Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rambling on last night's 3rd CD Debate

Went to the 3rd CD Debate between Erik Paulsen, David Dillion and Ashwin Madia at Bet Shalom in Minnetonka. Overall the debate was a re-hash of the previous ones with a bit of abortion thrown in along with some "we must regulate Wall Street" talk from Madia and Dillion. Dillion continues to be funny and engaging. Erik continues to be knowledgeable on the issues and strong in his viewpoints- happy to hear him soundly reject any "cap and trade" legislation in regards to Climate Change- Dillion and Madia both called for it even in light of the certain economic downturn we are facing.

When I got home and started to type up something for this blog, I put on the the Reagan biography on PBS. There was some irony as they played the Gipper saying this line (from his 1980 Republican nomination acceptance speech):

The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership --i n the White House and in Congress -- for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us. They tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.
My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view.

Ashwin Madia is all about telling us we need to sacrifice more. Although he certainly sacrificed during his 6 months in Iraq as a lawyer in the Marines, I can't really see how he's sacrificed at any other time. His life story is a good one, he's had every opportunity that this great country has to offer. He- just like Obama- has had educational advantages that many in this country dream of. Heck, he's unemployed and running for Congress- sounds like a good life to me. But Madia still thinks that sacrifice is necessary- for some. He follows the Biden logic that paying more taxes is patriotic and if you question raising taxes in a time of economic slowdown, then you're unpatriotic. He uses his military service to do this.

His best line of the night? "Hey, I could use a tax cut myself."

But Ashwin you DON'T WORK and you haven't worked for ONE YEAR now. What kind of tax cut would you like exactly? He also was introduced last night as having "come back to work for Robbins Kaplan Miller & Ceresi"-- conveniently leaving out the fact he only worked there for one year and is currently unemployed. He continues to mislead people about his employment. Why?

I grow really tired of people explaining why certain families need to pay more taxes, when they pay none themselves. I grow tired of the assumption that some aren't paying their fair share, when they're paying almost the entire share and 40%+ of their income in taxes. I grow tired of the lectures on sacrifice by Democrats like Obama and Madia which assume Americans haven't sacrificed by the choices they've made in their own lives to achieve success that EVERY American can achieve. Madia believes the same thing that all liberals do- that equal opportunity isn't good enough - that the government must ensure equal outcomes and it's their job to level the playing field.

Mr. Madia won't file a Federal Income Tax return for 2008, he won't file a Minnesota State Income Tax Return for 2008 and he won't pay any property taxes for 2008 (in fact he's never paid a property tax bill in his life). He's unemployed which raises the question...who's paying his rent? He's not married-- so are mommy and daddy paying his rent? How about utilities, gas and groceries? Did he magically save enough money in your ONE year of employment to pay for the last 12 months since he's been unemployed? Really, how does this work? And he wants to represent the families of the 3rd CD? I don't think so.

I got out of there quick and didn't stay around for the reception- but I finally accomplished an answer (well sort of answer) to my long-time, simple question of the Madia campaign: What month and year did Ashwin move to his 58th Ave Plymouth apartment? Meaning-When did he move to the district? I chatted with his Policy Director after the debate and although he couldn't/wouldn't answer the question directly he said "yeah that sounds right", when I offered October 2007. So Madia quit his job and moved to the 3rd less than 12 months ago.

What a knave.


MinnVoter said...

You seem to be stunned that Madia has savings. Remember, he was employed by the U.S. Marine Corps for four years before he went to work at a law firm.

Why is it so hard to believe that he would have saved money in the Marine Corps, and then saved some of the huge salary he must have received at the law firm, and that he's living off of those savings?

As you said so insistently, he doesn't have any dependents, so it would have been easy to save that money. And you listed his address- those apartments are cheap.

As for his tax cut line, obviously he was referring to when he is either employed as a Congressman (making $169,000/year) or back as an attorney in private practice (making solid six figures given his experience level).

Regarding his ties to the district, you ignore the fact that he went to Osseo Senior High.

Also, what job do you have? You go on and on about Madia's employment status, but as best I can tell, you're not employed, either. Which is fine--motherhood is a full-time occupation. (Probably full-time-and-a-half.) But so is being a top-notch Congressional candidate. So maybe watch out for the pot-calling-the-kettle-black.

Sheila said...

Uh-huh--- OK

Mary said...

The material point here is that the man is NOT WORKING RIGHT NOW and, just wondering--when did he get that last paycheck? If he isn't working, he's not paying income taxes. So why does he need a tax break? He just said it to be funny.

