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Michael Cavlan: A Minnesota Voice On Senator Al Franken

Mailed by Michael Cavlan to

Let me tell you how this looks from the progressive, social justice, anti-war and election integrity activists right here, you know, in Minnesota.

Al Franken for Senator is a sad pathetic joke. Big part of the story that has been missed was that there was another candidate who picked up 15% of the votes. Dean Barkley of the Independence Party, which is still a major party in Minnesota. I tried to be on the ballot but was unable to gain ballot access, which is an interesting, undemocratic story all by itself.

Anyway, back to Al Franken.

Mr Franken (like many Democrat leaders) supported the war on Iraq, when it started. He did so publicly. Franken also opposed Impeachment, Single Payer Healthcare and a host of other human rights and social justice issues. he was once asked, by one of the activists who was attempting to help me get the on the ballot, his position on Election Fraud and Voter Suppression. His answer says it all. Mr Franken said “I will not talk about that because then people will not vote for me.” In other words, voting for Al Franken was more important than poor folks and black people having their rights to vote and the integrity of the democratic process itself. To Al Franken anyway.

Al Franken also had a challenger with fairly significant anti-war credentials. St Thomas University professor Jack Nelson Pallmyer.

Professor Pallmyer, who is part of the Social Justice Committee at St Thomas University has lectured on human rights, social justice and peace for years in Minnesota. As a side note, St Thomas University in St Paul gained notoriety last year for refusing to allow Nobel Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu speaking at the University because of his public positions and statements about the racist state of Israel.

Now, the corporate powers which own the DFL (the Minnesota Democratic Party) had already decided to throw their weight behind Al Franken. Right along with that was “progressive” media support of Big Al. Prime example is John Nichols, writer and editor for the “progressive” Nation magazine. Mr Nichols, whom I have met a number of times, wrote two separate articles on the Minnesota Senate race. In both articles, the “progressive” Nation wrote glowing reports on Al Franken, wrote literally one line about Franken’s peace activist DFL opponent Professor Pallmyer and not one word about my campaign, which was desperately trying to gain Ballot Access. Needless to say, the same case can be made for self described “progressive” Air America radio.

It is the Democratic Party Endorsing Convention in Rochester, Minnesota that this story gets really interesting.

Jack Nelson Pallmyer, despite getting very little support from the well heeled and corporate friendly leadership of the Democrats had made some serious in-roads. He had amassed a significant number of Delegates.

Yet when it came to the time to start counting Delegates, suddenly Jack Nelson Pallmyer conceded, before the count could even start. The arm twisting, threats and back-room dealings had been apparent up until this point.

At this point, we can only conjecture as to why Professor Pallmyer suddenly decided to concede, before the counting could even begin. Had he been threatened, bribed, made a back-room deal or had Pallmyers campaign simply been part of a pre-planned bait and switch?

All of these questions have been asked by the activist communities in Minnesota. Perhaps we will never know the answer but the questions and possible implications remain.

Needless to say, this story and all the facts surrounding it have not been asked by the Nation, Air America or others holding the golden microphone. Which exists just as much in “progressive” media as the mainstream, corporate media.

You have to have the gold or speak out and support those who have the gold, to gain access to the golden microphone.

Thank God for Dissident Voice, KFAI radio (in Minneapolis/St Paul) and others who do not practice the rule of the golden microphone. Thank God for that rare breed, Editors and media outlets which maintain journalistic integrity.

The rest, well they are simply another version of Fox News.

Michael Cavlan RN

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  1. mdh mdh July 8, 2009

    I believe that to get on the ballot in many places, you need a signifigant nationwide apparatus or a huge, well-developed and long-standing support base regionally. This is a big part of why new political parties are less viable than those which are established, sadly. The LP, GP, and CP are at a disadvantage to R’s and D’s, but anything smaller than the second tier three is at a huge disadvantage even to those of us in the second tier parties.

    Welcome to politics.

  2. Felix Felix July 8, 2009

    This article is rife with errors. I’ll point out the first one to show how bad the author has it. It’s Jack Nelson-PALLMEYER.

