Archive - June 2013

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Monday Morning Quarterback – 6/24/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: June 25th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications. Connor is 5! A special happy birthday to my oldest son Connor John Rouen who turns 5 today. How to Make BBQ Ribs at Home Thanks to APs Brian Baskt for sharing this story.  I think this will be worth a try this week. (Read) RIP Tony Sorprano Actor James Gandolfini died Wednesday in Italy.  Here is a list of the some of his most memorable lines.  (Read) Campaign Update Latest news from the Trail: Kurt Zellers to Take On Mark Dayton Via Star Tribune: "Attacking Gov. Mark Dayton for “super-sizing” government, former Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers said Sunday he will challenge the incumbent Democrat in next year’s election. Standing on a neighbor’s front lawn in Maple Grove, Rep. Zellers attacked the $2 billion tax increase Dayton signed into law, and took credit for stopping Dayton’s initial tax hike proposal. “State government takes too much, spends too much and sure wastes too much,” Zellers told a handful of reporters and dozens of neighbors, friends and family members. With a green ash tree and sunny blue sky above him and his wife and young children a few steps behind, Zellers said he would focus on small business needs and seek “a renewal of personal opportunity, educational opportunity and entrepreneurial opportunity” to help middle class families like his own...(More) New Video Zellers also released a powerful new web video, touting his leadership in contrast with Governor Dayton. (Watch) Best Quote: AP's Pat Condon: "Kurt Zellers, Minnesota's most recent Republican House speaker, joined the race for governorSunday, saying he would bring a middle-class family man's sensibility to the job. "I think I'm every Minnesotan. I'm a dad who likes to go watch his kid play hockey," said Zellers, who held his campaign's kick-off event in his hometown of Maple Grove. He said as governor he would focus on giving Minnesotans more confidence their tax dollars are being well-spent, and reducing their tax burdens." (More) Worth A Read Life After Congress: Roll Call has a great piece on my former boss and truly great person Senator Rod Grams.  Please take a moment to read this: "Though he’s a long time gone from the political fray, former Sen. Rod Grams keeps a close watch on the goings-on in Washington from his place on the family farm and the familiar confines of the media world he was in before being elected to Congress.  A Minnesota native, Grams grew up on the same farm his father was born and raised on. He came to Capitol Hill as a Republican member of the House in 1993, and after serving one term he was elected to the Senate, where he served until 2001...(Read) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: $53,769 If you are reading this, that is your share of the national debt. 23 Number of minutes it took daredevil Nik Wallenda to cross the Grand Canyon on a tight rope. (Watch) 46 Number of hours without power 22 Reasons MN is a great place for summer (read)

Monday Morning Quarterback – 6/17/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: June 20th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications. A Final Toast:Air Force General Dennis Schulstad passed along this story.  I have to admit I had heard very little about The Doolittle Raiders, but their story is certainly one every American should know and appreciate: "They once were among the most revered men in the United States. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation's history. The mere mention of their unit's name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans."  Find out there story and the amazing final toast that will happen later this year (read) Why Summer Birthdays Are The Worst Next Monday we will celebrate Connor's fifth birthday.  In doing a little birthday research I found this humorous story on summer birthdays.  (Read) $560,000 Parking Spots If you thought parking Downtown Minneapolis is expensive find out where and why someone would pay $560,000 for 2 parking spots. (Watch) Campaign Update Latest news from the Trail: SOS Three Democrat Secretary of State hopefuls were on Almanac.  Find out who they are and what they had to say.  (Watch) How About A Beer? That is what Jake Leinenkugel said to Rep. Kurt Zellers and his wife this weekend: "What started with an unintentional insult in an official public setting endedSaturday with laughs, hugs and Leinie’s, and a pledge to meet again in a couple of months on Zellers’ home turf. “It was nice that it worked out, and I’ll have to reciprocate at the Minnesota State Fair this fall,” said Jake Leinenkugel. “Minnesota has been very good to us, and I look at us as being sister states.”...(more beer) Slow Jam The News: So what is Slow Jamming the News and why is Gov. Chris Christie doing it on TV? (Watch) Minneapolis Mayors Race is Wide Open: After the DFL failed to endorse a candidate at Saturday's convention, the race to replace R.T. Rybak remains wide open: "All six DFL candidates who began the day with endorsement dreams now remain in the race, as well as several others hoping to strike gold in the Nov. 5 ranked-choice voting election. No primary will precede the general election..." (More) Worth A Read Education Minnesota Blocking Meaningful Reforms: In a hard hitting counterpoint article in the Star Tribune Gary Marvin Davison has some harsh words for Education Minnesota and those claiming the 2013 session as the "education session:" "With Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius as its agents, Education Minnesota has been hugely successful in disassembling the previous system of school accountability. Cassellius sought waivers from requirements that were effectively identifying failing