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Tim Walz

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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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:


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).



Sandy_Hook_Gun_Tragedy_Tim_Walz_NRA_CandidateWhat is the difference between a dozen dead second graders and a dozen dead high school students?
The high school students’ best friends will be able to vote next year.
And no, I will not apologize for the strong words and horrifying imagery. It is time for strong words and horrifying imagery.
I am facing a number of different poltical choices this year. Some of them come in two weeks at the Minnesota DFL (Democratic Party) Convention in Rochester. I’m a delegate, and I will be casting my vote to endorse two US Senate candidates, the State Auditor, the State Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the Governor. Recently, I was engaged in the endorsement decision for my US House District, and my local state House Representative is up for election.
Filtering out races that are fait accompli, there are three people running that I am firmly committed to NOT vote for, and to work against in any way possible, because of their contribution to America’s gun-hungry, gun-happy, gun-crazy culture.
They are, in order of geographical zone covered by their potential purview as an elected official:
Tim Walz, currently in the US House representing Minnesota’s first district, now running for the endorsement for Governor of Minnesota; Erik Paulsen, running for re-election to the US House, and Sarah Anderson, running for re-election to the Minnesota House.
I can not vote in early June for Tim Walz’s endorsement because for the last 12 years he maintained an A rating form the NRA, took their money, voted mostly as they told him to vote, and made numerous public statements in support of this gun culture.


MN GOP making waves for all the wrong reasons

by Joe Bodell on July 24, 2013 · 1 comment

File under “Well Duh!”: Roll Call rates the Minnesota Republican Party one of the seven most dysfunctional state parties in the country:

Just a few years ago, the Minnesota GOP held a Senate seat, hosted the Republican National Convention in St. Paul and its governor, Tim Pawlenty, was laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign.

Since then, the party posted $2 million in debt, according to local reports, with former Chairman Tony Sutton shouldering the blame. He was forced out in late 2011. By the next spring, the state was nearly evicted from its building.

Local party officers credit former state GOP Chairman Pat Shortridge with staunching the party’s financial bleeding. But the GOP still has a long way to recover.

And for Gopher State Republicans, the timing could not be worse. The party has incredible opportunities in 2014, with a gubernatorial race, a Senate race and two competitive House seats up for grabs. But it’s unlikely the party can help its candidates, given its current condition.

Obviously there’s more to the picture than this piece, written for an outside audience, portrays. The real picture is a whole lot worse, with a bunch of nincompoops, backbenchers, and Romney clones going after those big-shot seats in 2014. But you know you’re doing something wrong when you’re compared to the Democratic Party organs in states like Alabama, or the various states where Ron Paul supporters have cleaved huge intra-party influence from the establishment like Iowa and Nevada.


And of course, exactly which House races are “competitive” for the GOP? Surely they’re not talking about Tim Walz’s First district? Collin Peterson’s Seventh? Again, outside audience, but still. Come on guys.

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1075708_634321523245496_1178690240_nThe U.S. Congress is obligated to pass farm legislation. You probably saw that the House split the SNAP (food stamp) part of the legislation from the rest, as part of another try at completely gutting the former. That tactic has no chance of getting past the Senate or the White House, but it’s really not about that. They’re looking to send a message: partly the one at the right, and partly that government is by and for the rich man, and the rest of you can go to “heck.”

(Rep. Tim) Walz (D-MN) cautions that the Tea Party won’t be able to remove nutrition assistance programs permanently, and so blocking efforts to improve them is counter-productive: “They’re probably going to make them more inefficient.”
“It’s a mess,” he continues. “The ideology trumped common sense. For the past year and a half we held 30-plus hearings. What we get on the House floor that passes is a bill cobbled together at 2 a.m… that no one read.”
Walz hopes that, when Congress goes home for August recess, representatives’ constituents will make a lot of noise. “I hope the pressure is intense,” he says, and gets the legislators in a pragmatic enough frame of mind to return to Washington and resuscitate the bipartisan bill that failed two weeks ago.
(City Pages)

The point that I specifically want to make is that this fiasco garnered the votes of Minnesota’s three GOP U.S. Reps: Michele Bachmann, John Kline, and Erik Paulsen. It was in keeping with the legislative personas of the first two, but Paulsen presents himself as a “moderate,” and far too many voters buy that. That false perception needs to be changed, and Minnesota’s corporate media won’t help, so it’s entirely up to us. While we’re at it, the dependency of mega-corporations, and their mega-profits, on the SNAP program should become part of the public awareness, as well.

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Quist laments on his epic fail

by The Big E on November 15, 2012 · 0 comments

Photo from Rochester Post Bulletin

Quist fades from the political scene with a whining whimper

As the Republican nomination fight to face Rep. Tim Walz (DFL) for Minnesota’s First Congressional District clarified, and Mike Parry and Allen Quist were the top two, I knew Walz’s seat was safe. In the ensuing bitter and bloody clown fight for the Sceptre of Crazy, Parry made Quist look like a statesman. This says much more about how unstable and whacked Parry is than anything about Quist.

As Quist campaigned against Walz, it was clear he truly deserved the Sceptre of Crazy. The unintentional master of unintentional comedy campaigned on “unleashing the lion of free enterprise” and whining about how mean Walz was for pointing out statements Quist had made.

