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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.


2018 DFL State Convention Day 2

by Eric Ferguson on June 2, 2018 · 7 comments

Yesterday’s live blog got really long, so I decided to start a fresh post for today. See yesterday for an intro to what a live blog is, disclosure of biases, yesterday’s events, and I’m unlikely to explain procedural stuff or regurgitate opinions explained in yesterday’s live blog.
If you want to watch the live stream, go to The Uptake web site. If you want to glance over at the MNGOP convention also going this weekend, go here.
Today is governor and attorney general. My wife snapped a photo of the Matt Pelikan pelican in the concourse outside the convention hall. That’s fun.
Pelikan pelican from outside DFL state convention
The convention has reconvened. Lots of delegates missed yesterday, unsurprisingly since governor is the big attraction, so rules and procedures are being explained again. The noise level on the floor is more obvious here than watching on the live stream. So if you’re streaming, feel smug that you can hear better than people here. Though those of us here can hear the videos since we’re not under Youtube’s thumb. So there.


DFL State Convention Live Blog

by Eric Ferguson on May 31, 2018 · 3 comments

The DFL state convention starts tomorrow (or today if you’re reading this on June 1). A “live blog” means that I’ll be blogging about it as it happens rather than writing up something later. I’ll be explaining what’s going on, and maybe opining on some things. We’ll see what provokes me to opinionating. The current plan is to watch the livestream on The Uptake Friday, which obviously you can watch yourself and I’ll post a link so you can do that. Saturday, I’m hoping to be there watching in person, so hopefully I’ll pick up some stuff that’s not apparent on the livestream. Sunday will likely be another livestream day. Yes, I maybe could have gotten a hotel if I hadn’t been so cheap and tried to reserve a room early enough and blah de blah. Fortunately I live in daytripping distance.

Convening time Friday is 4. The rest of the schedule I assume will be adjusted according to circumstances. The proposed agenda is posted here. Emphasis on proposed, since delegates can move to change the agenda when the rules and agenda are debated, and you never know for sure what will be proposed and what will pass. I’ve run some conventions as a local party chair, and worked on some as a committee member or with a campaign, and can attest that unexpected changes get made. I’ll spare you the “expect the unexpected” cliche — except I guess I just didn’t. You should have expected that. What you can expect is I will explain some of the “what on earth are they talking about” parts that conventions have.
Probably, you care more about the state office endorsements and not committee reports or party office elections or rules debates. So, according to the proposed agenda, Friday will see the endorsements for the US Senate seats and Secretary of State. Attorney General and Governor are scheduled for Saturday, and Auditor is scheduled for Sunday.
Actual updates and reportage start below. Keep refreshing during the convention for updates. If you’re curious about the 2014 or 2016 convention, check out those live blogs. See if you can catch me griping the same gripes (yes, you can).



MN-03: Strib goes after Paulsen?!?!

by Dan Burns on April 4, 2016 · 1 comment

paulsen2I put all that extra punctuation in the title because something like this – an article critical of a Minnesota Republican in Congress – is not a common sight, in this widely-read corporate media outlet, to say the least.

Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen and his family members have taken more than $75,000 in free, mostly international travel since 2013, all paid for by outside groups.
Just a few weeks ago, Paulsen took his adult daughter, Cassandra, to Nairobi, Kenya, at a total cost of $27,357 for the week, the tab picked up by World Vision and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The trip was billed as a chance to provide “direct insight on how U.S. investments are working to improve global health.”
It was the single costliest trip a member of Congress has taken this year at the expense of an outside group, according to LegiStorm, a nonpartisan group that compiles information on members of Congress and their staffs.
The travel is legal and allowed by federal ethics rules, but it has drawn criticism from government watchdog groups as these organizations try to gain influence in Washington. Such organizations can pay for the travel of members, their staff and family so long as they don’t employ lobbyists and they report the costs, agendas and details of each trip to the Committee on Ethics.
(Star Tribune)

To be fair, the Strib doesn’t often go after Minnesota Democrats in Congress, either, though I suspect that some in senior management and elsewhere would dearly love to be more aggressive in that regard, especially concerning Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Keith Ellison. The guiding mantra seems to mostly be “offend no one.”
Despite a carefully contrived image that a whole lot of media outlets (in addition to, usually, the Strib) help to perpetuate, Paulsen is neither a “moderate,” nor a righteously devoted public servant indifferent to his own self-interest. Quite the contrary, on both counts. Jon Tollefson is a DFL candidate. You can help him out here.

