical Society.

JOHN KAUL – Former Chief of Staff to the Majority Leader under Nick Coleman, legislative affairs specialist for several organizations and a photographer and videographer/documentarian.