Edina Schools Challenged on Student Civil Rights

Following John Hinderaker’s appearance at the September dinner program (described in a following article), defenders of the status quo lashed out.  One of the Edina School Board candidates responded with his support for “what our teachers have been doing in our schools.

This candidate went so far as to demand that all eleven candidates join him “in denouncing this unfair and disturbing attack on Edina teachers.”  He claimed that the Edina teachers are “being pushed to the breaking point.”

 “I trust our teachers to make the judgement call on what material is and isn’t appropriate for our students.  I trust our teachers to be fair and honest when having opinionated discussions in class.”

Peter-Kirsanow-255x180.jpgNot surprising that an avowedly liberal candidate would support liberal teachers.  But are they making fair and unbiased judgements? 

Peter Kirsanow, pictured at right,  a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights since 2002, thinks otherwise.

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Hinderaker’s Talk on Politics in Edina Schools Touches a Nerve

Hinderaker_at_Dinner.jpg John Hinderaker spoke on September 26 to a room at full capacity.  The theme of our dinner program was “Politics in Edina School System – Education or Indoctrination?”  He presented his evidence of the open political tilt of a significant number of teachers at Edina High School to a somber audience, most of whom were Edina parents or grandparents. 

A video of Hinderaker’s presentation can be viewed by clicking the image below. 


A few days after John’s presentation, the Center of the American Experiment ran a cover story in its magazine, Thinking Minnesota, on the liberal indoctrination in Edina schools.  A copy of that magazine was mailed to every residence in Edina.

It didn’t take long for the counterattack to get launched.  Rather than address the points raised by the Center, the ideological attack resembles carpet bombing

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Plans Initiated for 2018 Election Activities

Minnesota Republicans are planning and preparing for the 2018 election year.  Next year, we will endorse candidates for state-wide office (governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor), one U.S. Senator and all of our U.S. House representatives, as well as all Minnesota House members. 

Caucus_SD33_Credit_MinnPost.jpgWhile all elections are important, the chance to elect a new governor and set a new direction for Minnesota is particularly exciting.  You can play a part in deciding the team that Republicans will put forth, but you have to get involved early.

We will kick off this ambitious year with local caucuses on Tuesday evening, February 6, 2018.  By attending your caucuses, you directly elect your precinct leadership and your delegates to the senate district conventions.  If you put yourself forward for these positions, you stand a good chance of being elected by your neighbors.  You can also put forward amendments to the Minnesota Republican party platform.

Photo Credit MinnPost


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Design to Begin on Eden Prairie Station, But SWLRT Funding in Doubt

Metro_Transit_Light_Rail.jpgIn August, the Star Tribune reported that the Eden Prairie city council had reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Council to begin the design efforts on the Town Center station on the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit (SW LRT) line.  This is the station that had been deferred two years ago when the costs of the SW LRT exceeded budget. 

Hasn’t funding for SW LRT been denied by the Minnesota legislature and dropped from the 2018 federal budget proposal?  Why are plans going forward to design a station on a light rail line that will not be built? 

It is difficult to keep score on the SW LRT.  Even if one reads the whole Star Tribune article, it is difficult to fully put it in perspective.  Let's review the bidding as we know it:

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MN Voter Fraud - Fact or Myth?

Andy Cilek, the executive director of the Minnesota Voters Alliance, recently took the Star Tribune to task on their statements dismissing potential voter fraud in Minnesota.    

Cilek pointed out that their arguments against the possibility of voter fraud need to be examined carefully because they involve several fallacies:

  • Bias of the cited source

  • Ill-defined studies

  • Use of irrelevant data

MN_Voter_Alliance_Logo.jpgOn August 12, the Star Tribune published an article about the suit that the MVA planned to file to get access to Minnesota voter registration data.  The article ended by noting critics that say “these groups are searching for solutions to a nonexistent problem.”  It cited a 2014 study that examined 1 billion votes between 2000 and 2014 and found only 31 incidents of documented fraud.

