It’s Joe the small business owner

Published 10:49 am Thursday, November 6, 2008

I threw away 12 pieces of political junk mail I received from Working America.

I remember talking to two people from Working America on my front porch last summer and signing a petition.

Two other times, teams of young women came knocking on my door for Working America and I told them politely to go away.

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Then, the telephone calls started.

If they were those automated “robocalls,” I simply hung up.

Once I got a live person on the other end of the line and when she said she was calling for Working America, I told her to go away and hung up.

Sometime in October, I learned Working America was some kind of front organization for Al Franken. Why they never told me that at the outset I will never know. I could have told them to go away much earlier than I did.

I threw away two pieces of junk mail I got from the Minnesota DFL Party.

Even though I opened one of them … just to see what he said … I threw away all three solicitations from “Barack Obama” the return address read.

Two pieces of political junk mail from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also were tossed.

My personal favorite piece of political mail found stuck in the door was from Jeanne Poppe.

I liked the picture of her in front of the State Capitol.

Never been there, but I hear it’s a beautiful building.

I saved that one and another the State Rep. signed “Sorry, I missed you.”

Marian Clennon caught me sleeping one Saturday afternoon when she knocked on my door.

She left a card that she signed which personalized an otherwise nondescript political handout, so I kept it.

My favorite newspaper was the Oct. 28 Mower County Shopper: The one with Brian Thiel on the front.

It made for interesting reading.

Mr. Thiel has lived on a farm, in small towns and in large cities in Iowa, Minnesota, Arizona and Wisconsin.

He has had three careers, including being a minister and a salesman.

After reading all of Mr. Thiel’s background I decided he was in the witness protection program and voted for the opposition instead.

As far as those endorsements Yours Truly made, candidates should have considered the source before putting stock in them.

The first came after the September Primary Election.

I predicted incumbent Mayor Tom Stiehm would survive all tests and so far he has.

For council member at-large, my choice was Anderson and Keenan. The latter is gone, the former was elected.

King was my choice to survive the November election and he did.

My early choice in the Third Ward was Clennon in a close race with Bennett. It wasn’t close.

As far as the Mower County commissioner races went, I predicted Vermilyea and Tucker would win; Tucker did, but not Vermilyea.

As far as those wacky predictions went last week, I batted one correct prediction for six attempts.

As one of the — shall we call them — “vote-challenged candidates” said, “Your endorsement was the kiss of death.”

It’s starting to happen already.

Through the grapevine, here are the plans of one small business owner in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election:

Dear Fellow Business Owner:

As a business owner who employs 30 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barack Obama will be our next President, and that my taxes and fees will go up in a big way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that our customers will have to see an increase in my fees of about 8 percent. I will also have to lay off six of my employees. This really bothered me as I believe we are family here and didn’t know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what I did. I strolled through the parking lot and found eight Obama bumper stickers on my employees’ cars. I have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off. I can’t think of more fair way to approach this problem. If you have a better idea, let me know.

I am sending this letter to all business owners who I know.

Sincerely, Joe, the Small Business Owner.