Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Press Release Shenanigans

...Or, How to Lie With Numbers! Which is a great book, I recommend it to you all. However, on with the post.

I'm sure I'll start getting flamed by the Lourey campaign in no time, but this is crap. So is this. In case you don't want to click away from my riveting narrative, which I can understand:
Becky Lourey, DFL candidate for Governor, announced today that with approximately one-third of the delegates selected to the DFL state convention, she is leading all other candidates in the delegate race for Governor.
"The most important thing to notice in the delegate count so far," said Lourey campaign spokesperson John Blackshaw, "is Senator Lourey's support is statewide. Not all of the other candidates can claim that fact. And anybody who counts delegates will tell you, candidates without statewide support cannot win a statewide election let alone a convention endorsement."
Yes, the most important thing to note is the delegate count. What Mr. Blackshaw (and indeed, this entire press release) fails to mention is that over six hundred (600) delegates have been elected to the state convention already. Where are the other two hundred delegates, if (as this release claims) only 400 have been elected?

Perhaps they came out of gubernatorial-uncommitted subcaucuses? Let's just sweep that one under the rug, since we either know those "uncommitted" delegates aren't supporting us, or we're not bothering to contact them, so that also means we can leave them out of our press release.

For example, in SD43, the Lourey campaign indicates that Ms. Lourey got 1 delegate, Mike Hatch got 3, and Steve Kelley got 6. That only includes delegates coming out of gubernatorial-race named sub-caucuses. It leaves out the 1 delegate each from the Uncommitted Peach caucus, the Uncommitted caucus, the 1 for Ford Bell, and 3 for Amy Klobuchar. To be totally honest, I don't remember where ALL of those non-gubernatorial-caucus delegates went, but I know for a fact that two of the Klobuchar caucus's three delegates were also solid Kelley supporters. So really, Kelley got at least 8, and possibly 9 or 10 out of 18 delegates from my SD.

Does this mean this "creative number management" has been going on all over the state? No, of course not. But what would you do in their position - admit you're in third place in the delegate chase, or try to massage the numbers into a more favorable outlook? I've also seen COMPLETE numbers incorporating all those non-gubernatorial sub-caucuses, and they don't look nearly as rosy for Ms. Lourey. I think you may soon see a response from the Kelley camp with a slightly different take on the current status of the chase. [UPDATE]: Here it is. I didn't expect it so quickly, but there ya have it.

Come on folks. We're all Democrats here - we're better than this. We shouldn't have to take information passed to us by fellow DFLers with a grain of salt.

Blogger Trillin said:
Don't forget the super delegates, and the labor block...a majority of which will most likely goto Hatch
Blogger Truth said:
Actually, I think it is responsible not to include the non-gubernatorial delegates; it would be misleading to count them among supporters for any one candidate.

The question is, why has Lourey discounted Kelley’s COMMITTED delegates. These are not delegates that have simply told some campaign staffer something over the phone. They are people who were elected by their convention based on (1) their sub-caucusing with a group of committed supporters, or (2) where there are no sub-caucuses, expressing support for one candidate BEFORE getting elected. It is here that I think Lourey makes a mistake; Over counting the uncommitted delegates is one thing, misrepresenting COMMITTED delegates seems like a dangerous game?

I am sorry, but I think Kelley is going to come out on top here.
Blogger MN Liberal said:
I'm a little disappointed with the Lourey campaign's inaccuracies. In SD 59, it reports 4 delegates for each of the three candidates. But as for committed delegates (based on named subcaucuses), Kelley and Hatch each received three and Lourey only received two. Unless the Lourey campaign personally interviewed each of the 13 remaining uncommitted delegates, there is no way of knowning who they are supporting for governor.

I'm actually disappointed that any campaign would release a speculation in a press release. The state convention is only two-and-a-half months away. Let's just wait until then.
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Trillin - although you may be correct that Hatch has many super-delegates listed as supporters, I'm reluctant to pass on this "labor bloc". They have to get elected just like everone else.

Truth - it's responsible not to include them if you have no idea where they stand. However, Kelley's campaign has been working the phones hard, trying to get as many uncommitted delegates on the phone with either Kelley himself or a close surrogate (family members, local elected officials) - they're actually doing the work necessary to reasonably be able to publish numbers related to the current delegate count. And you're right, the Lourey campaign is SEVERELY discounting committed Kelley delegates in their "analysis".
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
MN Liberal - your comment came in as I was typing mine out. You're right - it appears they're not contacting those gubernatorial-uncommitted delegates, and the Kelley campaign is. At the conventions I've been to, it hasn't seemed like the Lourey folks have been too organized when it came time to make deals with other subcaucuses for delegates.

This is not the mark of a campaign that can publish these "figures" and expect to be trusted. I want to believe them, because Lourey's folks DFLers like you and me, but I know better not because I support another candidate, but simply because I have personally seen very, VERY different numbers.
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Also, perhaps I'm jinxing someone here, but if the big labor orgs (AFSCME, AFL-CIO) are so strongly behind Hatch, why haven't they endorsed yet?
Blogger StPaul_DFLer said:
If you were really in politics, you'd know that the AFL CIO screened earlier this week and will probably endorse Hatch.
Who makes up the Board? UAW, ED-MIN, AFSCME, Carpenters, IBEW, and so forth. Most of them have come out for Hatch within their member groups. Except AFSCME, they don't like Hatch and don't want Kelley or Lourey.

I notice that Hatch is not weighing in, winners don't have to. It appears that the Kelley people are circling their wagons around the Lourey people, determined to prove that they are not in third place. It's a continuation observed last month when the blow up between the two was over Kelley hearing that Lourey was going to go dirty on them. Well, looks like Kelley and his people can say and do what they want but, when called on it, the wagons circle.

I'm starting to see why the party has had problems over the years, you kids don't know shit. No one runs for state delegate without having an idea of who they support. Are they likely to tell someone they don't support or someone they support who they are with? Someone who they support.

MN Liberal- that's exactly what the job of the field campaign is, to get their candidate to call the uncommitted delegates as soon as possible. 13 calls is nothing. half hour to 45 minutes at most. Unless, the campaign has a strategy of getting more delegates by putting some of their newer people in uncommitted sub caucuses to get votes to get through (new people are the latest rave). Hatch actually knows about this.
You guys keep pissing on each other like Humphrey and Freeman and watch Hatch just continue to walk through.
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