Monday, June 12, 2006

 

No More Content

The DFL State Convention is over, and so is content posting to this Blogspot site. You should be forwarded soon to the new MNCR - if not, click this link: http://www.mncampaignreport.com

Sunday, June 04, 2006

 

Robocalls

It appears Ryan Flynn of MN Governor and now Blogs for Pawlenty was also known as Republican Minnesota until he inexplicably stopped posting there (courtesy of Eva). The plot thickens - check out her comment on the previous post below for more info. Disclosure called for, methinks.

Just an aside, however - on to the meat.

You know, this past week, I had to hand it to the Lourey campaign - they followed up the Baylor announcement with a DVD mailing and an accompanying robocall, which I can only assume targeted delegates and alternates to this week's State Convention. Northern Debater brought up some good points, with which I had to agree.

And then they followed up with another recorded robocall. And then another, this one with an auto-poll.

Let me say that again - a week out from the convention, and they're conducting an automated phone poll.

I sincerely hope the results of this poll aren't used at the convention to demonstrate Lourey's leading position going in. For one thing, automated phone polls are notoriously unreliable - it will quite severely tilt toward the candidate conducting the poll. Kelley supporters are likely to listen to the end of a message from Senator Kelley just as Hatch supporters would listen all the way through a recorded message from AG Hatch, just as Lourey supporters are more likely to have listened until the poll at the end of this message.

There was another paragraph here, but I left it out because of the negative undertones contained therein. Let's leave it at "to summarize, a good move (and that's something, coming from me) quickly turned bad." Let's see what effect that has on pre-convention Monday.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

 

On Running Mates and Opponents

Last day of May! Eleven days till the end of the State Convention AND the end of new content here! Update your links: http://www.mncampaignreport.com

In a yawner of a news piece, since accurate rumors have already been in the wild for several days, Becky Lourey will today announce Tim Baylor as her running mate. Mr. Baylor is a business leader in Minneapolis, is a former Vikings player, and is black. All of these things make sense - as a candidate from Greater Minnesota, Lourey needs to have something to appeal to Metro voters, and inroads in minority communities are important as well. Although I’m sure the campaign will say it’s solely because of Mr. Baylor’s leadership qualities and great work ethic, we cannot forget that it’s politics first, last, and always. For all candidates.

As for the Opponents bit in the post title, have a look at this MSNBC article on the US Senate Race. Especially this excerpt:

For his part, Republican Kennedy will make national security a dominant issue.

“How you win the war on terror is going to be one of the top issues” in this race, Kennedy said. “Clearly there have been mistakes made in the war on terror. And there have been corrections made. But the real question is: what is your focus? Is your focus just impeaching the president and having partisan investigations? Or is your focus on how to win the war on terror, how do we keep America safe?”

Considering how screechy Mr. Kennedy is in person, we must remember that most Minnesotans won’t see or hear him in person or on TV until the very late stages of the campaign. But this statement, whether from Kennedy’s lips or not, is a very carefully laid out set of talking points that Republicans across the Federal spectrum will use to defend themselves against a slaughter in November. My point is this - Kennedy has an uphill climb against sagging approval ratings for Congress and the President, but he is not stupid. Nor are his people, and none of them are to be underestimated. The Senate race must not be taken for granted, and the Minnesota race is nothing like that in Connecticut, to which the article draws a parallel. This is not the time or the place for an ideological purity debate. Mark Kennedy would be vastly worse for progressive ideals than either of the DFL candidates, but only one has demonstrated the ability to raise the money necessary to stare down the Republican machine. Forcing Amy Klobuchar to spend her way to the DFL nomination in September for the sake of ideological purity would be a pyrrhic victory of the worst sort.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

 

On the Race for Governor

This site will be going dark for new content after the DFL State Convention, June 9th-11th. Update your links: http://www.mncampaignreport.com

In a well-worn thread at MN Publius recently, Centrisity's ever-poignant Flash makes a good point in comment #25:

This thread demonstrates why the GOP wins the Governor's chair in what should be a Blue State. A bunch of bickering loyalists blindly parroting campaign rhetoric without considerng the damage it may cause their opponent should they become the eventual nominee.

You all have a great time in Rochester, I'll be in the garage . . . . drinkin'

Mmmm....beer. The cause of and solution to all the world's problems. No, the point is generally well-taken - intra-party bickering, if we allow it to taint our views of the candidates too strongly, will lead not only to us as individuals not working as hard as we can to replace Tim Pawlenty with a DFL Governor, but this dispirited lack of action could in and of itself cause that DFL candidate to fail. We must not allow single issue disagreements with any of the three gubernatorial candidates to sway us from the knowledge that any of the three would be better than Tim Pawlenty. The same goes for our candidates for US Senate. The trolls who would have you believe otherwise are just that, and are missing the big picture. I accept no fiercely negative comment on any blog or message board as credible unless its author reveals either their identity or makes clear their political loyalties via explicit disclaimer.

That being said, I am firmly of the opinion that the reason the commonly held perception of DFLers and Democrats as cats in need of herding, own-children-eaters, whatever, is merely a product of history. If the Republicans spend a few years in the political wilderness, I submit that we might see a very similar scenario to what we saw recently in the CD6 GOP convention - lies, backstabbing, manipulation, etc. To send them into the wild so Minnesota can be brought back to the national fore as a progenitor of progressive success should be a goal around which we can all pull together.