  3. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 8, 2009


    Didn’t take the smear machine of the Democratic Party long to show up, did it?

    Yup, you got me on the spelling. I got that wrong.

    The rest is factual and much of it is verifiable.

    Or would “Felix” like to point out what I got wrong?

  4. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist July 8, 2009

    Felix, ys, only to be expected from a supporter of the Ralph Nader satanic World Order control conspiracy to keep the Democratic Party and Catholic Trotskyism out of power and drive the world’s economy to a crashing halt.

  5. Frank Walter Frank Walter July 8, 2009

    Please provide Google or other reliable source for your accusations against Al Franken. I listened to him for years on “Air America” and never heard him say any of those things you change him with.

    I would like verification, please. Thank you.

  6. Frank Walter Frank Walter July 8, 2009

    Please provide Google or another reliable source for your accusations against Al Franken. I listened to him for years on “Air America” and never heard him say any of those things you change him with.

    I would like verification, please. Thank you.

  7. Felix Felix July 8, 2009

    Normally I wouldn’t take the time to believe anything I read if they can’t even check to see if they spelled the names correctly. If you want to pretend you are a journalist then at least act like one and don’t take corrections like a dope.

    But here’s one more correction for you. I’ll give you half a point for spelling “John Nichols” correctly. But he wrote at least 10 sentences about Nelson-PALLMEYER in his Oct 2007 article that is about AL FRANKEN. Not to shabby to get a whole 10 sentences written about you in a national magazine on a story about someone else. Then Nichols wrote 3 paragraphs about Nelson-PALLMEYER in an 8 paragraph article about the convention that he lost in. So that was 37.5% of the article about someone you say that Nichols mentioned: “wrote literally one line about Franken’s peace activist DFL opponent Professor Pallmyer [sic]”

    So you can’t spell the name of one of they main people in your story. And something you emphatically claim: “wrote literally one line..” is proven false in one fell swoop.

    Now why should I spend anymore time trusting anything else you write?

    And because I can prove what I say… here’s the goods:



