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2018 Governor’s Race

State Auditor Rebecca Otto on her property in Marine on St. Croix on Friday, January 8, 2016.  (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

State Auditor Rebecca Otto on her property in Marine on St. Croix on Friday, January 8, 2016. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

Professor Michael Mann, the famous climate scientist who produced the Hockey Stick Graph demonstrating that recent anthropogenic global warming is a big deal when viewed in the context of deep time, has endorsed State Auditor Rebecca Otto for governor.

 
This is a national level figure noticing the importance of the Minnesota governor’s race and carefully choosing among the candidates, picking the one that has the best record on climate policy.
 
Here is Dr. Mann’s endorsement:
 

Rebecca Otto is a shining example of the kind of integrity and leadership we hope for in our elected leaders but too rarely see: someone who puts their money where their mouth is.
 
I’m proud to support Rebecca Otto for Governor of Minnesota, and urge everyone who is concerned about climate change and clean energy to join me in supporting her.
 

Michael E. Mann, director of Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, shared with his colleagues the honor of receiving the Nobel Prize awarded to the IPCC and its team for its work on climate science.  Mann and his colleagues Malcolm Hughes and Raymond Bradley produced the famous Hockey Stick Graph in 1998.

Michael E. Mann, director of Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, shared with his colleagues the honor of receiving the Nobel Prize awarded to the IPCC and its team for its work on climate science. Mann and his colleagues Malcolm Hughes and Raymond Bradley produced the famous Hockey Stick Graph in 1998.

After studying the evidence, Rebecca and her husband Shawn became national leaders in charting ways for governments to reduce fossil fuel energy use, and in combating industry propaganda campaigns that sow doubt about the billions of points of evidence that all point in the same direction. As the Minnesota State Auditor, Rebecca issued a nationally award-winning report on how local governments can reduce energy costs dramatically by switching to clean, carbon-free energy sources. Shawn has authored two books on the War on Science, on what the evidence says about climate change, and on how we can combat the disinformation and move forward; he also co-founded the US presidential science debate initiative and was involved in planning the March for Science. The couple built and live in a solar and wind-powered home and drive electric vehicles.

 

Rebecca wants to make Minnesota a national leader in tackling climate change and creating well-paying new jobs in the clean energy economy, and I’m confident she will achieve her goal with our support. We need her leadership to help move the ball forward globally on this pressing issue.

 
This is an appropriate endorsement given Otto’s long term commitment to doing something about global warming. Note that they first built the house decades ago, so this is not a recent short term commitment, but a long term passion.
 
I asked Professor Mann why a climate scientist working in Pennsylvania would worry about a governor’s race in Minnesota. “In climate change, we face a threat that knows no boundaries—continental boundaries, national boundaries, or state boundaries,” he told me. “We must support politicians everywhere who are willing to act on climate. Rebecca Otto has demonstrated that she places great priority on science-based policymaking on climate change and I am happy to support her candidacy.”
 

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State Auditor Rebecca Otto on her farm.  (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

State Auditor Rebecca Otto on her property in Marine on St. Croix on Friday, January 8, 2016. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

Here’s why: All the available data strongly indicates that Otto will beat all the other contenders across state in the upcoming Governor’s race.

 

Democrats have two major problems to face in 2018 and beyond. First, how do we win elections? Second, how do we remain true to our progressive and liberal roots?

 

For Democrats, 2018 is a must-win election, and Minnesotans have a lot at stake. Will the state remain the shining star of the North, or will it go the way of Wisconsin, and sink into a Republican dark age of union busting, environment polluting, professor bashing, service slashing, and economic activity destruction?

 

Of all the candidates running or suspected of running for Governor in 2018, Rebecca Otto is the only one who can most clearly win and at the same time preserve and advance core, human based, Democratic ideals, in my opinion.

 

The smart move for the DFL in 2018 is to turn to a candidate that has won several times statewide and has strong name recognition, positive feeling among the voters engendered by her commitment to widely held values, and a strong base of support. State Auditor Rebecca Otto is the only candidate with that resumé. Otto has racked up several historic victories, including the largest upset of an incumbent in 112 years, and is positioned to do it again in 2018. Her statewide electoral prowess far outstrips her nearest competitor, Tim Walz, who is largely unknown outside of his first district, and is untested statewide. Beyond that, Otto stands for strong for Democratic values, while Walz has shown himself to be a DINO-style Democrat. Walz enjoys a very high rating from the NRA, for example, and in February of 2013 was one of only six Democrats in Congress to vote to expand gun sales to the severely mentally ill, over the objections of senior generals including David Petraeus, Michael Hayden and Stanley McChrystal.

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