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2018 election cycle

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

This is the promised follow up to Changing how the DFL endorses gubernatorial candidates where somehow I had a long post and didn’t get to what the title implied. So, the primary is over, and we have another data point. A gubernatorial endorsee lost again.
 
The main reason Erin Murphy lost should be obvious, at least if you looked at the results by CD: she did terrible outside the Twin Cities metro area. She did win CDs 4 and 5, but not by much, whereas Tim Walz cleaned up in his district, CD1, and got right around 40% everywhere else. Murphy needed to do that well in her central city base, and she didn’t.
 
Murphy did catch a break when the Lori Swanson campaign imploded. I noted, as the results came in, how if Murphy’s percentage went up, Swanson’s went down by the same amount, and visa-versa. The preelection polls had massive numbers of undecideds, and Murphy and Walz went way up from their poll numbers as undecideds decided, but Swanson actually went down. I’m convinced Murphy was the big beneficiary of Swanson’s problems (self-inflicted — I don’t think Murphy pulled something) but that wasn’t enough to overcome the perception she was too metro-centric. That gets us to the error in choosing a running mate.
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Key Minnesota primary results, real quick

by Dan Burns on August 15, 2018 · 1 comment

From the Secretary of State website:
 
DFL winners: Gov: Walz/Flanagan; Senate: Klobuchar, Smith; MN-05: Omar; MN-08: Radinovich; AG: Ellison.
 
The noteworthy GOP result was that Tim Pawlenty got beat by Jeff Johnson, and (as with the races noted above) it wasn’t close. I’ll have an obnoxious, gloating post about that one in due time.
 
Comment below fold.
 
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lewisYeah, he got busted again for something he said on his radio show, back in the day. The important thing is that there is no real indication that his belief system has changed in any significant way, since then.
 

Rep. Jason Lewis, who is running for reelection in Minnesota’s 2nd District, has offered the Republican Party’s go-to line on opposing same-sex marriage since he was elected to Congress in 2016 — that the decision should be left to states.
 
But before then, Lewis promoted extreme opinions about gays and lesbians on his radio show, comparing them to rapists, criminals, and polygamists. He contended that gay rights activists were “shredding the Constitution,” and that same-sex parents “could harm the kid.”
 
On the Jason Lewis Show in 2013, he argued it was acceptable to single out gay couples with discriminatory marriage bans, just as rapists and speeding drivers could be targeted by criminal laws. But if a court ruled that the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause granted same-sex couples the right to marry, he said, that would be equivalent to providing constitutional protections to a wide variety of lawbreakers.
(BuzzFeed)

The following comes with a double dose of the usual caveats: no complacency, fight like you’re behind to the end, etc., etc.
 

And in a sign that they are already preparing for substantial losses, Republican officials are contemplating political triage, weighing which districts may be beyond hope and determining where money can be saved.
 
Among the seats that Republicans see slipping out of reach are those held by Representatives Rod Blum of Iowa and Jason Lewis of Minnesota, along with more than half a dozen open seats currently held by Republicans in New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
(New York Times)

Comment below fold.
 
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Swanson scandal risks giving away governor

by Eric Ferguson on August 10, 2018 · 2 comments

If what The Intercept reports about Attorney General Lori Swanson making employees do volunteer work for her campaign is even half-true, this a scandal the must be making the Republicans think about foregoing their own primary and crossing over to vote in ours to make sure she’s the DFL candidate.
 

On Monday, The Intercept reported that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson relied on her official government staff for political work, sourced largely to unnamed employees. In the 48 hours after the story’s publication, more than a dozen individuals, including seven more former employees, contacted The Intercept and shared stories of being asked to volunteer politically that corroborated our report. Multiple sources named key Swanson deputies engaged in political activity in the attorney general’s office, repeating the names of staffers who’d previously been identified to The Intercept.

 
My concern isn’t that she would be a bad governor in terms of chosen policies and running a functional government. I’m concerned that this will blow up into a big, front-page-every-day scandal that will allow the MNGOP candidate to win the governor’s office. Remember that with the legislature also being Republican, holding the governorship is the only thing that saved Minnesota from turning into Wisconsin or Ohio. It’s a risk we simply can’t take.

