Saturday, May 06, 2006

 

CD3 Convention Roundup

Sorry sorry sorry - no wireless in Hopkins High School. However, here are my notes on the day - all in all it was a successful day, well-run, interesting, and business-filled. Have a read!

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10:00 – Crazy crazy crazy. Andrew Borene, John Benson, Wendy Wilde, several other candidates here. I’m finding that apparently, some folks here actually read my blog. Talked to some people, Kelley supporters and otherwise, who were put off by the Lourey campaign email that said their numbers were better because the Kelley campaign’s staff was inexperienced. Whatever. Long time ago, politically.

10:15 – Delegates sitting – odd space, very steep seating arrangement in this auditorium. No wireless however – you’ll just have to wait till I get home to read this. Many many candidates here already, both for general election and party officers. CD3 Chair looks like it’s going to be quite a horse race – Marge Hoffa has very strong support, lots of stickers in the crowd. Right now I’m in an alternate seat, but all things being equal, I think I’m going to get seated as a delegate. Electing delegation chairs now – more to come later

10:30 – Opening remarks and credentials report. ACK people moving. Gotta move.

10:50 – Amy Klobuchar is here and speaking. No delegate seat for me. Oh well, means I get to pay more attention to blogging. The credentials committee was an absolute mess. People are excited, I understand that, but come on – get someone who has a loud voice who can tell people LOUDLY what the deal is.

11:10 – Steve Kelley has arrived to speak. Heavy, heavy support in the Convention. Story of his grandmother coming to Minnesota – not the best story around the state, but here (read: Hopkins, Minnetonka) works well. Becky Lourey up next, then Mike Hatch apparently. Candidate caravan? Warm response for all three, waiting to see how many delegates Hatch gets on their feet. Focusing on health care experience. Speech done, about the same standing-O support as Lourey, but neither as much as Kelley. It’s his base, not surprised.

11:25 – Mark Ritchie up. Yet another statewide candidate whose stump speech has improved dramatically.

10:30 – Rebecca Otto’s turn. I’m beginning to like the idea of Otto running closely with either Ritchie or Sande, whoever the SoS candidate is – not only do they all have similar frames in their stump speeches, it simply makes sense – the Secretary of State and the State Auditor are both watchdog officers, one for public spending, the other for public elections. Unite the message, unite the state. Otto has improved dramatically over time, most especially since the St. Paul Straw Poll event. No idea what was going on there.

11:35 – Back to Convention business, although I fully expect there to be more candidate-speech interruptions. Terri Bonoff just showed up. Part of me wishes I had a digital camera with me…then again, too much electronic equipment. Dan Weinand is up at the mic proposing to amend the rules to keep questions in Q+A to pre-screened questions, no verbal questions from the audience. Amendment failed – sorry Dan. Reasonable idea, but I think people like to be able to ask off-the-cuff questions.

I’m hungry. Might be time for a snack.

11:53 – Snack obtained. Endorsement committee recommends Wendy Wilde for Congress. Jackie Stevenson now running the show from the podium. Kevin Smith’s name also nominated for endorsements. Nominations closed. Q+A. Jackie Stevenson on a t-shirt collection drive for New Orleans relief: “I’ve probably slept with more DFL candidates…” (interruption) “…because I get so many campaign t-shirts, and I use them as nightshirts.” A good chuckle from the crowd at Jackie’s expense. Gavin Sullivan’s name also placed in nomination.

12:00 – Wendy Wilde is up. I must say that her campaign has hit the ground running – in a very short period of time, they have printed lit, materials, t-shirts. Short, steep ramp, but she has people on the ground and willing to work.

12:51 – Went out to the lobby to shmooze – still doing Q+A with the Congressional candidates. Spoke with Mark Ritchie, Joe Barisonzi, some other activists – going to say hi to Christian Sande and try to sit down with Andrew Borene for a few minutes. Mr. Ritchie has come out strongly in favor of an ice cream social for candidates and bloggers based upon my off-beat question on the subject. Several activists and candidates appear to be shuttling from here to CD5 – I’ll be very interested to find an access point and see how that’s going.

