41 thoughts on “Tom Horner: The Anti-Ventura

  1. Newt says:

    Horner is banking that he can offend 66% of the public (DFL-GOP) to win 34% of the Mushy Middle.

    The poor guy would get trampled by the legislature.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      I agree that he’ll have a tough go with the Legislature.

      Do you think Emmer or Dayton will have it easy with the Legislature?

      1. Colin says:

        Actually, much of the DFL legislature respects Mr. Dayton. Dayton is more conservative than some on gun policy and more progressive than some on tax policy, but they will generally support him or ask him to moderate demands. Dayton will catch GOP votes if his policy aims meet the aims of the few libertarian-leaning members who weren’t eradicated along with the Override Six. Ironically, Emmer would have personality conflicts with Seifert supporters in his own caucus after the witch hunt he staged a couple years ago.

        Most legislators aren’t very impressed with Horner because they know he’s a PR flack for the same special interest groups that hound them for stadiums and subsidies.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Rob, I understand how the Republican thing would be concerning to you. Help me understand what worries you about his PR background.

      1. What does he REALLY believe in? The dust-up at the U over the river film brings this all to a head. He refuses to say who his clients were. His real constituency are the corporate clients and rich friends he’s cultivated for decades. Who are they? What do they want? I’m afraid if he’s elected we’ll find out soon enough. Already he wants a publicly financed Vikings stadium, and, what do you know, they were his clients! If this isn’t true why doesn’t he said who paid him to say things for them? From the looks of things, he and his buddies rigged the process for picking a building for the new I35 bridge.

      2. Newt says:

        You can bet his clients are 3M and Koch Refineries – and I am just fine with that – but he’s afraid of taking enemy fire from the far left.

      3. Colin says:

        No company in America has political activities that disturb me more than Koch Industries. They almost singlehandedly finance the Tea Party, which is merely a rehash of David Koch’s John Birch Society. They finance most pollution and climate denial along with other oil companies.

  2. Dennis Lang says:

    Hmm…I wonder if this candidates’ background instantly marks him as more disingenuous and slick, with more hands in his pocket than other candidates for political office. Also, I’m not sure about this but I think his concept of “public funding” requires considerable–and unlikely 400 million–ownership funding.

    1. That leaves $400 million to $500 million public funding. It’s a guns-or-butter type thing. He won’t pay the schools the $1.4 billion they’re owed by the state, but WILL give this money to his clients, the Vikings. And to answer your first question, yes, it does mark him as more disingenuous and slick.

      1. Dennis Lang says:

        I hear you but we could question whether Horner supports a stadium subsidy– his proposal already virtually unachievable–because of his “client” or to do otherwise might be political suicide.

  3. Mike Kennedy says:

    What? A politician who is disingenuous AND slick?

    Why, I’ve never heard of such characteristics in a politician. All the ones I have ever come into contact with are totally honest, stick to doing what they say and are not in the least bit rehearsed or “slick.”

    Perish the thought.

  4. Mike Kennedy says:


    It’s not your question I’m being sarcastic about — it’s Rob’s response.

    Look, measuring degrees of being disingenuous or being “slick” is next to impossible. My point was that I think we can agree that nearly all politicians possess these unsavory characteristics.

    How does Rob inherently know that Horner is more this or that than the other candidates? Does he read minds? Did he do a Vulcan mind meld with Horner and see what is in his cranium?

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      It’s a cop-out to say that all politicians are disingenuous and slick, and therefore any concerns about relative honesty and sincerity are ridicule-worthy.

      First, the premise “they’re all disingenous and slick” is simplistic and inaccurate. Some people in public life are slick and disingenuous, and some aren’t. Moreover, there are degrees of difference, and our job in the democracy is to sniff out the differences.

      The “they all suck” attitude drives me nuts, because it removes all accountability to do homework and come to the best possible decision.

      It’s a bit like saying all financial planners are moronic, unethical shysters too stupid or greedy to help clients. Just because that is true of many, it doesn’t make it true of all. And if I do accept that blanket condemnation as gospel because it always gets snickers and nodding heads, it kills my ability to find the best available financial planning. Same with politics.

