A well placed source (I've always wanted to be able to use that phrase) has admitted that many DFL elected officials, some holding legislative leadership positions, are extremely furious with the party's paid headquarter staff in St. Paul. They have created and distributed three postcard mailers to registered voters in Senate District 40 in Bloomington and Burnsville that used Roman Catholic images in an attempt to defeat the Protestant challenger there in an extremely close electoral contest.
Those Roman Catholic images were placed there most surely to also subtly remind voters that Catholics were opposed to homosexual marriage and not to vote for candidates supporting Catholic positions on that issue, and abortion issues, two subjects the DFL leadership ardently supports.
The DFL has dreams of winning the governor's seat this year, but it may turn out because of the backfire on these poorly conceived campaign pieces that they might lose both the Senate and the House on election day.
Senior staff executives are so upset that they have been totally in denial and incredibly abusive in their conversations with Catholic Church and Republican officials who have called to complain about the despicable tactics. They deny that the cards use Catholic images to make their point against Protestant Dan Hall, the Republican candidate. Actually, they are frightened for their jobs. They blew it, really bad.
On one side of the three postcards, Hall is mockingly referred to as "Preacher Hall" and criticized for not having objected to Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty's budget cuts that the card claimed were harmful to the poor. Hall did not hold political office when the governor made his cuts. Are private citizens required to go on the record when they don't agree with political decisions?
Where is that record kept? It must be quite large. I've got a few thousand things I object to that I would like to place "on that record."
Hall, while he is an ordained minister, does not work for a church, is a volunteer police chaplain for the City of Burnsville and and is employed by an organization that supports chaplains. He attends a non-denominational church in Apple Valley.
Why the use of the mocking word "preacher?" To most people's knowledge, Hall has never been a preacher.
There are three versions of the very high quality, full color postcard, allegedly paid for by a rich Wayzata family. The "Catholic" images are on the front side with the address, the side that most people would look at first to make sure it was addressed to them.
The first image reported was that of a clergy man, from the chin down, wearing a black suit with a Roman collar (a white tab at the throat) that is most often identified with Catholic diocesan priests, most all of whom wear it. Some mainline Protestant ministers wear it too. But on the model's left side, there is a large campaign type button with the message, "Ignore the Poor", in red, white and blue. Experts say that it was "photoshopped."
They are saying that the Catholic Church "ignores the poor?" The Catholic Charities network is the nation’s fourth largest non-profit, according to The NonProfit Times.
In addition, 19,000 parishes in 195 dioceses, 42,000 priests, 5,000 brothers and 65,000 sisters, working with 70,000,000 Catholics who operate nearly 600 hospitals, 6,000 elementary schools, 1,300 high schools and 231 colleges and universities also provide for the poor.
And then one has to include lay apostolate groups like the Catholic Workers' Movement, founded by Dorothy Day, whose cause for canonization has begun, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, with their nationwide network of outlets providing inexpensive items for those in need, Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis founded by Mary Jo Copeland , Project for Pride in Living in the Twin Cities founded by Joe Selvaggio and other similar Catholic organizations that add to the incredible positive impact of Catholic services to the poor.
Not having seen the back of the card yet, almost all viewers would assume at first glance that it was a Catholic priest promoting that message.
Most Minnesota voters, however, would also be familiar with the fact that several weeks ago, a Marriage DVD was mailed to all the Catholics in the state, creating large numbers of objections from those who favor the legislature granting homosexuals the right to marry. The DVD was a 10 minute message to Catholics on Catholic teaching opposed to changes in those laws. Most of those who objected to the message additionally thought that the [donated] funds that paid for the production and mailing of the DVDs should have been used for aid to the poor.
There is no doubt that the militants among the DFL leadership who were responsible for the creation and approval of the button message wanted to remind voters not to vote for Catholics on one side of the postcard, and not to vote for Dan Hall on the other side.
The second image used on the postcards was that of an angel holding a banner saying "Blessed are the Rich", and a line saying "The Bible doesn't tells us to neglect the poor," another obvious shot at the Catholic Church for having cooperated with the anonymous donor in mailing the DVD's opposed to homosexual marriage. Ok, most religions believe in angels, and even those individuals who are "spiritual but not religious."
But you might want to sit down when reading about the third image, that shows a Catholic side (small altar on either side of a church's main altar) altar surmounted by a statue of St. Anthony of Padua holding the Baby Jesus. Seen that in a Protestant church lately? On either side are large banners saying, "Vote", and some shots at Dan Hall.
Still not convinced that this is a Catholic image? If you look at the lower left of the altar you will see three crutches. These surely were left there by handicapped individuals who prayed and asked for intercession from a saint, in this case, St. Anthony, (or quite often the Blessed Mother). Upon receiving a miraculous cure, they leave their crutches behind as concrete evidence for others of the power available through asking for help from somebody in Heaven.
These three Catholic images have been used by the DFL Party to defeat a Protestant contesting a state Senate seat, while at the same time furthering the Party's interest in having laws favoring homosexual marriage and abortion passed if only the DFL could control all three law-making bodies of government.