Gov. Pawlenty says Democrats are making reckless allegations that budget considerations have prompted his administration to consider releasing sexual predators. Pawlenty says the allegations are untrue, and he won't allow early release of sexual psychopaths being held for treatment after their prison terms end. He says Minnesota's policy is unchanged. Kevin Goodno, Human Services Commissioner joins to discuss.
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The headline sure was an attention getter State officials look to release sex offenders the article published in Sunday's Star Tribune said officials at the State Department of Human Services were looking at ways to move some of Minnesota's most dangerous sex offenders from secure State treatment facilities to less restrictive programs. Well, as you probably know the story has touched off a political Firestorm with Governor Tim pawlenty and attorney general Mike Hatch trading charges over the accuracy of the story and the impact of state budget cuts and any possible policy changes that political debate apparently will rage on for a while, but meanwhile today on. Midday, we're going to try to set aside the politics and find out more about the program itself. Just who are these sexual Psychopaths? How do they end up facing indefinite commitment and can they ever Be safely released joining us here in the studio is Human Services commissioner Kevin good know and if you have a question for the commissioner, we invite you to give us a call Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand or toll-free line is 1-800-222-8477 6,000 or 1-800 to for to to 828 commissioner. Thanks for coming into the first Ledger. Now first of all, I suppose we should Define who these people are that we're talking about is I understand that these are sex offenders who were sentenced to prison. They put their prison time in they were about to get ready to get out of prison and then legal proceedings followed which sent them not back on the street, but off to one either Moose Lake St. Peters that right. That's correct. And the it's an important distinction that these are folks that had been criminally committed to have fulfilled their obligation with regard to the criminal justice. Charges have been determined to be a danger to society because of their assessments that were made and are being civilly committed then to for treatment to St. Peter Moose Lake get basically given to the department Human Services for treatment. What's the proper terminology is that are they referred to as patients? Are they referred to as prisoners? What well the prisoners when they're in the corrections facility there one, the refer people are referred to the Department of Human Services for treatment their patients and we are treating them for their disorders that they have and have a treatment plan for them. Now. They do fall into different categories. I'm not I don't have all the details and it's the sexual sexually dangerous persons. There's also a sexual Psychopaths and they're just people who are mentally ill that me have no relationship with such sex offenses at all. So there's different categories that folks can fall into that that would fall into the civil commitment statute, but it ones that are have raised as Firestorm for those people that have had sexual. It has in the past do they see themselves as patients or do they see themselves as prisoners being held by the state in a different kind of prison. I think if you were to ask those folks, there's a number of them that would view themselves as that. They are continuing to be incarcerated. We view at that. We are providing treatment for them. And if they were our to take it involved be involved in the treatment that we do have a valid treatment program for them so we can meet their needs and try to become solve the problem so they can be released eventually into the society again. That's the hope so there are two sex offenders who have served their time and they're both about to get out of prison one is released back to the community. The other is involuntarily committed. Is there a bright line that that separates those two where you'd say? Well clearly this this fellow is going off to the hospital. This one is going back to the back to the community. Actually. If you look at the even what the are the facts in the newspaper article showed that correction. There's about 80 people released each year. We have some sexual offences of some sort out of those 80 they go through them and you typically identify about 40 of those individuals as those that would be most likely our danger and should be looked at for civil commitment. And those are referred to the county attorney's on average about 20 people are committed each year. So there's out of the population of people who are discharged or release from prison only about that have sexual offenses about 25% of them are actually civilly committed at that at that higher level the folks at our level at depending upon and I'm not as clear on these laws as far as Community notification, but those that are the most more dangerous have more strict standards stricter standards. They have to go through with regarded to community notification when they're released into the community. Typically the folks that are civilly committed are those that have the most egregious records and are You know those typically that are the tougher folks and have the most difficult problems. Those are the ones that are referred to our treatment facilities. Now the ones who are the folks who are involuntarily committed what makes that legal as I understand it is the state's commitment to treat these people and get them back eventually back on the street. Correct, right? The the whole concept here is that we're committing them for their safety and for the safety of the public but Our obligation is to treat them and treat their Disorder so they can be discharged and the whole concept of treatment is a people progress through a program and that with the eventuality that they would be released and find a place in society again, if we don't have that treatment mechanism in place and then there's nothing that distinguishes the civil commitment from the criminal incarceration and then it jeopardizes