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...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Minnesota DFL leadership demonstrates no respect or concern for working people...

Below is a letter I sent to David Lee who is Chair of Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party which is well known for sending out untold amounts of Spam soliciting financial contributions and everything else that goes along with being involved in politics...

Mr. Lee and a small group of Democrats heavily associated and influenced by business interests is among those, along with Brian Melendez and Susan Rego, who have initiated an unprecedented personal attack against me because I have insisted that several issues be placed on the table for solution.

Mr. Lee along with this small group has become enraged because I have insisted on accountability from the DFL Legislative Caucus. The Minnesota DFL controls both the House and Senate in the Minnesota Legislature, therefore, anything the DFL is for should have an easy ride through the Committee Process and on the Floor. This is not the case as we have sadly witnessed.

Things like single-payer, universal health care endorsed by an overwhelming majority of the grassroots delegates to the last State Convention should have been placed on the table early on during the last legislative session along with legislation aimed at bringing the Ford Plant under public ownership.

This was not the case. Single-payer, universal health care never saw the light of day and has only surfaced now in a form brought forward by Senator John Marty in a very good form with one little problem if left unresolved--- it will bankrupt the state; kind of hilarious in a sick sort of way.

We need to make it clear that we want this Bill to go forward in an altered form that removes the insurance companies and HMO's from the picture altogether. Only a complete fool would suggest that taxpayers should subsidize the profits of the insurance industry and HMO's while bankrupting the state in the process.

Senator John Marty is holding hearings around the state ostensibly to convince his fellow DFL'ers that there is a horrendous problem with the present state of health care in Minnesota.

Come on, really, are there any DFL legislators besides Rod Skoe--- the exemplary example of intellectual wisdom; Bernie Lieder--- the "I'm more conservative than my Republican opponent;" and, Dave Olin--- "I didn't know there was a problem with health care" who don't understand the health care system is in a complete mess? In fact, health care is a disaster because the insurance companies, doctors, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies, and HMO's have profited from people's misery and illnesses. In fact, in many cases the rotten health care system makes greater misery for people than the illnesses they suffer from.

Obviously the leading body of the Minnesota DFL, the State Central Committee should have convened a special meeting as I suggested long ago on the issues of health care and the war in Iraq with accountability being the focus; yet, the only response to my insistence that two special meetings of the State Central committee be convened on the two most important and pressing issues--- health care and the war in Iraq--- for the purpose of hammering out a position that not only includes nicely framed policy statements, but real solutions has been to attack me; and, I don't think I can stress "solutions" enough. Minnesotans want to see an end to this dirty war in Iraq and Minnesotans have made it very clear they want this health care mess resolved through a system of single-payer, universal health care.

Basic to any solutions to these two problems is accountability. We get accountability by holding politicians accountable in two ways: 1.) insisting DFL elected officials support the DFL program and platform (now there is a real no brainer one would think) and by insisting that we have a way of keeping track of how these members of the DFL Caucus are voting... we do this by insisting that the Chairs of Legislative Committees instruct the committee secretaries to keep accurate minutes of Committee Meetings in a way that the public can tell who says what; more importantly, a record of how all committee members vote... dah, another no brainer, yet, a suggestion that has caused State Chair Melendez, Secretary Rego and others like 5th District Chair David Lee to go ballistic and postal in their attacks on me for suggesting this.

Why did State Chair Melendez go ballistic and into a fit of rage at my suggestion that all committee votes in the State Legislature be roll call votes and recorded by the committee secretaries?

One need only examine what has happened with the issues of single-payer, universal health care (it hasn't even been introduced except in a form if left as is will be defeated for sure); and, the proposed legislation that would have helped to save the Ford Plant which went down to defeat in a very heavily DFL dominated committee--- someone needs to explain this.

In fact, the ineffective DFL leadership of Melendez and Rego engineered the defeat of this legislation because of Susan Rego's clear financial conflict of interest; both Melendez and Rego are beholden to the Summit Hill club, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, and the DFL Business Caucus which, according to Rego doesn't even exist, yet these ghosts meet monthly in various restaurants around the Cities.

We don't need a repeat of what Melendez and Rego engineered for the future of the Ford Plant with single-payer, universal health care where Minnesotans and members of the DFL don't know how legislators vote in committee or on the floors of the Senate and House. This is not democracy. This is corrupt and undemocratic government through manipulation and control by well-heeled, wealthy, and powerful financial interests.

Melendez, Rego, and David Lee must be held accountable for their roles in fostering this kind of corrupt and undemocratic government.