1:00 – Still doing Q+A. Props to Messrs. Smith and Sullivan, but Wendy Wilde is going to run away with this endorsement. The CD Chair race should be interesting – my SD chair appears to have jumped off the proverbial fence. Just spied Dustin Trice, our DNC staffer, might try to get some comments from him too.

1:30 – Wendy Wilde endorsed. Been sitting out in the lobby with Joe Barisonzi talking shop. Apologizing for delegate number dust-ups, but also just yakking. Hi Eric, Hi Andy J

1:40 – WOAH. Just came back into the auditorium – Q+A for CD Chair, Marge Hoffa vs. Georgiana Ruzich. Questions on campaign coordination, fundraising efforts. Georgiana appears to be focusing on past experience, Marge on new ideas, new people. Next question is on bringing new people into the party. Hoffa sounds nervous, but has done work preparing potential answers. Question on north/south balance in electing party officers – a little off-beat, but it makes sense. Not quite as much as, say, CD7, but Brooklyn Park and Bloomington aren’t what I would call “close”. Ruzich for geographic balance, Hoffa for meritocratic approach. On candidate recruitment – Ruzich for formation of a farm team, making sure Dems are in place to succeed retiring legislators and officials – city councils and commissions. Hoffa: information sharing among campaigns is necessity for long-term success. Will you support unendorsed candidates? Hoffa: No. This process is important, we represent our communities, our districts. Ruzich: I’ve always been there for endorsed candidates, never worked against one. Unity is extremely important for us to win any election. We must always get behind our endorsed candidates to make sure they do well.

Judging by support on the floor, I think Marge Hoffa takes it. We’ll see what the results say.

1:52 – end of Q+A, balloting commencing for CD chair. Found a power outlet in the back, saved my butt at 7% battery power. Charging…..Charging…..Charging…..

2:00 – Report on endorsement: Wendy Wilde endorsed for CD3 with, apparently, a lot more than 60%. For such a short campaign so far, the Wilde effort is putting together quite a show. Election of non-chair officers and State Committee delegates and alternates. Lots of names. Snore. Get to the CD Chair results!

2:25 – Marge Hoffa elected CD3 DFL Chair. No word on the exact results, but it sounded pretty heavy in Hoffa’s favor. Gracious victory, thanked Ms. Ruzich for her years of service, followed by a standing ovation and quick thanks from Ruzich. Rules suspended, 19th Director position added for Ms. Ruzich. Classy all around.

Wait, are we almost done here? Wow! Out before 3 PM! I’ll get home ASAP to post this, and check out Power Liberal for CD5 updates!

Comments:
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Blogger Green tea said:
I was at that 3rd CD Convention too.
Marge had a lot of support from new and young people.
But her very mean spirted speech turned off a lot of the loyal volunteers who end up doing the work..word I heard was many will be every busy when she calls on them..there are a lot of campaigns they can work on.
Marge seemed to criticize Georgianas way of fund raising, by getting legislatures to donate and host a Big Dollar Fund Raiser..similar to Amy's way of fundraising..one local legislature said "well glad to know Marge no longer needs my money"
That lady has a lot of fences to mend..yes the support was loud..but many of those people will never be seen again for two more years.
Of the Directors and other officers that won, they were overwhelmingly
Georgiana supporters.
Even the nominations Committee voted
13 to 3 for Georgiana because they know Marge talks a good game..but is never there for any of the grunt work..
It's very easy to be gracious after you have won..Georgianas graciousness at losing was far superior.
 
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Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
The other side of the fundraising issue is that it's the party asking electeds to spend hard money on soft money initiatives, instead of raising grassroots money and using it to support legislators. I've met and talked with both the former and new chairs, and don't know how I would have voted had I been seated (stupid alternate-elevation rules), but here's to hoping that simply the presence of new blood at the top of the Central Committee brings some positive effects.

If the "Ruzich-folks" left on the CC don't rally behind Hoffa because loyalty to Georgiana outweighs loyalty to the wishes of the party regulars, then the organization will have significant problems that don't have a lot to do with Marge herself. As for the grunt-work thing...again, here's to hoping she'll be there for it this cycle. Time will tell, no?
 
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Blogger Dan Weinand said:
I'll be posting a proper response to this on my blog this evening.
 
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