schools, oversaw the establishment of a murky new system to measure school performance, and prevailed upon the 2013 Legislature to eliminate the grade 9 writing and grade 10 reading tests as graduation requirements. Thus we enter a fantasy world constructed for us by Education Minnesota. We are asked to trust that teachers who so far have been unable to prepare properly children of color and children of poverty for simple grade level performance will now — functioning under a hazier accountability system — be more successful in preparing students for the much more difficult ACT test measuring readiness for college..." (More) How Much Does A Decent Press Release Cost? Interesting piece on how much a "press release" has changed in just a few short years: "The requirements for a press release have changed since 2007, when Business Wire estimated a good press release would run $5,000, Fred Godlash writes. “The biggest change, in just 6 years, is the focus from pitching to media outlets to making a press release that is written for everybody.”(More) Sign of the Times: Interesting piece, from National Public Radio on partisanship and how it effects and clouds attitudes: "Sign of the times: A recent study found that people are more likely to have hostile feelings toward people of another political party than members of another race...(Read) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 57% Percentage of MN that support the NSA program of monitoring phone calls, websites and more. 43% President Obama's job approval in MN (down from record high of 62%) 6 Number of times Phil Michelson has finished 2nd at the US Open 575 Average number of weekly MMQ subscribers.  Please take a few seconds and forward this to a friend or colleague you think would enjoy the MMQ. Have a great week!

Monday Morning Quarterback – 6/10/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: June 11th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications. Cigars and Baseball: MMQ friend Kirk Detlefsen hosts his annual Cigars and Baseball fundraiser for the Miracle League this Thursday.  This is a great event and includes cigars, drinks and a ticket to watch the Twins beat the Phillies.  Come out and enjoy some great tailgate action, it is supposed to be 80 and sunny. (details) Tough Week for Politicians but a Great Week For Late Night Comedians: While many of the political scandals are nothing to laugh at, Comedian Jay Leno has some pretty good lines in this clip: (Watch) Cartoons I admit I still like cartoons, especially political ones.  Here is a look at the best editorial cartoons of 2013 so far:(Look) MMQ Live I will be on the legislative wrap up panel this Friday at the TwinWest Chamber legislative breakfast.  Please join me and others as we take a final look at the 2013 legislative session. (Details) SOS Three Republican Secretary of State hopefuls were on Almanac.  Find out who they are and what they had to say.  (Watch) Campaign Update Latest news from the Trail: Emmer In, Any one else? This week Tom Emmer entered the race for Congress in the 6th Congressional District.  So far he is the only candidate to announce. Stewart Mills to Run For Congress in MN 8? Mills Fleet Farm executive Stewart Mills is considering a run for Congress against Rep. Rick Nolan. Stewart Mills released this video letter to Senators Franken, Klobachar and Rep. Rick Nolan earlier this year on gun control.  The video went viral and has over 270,000 views. (Watch).  Now Mills tells the Brainerd Dispatch that he is seriously considering entering the race for Congress.  (Read)
Surveillance With all of the talk on the surveillance issues/scandal, here are a few articles on the subject.Surveillance Program Explained: The Wall Street Journal has a quick video that explains the details behind the surveillance program.  You can get up to speed in just 2 minutes (Watch) NSA: Finders and Keepers of Countless Secrets: The Associated Press wrote a story on the role NSA plays in intelligence gathering and surveillance: "According to its website, NSA is not allowed to spy on Americans. It is supposed to use its formidable technology to "gather information that America's adversaries wish to keep secret," and to "protect America's vital national security information and systems from theft or damage by others," as well as enabling "network warfare, a military operation," that includes offensive cyberoperations against U.S. adversaries..."(More)
Boundless Informant: The UK newspaper The Guardian broke the story on the surveillance program.  This is the article that started it all and details the entire program including documents and maps. (Read) WORTH A READ
Here are a few of our favorite articles and commentaries from the past week:As Minnesota Scrambles to Educate More High-Needs Students, Teachers Say the Job is Increasingly Dangerous: The Star Tribune has an interesting article about the rise of high-needs students and the shortage of teachers willing or able to help them: "The number of special education students in the state has increased by 10 percent in the last five years, and many of them have acute conditions that were once addressed outside of classroom settings. But as schools scramble to meet their needs, the number of licensed special education teachers in Minnesota is in sharp decline, dropping by almost 10 percent over the same time frame..." (Read) Red vs. Blue State: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Jim Ragsdale of the Star Tribune looks at the sharp contrast in Republican dominated Wisconsin and Democrat dominated Minnesota. (Read) Congratulations: Congrats to Jan Unstad on her new role with Citizens League. (Read) By The Numbers
7.5: Number of Games the Twins are behind Division leader Detroit8: Number of French Open titles Rafael Nadal has won. Presidential Job Approval Approval 47.3 Dissaproval 47.4 (RCP Average)
Have a great week!