 
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The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

I’m writing this prior to the August 14th primary, and you might wonder why I’m writing this now, in the heat of the primary campaign when DFLer-on-DFLer campaigning is at it’s thickest (though just how negative depends a great deal on which specific race is the subject). There are two answers: one, passions about whether the endorsements made this cycle and regarding the process actually spikes right after the primary; two, this is in my mind because of recent conversations with DFLers in the last week or two with a couple connected points: the DFL has not had an endorsed non-incumbent win the gubernatorial election since Wendell Anderson, and a consensus is forming that Erin Murphy is toast. That latter opinion is based on a couple polls that are at least two weeks old by now and have other issues — not to go into a tangent, but I refer for example to the huge number of undecideds and the polling of registered voters instead of likely voters — so that opinion is premature. Not wrong, but premature, and many Murphy supporters seem in denial about the big trouble the Murphy campaign is in. By no means all, but plenty haven’t come to terms with Murphy’s situation yet.
 

Erin Murphy is the DFL endorsee, and if she doesn’t pull it out, we’re going to have our usual, and usually heated, discussions/arguments about how we endorse and who we endorse and whether to endorse. So I suppose I’m getting a jump on that.

 

When our non-incumbent gubernatorial endorsees keep losing, that begs several questions:
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lewisI suppose it’s a good thing that outlets like CNN are looking like maybe, just maybe, they’ll be perhaps a little more honest and reality-based in talking about Republican pols, incumbents and otherwise, this time around. Even “maybe, a little” would be a big improvement over 2016.
 

A Republican congressman from Minnesota has a long history of making deeply misogynistic comments on the radio, including lamenting that women can no longer be called “sluts.”
 
CNN’s KFile reviewed several months of audio from Rep. Jason Lewis on the “Jason Lewis Show,” a syndicated radio program Lewis hosted from 2009 until 2014 with the tagline “America’s Mr. Right.” In one instance, while arguing that “young single women” vote based on coverage of birth control pills, Lewis said those women were not human beings and were without brains…
 
“Well, the thing is, can we call anybody a slut? This is what begs the question. Take this woman out of it, take Rush out of it for a moment,” Lewis said in a March 2012 episode. “Does a woman now have the right to behave — and I know there’s a double standard between the way men chase women and running and running around — you know, I’m not going to get there, but you know what I’m talking about. But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?”
(CNN)

As far as his campaign, so far Lewis seems to be essentially playing a sort of prevent defense, not saying much in public and not doing anything too high-profile as a legislator. That could well change, at least as far as him running his mouth goes, if his seat continues to look like a fairly likely flip. Or perhaps he’s already just pretty much given up. It doesn’t appear to me that he likes being in Congress as much as he did his previous gigs.
 

And that was followed up on June 14th, when Congressman Lewis tweeted after his taking part in the “Can opioids save the GOP from losing the midterms?“ event.
 
Gosh, a new “Advisory Committee” ?
 
Does President Trump think he needs another “Advisory Committee” ?
 
Let us remember that President Trump already issued an executive order on March 29, 2017, establishing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. As such, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs has begun instituting procedures aimed at monitoring and managing opioid prescription usage but Congressman Lewis wants a “Advisory Committee” to provide them guidance.
(MN Political Roundtable)

Update: CNN has released more. I do feel for the people assigned to listen to those tapes of Lewis’s show. It’s gotta be an ordeal. But they’re making a sacrifice for the greater good.
 

That same month, Lewis added the welfare state has in some ways been worse for the black community than Jim Crow, calling black people “addicted” to government programs.
 
“What the welfare state has done to the black community, a hundred years of racism could not do,” he said. “A hundred years of racism could not break it up, it could not destroy black families. Jim Crow could not do it. But what dependency has done, is has caused unwanted pregnancy, illegitimacy. It has told young black males that they are dispensable, they don’t need to hang around when mom needs support or whatever and it has destroyed — and not just black communities, but any urban community, and so what you’ve got here is now they’re addicted. Large swaths of Hispanic communities, black communities are addicted to these, these subsidies.”
(CNN)

Comment below fold.
 
