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Monday, September 11, 2006

Primary Eve

The campaigns are now going crazy. After receiving next to nothing from any campaigns for months, within the past couple of days I have been getting robo-calls, campaign literature, and countless e-mails. I have to question the wisdom of sending out five e-mails in a day, or mailing two lit pieces on consecutive days less than a week before the primary. I've already made up my mind; where was this stuff earlier? What gives? And why do people think that e-mail gives you license to annoy everybody?

I live in the fifth CD, so that makes for a couple of interesting races in total. For the most part, I plan on voting for the endorsed DFL candidates. In only two races, I had to think about it: Attorney General and the 5th.

For Attorney General, I will be voting for Lori Swanson, who to my knowledge did not vote for any stadium bills this year. I have no problems with Steve Kelley, but his huge support of the Twins bill is something I can't ignore. Sorry, Steve. Perhaps his calculus is that this won't make a difference in his campaign, or it will be a net positive. We will see.

Now to the 5th. Keith Ellison has made a number of mistakes in his life, that much is true. But the personal attacks on him are completely out of line. I also can't ignore the fact that many of the attacks are directed at him for two reasons: he's black and he's a Muslim. The MDE CAIR posts are just the latest evidence of this. If I chose who I voted for based on religion, I wouldn't be able to vote for anybody. So I look at things as a whole, and nothing I have seen makes me think that Ellison will use religion divisively as so many Republicans do.

And then there are the other candidates. Paul Ostrow? Who is he again? Ember Reichgott Junge? I wouldn't vote for her for any office, no matter how small. Mike Erlandson? I don't like how Sabo tried to make him the heir apparent. Plus, when I look back at Erlandson's tenure as party chair, I see a lot of missed opportunities.

So I am planning on voting for Keith Ellison, and my reluctance about it diminishes with every attack leveled by people like MDE.

That's about it. It won't be too long before we see the results.


At 8:27 PM, September 11, 2006, Blogger Mark said...

I'm disappointed that Bill Luther isn't running a serious campaign for the AG race. With his political base in the Republican-leaning suburbs, he'd be a cinch for victory against Jeff Johnson. But since his heart's not in it, I guess it's best he's not getting the nomination.

I'm predicting a victory for Ember Reichgott Junge in the MN-05 race. Ellison and Erlandson will split the Minneapolis vote, meaning Junge's consolidation of the western suburbs will the difference. Why do you hate her so much?

At 9:39 PM, September 11, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My choice in the 5th: State Sen. Keith Ellison. Hands down. Because I like his style. I'm sick-unto-death of cautious, canned DFLers and apparently I'm not the only one. Last May, Keith easily beat out his opponents for the endorsement. He's a passionate, inspiring speaker who openly talks about the underlying moral principles behind his positions. He connects with a crowd. He listens well. And when you ask Keith about an issue, you actually get a straight answer.

Keith is the only candidate calling for an immediate withdrawal of our troops---something that would logistically take about a year to accomplish because we have 140,000 troops there and withdrawals need to be as carefully planned as invasions. He bluntly says that the war is lost and as much as we may want to fix Iraq, it's not something that we can do militarily, so it's time to bring our troops home.

He's the only candidate openly pushing single-payer national health insurance. 

If you ask him about gay marriage, Keith doesn't give the pro forma preface of how He Believes Marriage Is Between A Man and A Woman However, blah, blah, blah. Instead, I've heard him say the government has no right to tell two loving, single adults whether they can marry or not. It's a civil rights issues. Period. The End. He's also got a great environmental record. And he has been a passionate supporter of public schools--he has four school-age kids and his wife is a teacher. He gets it.

During his time in the Minnesota legislature, he passed more bills than any other Democratic legislator. So he's not only passionate, he knows how to produce.

In short, Keith reminds me of Paul Wellstone--another short, passionate guy who wasn't afraid to stand up and fight. Keith is African-American and Muslim. And while it would be great to send an African-American Muslim to Congress, I'm supporting him because of all the other stuff I've just listed. Is Keith a perfect candidate? Lord, no. But perfect candidates don't exist, so I've stopped looking for 'em.

RE: the stories about late parking tickets, late taxes and late campaign finance filings. Keith has taken full responsibility, paid up and apologized. When he opened up his own law business, he fell behind in his taxes. He didn't evade his 'em, he just couldn't pay 'em and had to work out a payment plan with the government.

As far as parking tickets and late campaign filings, I've concluded that Keith needs a good administrative secretary. (Actually, I could really use one too and I'm not doing one-fourth the stuff Keith is doing.) Between his own law practice, running for Congress, having a seat in the Minnesota Senate, four kids and a wife with multiple sclerosis, he unfortunately let stuff slip. Trying to do too much doesn't excuse him, but it does explain it.

And anyhow, as a voter who has watched in horror as Congressional Democrats mostly rolled over or were missing in action for the last six years.... if I have to choose between a candidate who needs a spine and a candidate who needs a secretary.......I'll take the one who needs a secretary. Every time.

RE: the other candidates vying for the Fifth Congressional district seats.

City Councilman Paul Ostrow: I know Paul and his wife. I think they're great. But this ain't his race. Most observers say the contest is really between Keith Ellison and the other two Es: Mike Erlandson and Ember Reichgott-Junge.

As Sabo's top aide and former state party chair, I think Mike would be a continuation of same-old, same-old: a canned, scripted technocrat who would vote reliably liberal, but not cause any waves. Mike was not particularly loved as state party chair---many activists found him arrogant, cautious and uninspiring. In other words, there was a reason why a huge crowd of delegates, many of whom had worked with Mike for years, did not endorse him last May. He has also run the most negative campaign.

Former State Senator Ember Reichgott-Junge: alas, another canned, cautious, scripted technocrat. Go watch her commercials on her website. Or try to listen to her on the radio.

Lynnell Mickelsen

At 9:46 AM, September 12, 2006, Blogger Phoenix Woman said...

By the way, looks like the Minnesota Republican Party -- probably via Brodkorb of MDE and Assrocket over at PowerLine -- have been feeding Newsweek reporters their standard badly-sourced (or just plain unsourced) anti-Ellison crapola, just in time for the primaries.

I have one question to ask about this Newsweek hit piece on Keith Ellison: Where are the names?

The Newsweek article's author says that Ellison's fellow Muslims are against him running -- the first time ANYONE has ever said that -- but of course the author, Lee Hudson Teslik (teslik@gmail.com, or contact his bosses at Letters@newsweek.com ), doesn't actually provide any NAMES.

In fact, as usual for stories on Ellison, the only critic of his who has a name attached is none other than Daniel Rosen -- the Minneapolis attorney and prominent Republican donor who has been virtually the sole (and the most vicious) on-the-record critic of Keith Ellison over the last six months, as I noted here.

Which reminds me: Front Page Mag, which some Republican attackers of Ellison love to cite as a "source", is a David Horowitz production -- and Horowitz is not exactly trustworthy, as we find here, here, and here.

At 11:57 PM, September 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hot news!!! The Official DFL Sample Ballot, a four-color 8.5 inch by 11 inch beauty, was mailed late and only arrived today in the mail. It will be interesting to see if more arrive tomorrow.

Steve Kelley had one side of the ballot to himself with his name mentioned five times and a large color photo. An effective piece for certain if it was delivered on time.

Question: Was it mailed late on purpose to submarine Steve? What was Melendez’s role in the execution of this piece?

Ultimate question: Given the closeness of Kelley’s loss, could it have made the difference?

Can the DFL party do anything right or was Kelley intentionally dropped from the ticket?

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