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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Endorsement roundups

Fifth District: here and here

Sixth District: here, here, and here.

In the Fifth District, Ellison should win the primary. Very few people support Ember Reichgott Junge, Jon Olson or Paul Ostrow. Unless Mike Erlandson wants to lose a primary while turning his name to mud in DFL circles simultaneously, he should decide against running in the primary. Sure, Erlandson is disappointed: his boss did everything he could to give the endorsement to him, but the people of the fifth decided to go in a different direction. They aren't going to change their minds in a primary.

I still think that the DFL can win in the Sixth with a smart campaign. It doesn't matter how conservative the district is, or how many people hate teh gay. Whoever the DFL candidate is, he or she needs to run a simple, straightforward campaign. Trying to hem and haw and sound like Republican-lite on issues like gay marriage is only going to end up in disaster, like every other time Democrats have tried to get cute and have it both ways on these issues.

The Democrat simply needs to say, "Look, if you think that gay marriage is the number one issue facing this country today, then vote for my opponent; I'm not going to make that a priority like she has. However, if you think that in addition to gay marriage, there are lots of other important issues facing this country like our foreign policy, access to health care, jobs and wages, and education, then I ask you to take a good look at my values and how I stand on the issues, because on balance I might just be the candidate you are more in agreement with." Don't insult voters, don't try to waffle on the issue, simply be direct and honest and say that while the Democrats by and large don't think that banning gay marriage is our top priority, Democrats share the values and other priorities of many, if not most of the voters in the district.

Some of you may think that's a crazy strategy. I'd like an example of where being a spineless waffle has actually worked for the Democrats lately.


At 4:50 PM, May 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your assessment of the 5th district could not be far from the truth. Ellison will now face a huge primary challenge from both Ember and Mike, both of whom can raise money, and raise a lot of it. Lisa Goodman, Minneapolis City councilwoman, has also shown interest in joining the race if Ellison had been endorsed. If there is only one woman in the race then we are looking at the money from Emily's List coming into the race. The political world in 5th just expanded far beyond the 220 or so delegate, and majority of the public will not care about endorsement convention and what happened there. This is not going to be easy for anyone.

At 9:07 AM, May 08, 2006, Anonymous Victoria said...

I agree. While I don't think Lisa or Ember have a snowball's chance, Mike Erlandson does. His poor showing at the 5th was his own damn fault, from beginning to end, missteps and poor judgement... but those 220 people don't mean much in the primary. His bad showing Saturday is inside baseball for the rest of the district.

At 10:14 AM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Wm said...

Granted, I like the man and I think he did a good job as DFL chair. But, while Mike might have a chance against some un-charismatic DFL hack, Ellison is a very strong candidate and Erlandson would be blown out of the water in a primary contest. His best chance was preventing an endorsement, and if he couldn't organize a campaign to accomplish that, he should find a new job with a new congressman.

At 10:41 AM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Ag said...

I find it very interesting that the strategy that some are taking is to discredit the DFL endorsement in order to try and open the way for their candidate for the primary. How can it benefit a candidate to say to those he/she is trying to represent is I don't think what you think matters? This is doubly true for someone who was chair of the DFL. How can Mike legitimately say the DFL endorsement should be ignored? Mike is a nice guy and deserves a great deal of respect for all his service over the years, but the people have spoken and he, as well as the rest of us, should respect that too.

Remember that the delegates for the 5th were regular folks who went to caucus (like anyone can, it is not a hard thing to do), and believe in the democratic process. They feel strongly about their representation and took their responsibility very seriously. We all now have a very solid candidate to support and we need not waist the resources in this state on a primary fight in the 5th. A big money game here can only hurt our chances on the 1st, the 2nd and the 6th. Lets keep focus people.

At 2:51 PM, May 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AG, a lot of people are talking about the "regular people" that go to caucus and how "anyone can do it."

I disagree. It takes a significant time committemnt and usually years of service to get to this level. Only folks motivated by a special interest (GLBT, Choice, Peace, Labor) really committ to it and get to this level.

I know your not trying to sound elitist ('cause are saying "anyone can do it"), but in reality it is elitist. A small group of anoited people pick our congress person. This is not democratic in my mind.

And getting more people to go caucus to "strengthen" the system will not work either. To insders want the power, they don't want to give it up. And believe it our not, in Minneapolis the "insiders" are not people like Mike Erlandson, they are the party activists that control the rules committees and nomination committees.

Just my two cents.

At 9:41 PM, May 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but the people of the fifth decided to go in a different direction"

- No, the people of the fifth will get to vote in the primary. I can't stand how people can possibly think that getting a bunch of political insiders together qualifies as the "people choosing". This is what primaries are for.

In a district that is as much of a sure thing at the fifth, there is no way that kingmaking should be done at an endorsing convention. Let the people vote!

At 9:09 AM, May 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It takes a significant time committemnt and usually years of service to get to this level."
Years of experience? All you need to do is show up and want it. I was elected as an alternate to the state convention, and I'm only 18. It does not take, "years of experience."

At 12:04 AM, May 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break; everyone knows the DFL endorsement process doesn't mean anything. The DFL crazies who are buying Ellison's rhetoric are not representative of me or many other Democrats in this state. I no longer am willing to call myself a DFLer after that endorsing convention.

Ellison is a weak candidate.


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