TruthToTell, Monday, NOV 12 − 9AM: THE BILLION-DOLLAR ELECTION: The Media Got Rich-Again; TruthToTell, Nov 5: HANDICAPPING ELECTIONS: What to Do to VOTE/Who might Win?

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:

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

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This week, it’s the community-based media’s turn to react to the billions spent in campaign bucks and in PAC money, freed from all constraints by Citizens United, which was merely the crown on top of a series of rulings removing limits on how much campaigns and outside groups could raise and spend on electing people to office – not to mention the millions thrown into the ring on behalf of the now-failed amendment proposals to theMinnesota state constitution.

The presidential campaign and those amendments really sucked most of the air out of the room – so much so that, yet again this year, as in 2010, the all-important legislative majority switched parties – from Republican to DFL control. And again, the surprise was theMinnesota House of Representatives, which now sports a 12-vote majority of DFLers headed by newly elected Speaker of the House Paul Thissen and Majority Leader Erin Murphy (my rep).

The Senate was less a surprise, since those with political ears to the ground were predicting a majority turnover there. Sure as hell – it came – and for the first time in 20-odd years, DFLers are driving all three governing entities – both houses and the Governor’s office.

Some attention was given to the heavy races in the 6th and 8th Congressional Districts, but the other incumbents generally sailed through and were ignored. We do that. We pay little attention to races with token or no opposition, many of the local races and a ballot question or two, and almost none of the judicial races, including the state Supreme Court, and certainly the most invisible of all – Watershed District Commissioners. What’s that? Watershed District what?

What about the St. Paul Schools Levy Referendum? It passed, 2 to 1, even though voters could have confused it with yet another Amendment and voted NO.

We’ll try to get a handle on all this and examine the entire commercial nature of political campaigns and why this commerciality represents a conflict of interest for media who cover those campaigns with one penciled hand while taking the massive campaign dollars with the other. What happened in this country to turn campaigns for public office into just another advertising scheme for used cars and detergent?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI toss these questions and more to a panel of local and community-based media outlets rarely heard from in the campaign cacophony consuming our airwaves and the printed page for over two years running.

GUESTS:

 BETH HAWKINS – Reporter, MinnPost.com, covering primarily the Constitutional Amendments and Education this year

 MARY TURCK – Editor, Twin Cities Daily Planet

 


 CHARLES HALLMAN – Reporter, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder


 PAUL DEMKO – Reporter, Dolan Media Company (Politics in Minnesota and the Legal Ledger, etc.)

 MILA KOUMPILOVA – Education Writer, St. Paul Pioneer Press

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MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Night, I was privileged to anchor a great team of reporters and analysts at KFAI under News Director Dale Connelly that brought you election results, analysis and conversation from the moment polls closed at 8:00PM until Midnight. Look for an audio podcast of that four hours of conversation elsewhere on this site soon. We'll try to highlight some of the good stuff from that evening's conversations and post those tidbits later as well.

But, before that came Monday’s TruthToTell…

TruthToTell covered a number of the election issues voters confronted last Tuesday.

Minnesota voters, thank god, turned out in record numbers once again – and in almost every precinct in the state - to the tune of some 79% of the eligible electorate. Now, if we could only repeat those numbers for local races, next year and thereafter – perhaps we can really claim that our local governments represent a majority of the whole city or county or school district.

Elected officials respond to the constituents who put them in office, but even more to those who show up beyond Election Day and insist that the public interest is served by that official’s work in office.

An important function of the Minnesota Secretary of State is to provide Voter Information – and that website is loaded with it.

And, thanks to the defeat of the Voter ID Amendment, you will still need only walk in to your precinct polling place and vote, if pre-registered, or to register right there if you’re not by simply showing something with your current address on it and voting then and there. 

In addition to the much-discussed and critical State Constitutional Amendments proposed, all of Minnesota’s Legislative offices and three State Supreme Court Justices were up for election this year, along with all Federal offices.

While most major cities and school districts elect their board and council members in odd-numbered years, some Minneapolis and suburban Metro cities and school board races and a St. Paul Schools Levy Referendum are on the ballot in this even-numbered year. So some, not all, of you will elect local officials in 2013.

Over the course of the horrendously fatiguing campaign season, we heard and saw almost too much about the Presidential candidates, a bit less about the US Senate race, even less about our Congressional races unless there are battles royal under way – such as that for the 6th(Bachmann/Graves) and 8th (Nolan/Cravaack) Districts – and almost nothing about some very important contests, especially about your state and local judges and justices – truly important people who determine the application of the law and its impact on our lives. So buried are these elections, it’s a wonder that anyone bothers to make them elected – until someone tries to take that power away.

TTT’S ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI consult four elections and political experts and analysts to generate some enlightened interest in some of the more obscure races and handicap the Legislative make-up to come. Now we know who will be in charge after last Tuesday? It will be you, and me - US.

GUESTS:

DR. JOSIE R. JOHNSON – former University of Minnesota Regent; retired University of Minnesota Associate Vice President for Minority Student Affairs; Founder, UofM Office of Diversity & Equity and Honoree - Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; Principal, Josie Robinson Johnson & Associates Consulting


TOM HORNER – former Independence Party Candidate for Governor; former GOP Spokesperson; Founding Principal, NextMinnesota Public Policy Advocacy nonprofit.

 


BOB MEEK – Founder & Executive Secretary, Sweet Reason Discussions; DFL Communications Operative and Analyst; Founder/consultantNewsBridge Connections/Tunheim Associates, Public Relations;


ELISE CHAMBERS – Election Protection Organizer, Common Cause Minnesota