  8. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 8, 2009

    Frank Walters

    Al Franken on Impeachment

    Now, fast forward nearly two years from the conventions, to late April 2006. Having in fact overseen a cataclysmic downturn in the economy (including $3 gas, if you’re lucky) and run the country into the ground, Bush now also stands accused of personally approving: an unchecked program of warrantless domestic surveillance; unlimited detention without charge or access to legal representation for people he deems to be “enemies of America”; torture; lying the nation into a disastrous war without end; and the unilateral nullification of all or part of some 750 duly-enacted statutes passed by Congress and signed by him. Charges serious enough under any circumstances to warrant impeachment.
    And yet, watch Mr. “Fuck up they had” struggle with his own inner “bitch” in an interview conducted by blogger “Brattlerouser,” before Franken’s appearance in Brattleboro on April 28th:
    Brattlerouser: Is [Newfane Selectman and impeachment advocate] Dan DeWalt going to be on today?
    Al Franken: Yes he is. And I’m interested in that, I’m just not necessarily for impeaching the President… yet.
    Brattlerouser: So I know that you’re in the heart of the impeachment movement of Vermont. Around Brattleboro, it passed in Newfane, it passed in Brattleboro, and it passed in Dummerston, Marlboro, and Putney all the towns around here… Rockingham, it will be brought up in the Vermont State legislature now. There’s a section 306 [actually section 603] of the Rutland Resolution (sorry folks if I butchered explaining the Rutland Resolution. I was just saying anything that came to my head) which I think goes into the Jefferson Manual saying a state legislature can ask their representatives to raise awareness and start an investigation.
    Al Franken: Right. I think the House legislature does it. It has to start impeachment.
    Brattlerouser: Yeah.
    Al Franken: Who knew about that? I didn’t know about that!
    Brattlerouser: I know that the Illinois and California legislatures are now bringing it up and the Vermont leg. Is trying to squeeze it in before they adjourn in late May/early June.
    Al Franken: Well, I feel two ways about this. It shouldn’t be easy to impeach a President. Are these resolutions about to impeach him or to start the impeachment proceedings?
    Brattlerouser: I think to start the impeachment proceedings.
    Al Franken: Yeah, I guess those are two different things and I can see how that could make people nervous because it’s very very very serious to impeach a guy. There should be high crimes and misdemeanors and of course to what Clinton did, there’s no question that what we think Bush has done is a high crime and misdemeanor. I think there’s really no question that this guy lied to us and mislead us into war. The question is though, he didn’t lie to us under oath. So, I’m just a little uncomfortable with it. I mean this is very serious stuff that he did; lying us into war is probably the serious thing that you can get. So, why I feel every which way about it.
    Person at table asked, “What about domestic spying?”
    Al Franken: Well that also, that could be very well be something. You know, because of this Republican Congress, there’s no way they’re going to investigate it. They just won’t allow it. Now on the other hand, he sort of did… some members of Congress he did alert them and inform them to some degree, not to the degree that I think conforms to the law. I think he is supposed to inform every member of the committee…
    Cross talk
    … We absolutely have know [sic] idea what he’s doing because this Congress won’t do the proper oversight. So, this is being enforced by the fact that this Republican Congress has been acting like a rubber stamp and won’t do their job. So this forces the citizens’ hands. It’s just that I feel two ways about this. I definitely have strong feelings that this President lied to get us into this war has probably broken the law and that Congress should be doing it’s job, investigating both the warrant less wiretaps, it should have been doing its job investigating torture and essentially getting rid of habeas corpus (Franken laughs). You know, if Congress had been doing its job there would be no question to this. And I’m not talking about doing the job of starting the impeachment proceedings. I’m talking about doing the job of looking in to all these. You know, the Senate was supposed to look into the White House Administration of whether or not they manipulated intelligence, which was clear that they did, and they didn’t do that. So what’s a citizen to do, other than to demand this? So, I’m very very sympathetic with it. it just causes me to worry that every time a President becomes unpopular that impeachment proceedings will start and it shouldn’t be about unpopularity it should be about him breaking the law. But I think there’s a very strong argument that this guy has broken the law because Congress won’t do the job and it leaves us very little recourse.
    Brattlerouser: I know that if the Democrats do get control of the House & Senate that John Conyers will run the House Judiciary Committee and Pat Leahy will run the Senate Judiciary Committee. Do you think that had it not been the citizen impeachment movement in Vermont and in other states, towns, and cities if it hadn’t been going at the pace that it was do you think there would not be enough momentum to push these proceedings once they have control of the House & Senate?
    Al Franken: Assuming they do.
    Brattlerouser: Yeah, well obviously that’s true!
    Al Franken: Well, you know, I WANT to control the House & Senate and I want it more than impeachment. That’s sort of the least of the reasons why I want it. I want it so we can reverse so much of the damage that’s been done and so that we can do actually oversight into things that we’re contracting, I mean, and oversight into contracting like FEMA, and oversight into all these things. And then we should reverse things like the Bankruptcy Bill, the Tax cuts for the very top, the idea of universal health care for kids RIGHT AWAY! That’s one thing I think we should be for. I’d rather be for that. I’d rather say, `We’re for universal health care for children, from day 1 that we go in, rather than saying we’re starting impeachment proceedings. And I understand the very strong constitutional arguments that you can make on impeachment proceedings but that could happen once we take over without our announcing it so strongly. My fear is it will create a backlash and that will create turn out among the right and I just, I mean maybe I’m too cynical, but I REALLY REALLY want to take over one or both of these Houses. So we can start… #1 I want some people power for other things. I think that the war contracting and profiteering has been a disgrace and Congress has completely been a rubber stamp and completely refused to do its job in this regard. Nothing is getting done on health care other than you know, the exact opposite things that we need, like the prescription drug program being implemented the way it is through insurance companies rather than through Medicare. Medicare can’t be allowed to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies. All of these, it’s just one corrupt thing after another. One thing we need to get rid of is tax incentives for companies that outsource jobs to other countries. Companies get tax break for just assembling a factory and then sending it overseas. That’s ridiculous! And we got to get rid of that. So, while I do think there’s a really strong case for impeachment, I kinda think that, that would come if we got our oversight capacity back and that eventually might come but more important are these other things to me.
    “I understand the very strong constitutional arguments that you can make on impeachment proceedings but that could happen once we take over without our announcing it so strongly. My fear is that it will create a backlash and that will create turn out among the right and I just, I mean maybe I’m too cynical, but I REALLY REALLY want to take over one or both of these Houses.”
    That’s what he said. And hey, it’s not like I can’t sympathize. But remember, this is the guy who said that we had to fight back. This is the guy who said “cleansing” the speeches at the convention to portray a positive image — i.e., not “announcing it so strongly” — was a “fuck up.”