This trio should have to stand before the DFL State Central Committee and explain why legislating without accountability is taking place on the part of the DFL Legislative Caucus.

This issue of accountability is one that is so basic and fundamental to honest and democratic government that it boggles the mind that Melendez, Rego, and David Lee would retaliate in such a vicious manner against me for bringing this issue forward.

But, I had no choice except to raise this issue of accountability, no one else has raised this issue.

Not the media, not the bloggers, not the unions, not academia. Not one other member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party has raised this issue that there has been a lack of accountability in the political process. Noting the reaction I have been subjected to I can kind of understand why. My real crime is that I put my thoughts about this in writing for all to read... and, lo and behold... everyone began saying, "Maki makes more sense than the entire bunch of those political hacks and those clowns passing themselves off for politicians."

Melendez, Rego, and David Lee have chosen to hide their attacks against me behind the skirts of a grandmother who used her grandson's pending deployment to Iraq as a political prop to silence those calling for an end to financing this dirty war in Iraq. I made the very simple observation that she should not cry if her grandson returns in a body bag--- a very realistic possibility given her mindless support for this senseless war.

This is the oldest trick in the book. Every high school debate student learns to try to shift to another issue when they can not explain and articulate their position.

Melendez, Rego, and David Lee have tried to shift the debate away from the issue of accountability using every dirty trick in the book and creating some new ones in the process centered around "Maki's lack of respect for a grandmother whose grandson is going off to Iraq." This all makes even Richard Nixon look like an angel in the way he attacked George McGovern... another progressive voice that Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and the Minnesota DFL helped to do in and we ended up getting stuck with Nixon.

Sure, Hubert Humphrey would be smiling at such shameful shenanigans being used by his contemporaries to replace progressive politics... and, you know, honest politics with accountability can not be separated from progressive politics because in the end when all is said and done--- after all the perfect framing of issues has taken place--- progressive politics is about accountability and honest government... accountability and honesty in government are the two primary hallmarks of progressive politics... yet Melendez, Rego, and David Lee indulge in the most atrocious and dishonest politics.

Mr. David Lee has sent me several very nasty e-mails, including suggesting that I don't have a right to even be in the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. He is irate that I have raised the issue of accountability and won't let it rest. I sent the following e-mail to Mr. Lee, I will publish his response if he has the moral and political courage to respond:

Mr. Lee,

Please enlighten me to what you see as some of the main problems facing Minnesotans and their solution.

By the way, I had removed you and the handful of other people who requested to be removed from my mailings to the DFL SCC… however, since you and others who are so concerned about my e-mailing have allowed Brian Melendez to take an action that disrupts my e-mailing to those who want to receive my e-mails and those with whom I communicate by getting Yahoo, Inc. to use its filtering system against all those with yahoo e-mail addresses I communicate with on a regular basis… I feel quite free to continue e-mailing all members, including you, of the DFL SCC.

Let me be perfectly frank… you did not step forward many months ago and support my suggestion that any of this (single-payer, universal health care, ending the war in Iraq, accountability from legislators) be placed on the SCC agenda; nor did you make any effort to put a halt to the campaign of hate that sprang up around the Chair’s and Secretary’s campaign to silence me; nor did you stand up and insist upon an explanation as to why the resolutions from the Roseau County DFL county convention went “missing.”

Nobody forced you to take the position of 5th District Chair which requires you to be attuned to these kinds of problems.

Do you really think that people are so stupid that when you say it is my methods that these very real problems people are experiencing are preventing the DFL from taking up, and putting forward, solutions? You must think everyone is a complete fool. I did not create any of these problems.

In fact, you, Brian Melendez and Susan Rego have taken my very legitimate concerns and turned this into a farce and fiasco.

You have shirked your responsibility when it comes to supporting dialogue and debate on how best to end the war in Iraq; you have not lifted your voice in protest against the continued contamination of our environment and freshwater aquifer up here in northern Minnesota by MinnTac and peat mining interests; you have never once brought forward the injustices 20,000 of your fellow Minnesotans are being subjected to as they go to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights in the workplace and without a voice at work. Not once have you raised your voice in support of single-payer, universal health care with accountability from the DFL Legislative Caucus on this issue.

Mr. Lee, had you raised your voice in what you consider to be a “proper” manner; there would be no reason for me to be addressing any of these problems in what you now consider an "improper manner."

In fact, what you consider "improper" is that I have raised these issues in the first place.

