Leonard Pitts Jr.: Time for teachers ...

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Time for teachers to embrace accountability

There are 5 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Aug 1, 2010, titled Leonard Pitts Jr.: Time for teachers to embrace accountability. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

A change in the leadership of Anoka County is certain. With five seats on the seven-member board of commissioners up for election this fall, who makes the decisions in one of Minnesota's biggest counties is up for grabs.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

Jim S

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Aug 1, 2010
Gary Kirkeide, a Ham Lake City Council member and former mayor.... is a self serving backdoor, under the table type of guy. He's done NOTHING but stand in the way of anything good for Ham lake while working with his cohorts around town (VFW) to undermine the Mayor.
channel 5 guy

Kansas City, MO

#2 Aug 1, 2010
My suggestion for all voters this year...... clean house on both sides of the isle. We NEED new blood, look close at some of the independents, make a check list of 10-12 important issues and see where they stand. So far I see no one to vote for in the governor's race. I thought Hahn, he had a good issues list on his web site but the ex wife issue will put a wrench in his chances....any othere suggestions out there?
LGA Larry

Monroe, LA

#3 Aug 2, 2010

The mainstream media finally picked up on the story


of Scott's wife using his old campaign signs as her own and creating
confusion amongst voters in the district, many of whom believe it is Scott who is running and not his wife.

The article's primary virtue was demonstrating beyond a doubt the
arrogance of Scott's wife and the little regard she apparently has for the taxpayers she wants to represent on the county board.

First, LeDoux admitted that her signs did not carry the proper disclaimer for her campaign. State law clearly states in part:

"A person who participates in the preparation or dissemination of campaign material... that does not prominently include the name and address of the person or committee causing the material to be prepared or disseminated in a disclaimer substantially in the form provided in paragraph (b) or (c) is guilty of a misdemeanor."

Hamline professor David Schultz accurately described why it's illegal not to displayer a disclaimer on campaign literature. Said Schultz, "The whole intent of that law is to give voters information regarding who is putting up these signs and what candidate it is and what political committee it is."

Thus, it appears that the lack of an accurate disclaimer is part and
parcel of the primary complaint many have regarding Scott's Wife's campaign. Namely, that it confuses voters by blurring the distinctions between Scott's campaign and Scott's Wife's campaign.

Moreover, if Carol LeDoux can't follow the law, why should she get to make laws? Why does she think she doesn't have to post an accurate disclaimer like the other candidates? A bit of arrogance?

Even worse, LeDoux tried to claim that her campaign doesn't have to count the transfer of the lawn signs as an in-kind contribution from Scott's campaign because "signs on the way to the landfill have no value."

Not quite. The lawn signs have definite economic value within a political context because they relieve Scott's Wife from having to purchase signs of her own. Every sign she gets from Scott's campaign is a sign she doesn't have to buy, saving her campaign precious money.

Again, Professor Schultz disagrees, " That wouldn't be accurate if they're actually able to use them and save money by not having to get more signs."

In addition, the signs have intrinsic value because they don't go to a
landfill. These signs are made of corrugated plastic and are recycled. There is a multi-billion secondary market for recycled petroleum byproducts like plastic lawn signs. The same holds true for the iron rebar sign posts. Anyone could take these signs and the rebar to a recycle/scrap dealer and get money.

Frankly, the argument is asinine. Does an old car have no value when sent to the scrap yard? How about an old washer/dryer combo? Just because something is being kicked to the curb doesn't mean it lacks monetary value.

Finally, countless other campaign treasurers on both sides of the
political aisle would disagree. Any check of campaign finance reports shows that many, many campaigns list the donation of signs and rebar to other campaigns as an in-kind contribution with monetary value.

The Watchdog will be checking county commissioner campaign finance reports this week and we'll be sure to see whether Scott's Wife listed the donated signs and rebar as in-kind contribution.

No value? Riiiight.
LGA Larry

Monroe, LA

#4 Aug 2, 2010
Many of the Anoka County commissioner races feature primaries as there are more than two candidates vying to take a seat on the board.

These commissioners races are critical because county government is fairly invisible to most people yet county government, especially in Anoka County, bears careful scrutiny because of the power the commissioners have to tax and spend.

This is especially true in Anoka County because the board has adopted a culture of arrogant, self-serving governance that taxes too much and spends too much in mega-projects that have nothing to do with the core mission of county government while the commissioners live in high style at tax payer expense, dining at fine eateries, travelling like celebrities, and hiring buddies to "lobby" or "consult" at every turn.

Moreover, many of the Good Ol' Boy and liberal candidates work hard to
hide their true identities, telling us that this is a "nonpartisan" office and they don't adhere to any particular political ideology, which is a bunch of hogwash.

And while the mainstream media is a willing accomplice in this charade, offering puff piece questionnaires


that don't ask the hard questions, the Watchdog is here to give Anoka
County voters the only meaningful information they're likely to get regarding these candidates.

county commissioner candidates questionnaires:


are now posted on the web for the public to read. Find out where the
candidates stand on issues like lobbyist contracts, the tourist train to Duluth, and their special interest group endorsements.

This deprives the cowards among them from telling you what they believe and where they stand on important issues.

Of course, the cowards will refuse to participate in our meaningful,
substantive process. Watchdogs will draw their own conclusions regarding what it means when a candidate refuses to participate in an exercise designed to give voters information.

Find out where they stand (or don't) right here:


Terry Hendriksen: YES

Matt Look: YES

Natalie Steffen: NO

Andy Hillebrgt: NO


Jolynn Erickson: YES

Gary Kirkeide: YES

Debbie Johnson: YES

Andy Westerberg: YES


Erik Evenson: YES



Robyn West: Yes

Mike Bourke: NO


Gregory Sloat: YES

Jim Kordiak: NO


Julie Trude: YES

Michael Rohricht: YES

Becky Fink: NO

Danny Nelson: NO

Scott's Wife: NO

Get informed.
Eric Zaetsch

Saint Paul, MN

#5 Aug 5, 2010
The Steffen comment is misleading. Yes, she did not have any vote on the Ramsey council when she was pushing and powering trhough her version of what Ramsey Town Center was to be. However, she's hedging the story. She was a forceful control person, in opposition to Hendriksen wanting to keep a contiguous band of job opportunity sites on land Steffen wanted for the Met Council's aims.

I post in a closing UPDATE about evidence of Steffen being more than a passive intemediary:


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