As far as "what job do you have?" what a ridiculous question. Yes, motherhood is a FT job but it doesn't erase 15 years in the corporate workforce paying "into the system." Or in the case of my sister Sheila--working 20+ hours a week as a 14 year old to pay for her own clothing and incidentals and working three jobs while attending college FT so she could pay her tuition. Not to mention her years in sales supporting her husband through medical school. When you start paying taxes as a teenager, it gives you the right to have an opinion. Barack Obama WORKED in Chicago...as a community organizer, attorney,senator. The man knows what it's like to work consistently for years and years. How the hell else would he be able to ramp up to meet the demands of
higher office?

I have a real problem with people (especially able-bodied men) not working. My husband is up at 5:30 am every morning in his Army PT clothes so he can put in an extra hour running around the armory before he starts his day at 7:30 am. It's called having a work ethic.

Sounds like this guy will fit in great in Washington. Hauling in $169,000 a year for doing as little as possible. Which is what he seems to enjoy doing based on the fact that the man has no job...and doesn't see being employed as an attractive trait to Minnesota voters.

munchkinmom said...

How silly. Madia had a great job at a major law firm that he willingly gave up so that he could pursue the congressional seat full time. The firm where he worked has publicly stated he could come back anytime he wanted, and members of that firm have endorsed and donated to his campaign.

You both are picking scabs here.

I challenge you to go and meet the Madia family. As immigrants, they have worked hard to achieve the American Dream. Those parents have promoted higher education in their children, a sense of duty and responsibility and a love of this country. Ashwin is a lawyer and his brother is studying medicine. They are really good people and I am proud to know them.

I do not mind when you want to disagree about issues, but when you start to go after someone's character it is wrong.

Why wouldn't you want a young, energetic, highly motivated, hard working person to become your congressional representative? And by the way, Ramstad was not married for most of his career, and you never complained about that. And now that he is a newlywed, guess what-- he's retiring to spend more time with his new wife.

Sheila said...

She's picking at his WORK ethic- I'm picking at his character which PURPOSELY misleads people on his literature saying he's "Currently an Attorney"-- that is a LIE and you're admitting that's a lie.

Do you really need to quit working for a YEAR to run for Congress?

I don't need to meet him- I know a lot of people just like him. (Actually I think I may have met him once, he was MSA President a couple years after I was at the U)-- They have successful parents who subsidize their children at age 30- I know A LOT of people like that.

Munchkin mom- can you answer one question- since you know him so well- Who pays his rent- and do his parent's lease his apartment?

munchkinmom said...

He leased his own apartment, and he pays his own rent with money he saved while working at Robins, Kaplan and Cerisi.

As for character, I would stand him up against Paulsen any day. He doesn't come from rich parents, he comes from immigrants who have worked hard to make a life for themselves and raise their children. Madia is still paying off his own student loans.

His work ethic is better than most-- he puts in 20 hour days, and I would think being a Marine was a bit more difficult that a mid level analyst at Target.

How prejudicial to say you know him because you know his type. I know his type too-- I am the wife of a long time Veteran and I know the sacrifice of service to country.

Once a Marine, always a Marine. Ask T Boone Pickens. That's one of his quotes.

Mary said...

"Gave Up"
"Come back anytime he wanted"

So, not only is he not working, he COULD be working but chooses not to?

With his military experience and law degree he really should just bite the bullet and work so that people don't question his work ethic. It's just reality that a person's work ethic is judged by their current situation, not by their past accomplishments (or riding on the coat tails of his parent's story).

But alas, I suppose it's more fun to campaign full time than work the 80-100 hour grueling work week of an associate-level attorney.

So, now that we know he isn't working by choice, let's hold your own words up and see how they sound:

"energetic, highly motivated, hard working person"

How highly-motivated and hard-working is he considering the fact that he is (by choice) unemployed?

West Metro Dem said...

I wonder why you are so bitter that Madia worked hard and saved to strive for a dream of winning this congressional seat? Have you never had a dream that you worked hard for and then went for it? If not, I'm sorry for you. I know many people (mostly entrepreneurs) who work hard, save hard and then quit their jobs to open their own businesses. It's much like running for office. You put in 20 hours a day working toward a goal.

I'd much prefer someone who wants something and is willing to sacrifice for it than someone who just needs another job and wants an upgrade.

West Metro Dem said...

One recurring point with GOP bloggers is "he moved back to the district last year" as if he had no ties to the district prior to that. I don't know you so I don't know how old your children are but I have kids out of college. That being said, my kids haven't "lived" here for years but this is still their home. They come home all the time, keep in touch with friends, keep up with what is going on while they were attending college out of EP.

