Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Health care... the struggle for single-payer, universal health care intensifies

Note: This is a letter I sent to Minnesota State Representative Dave Olin (Democratic Farmer-Labor Party) and all members of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee. I would encourage you to circulate this letter widely.

Below is a link to short must see and distribute video for all who support single-payer, universal health care; this is the video that is being talked about all over the United States which the leadership of the Democratic Party and Minnesota DFL does not want anyone to see... this video should be shown at every union hall, every political gathering, and in every church and community center in Minnesota; just click on the link below:


72% of the delegates to the state convention of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party voted for single-payer, universal health care... since the grassroots spoke, DFL legislators and the DFL leadership have been scheming and scurrying to try to confuse the issue and derail the single-payer, universal health care movement.

The DFL legislative caucus used its spam filter to try to pretend they weren't hearing from their constituents on this issue; with legislators like Linda Berglin, Bernie Lieder, Thomas Huntley, and Dave Olin their allegiances are with the HMO's and the insurance industry, and they refuse to listen to the grassroots… they need to listen to their constituents or they need to go.

In my opinion, what Minnesotans now need to do is run candidates committed to single-payer, universal health care in every state house and senate district; first at DFL nominating conventions, and then if necessary, in the primary election; as a back-up candidates should be found to run as independents or on another party ticket where these candidates fail in primary elections to unseat DFL incumbents who continue to oppose the will of grassroots DFL’ers who voted overwhelmingly for single-payer, universal health care. Minnesotans have the right to have the opportunity to vote for candidates who reflect their support for single-payer, universal health care in the general election.

I am leaning towards supporting Mike Cavlan, the Green Party candidate for United States Senate after seeing the way Ford Bell was shut out of the process in the last election with the stage is being set for a replay in 2008 as the DFL leadership has allowed candidates to betray the trust of state convention delegates which very clearly represents the support the majority of Minnesotans have demonstrated for single-payer, universal health care and socialized health care for many years now.

No sitting DFL incumbent should be immune to such a challenge. It is unfortunate that so many working class Minnesotans no longer consider the Minnesota DFL a party which empowers and enfranchises them to the point where they no longer vote, or seek out alternative candidates and parties; however, this is the consequence when voters are not given the opportunity to vote for candidates offering real solutions to the very real problems they are experiencing. People are not stupid; no matter how well “progressive sounding policy directions” are “framed,” this is no substitute to offering real solutions to real problems like the health care mess that has been created by a rotten social and economic system that places the corporate bottom line of profits above the health care needs of people.

Those elected officials like Representative Dave Olin (1-A)who continue to evade addressing the single-payer, universal health care solution should do so at their own peril and without receiving support from DFL voters and the DFL Party… Olin will not receive my support unless he changes his position to one of support for single-payer, universal health care and he has until Labor Day 2007 to think about this.

The well-heeled leadership of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party can no longer expect members of the DFL State Central Committee and local Party organizations to on the one hand continue to support DFL nominated candidates; while on the other hand refusing to hold these candidates accountable to supporting the democratic will of the grassroots convention delegates when support for an issue is as overwhelming as that which single-payer, universal health care received from delegates to the DFL State Convention, and so popular among Minnesotans.

I take this opportunity to serve notice on Representative Dave Olin that I will not lift a finger to support his future political endeavors unless he supports single-payer, universal health care. So far he does not even have the common courtesy of answering his own constituents’ personal queries, phone calls, or e-mails when he is asked his position on single-payer, universal health care; instead, he chooses to respond--- when he responds at all only to the most persistent--- “I don’t know enough about health care to have a position on single-payer, universal health care; I will vote the way the majority of my caucus votes on health care issues.” How convenient for Representative Olin; how unfortunate for the majority of his constituents who have no, or little, access to any kind of health care up here in northern Minnesota. It is time for Representative Olin and his colleagues who are so flippant concerning the health care needs of their constituents to be told in no uncertain terms: support single-payer, universal health care or defend your conservative and reactionary policies at the polls on Election Day 2008.

If the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party can not deliver on single-payer, universal health care, what can it deliver on? Recent legislative sessions provide the answer: absolutely nothing. This must change because working people now have a very long list of other problems that need to be addressed, including, but not limited to:

Ending the war in Iraq;

Rescinding at will hiring, at will firing;

Extending all rights, human rights and labor rights, other workers have to over 20,000 casino workers;

Rescinding the right of employers to challenge unemployment claims without reason;

Ending predatory lending in home mortgages;

Ending auto insurance companies using credit ratings in establishing rates for car insurance;

Making higher education free to all;

Real property tax relief for home-owners;

Tax the hell out of big-business;

Substantially increase the taconite tax and stumpage fees;

Extend full and complete protection to the Big Bog to protect Minnesota’s largest freshwater aquifer one of our most valuable resources;

Prohibit MinnTac and the mining industry from continuing to contaminate the communities where working people live;

Save the Ford Plant through public ownership;

The robbery at the gas pumps must end.

The time has come for state legislators to establish a state bank to finance public ownership of industries so we can protect, save, and create jobs and home ownership; union pension funds should be used for this purpose.

We need to consider establishing state-owned oil refineries as a solution to the robbery at the pumps. Like the health care industry that has been ripping people off for so long, the energy industry has lost all right to continue with unchallenged corporate ownership. We can probably work out deals with the Canadians and Venezuelans to take care of all the energy needs of our state without these corporate profiteers robbing us at the pumps.

Between the banks, insurance companies and the mining, forestry, power generating and health care industries Minnesotans are being taken for a ride; we need elected officials who will come up with real solutions to these problems through an open and frank dialogue with their constituents. This dialogue can not take place as long as the well-heeled leadership of the Minnesota DFL continues to maneuver and control the direction of political debate… it is not enough that working people and brain-dead union leaders are used as cheerleaders to parade around convention centers waving placards like high school cheerleaders at a football game to support the bankrupt policies of these uncaring and insensitive politicians chosen by well-heeled lawyers, the “Summit Hill Club,” the DFL Business Caucus, and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce members of the Minnesota DFL who seek the votes of working people, but do nothing to solve the problems of living, breathing, human beings who are suffering under the thumb of corporate control.

This circus in the Cities has gone on long enough. It is on the issue of single-payer, universal health care that working people must seize the initiative to begin re-ordering priorities in our state and in our country. Minnesotans, Americans, and people all over the world expect much better from the most progressive state in the Nation known for “red” Finns, the real Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party of Floyd B. Olson, Elmer Benson, Roger Jourdain, John Bernard, Rudy Perpich, and Paul Wellstone… a progressive tradition kept alive by writers and poets like Meridel LeSueur.

As working people, we can no longer tolerate, or afford, a Party that expertly “frames” progressive sounding policy directives without offering a single solution to our problems… Minnesotans, like Americans everywhere want single-payer, universal health care as a first step towards socialized health care.

We need open dialogue and debate on these issues, not censorship by those who exercise a one-way control over what we think and who we support; more importantly, who we have the right to elect.

Alan L. Maki

Member Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee, Roseau County

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk


If you would like to communicate with members of the Minnesota DFL State Central Committee here are their names and e-mail addresses; they appreciate hearing from you:

Note: Request a copy of the 2007-2008 Legislative Manual from your State Representative or State Senator for names and contact info of your elected officials... these manuals are free for the asking

Note: If you are fed up with inaction on single-payer, universal health care from your representative on the MN DFL State Central Committee, you might consider running against them.

Contact members of the MN DFL SCC here:


or here: