TakeAction Minnesota’s manipulations

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Jason Lewis isn’t your typical politician. First, he isn’t afraid to highlight other people’s bad behavior. When TakeAction Minnesota, aka TAM, sent protesters to his house, Lewis replied, saying “They don’t want dialogue or to let other constituents speak, they want to turn them into a spectacle. I have responsibility to represent all my constituents. I don’t have to hold a spectacle for my partisan political opponents.”

TakeAction Minnesota wasn’t established to bring civic-minded people together. It was put together by hyperpartisan progressives to shout down conservatives and criticize center-right policies. Listening isn’t TAM’s strong suit. Keeping an open mind isn’t, either. People that insist that organizations like TAM and MoveOn.org are just interested in speaking to their congressman or senators are lying. More often than not, the goal is to produce videos that go viral.

Ask yourself this: would you attend a townhall meeting if you knew partisan activists wanted to use the meetings to create campaign ads? I definitely wouldn’t participate in such a kangaroo court. CBS reported that lines extended out of the meeting hall and into the parking lot:

That doesn’t sound like a grassroots event. That sounds like a partisan ambush. Before you think that’s unprecedented, think again:

Dear Reps. Benson, Ruud, Winkler, Peterson and Simon and Sens. Bonoff, Rest and Pappas,
Thank you for participating in the Plymouth town hall meeting this Thursday. I anticipate there will be additional members participating but have so far not yet been notified. Meeting details are listed below and directions from the Capitol are attached.

Plymouth Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 26 7:00 pm
Plymouth City Hall
3400 Plymouth Blvd.

I have also attached the list of people who have signed up to testify as of 9 a.m. this morning. Because we will be meeting for approximately 2 hrs., we will not be able to hear from everyone. (140 have submitted their names.) We will be limiting testimony to 2 minutes and encouraging individuals to submit their comments in writing or online. If there are any individuals listed who you think would provide particularly compelling testimony, please let me know. We will be working to hear from a variety of individuals covering a wide range of topics. Please contact me with any additional questions or suggestions.

Then there’s this:

From: Gene Pelowski [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:13 AM

We would ask you to focus your comments on the impact of the Governor’s budget including what is the harm to your area of government or program. Please be as precise as possible using facts such as number of lay offs, increases in property taxes, cuts in services, increases in tuition, elimination of programs.

In other words, the DFL is skilled at manipulating the media to achieve its political goals. If that means picking only the saddest stories to make it sound like there’s a crisis, that’s what they’ll do. Throughout the years, the DFL have been firm believers in Rahm Emanuel’s saying:

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

TakeAction Minnesota is an extremist organization. I applaud Jason Lewis for not participating in their manipulations.