Are you telling me that a child of yours would not be "eligible" in your mind to run for office in EP if that child hadn't lived here for x years previously? What is the limit? Isn't it good enough to grow up here, attend high school here, live here (officially) while attending college (dorm life isn't really "home") and then leave the state and country while serving in the US military before coming back to the area to get a job and finally moving back into your home district? Madia's parents have not moved from him. His mother works in this area. His father is a college professor here. They own a home in Plymouth and have for years. That's his home base. Madia is an adult and leases an apartment in Plymouth where he resides.

I guess as a parent of grown children I see nothing wrong at all with how he has conducted his life. It's quite admirable and would make any mother proud. Being a US Marine for 4 years and well educated is not something to sneeze at.

Mary said...

"I wonder why you are so bitter that Madia worked hard and saved to strive for a dream of winning this congressional seat? Have you never had a dream that you worked hard for and then went for it? If not, I'm sorry for you."

I feel better knowing that somebody out there understands me. And while most liberals use the "I'm sorry for you," line to make people defensive and angry, I get the feeling, West Metro Dem, that you are different. That you really care about me. Thanks for that.

You're right. I have never worked hard or strived for a dream and that's why I'm bitter. THAT'S why!

Starting today, I'm going for my dreams. And if I work hard--maybe, just maybe I can star in CATs. I've never really told anybody that! God, it feels kind of good. I never wanted people to know that that was my dream.

But is it too late? Is CATs still running on Broadway? Oh well, I'll find something else. Maybe I'll write my own damn musical about DOGs.

Thank so much, West Metro Dem. Thank you SO much. All those years of therapy and I find my answer on a blog.

God, I'm sorry. I'm crying now. The tears...they are so healing. All these years of wasted times and wasted dreams. I need to go. I need to start TODAY. I need to work on myself right now. I'm going to quit my job today and focus full-time on my dream. And when it happens (and it will), I will find you, West Metro Dem, and thank you in person!

Sheila said...

To answer your questions- my daughters are 3- and yes I'm most certainly telling you that I'd laugh at them if they thought they could run for office after not living here for 12 years. I'd tell them to get involved, learn about the place they want to represent. I tell this to every candidate I talk to- there's something really wrong if you'e never written a letter to the editor or shown up at a local meeting, etc.

I'm from Lakeville- lived there from age 8 to age 18. My parents have lived there for 27 years- it's not my home- home is where I'm living. My home now is Eden Prairie. I visit my parents in Lakeville a lot- but I don't think that qualifies me to run for their Congresssional seat. I'd say 5 years is my idea of how long you should live and pay taxes somewhere before you run. You can get away with this in NY- not MN.

Madia did not "grow up" in Osseo- or in MN- he went to HS for 2 years in Osseo and lived on campus at the U (as did I). Then he moved to NY for Law School and onto the Marines. He moved back to MN 2 years ago and lived in Minneapolis. When Ramstad announced his retirement, he immediately quit his job and moved to Lancaster Lane in Plymouth. (although I still can't confirm the actual month and date- best guess is October of last year)-- so he's lived in the district for LESS than 1 year. He had his mail delivered to his parents house- that doesn't mean he lived there.

Madia has never paid a property tax bill, doesn't own a car and won't file an income tax return for 2008- at age 32 years old. He doesn't represent the families of the 3rd CD in my humble opinion. He's opportunistic and smart...Terri Bonoff would have been a much more authentic candidate and even though I disagree with her politics, I have a baseline respect for the fact that she lived, worked and was actively involved her in the community that she represents.

Sheila said...

Memories- all alone in the moonlight! Ah, "Cats"

Personally my dream was to star in "Annie"- do you think they'll take 35-year-olds? Maybe I can be Mrs. Hannigan.

West Metro Dem said...

Thanks for your response. I respect your opinion but disagree heartily. We'll just have to agree to disagree. Maybe when your children grow up and use your home as their "base", you'll see things differently. Maybe you won't. I know that growing up in a military household as an army brat that I never had a home base until we had children and moved to Eden Prairie. Our kids grew up knowing that no matter where they roamed, they could always come home and this is their home base.

One note....Madia just turned 30. He's not 32. His birthday was this spring. As to Bonoff, we'll definitely have to disagree with that one.

Sheila said...

I grew up differently- we were out at 18- do not pass go, do not come back to live at home (unless it was during the summers which I opted not to because I had no car and needed to live closer to the city to work).

My sister (the beloved Mary here) even tried to move home after living in NY for 2 years with a lot of debt- my parents made her pay rent.

My children will be raised the same way.

Thanks on the correction on Madia's age. I'll posting more about your man soon.

liz said...

While I enjoyed the 14 comments to this post, I'd like to visit a material point. The difference between the blogger's (Sheila) current "unemployment" and Madia's, is that one is being completely overt in stating she does not have a job outside the home, the other, the candidate, is misleading voters, by stating in his campaign literature he is currently employed by a law firm.