How can the study data be relevant when court records show that known voting crimes in Minnesota occur at a rate at least 1,000 times the frequency cited in the study?

There were 369 voting convictions in Minnesota between 2008 and 2014, in a period when fewer than 10 million votes were cast.  Compare that to the data cited in the study:  31 incidents of voter fraud out of 1 billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014.  The best that can be said is that the study was limited and ultimately irrelevant to the questions of voter fraud being raised by MVA in Minnesota.

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A Paved River Bottoms Trail in a Flood Plain?

small_rb_event.jpgAgainst all common sense and FEMA guidance  the MN DNR is asking for funding from the City of Bloomington and the Metropolitan Council, and preparing preliminary plans to pave 12 miles of trail, 14 feet wide, along the Minnesota River Bottoms, in a flood plain. That would require destruction of the last portion of a natural habitat that is mostly untouched. And although full funding hasn’t been secured, nor have historical, archaeology and environmental impact studies been completed, the DNR plans to start construction (i.e., habitat destruction) in 2018, per statements made by the DNR in a March 27, 2017 City Council study meeting. Bloomington did not offer funding. 

A local group “Save the River Bottoms” www.savetheriverbottoms.org is working to stop that habitat destruction, while supporting modest improvements along the current trail.

Currently a historical, natural surface, trail spans the 12 miles of Bloomington’s southern border / the river’s northern border. The path pre-dates the 1969 legislation (Minn. Stat. Section 85.015, Subd. 6 ) that designated it part of “The Minnesota Valley Trail.”  It had been used by hunters, outdoorsmen, birders, and children of the local communities.   There are now areas that have boardwalk, gravel, or woodchips but much of the path is dirt. Per Bloomington resident and trail-user Ellen Rohe, “It is maintained by a yearly sweep from the DNR to remove the big stuff but the majority of the work to keep the trail open is done by volunteers from the users of the path, with no cost to the taxpayer.”

Small_View_from_Cedar.jpgMs. Rohe further described the eastern section alongside the current trail:  “The portion in between Cedar Avenue Bridge to 35W is bluffs.  What isn’t a bluff is a marsh.  What isn’t a marsh is a swamp.”  And she also commented about the proposed paved trail:  “The DNR would be responsible for maintaining the trail.  On a flood plain.  Where it floods.  All the time.  It was flooded last fall.  Right in the spot that they are trying to put in a 14-foot-wide paved path.”

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Antifa Protesters Destroy Hennepin County Flag

Antifa members proved once again on August 14 that they are more anarchists than peaceful protesters.  Rather than make a simple statement opposing the weekend march by KKK, neo-Nazis, and far right groups in Charlottesville, VA, they blocked transportation, destroyed county property, and aggressively intimidated reporters.


These self-styled anti-fascist demonstrators started by rallying in Minneapolis in front of the MN GOP offices on Franklin Avenue.  They protested the Republican Party’s support of President Donald Trump, who they accused of supporting racist behavior. They ignored statements issued earlier by MNGOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan and Republican Congressmen condemning racial hated and bigotry.

Republicans were not the only target of the anarchists’ ire.  As reported by Alpha News, who also posted the video above, the demonstration was accompanied by chants of “Cops and the Klan go hand in hand.”

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Large Turn-out for SD 49 & 50 Family Picnic

Cropped_and_Resized_Food_Line-1.jpgOver 100 people came out for our annual picnic to enjoy great food, listen to the speeches of several candidates & talk with them informally and also to share ideas with fellow Republicans.  We were joined by

  • Governor candidates Jeff Johnson, Matt Dean, and Keith Downey’s daughter, Sarah. 
  • Attorney General candidates Harry Niska and Doug Wardlow
  • MN House Rep. Dario Anselmo and former House Rep Chad Anderson
  • MN GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan, MN GOP Secretary Barb Sutter, and National Committeewoman Janet Beihoffer
  • Bloomington City Councilor Eldon Spencer
  • Minneapolis city council candidate Fadumo Yusuf
  • Edina school board candidate Faisal Deri
  • Bloomington city council candidate Larry Frost
  • Bloomington school board candidate Beth Beebe

The Greek and Somali food items were a special treat this year.  The Gyros and tzatziki in pita pockets were very popular.  Abdi Hirsi’s Sambusas were wonderful.  Tom's Famous roasted corn on the cob lived up to its deserved reputation.  The salads and baked beans were great complements.  All topped off with watermelon, brownies, and a selection of chocolates.

