20 thoughts on “Horner Optics

    1. Joe’s analysis only looks at my platform from the perspective of the left. My positions today are the same as always:
      Government needs to balance the budget; given the scope of today’s problem, that will require a mix of deep spending cuts, government redesign and tax increases.
      We need to redesign the relationship between state government and other units of government. MN won’t fare well if the state keeps handing its problems to schools, cities and counties, then vilifies them for raising property taxes and cutting services. This may be THE most critical issue of the next four years.
      Government does have a role in helping people at times in their lives when they are vulnerable, but not through the massive new social programs being proposed from the left. Gov. Pawlenty is absolutely right that the cost of public health programs is unsustainable. Everyone will have to change his or her expectations of health — We need to change how we purchase health care, what we pay for, how each of us is held accountable.
      The point is, votes for me will come from both the left and the right. The most conservative Republicans groups already are mounting the attacks both because they see in Emmer an incredibly weak candidate who can’t hold his base. There are 30 percent of Republicans — and it’s growing — who absolutely will not vote for Emmer. Those are my first votes. I win 25-30 percent of Dems — different ones depending on the outcome of the primary. That puts the election in the hands of independent voters. I’m already leading Emmer and all Democratic candidates within this constituency.
      As much as I respect Joe, I think the current analyses are missing the real lessons of recent years. The most important lesson isn’t from 2002 or 2006, but 1998 — when it’s all said and done, Ventura won only because Humphrey’s campaign coudln’t gain any traction. When Skip was falling to 28 percent, people opened to an alternative. Emmer is a 30 percent candidate — and that’s not just my assessment. That’s the assessment of MN Democrats Exposed and other wingers — if it weren’t, why would they be spending the time and energy to attack me with the vitriol they are investing?
      This is a great blog — always enjoy the comments and thoughtfulness, even when I disagree.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        And thanks much for your participation and thoughtfulness, Tom.

        My conclusion that Horner is running to the center-left is based on the fact that I consider myself center-left — I voted for a DFLer for Senate candidate in 2008, IP candidates for Governor in 2006 and 2002, and served in IP Administration the late 90s — and I agree with much of what I hear from Horner.

        But even if I am wrong about Horner’s PLATFORM being center-left, it’s hard to deny that the FRAMING of candidate Horner — through recent news coverage and conservative ads — has thus far been center-left. If that left-center framing remains as dominant in November as it is now, Emmer will be the beneficiary. No value judgement is implied here…it just is what it is.

        As for the disclosure issue, I would like to see all the candidates disclose where they are making their money. That’s relevant information for voters to have in the mix.

  1. As I’ve said before – the advent of the Independence Party in Minnesota has turned statewide races into contests of who can lose fewer votes to them. It is a fundamentally *negative* politics. Regarding Horner: Who in their right minds would vote for a lifetime PR professional for political office? Doesn’t he raise the inevitable question of who is telling him to speak now, since the only things he’s said for years are what he was PAID to say? What in the career of being a paid propagandist prepared him for public office? Oh wait – I take that back.

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    Re: “…the inevitable question of who is telling him to speak now…”


    1) Is this any different than lawyer candidates?

    2) What’s the solution? Ban PR people from politics? Disclosure? If disclosure, disclosure through media probing? Disclosure through formal regulation?

    1. What’s the solution? How about the media NOT treating PR people like they are honest purveyors information? Look at traditional media in Minnesota and how they treat people like Horner. MPR, the Strib, and TPT LOVE Horner. Here’s one suggestion: When there are political panels or coverage, how about going to new voices? How about some critical coverage of Horner – who he has been a spokesman for, who his firm represented. I’m sure you are aware of the percentage of “news” stories touched or generated by PR – something like 80 percent.

      1. Becky says:

        Maybe they “love” him because he actually answers the questions. Novel concept in politics. Very novel concept.

  3. John Edwards was a candidate who was/is a lawyer. We all knew who he represented – he told us, and he was proud of it. So it’s not like disclosure isn’t done.

  4. Kudos to the PiPress for their reporting on Horner. Here’s a story about Himle Horner representing Hospitals in their labor dispute with nurses currently going on.

    Pretty pertinent, eh? Yet – Horner didn’t tell us this – a newspaper did. Don’t you think information like that might be useful to a voter?

    So – what else is Horner hiding by refusing to release his client list. Horner actually says his firm does work for the GOVERNMENT – which he seeks to head – but he won’t say what that work is!

    It seems to me that if you like the corporatocracy and the hidden influence peddling of our current government, you’ll love Tom Horner, a professional propagandist.

    1. Actually, Horner DID tell the media that, along with representation in the past of the Vikings, the construction team on the 35W bridge and Northstar Commuter. What I’ve said all along is this: Himle Horner doesn’t lobby, and that information is easily verifiable through disclosure forms. Where there are instances of public dollars involved, that information also is publicly disclosed. Like many professional services firm, we deal with confidential information and often are asked to sign confidentiality agreements. I will abide by those, as I think most people would expect me to do. The more relevant issue, though, is my candor on policy issues — the Star Tribune’s budget article Sunday was just the latest example of how the other candidates are refusing to answer the questions that matter most to voters while I continue to provide specific answers. Frankly, I don’t care about Emmer’s clients (refused to disclose), Dayton’s trust fund receipts (haven’t seen anything there), the details of Entenza’s/Lois Quam’s stock options (I’m presuming there are no illegalities), etc. I think most Minnesotans are most interested in how the next governor will deal with the future. And, as I’ve noted many times in the past here and elsewhere (and provided detailed answers), if you have a question about my policies, one need only ask.

      1. I see very little difference between lobbying and “representation.” And – YOU told the media you were representing the hospitals versus the nurses? The PiPress story says that someone – unnamed – from the firm “confirmed” the representation. Has Himle Horner been involved in other labor disputes?

      2. For what it’s worth, that piece from the PiPress specifically says, “Horner confirmed today that his company is representing 14 hospitals in their talks with nurses.” Not an unnamed confirmer. Horner.

      3. Okay I might have got the part that Horner himself confirmed the story wrong. Apologies. That said, the story does say he confirmed the story, not that he brought it to light. And I’m still waiting for him to say what he thinks of the labor dispute between the nurses and hospitals, or if Himle Horner has been involved in other labor disputes.

  5. Joe Loveland says:

    Survey USA poll:

    Emmer 38, MAK, 36, Horner 11, Unsure 11.
    Emmer 37, Dayton 35, Horner 12, Unsure 16
    Emmer 37, Entenza 34, Horner 12, Unsure 17

    The IP candidate could easily impact a race this close.

    Margin of error +-4.5

  6. Ellen Mrja says:

    #1. Gov. Ventura won because he mobilized YOUNG voters. Didn’t happen again until Pres. Obama’s election.

    #2. Do you know of anyone organizing efforts against this defense-of-marriage group? Theirs is a policy of bigotry which is a subset of hate.
    I’d like to do something to work agaInst their efforts and on behalf of equality for all.

    So, if any of you guys know who a “go to” person would be, please let me know. Thanks.

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