  9. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 8, 2009

    Al Franken on the War in Iraq (before it started)

    An open letter to Al Franken: Why did you support the Iraq war?
    Wed, September 12 2007, 7:51am A GOOD QUESTION
    Dear Al Franken,

    Why did you support the Iraq war at the beginning? Why did you trust Colin Powell on the weapons question and not Hans Blix? And when did you change your mind? And why? And what U.S. policy do you favor now?

    I ask you these question in an open letter because you have declined my request for an interview. I regret that. But one way or the other, given the centrality of the Iraq issue and the muddled state of your past comments, I believe you must answer these questions before you can ask anti-war DFLers to get comfortable with the idea of you as their candidate, or as their senator.

    On Almanac last month, Eric Eskola asked you about the evolution of your views on the war:

    Franken: I was very torn in the leadup to the war. I really didn’t believe that an administration would deliberately mislead us into a war. And when that became clear, I became a very vocal critic against it. DFLers have heard me for years and years speak not only against the Bush policy but against what Norm Coleman did and didn’t do.

    Eskola: Is there a year when you decided you were against it.

    Franken: Yes, 2003.

    I’ve reviewed dozens of statements you’ve made about Iraq since 2002. And I will gladly look at more if you believe that those I saw are not representative of your evolving views. But from what I’ve seen, a more accurate version of your answer would have been something like this:

    Franken: I supported the war at first. I had my doubts. But on balance, I believed that Saddam had the WMD and I favored the decision to use military force to remove him. In 2003 and 2004, I put in a lot of work at documenting and popularizing the evidence of the lies the administration had told to get us into the war, and the corruption and incompetence of the conduct of the war. I also hit back hard at the right wing noise machine for trying to put a rosy spin on how it was going in Iraq. And I made several USO trips to entertain the troops.

    But until 2005, I never really recanted my original support for the war. Now I agree that we shouldn’t have gone in. Until recently, I opposed deadlines for troop withdrawals. Now I favor a deadline for starting to withdraw and a non-binding deadline for getting all the combat troops out, changing the mission to training and other limited purposes, and encouraging regional diplomacy.

    Again, if I’ve read you wrong, please correct me. If you provide a statement answering some of my questions, I will post it unedited on Black Ink.

    Most of the transcripts of interviews you have given are no longer available online, so I

  10. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 8, 2009

    From Al Franken’s campaign website. On Single Payer.

    Meet Al
    Audio / Video

    We need to go to universal health care as soon as possible.

    Health care is at the center of almost every public policy issue – from veterans’ affairs to small business to personal finances (nearly half of all bankruptcies are caused by a medical crisis in the family). Access to affordable health care should come with living in the world’s richest, most advanced nation.

    But during the Bush administration, the number of Americans living without health insurance has grown from 39.8 million in 2000 to 46.6 million as of the most recent Census Bureau data (2005). That includes 21.5 million people who work full time.

    Especially disturbing is that the number of children without health insurance actually grew to 8.3 million in 2005. Children who lack health insurance are more likely to miss school and 70% less likely to get treated for an ear infection.

    Overall, we spend 16% of our GDP on health care – nobody else spends more than 11%. Yet every other industrialized country insures 100% of its people, while we leave tens of millions without coverage. We spend 34% of our health care dollars on administrative costs – nobody else spends more than 19%. And in the most recent ranking by the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranked 37th, right between Costa Rica and Slovenia.