Cropped_Resized_Mike_Lehmann_Stokes_the_Republican_Fires.jpgThanks go out to volunteers like Russ and Trish Burnison, Dino and Matt Balafas, Dar Gray, Tom Hulting, Wayne and Carolyn Wenger, Mary Doughty, Barb Sutter, Louis Tiggas, Rick Davies, Mike Lehmann, Beth Beebe and those selfless souls on the preparation and serving line and helping with games.  You made this picnic an outstanding success.

Our gathering was of such significance that it warranted a visit by a DFL tracker.  When the candidate speeches began, he started filming.  At that point, he was asked to leave.  While the park is a public space, we rented the  picnic pavilion and our event was not free to the public. 

See more of our picnic photos below.

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Eldon Spencer Draws on City Experience for Bloomington City Council Service

spencer_web.jpgEldon Spencer was appointed to the Bloomington City Council in March and is running for election to represent District 2 for a full four-year term.  He sat down with us to discuss his experience and his advice to others that might consider being candidates for local government office.  The following is a condensed version of that interview.

You may view the video by Clicking Here.

SD49GOP:  Eldon, tell us about your experience in being selected for the Bloomington City Council.

Eldon:  Thirteen applicants applied to fill a vacant council position.  The Council narrowed it down to four after each of the applicants had a chance to make their pitch.  After questioning each of us for a half hour, there were two rounds of votes.  They eventually chose me to finish the open term.

SD49GOP:  Have you run for office before?

Eldon:  I ran for the city council in 2001.  The primary was on 9/11/2001, a day that will be pretty hard to forget.  I immediately challenged my opponent to suspend our campaigns for a couple of weeks before resuming politics as usual.  It compressed the campaign, but I think it was the right thing to do. 

SD49GOP:  Being a councilor for a city the size of Bloomington is a very responsible position.  Tell us about your experience in city planning, operations, and oversight to be ready for the job.

Eldon:  I served on the Planning Commission for six years.  You deal with important issues, such as land use and some of the fiscal expenditures of the city.  You identify the facts that are critical in preparing a record for the City Council.  You make recommendations that they are free to accept or reject.  You get a sense of the minds of the individuals who work for the city as well as the public on various types of issues.   

One can also make a difference outside of government.  Bloomington has great service organizations and places of worship through which to affect the community and its individuals.  My Rotary Club has worked on a program called Strive at Jefferson High School that helps kids who have been underachievers but are ready to turn their lives around.  Service organizations can do many things well and very cost-effectively, saving taxpayer dollars. 

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SD49 Turned Out for Edina's July 4 Parade

Parade_pic_1.jpgJuly 4th proved to be a beautiful day for a parade in Edina.  The traditional parade celebrated veterans, local politicians, and community organizations.  Two dozen energetic members and friends of Senate District 49 represented our local Republican Party in grand style.

Vince Riehm choreographed the bearers of the SD49 banner at the front of our procession.  Carol Kerr and John Ward lent a touch of elegance to our delegation with their vintage convertibles.  Carol’s iconic inflatable elephant rode perched on her car, while Guled, Liban, and Amar Hirsi held up posters from the passenger seats of John Ward’s red Mustang.

MN Attorney General candidate Harry Niska and Congressional candidate Frank Drake joined us in our mile walk.  Adding to the high energy of our delegation, Ben Baribault drove a go-cart that he designed, built, and decorated himself.  Alex Fink joined with his decked-out scooter. 

Thanks to Nancy Carlson, Carol Kerr, and friends for hosting us to Root Beer floats and Rice Krispy bars at the conclusion of the parade.

Watch a quick video with some photo highlights 

And see More photos below

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