But now Quist is sad about how poorly his campaign went and is searching desperately for others to blame:

Allen Quist is attributing his Tuesday election loss in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District to a surprise DFL voter turnout fueled by Minnesota’s constitutional amendments and a lack of support from national Republican organizations.
(New Ulm Journal)

It couldn’t be that he’s an incompetent candidate.

On thing you need to know about the unintentional master of unintentional comedy is that he only gets his news from Fox News. And the pundits at Fox News were promising a Romney landslide.

Quist said he had high expectations for a Republican wave, similar to the 2010 elections, because of early predictions from political activists like Dick Morris.

Anybody daft enough to believe any prediction from Dick Morris rightfully deserves it when the opposite happens.

But I want to return to jaw-dropping anecdote from the unintentional master of unintentional comedy concerns the lack of support from national Republicans hinted at above:

Quist also cited the lack of support from the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) for giving Walz a further advantage and for his failure to reach his promise of raising $1 million for his campaign. He said that the NRCC promised to commit $1 million to his campaign after he won the primary, but ultimately it never told him of any change and contributed any funding. He said that he does not blame the organization for taking the funding where it thought it would be better utilized. However, he said the NRCC failure to inform him about its change of plans disrupted his fundraising plans and prevented him from getting access to PAC money, which he said he planned on for reaching his $1 million goal.

Quist previously told the Rochester Post-Bulletin that he had turned down the funds for ads from the NRCC because he wanted to focus on local, inexpensive TV ads produced by 1st District companies. However, he is now claiming it was due to the NRCC never providing the money in the first place and said he made the statement after it was clear the NRCC money was not going to materialize.

Was the RNCC supposed to tell him he sucked, his campaign sucked and he was going to lose big-time? Why waste the breathe?

When the national party wants to give you money (this is true whether you are Democratic or GOP), you do what they say. Otherwise, poof, the money is gone.

Furthermore, they probably looked at his campaign, his fundraising (he basically self-funded) and decided to spend their money elsewhere.

What’s bizarre is which scenario is it? Quist’s ego is so large that he can’t admit the RNCC let his campaign wither because he’s an incompetent candidate who ran a horrid campaign.

When you’re messaging is about lions, whining about how mean your opponent is and you hold events which two people attend, why would the RNCC want to give this fool any money.

So Allen Quist fades from the political scene with a whining whimper.


Tim Walz (DFL) – 56.58%
Allen Quist (R) – 43.29%
% reporting – 43.45%

Mike Parry and Allen Quist battled it out in a no-holds-barred clown show. Parry made Quist look like a statesman allowing Quist to win the primary. Neither raised much money and once gifted the Sceptre of Crazy, Quist showed that he’s just as much of a nutjob as Parry. I nicknamed Quist the Unintentional Master of Unintentional Comedy. He was truly funny. The only question is by how much will he lose to Tim Walz?

I declare this race for Tim Walz. Up by 13K votes as of 10:40pm.

Here are a couple of bellwether races in southern Minnesota.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem angered many residents of Rochester by failing to procure funding to redevelop the Civic Center.

Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester) has served 8 terms but outside groups spent $80,000 to defeat her.

Vern Swedin wants to replace the outgoing Mike Parry and represent Owatonna, Waseca and Faribault. Swedin seems as unstable as Parry. Will SD24 voters want a Parry Junior representing them?

Rep. Duane Quam (R-Rochester) is a Tea Party Republican who has tried to rebrand himself as a moderate.

as of 11:18PM

SD25 26A SD24 25A
Judy Ohly – 46% Tina Liebling – 58% Vicki Jensen- 52% John Vossen- 42%%
Dave Senjem – 54% Breanna Bly – 42% Vern Swedin – 48% Duane Quam – 58%
% reporting – 52% % reporting – 67% % reporting – 92% % reporting –  46%

Vicki Jensen wins! Tina Liebling wins reelection to 26A.

Senjem and Quam win reelection.


Photo from Rochester Post Bulletin

As his epic fail of a campaign totters towards its inevitable conclusion, the unintentional master of unintentional humor strikes again.

Allen Quist held a campaign event in Worthington, MN yesterday. He’s the Republican endorsed candidate challenging Rep. Tim Walz (DFL) to represent Minnesota’s First Congressional District. This event exemplifies why Quist is failing as a candidate and will lose (and probably pretty badly) to Walz.

Quist, who owns and operates an 800-acre farm in Nicollet County and is a former professor at Bethany Lutheran College, is also a former three-term state legislator. He is challenging current 1st District U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat who is seeking his fourth term in Washington.

Speaking before a group of five people – not counting two representatives from the media and his wife, Julie – Quist described himself as a man who knows how to run successful business and how to help get Washington on the right track.
[my emphasis]
(Worthington Daily Globe)

I’ve been to A LOT of campaign events over the years. Ranging from Presidential to US Senate to Congressional to local Park Board candidates and School Board candidates. Some of these local races were early in the campaign season when the candidate and his/her team hadn’t really gotten their acts together.

Even these campaigns could get a dozen people to turn out. Excluding spouses and partners.

I’m going to miss Quist and Mister Bills. They’ve made this campaign season quite humorous.