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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Baby, it's chili in Minneapolis

I had the pleasure of attending the SD 63 Chili Dinner last night.

Mark Kennedy (R-CD6) who is running for the Republican endorsement for Senator started the evening off with a red meat speech that got the crowd whipped up. He talked about the Presidential Line Item Veto bill (which he has sponsored in the House) and how we needed a few more "regular" guys (CPAs for example which Mark is by vocation) in the Senate and a few less lawyers. In keeping with the theme of the evening (Media Bias) he talked about all of the accomplishements that he has had in the House that do not get reported in Prairie Pravda. I've heard Mark on the stump before and while this was not his most rousing stump speech it was an appropriate start for the evening.

The guests of honor were the candidates - Vern Wilcox, David Alvarado and Ed Field. Ed's speech was highly entertaining. He did a thorough job of researching his opponent's voting record and used it to show where the two of the were different. Vern has the enjoyable track record of never loosing an election so the races will bear following.

The highlight of the evening (for me) were the featured speakers...the MOBs own Jerry Plagge (SD63 blog), Andy Aplikowski (AAA from Residual Forces and KennedyVMachine) and Mitch Berg (Shot in the Dark). Now I met Jerry and Andy before, but this was the first opportunity I had to meet Mitch, a blogger that I admire very much. It was interesting to hear what motivated Jerry and Andy to blogging (my story is similar to Andy's - I got tired of submitting letters to the Strib that were never printed). Mitch was his usual shy, reticent self. If you have never listened to the Northern Alliance Radio program on AM1280 The Patriot you don't know what you are missing. Mitch regaled the crowd with stories of how the blogosphere has already changed the course of history (the death of a thousand cuts inflicted on Mary Mapes/Dan Rather over their fake Texas ANG documents). He kept refering back to the fact that blogging is bringing the information back to the "regular schmucks". While not all bloggers are "regular schmucks" (I'm thinking the Powerline guys here) I understand what he means. Blogging gives average people with particular expertise to be able to add their expertise to a situation. It bypasses the vaunted "gatekeepers" of the mainstream media (or the downstream media as Andy called them) to get the other side of the story out!

Last (but certainly not least) to speak was Col. Joe Repya. For those that don't know Col. Repya's story, on 9/11 he was a retired military officer, on 9/12 he re-enlisted! He is back (temporarily) from Iraq and he spoke to us about what the press is not covering in the Iraq story. He told us about all of the successes that are happening every day and that we can not judge what is happening by what the press is reporting, because most of them are not even leaving the safety of the Green Zone. He spoke glowingly of ABC camerman Doug Vogt who was recently injured in Iraq as one of the few who got out to try to tell the soldiers stories and the good news in Iraq.

Kudos to Loren Klassen and Rob Hewitt (Mitch said it was good to work with a Hewitt that did not "suck all of the air out of the room" in an obvious good natured dig at AM1280 weekday host Hugh Hewitt) and the rest of the SD63 Executive Committee. It was a well run, highly entertaining. Good luck with your races. I will be following them closely on Jerry's blog!


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