a whole civil commitment process and realistically This the treatment element is it is it a real deal or is it a fig Leaf just to keep the courts. It's the real deal. What you do run into though is differences in philosophy, you know, you have people that have the philosophy that we can actually this is a disorder a sexual predator has a disorder that actually can be cured and then once you cure them then you can just you know, things are things are fine. And we have a cure for that person other folks have the philosophy that in order to treat it. It's a issue that people have to deal with and it's a tendency that they have that you have to control and they have to be able to be taught how to control that tenancy. And so that there's a conflict in the treatment but it is a real treatment. It's not a fig Leaf. It's something that we take very seriously and what we do and because we take that obligation under the statute very seriously is there are anybody right on the verge of being so far since nice since this law was in effect in 1994? Nobody's been released hundred. Ninety people as I understand it facing your subject to involuntary commitment are any of those folks right on the verge of walking out the door at this point. None would be on the verge of walking out the door. We have the process. The treatment process person is an assessment process it's done and that's done typically prior to the civil commitment proceedings going through but once they're civilly committed they're sent through a treatment process which has four levels to it. And the fourth level is preparing for discharge and transition out into the community. We currently out of the hundred ninety people. We have six people that fall into that category and that number fluctuates dependent even from day to day or week to week because if there's a mishap they drop out of that level for in the drop down to a different level of treatment. We have people six people that are currently in that none of them are in the stage where there's immediate discharge into Community pending the process of takes place before they would be Well to be discharged is that there would be a review panel of experts there be an attorney psychologist and somebody else familiar with mental illness that we review The Case of the individual make the determination that you know that they should be discharged or provisionally discharged. Once they make that determination then they make a recommendation to me the commissioner and I have the ultimate if they recommend that the person should not be released. Then I must follow their recommendation and not release the person if they recommend that they should be released. Then I need to take another assessment and make the final decision. If we should release them and under what conditions they should be discharged if whatever decision I make that can be appealed to a special panel of the courts think there's a 3-quart panel. That's that's established by the Justice of the Supreme Court chief justice and then they would review the decision the decision making process and I went through so even if I said yes, and then the county attorney for that County could actually appeal it to the next level and take it for judicial overview. So there's a very rigorous process to go through and making those determinations. And as far as releasing people it can be either be an auto all-out discharged with a person just discharged into the community in which then they would fall under the other community notification acts that are out there with regard to sexual offenders or there could be a provisional discharge where there's strings attached to the discharge where there's additional treatment options available Community, you know, just heavy monitoring of what they do and that's what's raised. This Firestorm is this whole issue about the potential of a provisional discharge what kind of constraints can you put on a per-person to be consistent with the treatment that we're obligated to do but also maximize the safety to the public in terms of release Beyond The Fairly elaborate process you just described is it possible for a judge somewhere along the line to say? Hey, this guy's put his time in let him go my understanding of the processes that we're We subject to our laws are always subject to judicial review as far as if for meeting constitutional challenges, I believe that it can be brought to a judge and they could say that this person shouldn't have been civilly committed that there's errors made in the process for civil commitment things like that. So it is possible that a judge could make that decision Our Guest though. This hour is Human Services commissioner. Kevin good known. He's come by today to try to help us understand this business of the sexual Psychopaths and sexual predators the involuntary commitment of these gentlemen how they go about getting released if they're ever going to be released. If you'd like to learn more about this. Give us a call here at 6512276 Thousand. That's our Twin City area number 6512276 thousand. Our toll-free line is 1-800-218-4243. I'm in general a strong advocate for individual rights except in this Instance and I realize this is a terribly difficult issue, especially with three relating to the hope for release that was discussed in the article and in general, but with the recidivism rate of these folks and I've read too many articles and seen too many programs that they are not rehabilitative all and they are very much likely or not even likely they will repeat offend. It's worse than even releasing someone who's murdered someone wants because the likelihood of that person and again, I'm not talking in a Serial likelihood of that person repeat offending isn't as high as it was with these folks. It's not even like an alcoholic and alcoholic can stay away from alcohol. These people can't stay away from victims because victims are everywhere and all I ask is and again, I feel very bad about saying this but I am not willing to risk my children or my safety or my neighbor safety with someone getting Out and one last comment on that the notification of communities there was an article recently I think in the last few months about how the police are unable to track everyone