Why I’m voting for Tom Neuville

I’m pro-choice. I have no doubts that our globe is warming due to the fossil fuel addiction of homo-sapiens. I’m very much against any attempts to pass a State Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. On those issues, I’m liberal.

And yet I’m voting for conservative Tom Neuville for State Senate here in District 25. (Yes, he hired me as his weblog coach this summer, so feel free to dismiss this opinion on that account.)

I don’t forsee any big changes to Roe v Wade coming, no matter who gets elected. I don’t see much that can be done at the state level to turn the tide on global warming. And the marriage amendment is going to easily pass. So those aren’t practical deal-breakers for me.

But take a look at his recent three blog posts on:

Good stuff. I like it a lot that Tom focuses so much of his time and energy on issues like these, and has collegial relationships with enough Senate Democrats to get things done in these areas, as evidenced by his being the only Republican to chair a committee in the DFL-controlled Senate, the Family Law subcommittee.

These are issues that too often get ignored in favor of what Independence Party Gubernatorial Candidate Peter Hutchinson (whom I’m also voting for) calls “the 5 G’s” — guns, gays, God, gambling, and gynecology.


I like it a lot that Tom uses a civil tone when debating issues and that he consistently asks that others do likewise.

I like it a lot that Tom has been a supporter of charter schools since day 1.

I like it a lot that he has this photo of himself in this hat on his website.


  1. Adam Gurno said:

    The cynic in me says “Why I’m voting for Tom Neuville: He pays my bills.”

    Bill Gaines, legendary publisher of MAD Magazine, refused all advertising and said “You cannot make fun of Coke if you’re taking money from Pepsi.”

    Besides, the Republicans are responsible for…
    * The Death of Habeas Corpus
    * Attacks on Network Neutrality
    * PATRIOT Act
    * Vietnam in Iraq (false pretenses and all)
    * NSA spying on Americans
    * Secret No-Fly List
    * Secret Prisons in other countries
    * Torture

    …and much more. Yet you people continue to support them. Gotta get that next paycheck, I guess.

    October 20, 2006
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    I voted for Tom in 2002, Adam, when he wasn’t helping to pay my bills. And those issues you list have nothing to do with what happens in the MN legislature.

    October 20, 2006
  3. Adam Gurno said:

    I voted for Tom in 2002, Adam

    Which is exactly what someone would say who’s on the dole from Neuville. The fact that he’s paying you makes it impossible to trust these things you say.

    What’s more, you feel the need to rationalize things like abortion and global warming (both national issues), but dismiss items I bring up as not relevant.

    The fact that he’s authored bills denying equal rights to gay couples should make him abhorrent to most people. Substitute ‘black’ for ‘gay’ and see how the legislations sits – both situations have an equal amount of choice.

    But the funny hats make up for it all.

    October 20, 2006
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Adam, I agree, the fact that he’s paying me is a big factor to consider. I don’t mind having my position dismissed because of it and said so.

    The MN legislature can tackle issues relevant to abortion and global warming — recent bills in South Dakota on the former and California on the latter are good examples — so that’s why I raised them, whereas your list is really relevant to congress… and why I’m NOT voting for John Kline or Mark Kennedy.

    As for Tom’s authoring of the marriage amendment, I don’t like it and said so. I’ll think more about your statement “substitute ‘black’ for ‘gay’ and see how the legislations sits” but something about that analogy doesn’t quite work for me, though I can’t fully articulate it. I’ll work on it, tho!

    October 20, 2006
  5. Adam Gurno said:

    It’s not that. It’s just that he’s got Neuville as a client. That’s why I was calling his endorsement out.

    N’s got nothing to do with this.

    October 20, 2006
  6. Carol said:

    It IS that. What you’re raising, the influence factor, is an issue. One issue. What I’m raising are two more issues, the illegality of endorsement by a 501(c)(3) as in the church/Bachman is another problem, or if it’s a corp., the endorsement by a corp. which is an illegal campaign donation. So there are 2 of 3 issues:
    1) influence as contractor for Neuville
    2a) illegal endorsement by 501(c)(3)
    2b) illegal corporate donation

    Any way you look at it, it’s a problem!

    October 20, 2006
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Locally Grown is the name of a citizen blog and a citizen podcast, Carol… that’s it. No company, no non-profit, no nuttin’ but 3 citizens doing our bit as part of the local civic blogosphere. But I appreciate your concern for our legal well-being!

    October 20, 2006
  8. Chip Cuccio said:

    Adam wrote:

    Yet you people continue to support them.

    Ya’ darn tootin’ Adam 🙂

    Heh re: “you people”

    October 20, 2006
  9. “I’m very much against any attempts to pass a State Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

    “I don’t forsee any big changes to Roe v Wade coming, no matter who gets elected. I don’t see much that can be done at the state level to turn the tide on global warming. And the marriage amendment is going to easily pass.”

    This strikes me as a tad, “I didn’t kill the guy: the bullet did.” Theocon laws don’t pass without conservatives to support them. Neuville states here that he’s opposed to both abortion and equal-rights marriage (if Republicans can come up with terms like “global climate change,” I’ve decided I’m going to use the term “equal-rights marriage” 😉 ).

    No, Roe v. Wade will not be irrevocably harmed by one state senator, but banning abortion outright is only one thing to be concerned about. They can’t illegalize it outright, so the anti-choice (see “global climate change”) rally chips away at abortion by creating strong restrictions.

    Marriage amendment… don’t have so little faith. The last bill proposing this was sponsored by wingnut Michele Bachmann and didn’t even make it to the Senate floor, I wouldn’t be so convinced.

