Monday, May 08, 2006


Another Week

As candidates and campaigns lick their wounds, staffers and volunteers nurse variously-reasoned hangovers, and newly-elected party officials stare down the mountain of work facing them between now and November, we merry primates of the blogosphere are left to comment on the whole ordeal.

Dan Weinand has more on CD3. If there's anyone else from CD3 covering local races, please let me know - the West Metro is going to be an absolute dogfight this year, from the local level all the way to the top. But considering how diverse the community is - Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Park are quite different from Minnetonka, Plymouth, Edina are quite different from Medina, Independence, etc.... - we need as much blog coverage as humanly possible.

Some thoughts on CD5 shenanigans...I'm not sure what to think. I congratulate Keith Ellison and his team - they knew what they were doing, they got the right message out to the right people, and they emerged victorious from the endorsement fight. But as Mr. Sponge has noted over at Minvolved, it sounds like the delegates could have shown a bit more class in accepting Mike Erlandson's position in that convention. The guy did lead the party for many years, which is to say nothing of the strenuous nature of his day job during that time. He was the State Chair during the 2004 elections, during which the DFL made huge gains across the state. We all know that leaders don't necessarily get all the credit for wins and blame for losses, but they should always be accorded a share in either case. Judging by the DFL's position today, it sounds like the CD5 delegates should have accorded him at least a modicum of respect for his accomplishments, whether or not they would support him for the endorsement. Some of the things overheard there were Not cool.

Sadly, that's politics sometimes. On both sides.

Speaking of which, it sounds as though the Patty Wetterling/El Tinklenberg debate in CD6 should shall I say...heated? With the GOP's endorsement of loco-wingnut Michele Bachmann for Congress, the DFL candidate has a huge opportunity to bring in moderates who are rightfully scared of Bachmann's gay-hating and nuke-tossing policies. If the upcoming endorsement leads to unity, expect a BIG pickup opportunity in CD6.

Totally off-topic question, if you've read this far - if you can drive on either a standard or an automatic transmission, and you're looking at new cars, what do you think the long-term resale value difference will be between the two?

Blogger Lefty said:
I'd like to share my view of what happened to Erlandson from my vantage point, in the back with the other alternates.

The convention had adopted a rule that every candidate would be given 15 seconds, preceding their 8 minute speech, to state whether they would abide by the endorsement.

During those speeches, every candidate that forgot to make the statement was reminded by the convention. One could describe this as heckling, especially from the point of view of a nervous candidate. But without a parliamentarian enforcing the rule, delegates took it upon themselves to remind the candidates.

When reminded, every candidate (other than Erlandson) stuttered a little at being interrupted, and then quickly answered the question. Mike Erlandson, on the other hand, ignored the individual calls to answer the question. As more and more people were calling for him to answer the question, it must have seemed like he was being heckled.

Erlandson got flustered, and said something about a "gut check" and then said "...see you in September." That is when the booing began, not before.

It is amazing to me that Erlandson was unaware of the 15 second rule, especially given his campaign's attention to the rules at the beginning of the convention. And if he, as a former party chair, was planning to not abide by the endorsement, how could he not have prepared statement addressing that!? Did he really think he wouldn't be asked?

I am confident that if he had rationally explained something like, "I truly believe that seven weeks is not enough time for people to really understand all my strengths and am planning to remain a candidate through to the primary," delegates wouldn't have liked it, but I think the reaction will have been much different. Too bad Erlandson was so unprepared.
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Any other takes on the goings-on from delegates or alternates? It would be wonderful if we could get several views on the Convention.
Blogger Flash said:
The Power Liberal had a differnt take on the rule, in that it only had to be in the speech. Nothing in the rule itself said it had to be at the begining:

""To clear up something that Mr. Grow may have missed, no, it was never said that you needed to say whether you would abide by the endorsement in the first 15 seconds of your speach. The official rule change was that the "Candidates for the US Congress from the 5th district shall state whether or not they will run against an endorsed DFL candidate, limited to fifteen (15) seconds per response." The section was originally in the Q&A, and the only rule change was that it was moved to the speach portion so every candidate could answer. Yes, many of the candidates did mention in the first minute of their speech if they were abiding, but it was not an official change in the rules as Mr. Grow stated.""

Had Sabo withdrawn prior to the Precinct Caucases, then an adequate Endorsement campaign could be waged. Erlandson needs to run in the primary, if only to hold off Ember.

Blogger tom55416 said:
I was 1 of the delegates & I'd say that Lefty has it just about right. Whether or not the rules stated that the the "abide by the endorsement" 15 seconds had to be at the beginning or not, I think based upon the other speeches who all included it at the beginning, & the fact that Brian Melendez (convention chair) said something to the effect of "in the first 15 seconds, speak on whether or not you will abide by the endorsement", the delegates certainly got the impression that each candidate was supposed to begin with that topic. And, as Lefty said, any other candidate who forgot & was reminded by the crowd, did immediately speak up & declare her/his intentions.

I respect Mike's work in the past on behalf of the DFL, but he came across as a selfish hypocrite to most of the delegates on Saturday.
Blogger mike said:
Party Chairs are goons (regardless of party), who's job sometimes dictate they can't give a damn whats best for the state or the country. The fact that he was a good party chair doesn't neccisarily mean he would be a good congressman.

A seat in congress isn't a thank you card, and shouldn't be treated like one.
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Nor do I think it should be treated as such - but I'm not saying that respecting Erlandson's career necessitated endorsing him. I'm talking about the reports of making crude comments about his family within earshot, mainly. Booing him for his speech - eh, that's a convention. But he's both human and a passionate DFLer, and that deserves at least common decency.
Blogger Jay said:
Rude comments aside. When you use your little kids for campaign purposes, expect this. Everyone doesn't melt when they see kids and some will even be resentful when they see you using them.
Anyone remember how the Bush twins were written about or even 12 year old Chelsea?
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
I think the Bush twins were written about mainly because they got in a great deal of trouble when they went to college. As for Chelsea, I don't think she was treated well either. But I highly doubt those writers were standing right next to Bill Clinton when they said out loud "My GOD is this girl ugly!" Maybe it's a weak distinction, but at least we might hope that people could keep their mouths shut within earshot of the child's parents, no?
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