To learn more about the how The Rouen Group can help grow your organizations grassroots program please call Noah at 612-419-6909.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 6/3/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: June 4th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications. FORE: Good luck to all those playing in the Minnesota Chamber, St. Paul Chamber and Rep. Kurt Daudt golf events today.  I guess the clairvoyant organizers knew June 3rd would be one of 2 sunny days in the month of June.  If you need some more opportunities to golf I hope to see you tomorrow at the Minnesota Retailers event or June 10th at the Hospitality Minnesota event. Why Pearl Jam owes it all to Mookie Blaylock: Maybe I am the last one to hear this story of NBA all-star Mookie Blaylock and Pearl Jam, but I will share it anyway.  (Read) Campaign Update Latest news from the Trail: Bachmann out, Graves out, Every Republican In: If you were out of town, out of pocket or simply taking a break from politics last week, you missed Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's announcement the she will not seek another term in Congress (watch).  Her announcement prompted her DFL opponent Jim Graves to also leave the race (Read).  The announcement also lead to a series of Republicans considering entering the race. Could A Democrat Ever Win MN 6th Congressional District? The reason the field of GOP candidates will be large is the 6th District is the most Republican friendly district in Minnesota.  Minnpost's Erik Black takes a deeper look at the district and asks if a Democrat could win.  It is an interesting read.  (Read) McFadden Joins US Senate Race Against Franken On the same day Republican's lost their candidate for congress (Bachmann) they picked up a formidable candidate for US Senate, business leader Mike McFadden joined the race against Sen. Al Franken. (Read)
Here are a few of our favorite articles and commentaries from the past week: 40% of Mothers are Now Primary "Breadwinners": This is a fascinating article and new poll by Pew Research: "In a trend accelerated by the recent recession and an increase in births to single mothers, nearly four in 10 families with children under the age of 18 are now headed by women who are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families, according to areport released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.  The report reveals a sweeping change in traditional gender roles and family life over a few short decades: The share of married mothers who out-earn their husbands has nearly quadrupled, from 4 percent in 1960 to 15 percent in 2011. The share of single mothers who are sole providers for their families has tripled, from 7 to 25 percent over the same period..." (Read) An Antidote to Cynicism Poising Peggy Noonan has a good piece in The Wall Street Journal on the IRS targeting conservative groups: "Those who aren't deeply distressed about the IRS suffer from a reluctance or inability to make distinctions, and a lack of civic imagination...It is considered a bit of a faux pas to point this out, but what we are talking about in part is a Democratic president, a largely Democratic professional administrative class in Washington, and an IRS whose workers belong to a union whose political action committee gave roughly 95% of its political contributions last year to Democrats..." (Read) Pre K and All Day K: As a parent of 2 kids under 5 years old I thought the article from the Pioneer Press on All Day Kindergarten was interesting: "The number of Minnesota kindergartners is growing, and about 3,700 more students are expected by the end of the decade, according to the latest U.S. census data. The number of students in public preschool is growing at a quicker pace, increasing by nearly 50 percent in the last decade, department of education data shows. Those students are significantly more diverse than their predecessors and often come from homes where English is not the native language. The fact that poverty is growing, particularly among children, also will be an issue..."(Read) MN Jobs Coalition Poll: The Minnesota Jobs Coalition released a poll last week showing dwindling numbers for Governor Mark Dayton and DFL legislators.  This comes on the heals of the PPP poll 2 weeks ago that showed a 12 point drop in Governor Dayton's approval rating.  (Read) By The Numbers A latest look at the poll numbers:
Married: From the Pew Research Report Average income of Married Mom Breadwinners: $80,000 Average income of Single Mom Breadwinners: $23,000 Dayton Re-election Deserves Reelection 41% Someone New 47% Not Sure 11% (Harper Polling) Should We Raise Legislative Pay Yes: 4% No: 89% Not Sure: 7% (Harper Poling) 14:  Number of possible GOPers running in CD 6 according to various sources
Have a great week!
To learn more about the how The Rouen Group can help grow your organizations grassroots program please call Noah at 612-419-6909.
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