and there was a very large number of folks they had lost track of so, I'll try to stop because I could go on forever. All right. Thanks Colleen. I don't want to get too far off into the notification procedures, but I but she hits on to I think a very important points number one. Is there any evidence to indicate that these folks can in fact be rehabilitated? First of all, let me mention something with clean. I have three young daughters all under the age of five. I absolutely understand where she's coming from on this issue and I just want to make it clear that what's being talked about. There's no discussion with regard to changing the recent release policy or there's the these you know what we're doing there. I mean, we're not changing policy at all. We're just talking about a component that can commit to make it more that where we have more oversight. So As far as Rehabilitation is that's part of that discussion. What is Rehabilitation some people think you can actually cure these folks? We haven't found as far as I know. There's no indication that I'm aware of that that shows that week that people can be cured. It's a philosophy and treatment can they control their Tendencies You know, the recidivism rate for these folks is high compared to other folks. And so we understand that that's why if you look at the hundred ninety people who have been committed since 194 not have been just discharged because we understand there's a high recidivism rate. It's very difficult issue to deal with and treat and that's why it's such a rigorous process to get through the treatment process and also very rigorous to get to the discharge. But the fact is we're still trying to treat them. Now the fact that nobody's been discharged just as an example of how difficult it is to really treat this this Affliction this problem. I was going to say though because if you want it was also pointed out in this article, if you want people to go through the treatment program and take it seriously. They have to believe there's There's light at the end of the tunnel. Do they not that in fact, if they play by the rules, they'll get out but that's one of the basic tenets of the whole treatment programs is that people have to have this thought first of all that there what they have is treatable and then they have to have that be able to engage in see that there's some possibility that there's some positive things that will happen to them by going through the treatment program and that they can actually be cured and so I that is a hope that that has to be out there but quite frankly when we when we commit people for treatment, you know, it's for treatment in the whole concept is it that at some point we should be able to find show some positive results with regard to treatment? Hmm. It does sound like a fig Leaf though this whole business of treatment it, you know, I can see why you have that perception, but it is You know, it's a very difficult Affliction 22 and each person is a little bit different because there's interactions with chemical dependencies and other maybe mental illness and developmental disabilities. So you each person has an individual plan that they have to go through as far as treatment goes but it is real treatment. We take that charge very seriously, but it also is an example of how difficult it is to treat that they come to a level where we feel first of all that it's safe for the pump for them to be released into the public because it's safe for the public that they're amenable to being involved in society again, and that they don't need to be you know, supervised highly supervised setting again the concept that we talked about is that if and when somebody eventually does get discharged that we have a highly supervised setting as a potential or as an alternative to just flat-out discharge and that's what we're looking at. And that's something that Corrections does when they release people on parole who have sexual offenses as they have a highly supervised setting and The only thing we're looking at because if the let me just throw out the the downside, I mean if we don't have a valid treatment program in place the potential is that the whole civil commitment for these individuals could be ruled unconstitutional and the whole group can be discharged. Hmm now that's that's maybe an over reaction an overstatement, but that's the concern and so that's why we take the charge of treatment very seriously Ernest your question, please I don't have a question. I just have a few comments. Number one. I know this is a real emotional issue and I met I have been disengaged now, but I was a therapist sex offender therapist in prison system. But I really don't I do find it unconstitutional even though I've testified in court and in these issues with inmates what I find is that we don't we don't have and it's a very difficult road to travel and treatment and the treatment programs we have tin plates for treatment, but we really it's hard to say who's going to recidivate we have people that do lesser offenses and durable and treatment and leave and recidivate. You can read the progress reports and a treatment summaries and it will show that the fellow did real well or the woman. I don't know what the cases in the women now and then at on the other hand, you may have someone who's recalcitrant and difficult and he may go out and may not receive eight and I just find that abhorrent that we can hold people. I'd rather just have higher penalties or tighten up on the supervision. It just this seems like a nightmare course to me. It has since the beginning and I don't particularly like Advocating for some of the worst of the worst sex offenders, but on the human rights issue. I'm I have real concerns about how we can hold people and we're doing this in different areas in our nation. Now what different things and again treatment is not being a therapist and working in it. We have our own prejudices. We take cognitive therapy we take whatever is the mainstream floating down to use of therapy and we do the best we can but we don't know how to really deal with fixations and there's a conversion experiences really probably have to occur. Okay. Thanks Earnest for somebody who is released if that happens in the future