    Here’s where I stand:

    We need to go to universal health care.

    A single-payer system would be the most effective in terms of reducing administrative costs, and I would be thrilled to support such a system. But I believe that today’s political environment requires a creative and flexible approach to covering every American. Here’s mine:

    I would require every state to cover every one of its citizens, and the federal government to provide funding to fulfill that requirement. Each individual state would be free to offer a variety of options, as long as they add up to universal coverage, giving us 51 laboratories (if you count DC) to figure out which system works best.
    I would add one constraint: each state must cover every child 18 and under with a single-payer system similar to Medicare.
    And speaking of Medicare, I would fight to make Medicare a true single-payer system. Right now, we overpay insurance companies, who then turn around and cherry-pick only the healthiest seniors to cover. That’s not fair and we should change it.
    But universal coverage isn’t enough. We must also address the quality and cost of care. I think we should start with the following measures:

    Medicare should be allowed to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies for lower prices on prescription drugs.
    Simple, secure, electronic medical records would cut down on errors and streamline care.
    We should establish safe staffing levels for nurses – when the people on the front lines of health care tell us that they need reinforcements to maintain their high standards of care, we should listen.
    We should pass Paul Wellstone’s bill ensuring full mental health parity.
    Tell A Friend about Al’s position on this issue >>

  11. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 8, 2009

    You see, Jack Nelson PALLMEYER had challenged Franken on each and every one of these issues. I personally watched the debates, from the crowd.

    Each and every time, Al Franken took the DLC line. No Impeachment, No Single Payer (with lots of well i would like to BUT…) and his “unfortunate” support for the Iraq war.

    Yup, he will fall in line with the War Funding Appropriations Bills.

    Al Franken is a DLC Democrat.

    In other words, a corporate friendly Democrat.

  12. libertariangirl libertariangirl July 8, 2009

    in other words , politics as usual

  13. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 9, 2009

    John Nichols from Nation magazine article on Al Franken.

    How much coverage on Big Al, Mike Cerisi (another DLC Democrat and finally, at the very last a small mention of Jack Nelson PALLMEYER.

    Oh yes and not a word about a Registered Nurse promoting Single Payer, from northern Ireland using the northern Ireland Peace Process asa template for non-violent conflict resolution.

    Oh yes and an activist with Impeach For Peace, who was one of the very first candidates in the country calling for Impeachment, while explaining the legal and constitutional reasons for Impeaching Bush. Not to mention an Official Observer in the 2004 Ohio Re-Count.

    John Nichols KNEW all of this but deliberately choose to push Franken, marginalize the real peace person from the Democrats and ignored my campaign.

  14. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 9, 2009

    Now, before you go to the ‘well he is just crying because his feelings got hurt” or some other personalized attack, let me explain something to you.

    This happened to EACH AND EVERY PEACE CANDIDATE all over the country.

    Especially if they were not part of the pro-war, corporate corrupted two party system.

    Carl Romanelli in Pennsylvania got SMEARED by Jeremy Scahill in the Nation and Aaron Dixon in Washington State got ignored by these self styled “progressive’ media like the Nation.

    It aint me and it sure the hell is not personal.

    It is deeply political.

  15. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist July 9, 2009

    Just in case anyone is wondering, Felix and Frank are not the same person as me. They are far less lazy and more dedicated to real research and political dialogue than I am.

  16. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan July 9, 2009

    Libertarian Girl

    Yes. exactly. Politics as usual.

    Al Franken is perfect for the Punch and Judy Show charade that continues to try and convince us that the Dems and Rethugs hate each other.

    When in reality, they work together, behind the scenes in those smoke filled rooms that We The people are not invited to.

    George Carlin was right.

    It is a big club and we ain’t in it.

  17. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist July 9, 2009

    George Carlin is still trying to get out of purgatory for his harsh statements against religion and Holy Mother Church.

  18. paulie paulie July 9, 2009

    Al should have stuck to intentional comedy.

    Yes. exactly. Politics as usual.

    Al Franken is perfect for the Punch and Judy Show charade that continues to try and convince us that the Dems and Rethugs hate each other.