And here’s a little something more about Rep. Paulsen: “Paulsen Pushing HSAs and FSAs While Voting Against Protecting Consumers From Price-gouging.”
Comment below fold.

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Jon Tollefson in the Dem Vis Studio

Candidate Jon Tollefson on Democratic Visions

Jeff’s note:  On April 19, 2016 Jon Tollefson announced on Facebook  and elsewhere that he had suspended his campaign for Congress in order to support State Senator Terri Bonoff’s campaign for Minnesota Congressional District 3 saying:

I want to thank everyone who has been part of this campaign, given your support, and cheered us on from near and far. In a team sport, we sometimes make the assist rather than go for the goal ourselves. I will do everything I can to make sure Terri Bonoff wins in November. But this isn’t about me or Terri — it’s about our movement. We have so much to defend and so much progress we need to make. I am excited to continue that fight with you! Thank you for everything you’ve done.

My original entry follows:

Minnetonka’s Jon Tollefson is seeking to replace Republican Erik Paulsen in Congress next January and hopes to win the DFL endorsement on Saturday May 14th.   Tollefson discusses his positions with Tim O’Brien on the March edition of Democratic Visions.   I could write much more, but Jon says it much better in the thirteen minute segment that leads off the March edition of Democratic Visions.     Click here for the 13 minute long segment.



EP, Mtka, Edina, Hopkins, Richfield, Comcast Channel 15 —
Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Bloomington – BCAT Channel 16 — Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.

Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 — Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. Program is streamed at the MTN website during cablecasts.

Champlin, Anoka, Ramsey, Andover – QCTV Channel 15 — Fridays 8 a.m.,Saturdays 6:00 a.m., 10,30 a.m.,10:30 p.m.

Democratic  Visions is hand made by unpaid volunteers from Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and Bloomington.  Our program is not supported or endorsed by any political party, political action committee or special interest groups.

Comment below fold.


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MN-03: DFLer Tollefson enters race

by Dan Burns on February 1, 2016 · 0 comments

tollefsonGood deal.

After his experience abroad, Jon returned home to Minnesota to advance local economic and health policy issues, working for the Minnesota High Tech Association and now the Minnesota Nurses Association.
Jon Tollefson is running to bring the true values of Minnesotans to Washington: real fiscal responsibility, investments in education and transportation that lead to jobs and economic growth, and affordable access to health care for all. Jon wants to fight to create a better government, one that actually functions for the people it represents.
(Jon Tollefson for Congress)

I and undoubtedly others will have plenty more to say about why the incumbent, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), very, very badly needs to be the incumbent no longer, as of next January. For now, this:

Reviewing Erik Paulsen’s fourth quarter fundraising report, is very telling … telling that he is the consummate Washington insider … including $405,261 from Political Action Committees and big donors and only $2,133 from small donors.
Yep, that’s right the Medical Device Manufacturers PAC gave more money to his re-election campaign with one check, than all small donors combined !
(MN Political Roundtable)


DFLer John Benson leaving MN House

by Dan Burns on December 19, 2013 · 4 comments

44BFrom the west metro, which politically is always an intriguing place.

State Representative John Benson (DFL), who represents Minnetonka, Plymouth and Woodland in House District 44B announced Wednesday that he will not be seeking re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Rep. Benson was first elected in 2006 and will be completing his fourth term in the Legislature.
“Representing the citizens of my community has been a great personal honor,” Benson said in a news release. “I have viewed these past eight years in our citizens’ legislature as an opportunity for me to help improve Minnesota’s quality of life and then to return to private life.”
…Also on Tuesday, Jon Applebaum and Jon Tollefson announced bids for the seat.
(Minnetonka Patch)

Click and read the Patch article for more about Applebaum and Tollefson.
D+2 is not a gimme hold, but with an improving economy and the Dayton/Franken coattails, a solid campaign should keep this one where it belongs.