here commissioner. Are you confident that there are there's a way to essentially keep such a close eye on somebody who is released that even if they were inclined to commit another offense, they really couldn't because there was always somebody looking over the shoulder. Short of know short of having them in a secured setting a hundred percent of the time. There's no way that you can guarantee that somebody will not recidivate or commit another crime or have frat infraction and Ernest makes a good point. I mean, there is a tension here. My background is not clinical at all. I my background I was in the legislature for 12 years I voted for the 1994 Act that made it made us made it gave us the option to be able to commit people for civil commitment sexual predators. The reason for that is is because we have a concern about Public Safety out there and but there's a really strong tension between Public Safety and individual rights and and being able to put people into civilly commit people put them into confinement without criminal charges being levied against him. So that is a real tension there one alternative is since if you as I mentioned before most of these people are being referred out of the correction system, they've already served a penalty for sexual prison for some sexual offense. If you do strengthen penalties that lessens the impact of the number of people that would be subject to civil commitment because they would be in the criminal justice system rather than in the civil commitment problems some civil commitment process. Hmm representative Mindy grayling's on the phone with a comment represented. Go ahead. Yeah. Hi Gary. Hi Kevin I voted for this law to back in 1994. But since then I've worked on the civil commitment lawn become a little more knowledgeable and I'm wondering to me, you know, you're right civil commitment is for treatment, but it seems to me in the case of these offenders were really talking about punishment and it's kind of an oops. We didn't give them a long enough sentence now, they're going to get out so we came up with this idea, but I think it's a bastardization of civil commitment and you know for the reasons you said it should be for treatment and then a person should have a chance to get out. I'm wondering if you're working at all with with the penal or the Corrections Department to look at how Longer sentences for people who really aren't redeemable and trying to figure out how to keep them in the penal system and not mix up the civil commitment with people that we just really want to keep locked up. And then we're spending all these 20 million dollars for this charade of pretending that they're redeemable. Commissioner represent growling appreciate your comments and represented growling is looked at as a legislative expert on the civil commitment process because of our involvement on these mental health issues on mental health issues. We have had regular conversations with corrections with regard to how we deal with people as they make their way through the system with regard to Corrections. They're dealing with people who have already been incarcerated. We're the folks that we're getting when silicon Amendment are people that have already been incarcerated and then released when we're always going to have that population regardless, if next year the legislature passes a lifetime sentence is for people who are convicted of sexual offenses. We're always going to have that those folks that are already in the system that that new sentencing won't want to apply to but we always explore other options, but I do have to reiterate that we view this as a legitimate civil commitment process and that we do have legitimate pretreatments in place for these people that Under the civil commitment, but for the new folks who are coming into the system would you say we need much stronger laws so that they basically never get out of prison in the first place at this point. I'm learning my the distance distinction between being a legislator in the commissioner of Human Services. I think that's something that the legislature, you know that could explore and I'm certain the governor's office would be interested in looking at that as an option as we move forward that has cost to a penal system of course, but when you're looking at people that commit some of the most heinous crimes in you know that in our society, I think that's something that I think that the administration would be interested in looking at along with the legislative folks represent of growling was talking about people who just seem to have no redeeming basically no redeeming value whatsoever. But I would think it'd be tough to determine that at the front end. You can't it's tough to determine it at the back end as our caller Ernest was pointing out. I mean, you just don't know right and that's that's the issue and that's The I mean that we get into Corrections debate and I guess I'm not necessarily qualified to get into that. But as to what's the purpose for for the penalties that we have in our system is it to protect the public is it punitive? Is it for treatment, you know, do we want to treat these people that helped make them active members of society again. And again, there's differences in philosophy over how the how the penalty should be set and why we're setting those penalties and that's a broader discussion than mine. Right Craig your question, please. All right. Thank you for Mike. Thank you for taking my call. Hi, Kevin was Craig from Moorhead. Really appreciate the program the biggest. I mean, maybe a question and concern I have is you keep using the word treatment many many times during this interview and I think Society itself doesn't either understand or trust what you are calling treatment. What exactly is the treatment for this so-called? Is it really even treatable? That as I mentioned before there are different philosophies on how to treat this ailment or this Affliction. They're also people out there that say it's not treatable and so there isn't real controversy with regard to you know, the ability to treat people as you've heard from representative growling. I mean, there's definitely a difference in philosophy. But what I'm charged to operate in the Department of Human Services