Tom Emmer, a candidate for the U.S. House seat that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is going to flee, likely with law enforcement nipping at her heels, did a brief, pretty generic Q&A for Roll Call. Here’s about the only thing worth noting.
I am who I am. I could never fill Michele Bachmann’s shoes. She’s represented the people of the 6th District as well as anyone who has represented the people of the 6th District.
Probably he felt like he had to act all humble and say, in that context, that he could never really “achieve” what Crazy Michele did. But deep down inside, it had to hurt to do so, for a pompous, grossly egotistical blowhard like himself.
Emmer came very close to becoming Minnesota’s governor, in 2010. His right wing radicalism in office likely would have been more extreme than Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s. If you reason from facts, that would indicate that right now Minnesota would be, as a result, quite possibly in worse shape than Wisconsin is. Though Minnesota’s conservatives would be doing what Wisconsin’s now are: denying the facts outright, and/or blaming it all on “liberal obstructionism,” or some such thing. Which is about as irresponsible and gutless as it gets. That’s conservatism, and that’s Tom Emmer.
The way that Gary Schiff promoted a second choice was through compatibility on issues. RCV might save us by focusing elections on issues not personalities.
I would rank candidates by
1) sorting through positions on issues
2) evaluating past performance
3) evaluating trust in having courage and keeping promises
4) evaluating ability to campaign hard and smart
I believe a more progressive candidate will appeal to voters more that the compromised mushy candidates that we have to accept. Progressives want candidates that support the platform, that can be trusted to stand up with courage when the going gets tough.
It seems that Minneapolis elected officials have a problem keeping promises. Specifically, Don Samuels, Kevin Reich, Diane Hofstede, Sandra Colvin Roy, Meg Tuthill, John Quincy, Barb Johnson and most significantly, RT Rybak, supported the stadium. ( Ramsey county thanks you). No referendum was going to happen because the opinion of the people was well known. Even more significant was how badly the financing favors rich owners over the people of Minneapolis. The unspoken sentiment through the Minneapolis convention was this questioning of who can we really trust.
I know gun owners hate the term “gun nuts”, but this is exactly the sort of thing that makes the term a fair description of some gun owners. Minneapolis and St. Paul have events called “Open Streets”, where the streets are closed to motorized traffic, so the streets are safe for kids games and pedestrians and bicycles and so on in a nice family-friendly atmosphere. So some of the local gun nuts have expressed an intent to show up for the purpose of showing the world that they have guns, inflicting their strange psychological needs on everyone else.
No, this isn’t concealed carry. They intend to carry openly, so everyone else gets to enjoy the presence of utter strangers able to pull out their loaded weapons whenever they take a whim. Yes I know, the people planning to do this will plead that they’re responsible gun owners, except the responsible gun owners will have left their weapons locked up at home. Showing them off at a neighborhood event as if it was a gun show or NRA rally is pretty much the opposite of “responsible”.
The Facebook page promoting Open Streets-Open Carry says gun owners will add “their own twist” to the neighborhood events by “encouraging ‘open carry’ for pro-active, positive visibility of law abiding gun owners participating in normal social activity … Like normal people!”
Update: Gary Schiff has left the race, and has endorsed Betsy Hodges. My initial reaction would be to improve Hodge’s position to that of a 2-1 favorite, on the board below.
Actually, while there were twists and turns and angry people and all, last Saturday’s Minneapolis DFL convention ended pretty much by the form book. That is, no endorsement, and further evidence that Mark Andrew and Betsy Hodges are the top candidates right now, in terms of potentially winning the ultimate prize. All six DFL candidates have indicated that they’ll still be on the board on Election Day. We’ll see.
In the following, anyone not identified otherwise, is a DFLer. I haven’t really tried to take the use of ranked choice voting into account, in setting these odds. I don’t think it would change them, yet. Maybe in October.
Mark Andrew, Betsy Hodges: 3-1. Though Andrew showed a little more at the convention, I’m keeping their odds the same, for now.
Gary Schiff: 6-1. He was a little stronger at the convention than I anticipated. Perhaps in prior weeks he was quietly working delegates while Hodges and Andrew were piling up endorsements. Handicappers think he’ll fall off the pace, as he can’t match the frontrunners’ fundraising. We’ll see.
Don Samuels, Cam Winton (Independent): 15-1.
Jackie Cherryhomes, Jim Thomas: 30-1. Samuels, Cherryhomes, and Thomas showed nothing during the convention/trial gallop. I had thought that Samuels might. Still, I’m keeping him, along with Winton, in what might be called the “maybe realistic” range, if others plummet while shredding each other.
Dan Cohen (Independent), Tony Lane ( Socialist Workers Party), Doug Mann (Green), Stephanie Woodruff (Independent): 80-1.
Minneapolis has gone to ranked voting, which has so far appeared to be successful.
Maybe we should consider this for our other elections, state wide. This would be the ideal time to consider a variety of changes, as we start looking at updating our election processes, including changes to reflect better technology, and as we start to look at replacing voting equipment that is wearing out.
Besides things that reflect technological progress, like considering online voter registration, there is there something else we should consider as a change in our election law – fusion voting.