    2. Dennis Lang says:

      Got it MK–But is it an unfair stereotype to categorize Tom Horner with those whose profession is in fact to “spin” messages and to know precisley the clients for whom they were spun.

  5. Mike Kennedy says:

    Okay. You guys all missed the point. Perhaps it was too “nuanced.”

    Joe, this whole thing was sarcasm. Of course not all politicians are phony. Some really believe what they say and have good intentions out of the gate.

    My point — and I should have probably stated it — is that it has become a cliche that all politicians are liars, crooks and cheats — except the ones I like.

    Rob would find fault with Horner no matter what he proposed A. Because he is a former PR person who represented some businesses and people Rob disagrees with and B. That Horner used to be a Republican.

    His disdain and stereotyping of all Republicans is apparent in many of his posts.

    Let’s get real, Joe. Anyone who castigates an entire political party is the one stereotyping and acting simplistic and inaccurate.

    1. Excuse me for stereotyping Republicans. Please point out the ones who are not obedient to corporate power and the rich, and the ones who are committed to economic and social justice.

  6. Mike Kennedy says:


    Joe, you are wrong about the comparison. Politicians aren’t all dishonest but because they have to appeal to numerous groups to get elected, they have to………how should I say this nicely………….hedge what they say.

    Many people in certain professions have to do the same to attract as many customers or consumers or clients as possible. The good ones don’t want everyone as clients and don’t try to be all things to all people.

    It’s one thing I do give Obama credit for. He is standing by his policies and his philosophy, however wrong and unpopular they might be.

    I found the same of the late Paul Wellstone, despite disagreeing with him much of the time.

    1. Mike Kennedy says:

      Oh, here we go again….what the hell, may I ask, is your definition of economic justice and social justice? Let me guess. Those who are “rich,” defined by income and assets, should have to spread their wealth around by paying even more progressive taxes to support those who don’t. Is that close?

      I could counter by saying Democrats are all just a bunch of Socialists who want to punish the well off by taxing them and then distributing that wealth to the disadvantaged.

      But then, I would sound just like you and paint all Democrats the same way, but I know better. I don’t just hang out and read shit and blog shit and watch shit on forums where I agree with everyone.

      I think being on this blog is evidence of that.

  7. Jim Leinfelder says:


    Socialists are socialists. They have a party. The Socialist Party of America, the SPA. Been around in evolving forms and alliances since 1901. I doubt they’d accept many, if any, of today’s Democrats as peers.

    1. Mike Kennedy says:


      Thanks for the lesson and explaining Socialists to me — which I think I learned, oh around the 8th grade.

      Geez, do I have to spell out everything. I was using the standard far right line of equating Socialist BELIEFS with those of Democrats.

      As my comedy hero, Craig Ferguson said. A joke isn’t a joke if you have to explain it. It’s just then a sentence.

  8. Joe Loveland says:

    The most un-Ventura like Horner position? I’d nominate Horner’s support of public funding for the Vikings Statdium. Jesse was one of the more colorful and effective opponents ever. He had to have some choice words when he read about Horner’s stadium proposal.

    Though Horner and Ventura are the cornerstones of the MN Independence Party, it’s difficult to imagine Ventura ever stumping for Horner, by mutual choice.

  9. Joe Loveland says:

    Today, an analysis at mnpublius.com finds asks “Why is Horner Getting A Free Pass On His Budget Plan?”

    Tom Horner’s budget proposal leaves him $2.3 Billion short of his $2.15 Billion revenue goal—his budget actually leaves the state in worse fiscal shape.

    I’ve actually seen Tom Horner a few times and, you know what, I like the guy. He may be a Republican historically, but he’s smart and articulate. Which is why this budget is really disappointing: instead of applying his talents to the substance of Minnesota’s problems, apparently Tom Horner thinks he can win just by sitting in the middle.