is a treatment facility and treatment program for the people who are civilly committed to my jurisdiction and who are put into the basically the hospital setting for treatment. So I'm approaching it from that position that you know, we're putting the best treatment program in place that we can find and identify for these individuals now having said that is there perfect treatment program out there or in our the easy to treat no because look at the example, none of the hundred ninety people that have been committed since 1994 have been discharged from the program and that's An example that we don't have a tree a valid treatment program in place is just an example that their Affliction is very difficult to deal with I don't want to as I noted at the beginning of the program here. I don't want to get off into the politics of this but have past administrations done any work on what's supposed to happen to these people if and when they do get out or you the first folks to to wade into these Waters that's that's why the article in the reaction to the Articles a little bit mystifying to us is that this is just a continuation of the process. It started in 1994 as far as what the what the spectrum of treatment is. How do you deal with people when you have a program people will be released or it's assumed people will be released. How do you deal with them at that point? And what we're looking at is What mechanisms can we put into place to make sure that we protect the safety to the the safety of the public at the same time meeting our obligations to provide treatment for people who are discharged if that ever comes about and so now this has been an ongoing process since since 1990. When the statute was put into place Kelly your question, please good morning. The question that I have is that certainly dealing with this debate that has been going on since the law was passed back in 1994. What I'm looking at is is this debate going on elsewhere in the country as well what other states looking not only at our neighboring states, but throughout the country do they have a civil commitment laws for for sexual offenders who have served out their sentences and how are they dealing with this issue my understanding and I don't have the exact numbers but that there are a number of other states that do have similar laws that a lot of them were patterned after Minnesota's and I think it's in the teens. I might be a little short on that and I can guarantee you that this discussion continues on in those areas. Also one of the big issues that in this might be in a one of the issues is that it is an expensive program when you look at treating almost People are 20 million dollars. It is expensive but I think from a public perspective and from my perspective and from the governor's perspective. There are prices that we should be paying to protect the public and this is one of those prices now that does that mean that we won't provide treatment know we're providing treatment for these folks, but we were strongly behind the civil commitment act as it's currently written and also as a the stringent procedures with regard to releasing people, why does it cost three hundred and ten dollars a day for each of these folks because these are folks that are in a hospital setting they are being treated for this this Affliction. Some of them have multiple issues. It's mental illness issues that are related to also this Tendencies with regard to being sexual predators on in addition to that. There may be chemical dependency issues and Drug dependency issues that have integrated interactions with it. So these are not and they're also the most difficult of the Difficult people to serve there are very much the I mean when you look at the standards of who's being committed, these are folks that have been involved in criminal activities that are pretty pretty nasty. Do you have any guesstimate as to what I would cost by comparison to to have somebody get released they go through the release process and they're out but you want to continue intense supervision of the guy because you did. Well, you don't know what's going to happen any idea what that supervision it cause I know if it's intense supervision along with treatment that that would I'm really not sure. I know in the corrections. I think they put a price tag of about 80 in the high 80s per day. Just having somebody incarcerated in the jail cell. So what ninety dollars a day for that if you this would be very intensive as far as the parole officer goes along with treatment. I'm guessing well, I don't know it would be less than $300. I'm not sure. I'm not certain exactly what the level would be. Hmm. And again, it would depend on what what all needs to be treated with individual again to re-emphasize here to you think it's likely that any of these 190 sexual Psychopaths currently committed are going to be released any time soon. There's always that they're like I mentioned there are six out of the hundred ninety that are at the level 4 and their treatment they have not and nor are they to scheduled for as far as I know the review board to go through that review process and I haven't been made aware that any of them are coming are pending or meat for immediate release. Hmm, so I can't unqualified and I can't just State no not in the near future because I don't know what the near future the definition of that is for certain, but you know, it all depends on how they process through the treatment program. These folks have been been in the system for a while. They've been in this level for for a while. So it's just a natural progression if they start continue to meet these steps of treatment and it's not uncommon for people to even be at that level and make a misstep and then be knocked down to a different level treatment think the article quoted that they're a people in level 4. Well, we just did another we pull the numbers again. There's there's six. Hmm. So there's a few people that you know, they failed at a treatment level and they were dropped down. So that's You know for me to say that anybody is immediate I would say no, there's no immediate anybody pending for release from our civil commitment program. Now, there are people that are released, you know regularly from