Monday, May 29, 2006

 

Happy Memorial Day

End of the month, this link won't be showing anything new, so change your bookmarks - http://www.mncampaignreport.com

As the title says, happy Memorial Day. Have a beer or three, barbecue with friends and family, do whatever it is you do to celebrate the unofficial start to summer if you can stand the heat - but whatever you do, do take a moment out of your day to remember those who, for better or worse, have given their lives for America because they were asked to do so.

I had a chance yesterday to attend a meet-and-greet with Mark Ritchie, Wendy Wilde, and Andrew Borene in an air-conditioned home in Minnetonka. Had I gotten the chance to do so, it would have been a perfect opportunity to interview Mr. Borene, who's running in a blue-trending Senate District in Edina and has a great chance to keep the DFL majority solid. I'll get to him at some point. Having permanent office space this early in the campaign means the campaign is doing very well. Mr Ritchie, the guest of honor, noted that his campaign was almost at their fundraising ceiling, and had begun raising funds for the coordinated campaign fund, an activity certain to garner good feelings from the party. Judging from his comments on the convention, it will be a very interesting time for those delegates and alternates still left on Sunday.

Ms. Wilde also had a chance to speak, and she's a candidate I did get a chance to speak with, although not one-on-one. According to Wendy, she's brought on John Wodele as a communications manager, and she's hoping that the Ventura connection will help to bring over independent-leaning voters in the 3rd. She correctly expressed exasperation that several big-time DNC donors across the country have also donated to her Republican target, Jim Ramstad. These people do need to learn that whether Mr. Ramstad is a nice guy or not (maybe, haven't met him), a moderate or not (voted 82% with President Bush last year, so I'm leaning toward not), his presence in Congress and lockstep-Republican voting record on many issues enables a right-wing extremist agenda to drive this country into the dirt.

I wonder if the Freedom Club of America has donated much to Ramstad....

One last thing about the meet-and-greet. There was a certain group at Camp Wellstone in 2005 that turned out to be pretty impressive. Check out this roster:

  • Mark Ritchie - candidate for Secretary of State
  • Tim Walz - candidate for Congress, CD1
  • Betsy Sheurer - Hopkins school board member, elected 2005
  • Andrew Borene - candidate for State Senate

and a couple of other notable-and-quotables from the political scene. Not a bad performance, I'd say, from a pretty small group.


Friday, May 26, 2006

 

Told Ya So

If you've been to http://www.mncampaignreport.com, you know that I already posted a quickie today about there not being much news. If you haven't, however - why haven't you? Of COURSE there would be news today! Dan Dorman (R), representing district 27A in the State House, has decided to retire from that role. From his announcement message:

At noon today I am going to announce that I will not seek re-election. Serving the people to District 27A for the last 8 years has been one of the best experiences for my family and me.

Two years ago, I considered not running. The 03 and 04 sessions were difficult times in St. Paul for Greater Minnesota and when the Republican Caucus went to 81 it felt like the moderate voices were no longer heard. But I decided to give it one more try. After winning relection, the Speaker of the House asked me to serve as the Chair of the Capital Investment Committee. Boy am I glad I stayed.

Serving as the Chair of the Committee I was able to leave my mark on two really good bonding bills. Bills that I think will make Minnesota a better place to live, work and play. In addition, I got to work closely with some great people. Including but not limited to the Committee Administrator LaRissa Peltola and the Committee Legislative Assistant Rory Koch.

I am not sure what the future holds, but our oldest son is finishing up 10th grade and our other son 8th grade. I know I want to be around more. It has always seemed that as one door closed another opens. So for now, I am taking a break but don’t be surprised to see me back in some fashion.

Dorman has a reputation in St. Paul of being a strong moderate voice in what he cites as an increasingly un-moderate Republican caucus. His retirement joins a litany of departing legislators, a slight majority of whom are Republicans. Courtesy of Minntelect, the DFL already has a contender lined up in Robin Brown, a teacher and horse breeder from Austin. Dorman beat his 2004 opponent 56-37 with a third-party candidate taking a small percentage, so this new open seat doesn’t immediately become a horse race until Ms. Brown does something to make it one. However, The Senate District does have two DFL incumbents, and if they’re smart they’ll work with Ms. Brown to build a unified message for the entire district. It’s yet another seat the MN-GOP is going to have to fight to defend, expending valuable resources there instead of districts already identified as battlegrounds.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

 

MN-05: Erlandson In

http://www.mncampaignreport.com. You know what to do.

It’s not really news, but it’s worth some more analysis - Mike Erlandson has confirmed that he will face Keith Ellison in the September primary in CD5. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see at least one or two of the other non-endorsed candidates drop at this point - Rep. Ellison will get the lion’s share of DFL loyalist votes, and if the rest are split four ways, Ellison will win walking away.

As some other folks have noted, however, I don’t think it’s altogether a terrible thing that a competitive primary take place in Minneapolis and its first ring suburbs. Congressman Sabo did announce his retirement after precinct caucuses, giving potential candidates an extremely short period of time to organize within an already-determined universe of DFL delegates. Very tough position to be in for all involved. That the Republican candidate can’t seem to hit the broad side of a barn with a complete political sentence only confirms that this race should and will be decided in September, with plenty of time after that for the nominee to get on the campaign trail with other DFL candidates across the state.

All in all, CD5 represents an opportunity for the DFL to show Minnesota our quality as a political organization and as individuals. If the political sniping can be kept to a bare minimum and on a professional level, it will demonstrate that we, as Democrats, are unafraid of honest debate of the issues. It will provide a stark contrast with the endorsement-battle shenanigans conducted by a certain GOP-endorsed congressional candidate just to the north of CD5.


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