As context, let me note the recent Gallup Poll which shows that Americans view the GOP less favorably than Democrats. Superficially, that looks better for Democrats than for Republicans, and it is, marginally; but that is simplistic and misses some of the key points we need to understand:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans still rate the Republican Party less favorably than the Democratic Party, 39% vs. 46%. But both parties’ ratings are down from November 2012. The Democrats’ rating dropped more, from 51% just after President Barack Obama won re-election. Americans’ ratings of the Democratic Party are now more on par with readings earlier in 2012, while their ratings of the GOP are the lowest since May 2010.
And in the same approximate time period, we also have seen these, which the above should be leading us to consider:
UPDATED: See below
In 2006, Minneapolis passed Instant Runoff Voting. We Minneapolitans used IRV, also known as Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), in the 2009 city elections. But the Mayor’s race wasn’t competitive as nobody challenged RT Rybak and there were few competitive council races.
2013 will be different.
At this point I can count on 11 (maybe 12) candidates running for Mayor. All will appear on the November ballot. So how will this play out?
In an RCV election, the voters for the candidate with the least votes are redistributed to their second choice until a candidate has 50% +1 votes.
First of all, RCV elections tend to force candidates to play nice as they need to be the second choice of other candidates. However, judging by the fallout from the Minneapoils DFL Convention last Saturday, the Mark Andrew and Betsy Hodges campaigns are quite bitter toward each other.
I don’t see them playing nice with each other as they are the front runners. The reality is that they more than likely be the last two standing and don’t need to be each other’s second choices.
It will be interesting to see how the third place finisher at Saturday’s convention, Gary Schiff, approaches the campaign. If he can woo the supporters of the second tier candidates, he has a chance. The subsequent questions are whether he can raise the money necessary to push his message (his base in the 9th Ward is not wealthy like in SW Minneapolis) and can he build the volunteer base?
Anyway, it will be fascinating to watch Andrew and Hodges duke it out while at the same time trying to woo the voters supporting the other candidates? Will their fight turn off voters? This could provide an advantage to Schiff.
Anyhoo … only time will tell.
Gary Schiff has dropped out
of the race. He’s endorsed Betsy Hodges.
This changes the dynamic the race. Now Andrew and Hodges will need to play nicer while courting the 2nd tier candidates supporters to become their 2nd choice.
List of all candidates that I am aware of below the fold …
From last week:
Federal regulators have ordered Minnesota to impose more stringent limits on pollutants discharged into the state’s lakes and rivers, an unusual step that could threaten state authority to enforce the nation’s clean-water laws.
The order, the first of its kind for Minnesota, was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to a petition from a nonprofit environmental law firm that for years has accused the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) of lax enforcement in protecting the state’s waters.
The petition focused primarily on municipal wastewater treatment and phosphorus, a damaging contaminant that causes noxious and sometimes toxic algal blooms in lakes and rivers. But some say it also could require the state to tighten up on a wide range of pollutants.
“The direction is pretty clear,” said Kris Sigford, an attorney for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, which asked the EPA to intervene. “Now we’ll have limits that are designed to protect water quality going into permits for all dischargers.”
Rather interesting, two of the state’s prominent political figures have been ripping on the EPA, over a couple of issues up north (here and here). There’s no reason to posit that this move by the EPA is in the nature of a brushback pitch. But it will be telling, to see where everything goes from here.
Four-term Minneapolis City Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy just announced that she is withdrawing from seeking a fourth term. She announced on Facebook. Political newcomer Andrew Johnson now faces
no opposition for the 12th Ward seat. Green Party candidate Chris Lautenschlager.
I am announcing today in a letter to friends and delegates that I have decided to withdraw from the race for the 12th Ward City Council seat. After much thought, consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided that the best thing for me, for them and for the Ward is to step aside.
I have felt, and continue to feel, that I have unfinished work on the Council. I talked with delegates about the effort and effective leadership I have provided for our environment, public safety, fiscal responsibility and support of our schools. While many of them agreed and supported me, many others felt it was time for a change and the Ward 12 convention ended with no endorsement.
Each of the four elections I have been engaged in has been hotly contested. I have won them all and the campaign this year is no different. I could run and win.
Being elected to represent the people of the 12th ward has been a privilege and honor that I will always treasure. But it is a hard job and takes a tremendous toll on daily life. I look forward to gardening again; to being home for dinner at a regular time; to walking into the grocery store or a restaurant without being stopped about an issue. Not that I minded any discussion with a resident, but it does take its toll. Most of all, I look forward to not having my motives and intent attacked whenever I make a decision.
I would like to thank my husband, Art, for his support through all the years and campaigns; my daughter Leah, who spent her young adult-hood sharing my very public name and the lack of personal privacy that comes with it; my aides in the ward office over the years – Dawn, Loren, Brette, Stephanie and Barb – who provided exceptional service to the ward and to me; and the dear friends that have campaigned, strategized and celebrated with me over the years. I appreciate all that you have done.
My decision is made after much consideration. Like every decision I have made during my time in office, I have weighed the options carefully and made the best decision I could, when I could.
I look forward to serving the residents of the 12th Ward during the remainder of my term. And to sharing our community for many years to come.
Respectfully and with gratitude,
Sandy Colvin Roy