Corrections, right? And so we need to make sure we have that distinction between being people being released from Corrections and people being released from civil commitment in terms of the civil commitment releases last question for you commissioner, you are at the you come in at the end of the process the the review panel say, you know, we've looked at this and we think this person can be safely released and so on and on and it goes up to the and your that's your where the buck stops that what I would think would be quite a heavy responsibility. It's not an easy responsibility considering the fact that I can really relate to the concerns people have about protecting their kids. I mean, it's hard not to separate the decision. You have to make from your own life and your own daughters and your own kids. It is a difficult decision. But you know, I'm charged with the duty as commissioner of Human Services that I have to do. I want to I'll fulfill that to the to as I'm legally obligated to do but I have to say there's certain criteria that I look at one of the criteria that I'm charged with looking at it is Public Safety and that will be definitely be something that I focus on when I look if and when I ever look at if anybody reaches that level that I will be looking at is the public safe that this person is released and with the conditions because that is pregnant priority for me because I certainly don't want to release somebody and then find out within a week or within a year's time that the person commits another act against a child or somebody else. And so I don't you know, I will take this very Very seriously, but I also take the Our obligation to treat these folks very seriously to commissioner we're out of time. But thank you so much for coming in today. It's my pleasure to appreciate it. Given service commissioner. Kevin good no joining us during this our midday programming is supported by Ecolab dedicated to improving cleaning and sanitation standards for leading Hospitality Healthcare and food processing customers worldwide on the web at Ecolab.com and by the University of Minnesota, press publisher of the war against beavers the story of to City dwellers who moved to the North Woods By the way, Minnesota Public Radio would like to thank the retirees of Prudential Financial for volunteering in our phone room today. I like the news station because it seems to be pretty impartial. It's a much (00:40:04) more open dialogue you tend to hear (00:40:05) things that you might not (00:40:07) normally hear in an abbreviated newscast. It's so important now (00:40:11) so come forward and support something like (00:40:13) this one eight hundred two to seven (00:40:16) 28:11 were you paying for is news programming that's in-depth intelligence. It covers both sides. Let's just get on board and do the right thing. Yes indeed (00:40:28) and we are coming to the end of our fiscal year ends on Monday and we're trying to get as many of you to make a membership call get on board do what you can to support the good quality news and information programming that you listen to Bob Collins is joining me from our phone room where the volunteers are standing by but those volunteers to work 1-800 to to 728 11. That's the number to call to make Ledge 1-800 to to 728 11. If you're near your computer, you can do it online Minnesota Public Radio dot org and Bob it is darn cheap to join today. Yeah. It's so cheap that for every dollar that you call in and pledge Gary's going to pledge a dollar of his own money you all is that right? Yes, sir and heard that you know, it's all taking one for the team and thank you. Thank you from all of us at one eight hundred two to seven 28:11. How much am I matching then? Don't worry about it live for the moment buddy. I see. Okay. This is also a t-shirt Tuesday where you get your new MPR member T-shirt If you're a new MP remember funny how that works, isn't it for $5.00 a month or $60 a year actually has the same thing. You probably figured that out in time for summer in this ridiculous, whether you get to the exclusive for members only a t-shirt if you call us right now at 1-800-273-8255 all this work out for you because you also Get all the benefits of the Minnesota Public Radio a member card which includes the 241 offers that we have at golf courses and bed and breakfasts and restaurants and such. So in fact, there's actually a way for you to invest $60 over the next year and reap the rewards financially speaking far beyond that not only that but you also get great quality programming out of your radio. And all you have to do is call right now. Absolutely 1-800 to to 728 11 half-price memberships. Yes. We're so in only one out of six folks who listens to the station actually is a paying member, Minnesota Public Radio and you know, thank the Lord for that one Hardy Soul who pays the dues because we wouldn't be here without their support but would like to bump that up. We think a good many of you are on the fence. Maybe you've been thinking about becoming a member just haven't gotten to it. Well, we have a special offer for you on this t-shirt Tuesday half-price memberships. Yes for just five dollars a month 60 bucks a year. You can become a full member Minnesota monthly the two-for-one discount card the whole schmear the get the T-shirt half half price 1-800 to to 728 11 or online, Minnesota (00:43:06) Public Radio dot org Bob there for callers on the line, which means a (00:43:10) lot of your folks up there in the phone room aren't doing anything at my folks are falling down on the job up here because your folks aren't calling pal 1-800 to to 722 level. We have four people on the phone, which means we've got to have them close to 30 volunteers, which I think the 3M folks have left us and they've been replaced by the Prudential Financial Services people. Yep. So if you don't call right now we're gonna do a whole show here on term versus whole life. So call right now 800 2 to 7 2011. We're about halfway. Well a little bit more than halfway to the goal. But there's only about 12 13 minutes left to go. So, we've really got to step it up here in the next couple of minutes 1-800 to 270. 