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10/15/2004

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wcw

What are you going to believe, a blog post or the lying numbers?

Two years ago, you'll recall that Coleman beat Mondale for Senator in our fair state. The media narrative was that popular revulsion over a political speech at the Wellstone memorial torpedoed Fritz's chances, but as with the Buckner analogy, numbers do not bear this narrative out. Instead, Mondale's numbers went up in all tracking polls for the following few days, despite what nationally televised talking heads were telling Minnesotans to think. Instead, the poll numbers turned at the end of that week -- after Jesse Ventura, who actually was displeased by the memorial, chose to punish the DFL by not appointing a Democrat to the vacant Senate seat.

If Ventura had enough influence two years back to turn the Senate campaign with a symbolic move, I would suggest he retains enough popularity among segments of the local populace to sway their votes.

I am open to believing otherwise, but I would like actual evidence rather than mere analogy before I change my mind.

Jon

wcw-

I'll admit that my personal disappointment with Jesse's tremendous missed opportunity may color my perception of his popularity. That said, Wellstone was in a tight election with Coleman, and I doubt very much that Jesse's decision not to appoint a Democrat to the vacant seat had any impact on the election. In other words, I don't think Coleman won because folks took Jesse's cue. Coleman won because the MN political landscape is changing, because Mondale wasn't particularly inspiring and yes, because many people were cheesed over the Wellstone tribute.

jim weaver

jesse ventura is not unpopular in minnesota even tho he was constantly attacked by the our two twin city newspapers. he left the state in much better fiscal condition that it is today. incidentally, his senate apppointment was on his staff and was not a dfler.

jim weaver

Dan Ryan

The FCC Commissioners' terms are five years, so they do not expire at the end of a congressional term. There are five commissioners, no more than three of which are from a single party. Clinton's early problem with the Commission was that James Quello, though a Democrat, generally voted with the Republicans. The Commission tends to be very sensitive to Congress too, more so in recent years as Congress has been increasingly willing to legislate where it didn't like the Commission's rulings.

Mike Powell, the current chair, is considered a lame duck who will leave the Commission in 2005 even if Bush is re-elected. He can be removed from the chairmanship, though not from the Commission, at any time by the President.

Mike Copps is expected to be the chair if Kerry is elected. Copps is a sitting Commissioner, and has taken a hardline position on media consolidation. Something of a crusade, really. A Copps chairmanship would be deeply unwelcome to Sinclair.

Two of the sitting Commissioners, Abernathy (Republican) and Adelstein (Democrat) have expired terms. So the next President will be able to assert control fairly quickly (subject to the usual logjam of agency appointments that a new President always faces).

Matt Stoller

Thanks for this post, Mark. It's very good.

Andrew Cholakian

Hey, I love the firefox ad on the sidebar, you should probably add a tag before it as the layout looks kinda wonky at the moment.

Jon R. Koppenhoefer

The idea the SBG can somehow buy it's way out of financial trouble confuses me, but then I'm no business wiz.

It does remind me of a joke I will adapt to the current political season. George Bush and his brothers went into business one year, hauling garbage from Dallas to Houston. Jebbie crunched some numbers after their first quarter and found that they were losing $400 on each truckload they hauled.

George thought about it for a minute, and then said, triumphantly, "We need more trucks."

cs

David Neiwert at Orcinus comments and links to Jay Rosen's definitive post at PressThink on the Sinclair enterprise. Rosen's post is fascinating right up to and including the addenda. There's even a link to Mark Hyman's "The Point" editorials, if you have the stomach for such rantings. Rosen's thesis is that Sinclair is interested in using its media power as a political machine a la Italian PM Berlusconi. The entire post truly is a must-read . . .

REED HUNDT

FOR THE RECORD, BILL CLINTON NEVER HAD A WORKING MAJORITY AT THE FCC. HE NAMED ONLY TWO DEMOCRATIC COMMISSIONERS, ME AND SUSAN NESS. THE THIRD WAS ALIGNED WITH THE REPUBLICANS AND HAD BEEN NOMINATED EXCLUSIVELY BY REPUBLICANS IN THE PAST AND WAS NOT NOMINATED BY BILL CLINTON. REED HUNDT

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