    It then asks why the mainstream media scrutinizes the Emmer and Dayton budgets, but not the Horner budget.

  10. It seems like all the promotion of Tom Horner here, and the hand-wringing about Mark Dayton’s supposed oddities has been for naught. See the new polls showing Dayton leading by 10 points?

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Rob, I disagree that this site has promoted Horner. Our analyses have included things that the Horner campaign both likes and dislikes.

  11. You’re being much too modest, Joe. Go back and read all the posts on Horner – this site was titillated, to say the least, with a Horner candidacy, and dismayed with Mark Dayton. I would add that Horner’s campaign specifically targeted the literati opinion leaders of the Twin Cities.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Can you tell that to the Horner supporter who keeps complaining about how mean he thinks I’m being to their guy?

      By the way, if part of your pro-Horner accusation is born on the fact that we featured a “live blog” interview of Horner but not Dayton, you should know that we invited all three parties’ major candidates the first time (post party endorsement), and only Horner responded. Later, after the primary, we invited Emmer and Dayton a second time, offering dozens of times to fit into their schedules. Neither has responded. We did not invite Horner a second time.

      So, I have labored to give Dayton or Emmer an equal forum here. I yearn to promote their ideas here, and the invitation remains wide open. But even the literati don’t own magic wands.

    2. PM says:

      Rob, reification of an inanimate thing (like a blog site) is a fairly silly thing to do. I like Horner, i think that dayton is a fool and has lots of problems, and I am willing to express that view on this blog site. Blame me, not the blog site. I am not part of any conspiracy with any of the rest of the people here to promote horner or to denigrate dayton. Maybe you don’t like the fact that there are people who disagree with you, or that the people here seem to be immune to your charms and arguments. That is all part of the political process–people will disagree with you. get used to it.

      1. Reification? Where do you get that? BTW – it doesn’t matter if people agree or not agree with me, one way or the other. I participate in discussions, and try to characterize them as they appear to me. Obviously you don’t agree with my opinion. So what? I merely pointed out that people on this blog, posters and commenters, if you like, seemed to have a thing for Horner.

        I don’t think the people who write for this blog would argue that they are local opinion leaders – which is what I meant by literati.

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        No offense taken about “literati.” Given that I had to look up the word, it’s probably overstated…but not insulting.

        Rob, my main point is that you shouldn’t assume I’ve made up my mind in the Governor’s race. I haven’t.

  12. Dennis Lang says:

    Yup, that’s what keeps us anonymous blogophiles coming back for more–these Crowdies are the best informed, thoughtful and perspicacious (sp?) of anyone presumptive enough to think they remotely matter in the world of public opinion.

  13. Mike Kennedy says:

    Hmmm. How many people said Ventura had a zero chance of getting elected? Nothing is sure, especially in this very odd political environment.


  14. PM says:

    nate Silver is a smart guy, and he knows that–his estimation that there is a 0% chance of a Horner win is based on current information–which can certainly change between now and the first tuesday of November.

  15. Ellen Mrja says:

    Wow. I have a headache.

    Rob: I like Horner. He never would have hit my radar screen if he hadn’t had the courage/fool-hardiness to appear in a live blog session here. But he impressed me that day. I also like Dayton but haven’t heard much from him recently. But on this blog I have applauded Dayton’s honesty with voters in the past. I know he is also well loved by seniors for helping them purchase their prescription medicines 10 years ago. People remember acts like like that..more than slogans or ads or anything else.

    Joe: Great pull-quote (really) but I don’t see Horner as the anti-Ventura. I’ve heard Horner in an interview say one of the things he thought Ventura did right was to establish a highly-competent cabinet and then let his officers run their divisions as experts; Horner said he liked that style as well.

    PM and others: Ventura won because of the extraordinary push he received from young, college-aged kids..the same ones who propelled Obama into the presidency. Unless Dayton or Horner or Emmer can light a fire under this large group, those votes will go untapped. No one seems to be talking to this under-30 group. Do you think?

    Great comments, everyone.

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