8:11 $7,500 is the goal for this hour and we should note by the way that as soon as we make our overall goal here. We'll end this membership Drive will wrap it up. We hope to quit early but that's entirely up to those of you listening. If you call in make your membership pledge get your business taken care of we'll be able to finish early and get back to regular programming. Otherwise, we need to raise all the money to pay for the programs that you listen to so take advantage of this opportunity the half price offer take advantage of the special new t-shirt new MPR t-shirt offer available only to members and do what you can to end the drive early and support the program's 1-800 to to 728 11 or Minnesota Public Radio dot-org have we mentioned? Mr. Collins the Vespa? We haven't but we're about to right now oddly enough. We have a turquoise is the word Allah. I'm trying to come up with a different word that turquoise and coral blue maybe or something or as yours. Thing but it's a really Nifty color and it's a 2003 of Vespa ETL tool motor scooter. It's been given to us by the folks at Vespa Minnesota. Now, you don't have to pledge in order to qualify to enter. You can just call up say I don't want to give you any money, but I want to enter the Vespa thing. But you know, that really wouldn't be cool. So when you call give us some money too. So if you become a member to you're automatically entered to win the Vespa, et2. You can do this anytime between now and June 30th, which is what next Monday Monday but why have something hanging over your over the weekend? It's like, you know homework you could do it Friday night be done with it or do it Sunday night do it right now by picking up the phone or by going to the website oddly enough at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org. Italian for minnesotans it biatch it even Bo Vespa you like my Vespa join Minnesota Public Radio and you're automatically entered to win a Vespa motor scooter from Vespa Minnesota. Give me a Vespa ape who my new physical blue. Yeah. Sure. I'd Esper's blue. Click and join it, Minnesota Public Radio dot org or call one eight hundred two to seven 2811 in your Vespa unipotent amend the Machina. Oh, yeah, my Vespas nice. That's one eight hundred two to seven 2811. No Italian or pledge necessary to enter. I find the radio to be much more almost intimate. My name is Jessica Smithson and I live in Brooklyn Center Minnesota and they don't have to be confounded by an images that they choose to show me. I can let my mind fill-in the pictures for me the one good reason for joining and PR is that Are providing you with a service and that it's a valuable service and by your support you're acknowledging that this is valuable and this is important to you. (00:46:46) Hello, this is Bill clang president. You probably wonder what bill clangs president of Minnesota Public Radio does in the wee hours of the morning. Yes, he Paces the floor. And of course he can't sleep is the foundation. (00:47:05) But what really keeps Bilk laying awake at (00:47:07) night those listeners who aren't members people to join how and what would it take to get these (00:47:15) Lambs into the fold as the work (00:47:17) and then it comes to him t-shirts forget the self-propelled unicycles with built-in solar radios and those obscure Bulgarian Coral CDs. And for god sakes enough already with the Johnny Cash. Yes, it was t-shirts that built this (00:47:33) station. And so it happened what once was hidden behind suits of working men Across America to protect their shirts from perspiration became a trusted symbol for the most respected news and music. This in broadcasting t-shirts. And today only you can have the chance to get one such t-shirt by calling 1-800 to to 728 11 or you can simply click and join at Minnesota Public Radio dot org and let Bill cling sleep 468 people will be wearing those t-shirts Bob Collins 468 people have called in and become members so far today and if we can convince several more to call here before noon will be on track 1-800 to to 728 11 or online Minnesota Public Radio dot-org 21 callers are on the line and they're actually not t-shirts. They're actually P shirts because you have to (00:48:30) pledge get t-shirts. Yeah. That's that's good man. That's good. That's very good. (00:48:36) That's the best you can I guess it's the way to put it in the casino. No time me and The Hollies and the turtles and all the other over. They have folks 21 people on the phone. Give us a call at one eight hundred to two 728 11. You can also click and join it Minnesota Public Radio dot-org. We have Janet from Decorah Iowa has called and we always ask the reason for pledging. She says, I love my wife. Okay, let's see Andrea. Andrea over dilutes is like Krista Tibbets. Speaking of Faith Barbara is somebody who's give us a call A has given us a call says I listen all the time. I am so tired of protesting against the FCC thing, you know, that's where one company owns every radio station in America and as she says and I think correctly so I you have to support stations that give you information. And so there you have it. You have to have two spits orders from Barbara and you don't want to get on Barbara's bad side 19. People are on Barbara's good side right now, and we need more as we East toward our goal here this our Gary yes indeed. We had a gold as our $7,500 still about 2800 to raise. We have 19 folks on the line. Now all of those people are automatically being entered in the drawing for the Vespa Scooter. So give yourself a chance to win a scooter. You don't have to pledge but of course we hope you will is when you call us or when you log on you will automatically be entered 1-800 to to 728 11. We're particularly focused today on those of you who are not members of Minnesota Public Radio about one in six folks who listens to the station actually helps pay for it and we need to bump that up substantially. It's only a matter of fairness when you think about it you listen help pay for it and we have as a special special inducement here half-price memberships five dollars a month 60 doc dollars for the whole year. We lose a little money Bob on every membership, but we make it up in volume. Yeah. Quality people there why I really want 802 to 728 11:21 callers are on the line five minutes to go if we're going to make