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Published November 03, 2008, 12:00 AM

Vote Smart tests politicians’ patience

Project Vote Smart is disappointed that neither of North Dakota’s congressional candidates, Earl Pomeroy and Duane Sand, answered questions for posting on the Project Vote Smart Web site.

By: Janell Cole and Don Davis, None

Project Vote Smart is disappointed that neither of North Dakota’s congressional candidates, Earl Pomeroy and Duane Sand, answered questions for posting on the Project Vote Smart Web site.

Project Vote Smart, a non-partisan group, calls its questionnaire a “Political Courage Test.” North Dakota politicians have called the questionnaires a lot of other things over the years, including “constant harassment.”

Only 22 percent of North Dakota’s state legislative candidates cooperated, Project Vote Smart said.

Delta questions

Minnesota political leaders continue to wonder how Delta Air Lines’ takeover of Northwest Airlines will affect the state.

They have discussed the situation for much of the year, and held hearings during the legislative session. Now that the deal is sealed, Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, will hold a Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs Committee meeting on Nov. 13 to look into the situation.

On his weekly radio show this past Friday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said some state officials are considering whether the millions of dollars in bonds the state issued to help Northwest in the past could be called in immediately. He said the money would be paid to bond holders, not the state.

Schafer criticizes McCain’s ag policies

Renewable Fuels Association blogger Cindy Zimmerman wrote that she recently asked Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer what he would say to Sen. John McCain about McCain’s farm policy in general and ethanol in particular.

The answer she got was, “What I would say to Sen. McCain is this: ‘You’re flat-out wrong about your agriculture policy.’ ”

Obama nice?

The headline attracted a Minnesotan’s attention: “Friendliest state keen on Obama.”

What other state would The Australian, an online newspaper from down under, be talking about?

“Minnesota, in the frozen north, has long been a state unlike any other,” wrote the newspaper’s Los Angeles reporter, Robert Lusetich. “It’s without doubt the most hospitable and friendly U.S. state.”

The story goes on to show how Republicans began to make gains in the state in recent years.

“But in just one of the many miscues that have cursed the (John) McCain campaign, Pawlenty was overlooked in favor of the shock value of Sarah Palin, and the nose-diving economy has now almost guaranteed that Barack Obama will be the ninth straight Democratic presidential candidate to win Minnesota,” Lusetich wrote.

Comedy Central ribs ND voters

Bloggers on Comedy Central’s “Indecision 2008” Web site have been analyzing presidential race swing states and included North Dakota in a recent posting. Among the silliness, it says North Dakota’s key players include: “Gov. John Hoeven, known as the Charlemagne of North Dakota.”

It says Obama’s constituency in North Dakota includes “the state’s proud Socialist community,” and links to an Institute for Regional Studies’ photo of a 1910 socialists’ convention in Minot.

The bloggers say John McCain’s constituency consists of “Enough Palin-crazed hockey moms to fill The Ralph” and “the staff at the Dakota Dinosaur Museum (in Dickinson), who would be thrilled if one of their exhibits was elected president.”

Savior again

The 2008 election is not even history yet, but perennial losing candidate Ole Savior has established a campaign committee for Minnesota’s 2010 governor’s race.

Savior, who has run for a variety of offices and generally collects few votes, again is running as a Democratic-Farmer-Laborite.

Davis and Cole work for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Forum.

Davis can be reached at (651) 290-0707

or ddavis@forumcomm.com. Cole can be reached at (701) 224-0830

or forumcap@btinet.net

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