I have noted your continued silence concerning the barbaric behavior of the Israeli military in trying force the Palestinian people from their homes. I note you were silent as the Israeli military conducted its campaign of carnage in Lebanon... just as you sit in silence now as the Israeli perpetrated violence in Gaza spirals out of control.

You have not once lifted your voice in support of saving the Ford Plant and thousands of jobs through public ownership, the only way this plant will be saved in spite of the fact that you Chair the DFL organization where many Ford workers reside and where the Plant is located. You, Mr. Lee, despicably went along with Representative Paymar, the Summit Hill Club, DFL Business Caucus and the the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. Why, Mr. Lee, did you not insist on complete openness and accountability during the legislative process involving the legislation aimed at saving the Ford Plant and thousands of jobs?

Mr. Lee, you describe my actions as "improper." In what light should your own inaction on these very important and vital issues be cast?

Perhaps the worst of what you say is that you do not appreciate my methods; when in fact, what you do not appreciate is that these issues are being brought forward at all.

As for my bulk e-mailing, what makes my bulk e-mailing more offensive to you then that used by Keith Ellison, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Walter Mondale, the MN DFL, or any number of “bulk e-mailers.” In fact, I have received copies from people in your own district that have received unsolicited e-mails, mail, and leaflets from you and the 5th District DFL organization... might I suggest what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Mr. Lee, following your logic I would suggest that you not allow your 5th District DFL organization to e-mail, mail, or leaflet anyone or any household in your district unless they request you do such. I wonder how many people would actually request anything from a worthless, two-faced, political hack like you?

Should you and Mr. Melendez and Susan Rego and the handful of others want to play this little game you are playing rather than addressing the issues, let me assure you I am up to playing your game while continuing to address the issues in the process.

I have one of the largest e-mailing lists in Minnesota and I intend to make sure this list grows as I inform people of how you and a small group of people are continuing to dominate the DFL Party as if it is your own private piece of real estate or personal property when in fact it was created through a merger with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party for the purpose of empowering working people and giving a voice to working people trying to solve their problems just as I am doing. That you so detest what I am doing demonstrates your complete and utter contempt for working people trying to find solutions to their problems.

Now, Mr. Lee, if what I am doing is in violation of the rules and by-laws governing the Mn DFL Party, I would suggest that you and your cohorts take the appropriate actions provided within the DFL structure to have me removed rather than harassing me to no end for e-mailing people in the very same way that you do.

Let us not play games, Mr. Lee; you and I have absolutely nothing in common. I would suggest to you that you take your own advice and leave the MN DFL if you can not tolerate dialogue, discussion, and debate concerning the issues of importance to working people.

Should you really wish for me to leave the DFL, the only thing you have to do is take away the issues that have brought me here in the first place… several of which I have addressed here. You have only had many years to do this, and only now do you address these issues at all in opposing my “methods” of bringing these issues forward.

You are very right; I have no respect for political hacks like you who use such subterfuge and meanness to evade real issues.

Please feel free to contact the Chair of the Roseau County DFL with your concerns… please CC me a copy.

Mr. Ley Soltis is the Chair of the Roseau County DFL. Mr. Soltis can be reached at: 58716 355th Street, Warroad, Minnesota 56763. His phone number is: 218-386-2293.

Mr. Lee, I invite you, Chair Melendez and Susan Rego to work through the rules and by-laws of the Minnesota DFL and take the appropriate action in holding me accountable for what you have described as using "improper methods" and "improper conduct." I welcome you to initiate such proceedings rather than engaging in your campaign of intolerance and hate against me.

Quite frankly, Mr. Lee, your complaint of my "lack of respect" for a grandmother who would sit in silence and send her grandson off to fight in an immoral, illegal, unjust war in Iraq while using his deployment to drum up support for continuing to squander our tax dollars on this war is what I find both disgusting a shameful.

I have never in my life heard of a grandmother who would demonstrate such a lack of love, and lack of respect, for her own grandchild, that she would allow her grandchild to go off to war without a peep of protest and then turn around and use her grandchild to bully the rest of us into silence and into supporting the continued funding for this dirty war.

Mr. Lee, if this rotten government ever tried taking one of my grandchildren off to fight this dirty oilman's war I would be fighting like hell to prevent my grandchild from going in order to prevent harm to my grandchild and to prevent my grandchild from bringing harm to others; not using my grandchild as a pawn in a political game. Mr. Lee, you and her, are the epitome of everything dishonest and corrupt in politics in America today. I have no respect for the kind of politics you and she espouse.

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net