that goal 1-800 to to 728 11. We got a message here from Doris of Minneapolis who called and just passed a launch said, you know, you maybe need have a special emphasis for fixed income people as a matter of fact, every time we do this someone always says, you know, what about if you if you can't afford $5, would you take 250 you bet give us a call and we're not hanging up on people (00:51:12) who are members and want to renew by the way. So although (00:51:15) this is a new member kind of day. You know, we still love our old members. (00:51:20) That's right. That's right. We will say no (00:51:21) no, no one that's right 1-800 to to 728 11 or Minnesota Public Radio dot-org. This is Ira Glass of This (00:51:28) American Life recently. You may have been one of the many people who are searching for news about the war in Iraq and you discovered Minnesota Public Radio, and now you find yourself listening all the time and if that's so let me fill you in on how we pay for this. It's the fairest system in the world those of us who listen there's a vessel like this kind of reporting. We've thrown a few bucks we each pitch in and that's how we pay for all those reporters and analysts all over the world. That's how we get the coverage that we like to hear. If you found yourself relying on this coverage run join the club throw some money in the Hat join the rest of us who want to keep this going call 802 to 720 811 will join online at Minnesota Public Radio dot org. Thank you. I Room 1-800 to to 728 11 or Minnesota Public Radio dot-org Bob 472 people have signed up to become new members today. Do you think in the next three and a half minutes we could get that up to 500. I've always had great faith in Gary's people (00:52:28) varies people are up to this sort of thing. Well, that would be what no 25 people more or less here in the next three minutes. If you're one of 25 folks who's not a member if you'd call in and take advantage. A job at half-price membership boy. It will help a lot 1-800 to to 7 2011. I'm reminded of the days of Jesse Ventura demon. When Jesse first took office and he was going to cut what little State funding there was for Minnesota Public Radio and he'd come down each other all you know, I used to work at the station in town. They had duct tape everywhere. I didn't see duct tape here. It was really not a you know, (00:53:01) not a very pleasant situation. But by the end of his team member this by the end of his administration where where he came to announce he wasn't going to run again was Minnesota Public Radio and the reason was and this is for Gary's people pretty much was was misdirected because Jesse would remark that you know, (00:53:18) Minnesota Public Radio was fair and presented both sides and wasn't into shock and all that sort of stuff. And and that's the way it happens for a lot of folks who just kind of stumble across the MPR in the radio dial. They find themselves listening a little bit more a little bit more a little bit more than after the while they realized, you know, there really is a difference here and then the next step for us is to say now it's your turn to support it and That's for those of you who are listening this afternoon. That's where we have now come to the part where we say now it's time for you to support it. 27 people are on the phone. We've got plenty of folks around here to answer the phone. And so now strictly time for you to do your part and you can at one eight hundred two to seven twenty eight eleven or if you're listening online right now to mid-day. You can just click on over to Minnesota Public Radio dot-org click on the little best motor scooter and away we go. Yep everybody who calls you click on join you automatically entered in the drawing. Somebody's going to win the Vespa. It might as well give yourself a chance. I would think Bob we have about 15 members shy of that 500 Mark and 15 folks. If you're anywhere, you'll be able to get right through no busy signal we've got about a minute to go here at one eight hundred two to seven. 28:11 Robert Caro noted historian coming up over the noon hour talking about LBJ and Hubert Humphrey and their unusual relationship. I think you're going to find that very interesting to listen to we'll get That after some headlines and after hopefully you make your call here in the next couple of seconds 1-800 to to 728 11 Bob. You got 30 seconds. It's time to stand up Gary's people. It's time to stand up. Will you support the quality you get stand up say yes say, yes, it's Gary's people say yes to carry say yes to midday at 1-800 to to 7 2011 and even if you hate Gary, yeah altogether up. Anyway, yeah and up make a pledge it for a little while work with us here. What 827 28:11 again that online website Minnesota Public Radio dot org and thank you in advance. I became a member because I've listened to the service for quite some time. I get a lot of benefit from listening to the radio. It helps me a lot now contributing and to something that's really important to me. And before I sort of felt like I was taking from the trough (00:55:35) on I didn't really belong and belong there. You (00:55:37) know. I've been listening for about three years and I was really feeling guilty about not being a (00:55:43) member. I can join at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org. Programming is supported by the outdoor cooking store in White Bear Lake offering a variety of gas charcoal and electric grills and smokers with thousands of accessories and fire pits more information at 6'5 1653 6166 or at outdoor cooking store.com your to 91.1 Canada wfm Minneapolis. And st. Paul. We have a thunderstorm 71 degrees in the Twin Cities and there is a flood watch for the Twin Cities the rest of this afternoon and tonight now eventually this afternoon the showers and thundershowers should come to an end. Although then later we could end up with some severe weather Heavy Rain damaging winds in the rest. So so hang loose here. We'll see how it turns out tonight 60% chance for showers and thundershowers again, maybe some severe weather in the cities with an overnight low in the upper 60s tomorrow continuing chance for a shower or thundershower risk winds tomorrow and cooler tomorrow with a high in the upper 70s.