    October 20, 2006
  10. Adam Gurno said:

    Ya’ darn tootin’ Adam 🙂

    Hey, I know you love those Big Brother wannabes. I just thought we could rescue Griff. 😉

    October 20, 2006
  11. Griff Wigley said:

    Hey, Sean, thanks for the alert on the term ‘theocon’. I hadn’t heard that before.

    Tom might be a theocon, and if he ever starts proclaiming that he does what he does because God told him so, I’ll be the first to whack him upside the head and join the effort to replace him. But he ain’t that kind of theocon.

    October 21, 2006
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    Carol, I think it’s quite likely that in the next four years, the Minnesota Legislature could pass a global warming measure similar to California’s.

    My contention is that the likelihood of this happening is greater with the active support of moderate Republicans like Cox and Neuville — like Republican Schwarzenegger — rather than with more strident Democrats.

    October 21, 2006
  13. Carol said:

    Griff – that’s against evidence! Coleman is in today’s STrib displaying the R party line on DO2 and global warming. http://www.startribune.com/587/story/757066.html
    And Ray’s the one that coauthored Mesaba coal gasification bill which has no intent of capture and sequestration. In a way, though, the R position on CO2 is more honest than the D position, which is “Let’s burn more coal, it’s OK where there’s capture & sequestration” when science and evidence says that capture and sequestration is not feasible even in the most stringent of regulatory environments. The Joyce Foundation is paying out millions to promote coal gasification and CO2 regulation, and have targeted the Midwest for their efforts, but what they don’t mention is that Joyce also founded CCX, the CO2 market. Their efforts are not to stop generation of CO2, but are efforts that will increase the market value of CO2 credits. Those generating all this CO2 talking about it had best get to the next phase, of stopping generation, not regulating it. Regulating it doesn’t curb or fix the problem, it only makes the problem more profitable. Very scary, but neither the D’s nor the R’s have a handle on the major environmental issue of our lifetimes! CO2 is the ultimate nonpartisan issue, neither of the two major parties has a clue.

    If you’re curious, go to legalectric.org and search for Ron Rich and read his testimony for mncoalgasplant.com (Direct and Rebuttal).

    October 21, 2006
  14. […] Anyway, Griff posted a great article, Why I’m voting for Tom Neuville, and I really liked the article. It goes without saying, I’m also voting for Neuville (again) – and Cox (again). […]

    October 21, 2006
  15. Lance said:

    Hey Griff – Just wanted to say it takes guts to go out on a limb, state your position, and make yourself a target. My hat’s off to you. And for the record, your arguments either make sense on their own or they dont. Whether or not Neuville is a client makes no difference and to dismiss your reasons for voting for him on that basis alone would make no sense. Lastly, it makes perfect sense to assess a candidate based on the areas where he is likely to make the most impact. My guess is no thinking person lines up 100% with any candidate. You’ve weighted your criteria in a logical way. Reasonable people could certainly weigh those same criteria differently, but seems to me it’s hard to argue with the method. Oh, and a disclosre of my own – you are not my client (but then again, these remarks can be dismissed because I would like you to be).

    October 24, 2006
  16. Maybe Carol already touched on this, but her comment is missing. I apologize if this is redundant.

    I don’t see much that can be done at the state level to turn the tide on global warming.

    I think that before the federal level adopts any projects or policies, they will first need to be proven feasible at the local and state levels. These things start at the local and college level, then move to the state level, and finally the federal level.
    California received the most coverage, but there have been several other successes at the state level:

    In 1997, the state of Oregon adopted a CO2 standard for new energy facilities. It allows the state to set CO2 standards for natural gas and power plants.
    Seven states are currently part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a state level emissions capping and trading program.
    On September 8, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed an executive order calling on the state to create initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions to the 2000 level by the year 2020 and to 50 percent below the 2000 level by 2040.

    I found the above info on the EPA website and on Wikipedia.

    October 24, 2006
  17. Griff Wigley said:

    Lance wrote:
    >Whether or not Neuville is a client makes no difference

    Thanks for your supportive comments, Lance. I appreciate it.

    >Oh, and a disclosure of my own – you are not my client

    You should also disclose that lately you’ve been sleeping with one of the hosts of Locally Grown, who shall remain nameless.

    October 24, 2006
  18. Griff Wigley said:

    Michael wrote:
    >I think that before the federal level adopts any projects or policies, they will first need to be proven feasible at the local and state levels.

    That’s a good point, Michael. I’ve heard that some Minnesota cities — Rochester and Eden Prairie? — have adopted come CO2 initiatives.

    Thanks for the alert on Carol’s missing comment. I’ll try to figure out what happened, as it was here earlier.

    October 24, 2006
  19. Griff Wigley said:

    Carol’s missing comments have been restored. Must have been my mishandling of the Spam Karma 2 plugin. Apologies to all. And thanks again, Michael, for the alert.

    October 24, 2006
  20. Adam Gurno said:

    Only one Republican scored higher. Two others had 69%, too.

    …and scored lower than 4/5 of the DFLers. 69% – would a report card full of “D”‘s be good enough for your kids?

    This seems to contradict the points you were making earlier, Griff. If you conservation/environmental issues were that important, seems like that guide indicates you’d be better off voting for a DFLer.

    October 25, 2006
  21. Griff Wigley said:

    Adam, no, I’m just saying that Neuville’s rating on environmental issues is not half bad, unlike most of his Caucus colleagues.

    One of the other Republicans who received a 69% score received the Sierra Club’s endorsement, like Ray Cox did.

    October 25, 2006

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