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Where are Minnesota soybean farmers at?

by Dan Burns on July 12, 2018 · 0 comments

soybeansFrom last week:
 

So far, (Bill Doyscher) said, his elevator’s export business is good, but he’s seeing signs of a slowdown. Orders for future delivery have already begun to lag.
 
Some Minnesota farmers fear these ongoing trade issues will make it impossible for them to stay in business: That the new tariff will hurt U.S. soybean exports to China, reduce what they’re paid for the soybeans they sell and, ultimately, reduce their profits.
 
Some of those fears have already become reality: Because the market tends to respond ahead of changes, prices have already been dropping for several weeks in anticipation of the move.
(MPR)

The article goes on to suggest that plenty of farmers are po’d already. But I’ve seen anecdotal indications in other places that staunchly conservative farmers will blame a crash on anybody but Trump, no matter what. All it will take is for some in farm country, though, to reboot on how and if they vote, for us to flip plenty of state house districts. And to easily hold some tight federal ones.
 

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Weird happenings with DFL Convention and Filings

by Eric Ferguson on June 6, 2018 · 1 comment

Pelikan pelican from outside DFL state conventionSo by now, you’ve likely had your head spinning from the news from the DFL side regarding who is running for what, and lots of candidates coming out of the woodwork to run for this and switch to that, and run for something when they were running for something else. It’s interesting, at least to a politics junkie, and you’re reading this web site, so…

 
You were likely looking at the governor race, and this involves that to be sure. You may not have been following closely enough to know the candidate filing period just closed, or you heard but didn’t care what that meant. The weirdness has a whole lot to do with that however. It all starts, however, with the race for state attorney general (AG). Yes, an office a lot of people haven’t even heard of.
 
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OMB Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher

MN-OMB Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher

Dateline: June 5, 2018 – St. Paul, MN

 

Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher, Minnesota Office of Management and Budget, today unveiled a new, supplementary addendum the 2018 Budget and Economic Forecast released last February. The addendum adjusts the economic forecast sharply upward based on what he called “a bold new jobs program and brand new revenue stream for the state.”

 

“With all these new DFL candidates filing for office today,” Geldmacher said, “who we know will be hiring campaign managers, consultants and staffers; booking office space, furniture, computers and hotel rooms; leasing cars and vans, buying print media and advertising, feeding volunteers and hiring law offices and public relations firms, we expect to see an immediate 3-4% bump in the state GDP through the end of 2018. The DFL is truly a party of rainmakers.”

 

Geldmacher went on to say that the state may very well reach a 0% unemployment rate over the next few weeks. “We may have to import workers from economically depressed states like Wisconsin and Kansas. It’s sure to drive up wages for all Minnesotans. This is an achievement never before realized in the history of the state.”

 

Millennials were roundly congratulating themselves on the “genius of our collective” over Twitter using the hastag #canwekukorwhut.

 

“It’s almost as if those DFL’ers were looking for ways to fully fund the schools by boosting state revenues all by themselves,” Geldmacher said. “Who says Democrats don’t know how to create jobs?”

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Comments:
From Eric Ferguson:

I know this is spoof, but seriously, the DFL found candidates to run in all state House districts. That’s maybe a first for either party. It’s tough and praiseworthy, especially given how many state legislators run unopposed in other states. The MNGOP got close. They left two districts uncontested.

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2018 DFL State Convention Day 3

by Eric Ferguson on June 3, 2018 · 4 comments

This is the day 3 live blog. Day 1 (US Senate, secretary of state, and my explanation of convention procedures for newbies) is here, and day 2 (governor and AG) is here.
 

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.


 
And it’s auditor day, and maybe the lieutenant governor endorsement. The filing deadline is Tuesday, so Erin Murphy will have to announce quickly if she hasn’t already. I’m not there today and trying to tune in to the livestream, but so far it isn’t working. While we’re waiting, I’d like to handicap the auditor race: no idea. No information to go on at all. When I mentioned it to anybody, no one was even thinking about it with governor sucking up all the attention. Might be well to remember that governors Mark Dayton and Arne Carlson held the state auditor position. Rebecca Otto didn’t get endorsed, but being auditor made her an immediate serious candidate for governor or whatever else she should choose to run for. So even aside from the actual job, it matters.
 
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