    When in reality, they work together, behind the scenes in those smoke filled rooms that We The people are not invited to.

    George Carlin was right.

    It is a big club and we ain’t in it.


    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

    Original post from Loretta Nall:

    Jefferson County judges to be asked to release non-violent inmates from county jails

    Posted by Barnett Wright — Birmingham News July 07, 2009 5:41 PM

    Criminal judges in Jefferson County will be asked to release non-violent inmates from the County Jail to help relieve the county’s financial crisis, the county’s presiding judge said this afternoon.

    Unlike most I actually consider this good news. Most of the non-violent people in jail in any county in Alabama are there for drug offenses. They should never have been sent to jail to begin with. If the county can see the monetary benefit of minding their own damn business when it comes to non-violent drug users perhaps they will refrain from warehousing them again after the economy turns around. That the county is about to release them says to me they should never have been locked up in the first place.

    Aside from drug offenders you have your petty thieves who stole a $50 VCR. Why are taxpayers made to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to send a petty thief to jail over a $50 VCR? Why not make the thief shovel dung somewhere and pay restitution and be put on probation?

    Why are taxpayers made to pay those same thousands and thousands of dollars to lock up prostitutes who haven’t stolen anything and are, whether people want to admit it or not, making their own way in the world without government assistance? Why do we pay for them to go to jail when all of the real prostitutes hold elected office in Montgomery, Washington DC and let’s not forget the Birmingham City Council. These latter prostitutes suck at the government teat, so calling them prostitutes is an offense to prostitutes. The latter should be in jail. I think we’d all gladly pay for that.


    My reply

    Hi Loretta, points and well said, although I must quibble with your
    conclusion.I think those folks should shovel dung and pay restitution, too.



    Loretta’s reply to me:

    The politicians? Agreed. Hog shit preferably because it is the foulest.

  19. Patriot Patriot December 9, 2009

    Michael Cavlan is loser dumbshit and will never be elected to any offices of public trust especially since he can not be trusted. Just ask his burn patients the ones who think he should lose his professional license. When Michael can learn to control himself and support American values which do not include homosexuals, then maybe we Americans can show him some support, but not as long as he helps the insane perverts of this country to proliferate when others want to stomp them into the ground and clean up their society. Michael Cavlan is all about forcing his queers on everyone else. Maybe he is one?

  20. paulie paulie December 9, 2009

    pat rot,

    Who told you bigotry is an American value? This country was founded and built by people who were escaping bigotry in other parts of the world, and tolerating diverse ways of life is a cornerstone of our ethic.

    You say you want to stomp people who have a different sexual orientation than you – or maybe the same sexual orientation as you, which you haven’t come to terms with? You want to get rough and put your fist in them, is that it? What is it that you’re afraid of – are you that insecure in your own self-identity?

  21. libertariangirl libertariangirl December 9, 2009

    Patriot obviously went to the Don Grundman School of American Values!

  22. paulie paulie December 9, 2009

    Why would anyone get so worked up about other people’s consenting sexual behavior? It’s none of their business, and the world has plenty of real problems.

    While we’re at it, consenting behavior of any sort – sexual, psychotropic, economic, or otherwise – shouldn’t be any of anyone else’s business who is not involved. A lot of people should really learn to mind their own business.

  23. Kimberly Wilder Kimberly Wilder December 9, 2009

    Patriot –

    I can’t always read all the comments. I am glad I read yours at 21, so I could say how appalling it is is.

    What the heck???????????

    Glad that there are folks of all stripes, advocating for other folks of all stripes, caught up in our patriarchal, capitalist universe, where some of the little people still only know how to argue with each other (while the corporate and royal elite of various countries steal wealth and oppress ALL the little people, remaining safe, aloof and satiated in the shadows…)

  24. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan December 9, 2009


    It would appear that I made Patriot/Pro-Pot/anti-pot/CatholicTrot/ProtestantStalin/add name of fruit loop here, just a wee bit mad.

    To quote Stephen, the crazy Irishman from Braveheart when told he could kill Englishmen.


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